We’ve already talked about the best bars in London, and while it’s closely related to today’s subject of the top 10 London cocktail bars, we still thought it would be interesting. Nothing can compare to a well made cocktail and it’s no coincidence that the best barmen and mixologists work and live in London. Cocktails were always popular, throughout the 20th century, but it seems as though they have only recently become widely accepted. As it happens the best cocktails in the city are mostly served in hotel bars. Which sort of proves this notion that cocktails haven’t been mainstream other than in well established and posh hotels in the past. Many classics have been perfected, like the manhattan, daiquiri, margaritas etc. There was a time when it was fairly difficult finding a place outside of a hotel where you could have a classic cocktail. Thankfully even the independent small bars caught onto this so nowadays they don’t just serve the house cocktails. Among the best 10 cocktail bars in London are some of the most luxurious bars a person could imagine. Decadent and pure class. So, without further ado here’s our list.
If you like your martinis almost ice cold and your bar experience to be classy and laid back, than Dukes Bar will do it for you. This London bar resembles a speakeasy almost, it’s practically hidden, the interior oozes with sheer elegance. The head bartender Alessandro Pallazi strives to make the cocktails as delicious and possible and present his art of mixology in the best light possible. The cocktails here aren’t cheap however.
Visiting address: 35 St James’s Place, London, SW1
Probably the most well known hotel in the world, the Savoy, is also home to one of London’s finest cocktail bars. Queen Mother use to pop in here for her regular morning Dubonnet. And if that isn’t proof enough of this place’s class and elegance, than nothing is. Erik Lorinz who is the main bartender in the American bar is an acclaimed and world renowned expert in his field of cocktail mixing.
Visiting address: The Strand, London, WC2
Dating back to a time when bartenders weren’t expected to memorize cocktail formulas and just replicate previous cocktails, the Dorchester bar almost seems as though it has been stuck in time. The entrance is located on the side of the hotel which gives it some additional mystery when entering. The dim lighting and design isn’t world class, it’s just pure class. The dark wood furnishings and the golden trimmings, fitting and details give off a vibe unlike any place you’ve been to. And the cocktails? Absolutely superb.
Visiting address: Park Lane, London, W1
At the Connaught hotel there are two bars, one of which is the Coburg bar that’s wonderful and the drinks and cocktails are splendid all around. But make the effort to reach the much smaller Connaught bar, which might not be as lively, but it offers a much more intimate atmosphere and the cocktails are made with slightly more attention to detail. Do you prefer your drink shaken or stirred? Well at this bar the bartenders use a technique that seems to be dying out called “throwing”.
Visiting address: Carlos Place, London, W1
This one has already been covered, but it’s simply so wonderful and important that it deserves all the attention it can get. It was voted out as the best bar in the world, which is no small feat in this highly competitive industry. Master mixologist Alex Kretena works his magic to create some of the best cocktails in the whole of London. The décor, the service and the overall feel of the Artesian is simply wonderful in every single way.
Visiting address: 1C Portland Place, London, W1
The Rivoli bar is located in the London Ritz hotel and is the hotel bar that underwent the most changes in recent years. No longer is the dress code so strict that only the Prime Minister could get in. Jeans and a sporty look are now completely welcome at the Rivoli bar. The new staff are all young, under 30 professionals who aren’t only creative but real experts in their respective fields. As you might have imagined, the cocktails here aren’t cheap as most of them cost around 20 pounds.
Visiting address: 150 Piccadilly, London, W1
Once you enter the Nola cocktail bar you’ll feel as though you’ve traveled through space and time and made your way to French quarter of New Orleans. The slow moving ceiling fan, the soothing quiet music and the wonderfully made cocktails in this small gem of a bar makes for an incredible and unique bar experience. If you enjoy smoking a good cigar the bartenders will advise that they are best had with a sazerac.
Visiting address: 66-68 Rivington St, EC2
Toni Conigliaro, also known as London’s maddest cocktail master, is the brains behind this tremendous London cocktail bar. Tony also hosts a class for anyone who is interested in getting to know the history behind making cocktails and the magic needed to make a good cocktail. Young ambitious mixologists will appreciate this class the most. Before Tony took it over it was called the Bar With No Name. Now it’s named after, you guessed it, its address.
Visiting address: 69 Colebrook Row, London, N1
This basement in Covent Garden is one of the Seven Dial’s real gems. It serves as a waiting area for one of London’s finer steakhouses and it also boasts an amazing cocktail bar. The ginger brew is the house specialty that was created by a former bartender called Pete Jeary and experts say that it’s bound to become a classic some day. High quality and great service makes the Hawksmoor bar the second best cocktail bar in London in our opinion.
Visiting address: 11 Langley Street, London, WC2H 9JG
The best bar on our list is located next to a sex shop in Soho. What better way to describe Soho than in these two words: sex and cocktails. Dick Bradsell, a man who is arguably the best bartender in the UK today, is the person who made the El Camion the success it is. The espresso martini and bramble were both created by Dick Bradsell, and these cocktails are now considered British classics. The colorful interior, the area it’s located in, and the fact that a legend works here is more than enough reason to give this place a visit.
Visiting address: 25-27 Brewer St, London, W1F 0RR