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The best cocktails in London—don't miss these 12 atmospheric spots for heady blends and flavorsome fusions

After 19 years of London living I’ve become acquainted with my fair share of pubs, bars and elegant cocktail joints, and while some have come and gone, others (thankfully some of my favorites) remain. Like hunting out the best oysters in London, finding the best cocktails requires patience, stamina and quite often, a hefty wallet. 

Image showing four cocktails to depect where to find the best cocktails in london. Clockwise from top left, drinks at Kaia, Langan's, Shoreditch House and Ham Yard Hotel
A selection of the best cocktails in London (clockwise from top left: Kaia, Langan's, Shoreditch House, Ham Yard Hotel)

Short and strong blends are my vice, think Pisco Sours, Dirty Martinis, and Negronis, but this list isn’t solely focused on short, potent blends, it also features intriguing new mixes, unique flavours and some of the best creations in the city. Here are the best bars and restaurants for an expertly mixed tipple that’ll leave you wanting more.

Where to find the best cocktails in London

1. L'Atelier Robuchon, 6 Clarges St

L'Atelier Robuchon offers 12 carefully mixed blends, split into ‘Avant’ and ‘Après’. I opted for ‘Jasmine Reviver’ as a little pre-lunch pick-me-up that worked a treat. The jasmine tea syrup balanced out the tartness of fresh lemon, while 1757 vermouth and botanist gin provided a heady kick—the most delightful mix that I’m looking forward to drinking again soon. 

Jasmine Reviver cocktail at l'atelier robuchon, served in a dainty glass. This drink is one of the best cocktails in london
Jasmine Reviver at L'Atelier Robuchon

Every cocktail on the menu has been created specially for the restaurant and I noticed some intriguing ingredients like limoncello foam and tonka bean syrup.
Price: Cocktails at L'Atelier Robuchon start from $22 (£18)
Opening hours: 12pm to 2.30pm and 5.30pm to 12am Monday to Saturday. 12pm to 11.30pm on Sunday.

2. 45 Jermyn St, St James’s

As well as being one of the most impressive cocktail joints in Mayfair, 45 Jermyn St is also one of my favorite luxury London breakfast spots so make a note to head back for the bacon sandwich one morning. I adore Jermyn St for its hidden location, vibrant coral booths, and Mad Men style aesthetic, and always leave feeling merry following a handful of visits over the years. 

two cocktails on a wooden table at 45 Jermyn St, one of london's best cocktail bars
One of the best cocktails in London: the Martini at 45 Jermyn St

The cocktail list is made up of an impressive 29 options, that include five amazing variations of the Bloody Mary—‘Hinomaru Mary’ has a Japanese edge with sriracha and Japanese dressing, while ‘Dirty Mary’ uses bacon salt and tequila. My favorite cocktail here is the ‘Martini 45’ which always arrives ice cold with a speared olive, pickled onion and cornichon—heavenly! Anyone who loves a little nostalgia or likes their cocktails on the sweeter side of the scale will be overjoyed with the gin, bourbon or champagne ice-cream floats.
Price: Cocktails at 45 Jermyn St start from $13 (£10.50)
Opening hours: 7.30am to 11.30pm Monday to Friday. 8am to 11.30pm on Saturday and 8am to 11pm on Sunday.

3. Sir Frank’s Bar, Beaverbrook Townhouse, 115-116 Sloane St

Having opened towards the end of 2021, Sir Frank’s Bar at the very beautifully designed Beaverbrook Townhouse has fast become one of the best places for cocktails in London. The impressive menu boasts 23 outstanding creations (including 5 alcohol-free options), ranging from unique blends like Town House Saketini to Martini classics, there’s even a $75 (£60) cocktail that comes with a spoonful of caviar. 

two cocktails on brass bar at sir franks bar at beaverbrook townhouse in london
Cocktails at Sir Frank's Bar

I tried Top Hat—a champagne and tequila blend featuring chilli, lime and agave—and Dame Shirley Bassey, which uses house-made champagne cordial paired with Kong’s Tail Vodka and orange bitters. Just beyond the bar lies one of the most incredible eating experiences in London; Jan Horak’s Omakase (Japanese tasting menu), book ahead for course after course of sheer perfection on a plate, from yellowtail sashimi with zingy yuzu jelly, to scallop temaki, and more.
Price: Cocktails at Sir Frank’s Bar start from $22 (£18)
Opening hours: 11am until late, daily.

4. City Social, Tower 42, 25 Old Broad St

This Michelin-starred restaurant by Jason Atherton boasts panoramic views of the city, chic surroundings and breathtaking food, but it’s also the place to go for some of the best cocktails in London.

cocktail at city social with note pegged to the rim and plants in the background
Custom cocktail at City Social

Much of the menu seems to be inspired by South America with ingredients like Waqar Pisco, cachaça and cacao syrup being used to create new and intriguing fusions. The cocktail I tried has since been swapped out for newer inventions but I loved how it arrived with a witty note pegged to the rim.
Price: Cocktails at City Social start from $17 (£14)
Opening hours: 12pm to 11pm Monday to Friday. 4pm to 12am on Saturday. Closed Sunday.

5. Brutto, 35-37 Greenhill Rents

Without a doubt one of the best Italian restaurants in London, Brutto also impresses with its $6 (£5) negronis. I doubt anyone can find fault in Brutto's bargain cocktails, especially in such a dreamy setting.

negroni next to a menu at Brutto in Farringdon
The perfect negroni at Brutto

Short, strong and served as it should be—with a thick wedge of orange—this is one of my all-time favourite spots in London for cocktails and dinner. If you’re not a fan of the Negroni, there’s a great selection of longer tipples too. See you at the bar!
Price: Cocktails at Brutto start from $6 (£5)
Opening hours: 12pm to 2.45pm and 5.30pm to 10.30pm Tuesday to Sunday. Closed Sunday and Monday.

6. Sushi Samba, Heron Tower, Bishopsgate

Hyperpopular spots like Sushi Samba aren’t really my idea of fun but I do like the views here if you can snag a table on a quiet day. The cocktail list boasts 16 signature blends created by bartenders past and present. 

cocktails on yellow table with menu at sushi samba
Sushi Samba's cocktail offering 

Continuing with the theme of the restaurant, drinks are mixed with Japanese, Brazilian and Peruvian-inspired spirits and flavours like matcha syrup, cacao-infused vermouth and cachaça. I tried ‘Wakaba’ a green short drink made from matcha, gin, and grapefruit juice, as well as the Thai-inspired ‘Tom Yam’ - a super zingy silky smooth and uber drinkable long mix of chilli, lemongrass and lime leaf jumbled with gin and citrus.
Price: Cocktails at Sushi Samba start from $17 (£14)
Opening hours: 12pm to 1.30am Sunday to Wednesday. 12pm to 2.30am Thursday to Saturday.

7. Ham Yard Hotel, 1 Ham Yard

With 25 cocktail blends, including low-alcohol and virgin options chances are you’ll find a cocktail you’ll love at Ham Yard Hotel. My go-to here is the ‘Black Margarita’, a super sour mix of fat-washed Herradura Plata tequila, lime, agave, homemade blackberry purée and a black salt rim. 

a martini and black margarita next to a menu at the ham yard hotel in london
Ham Yard's Black Margarita & a martini

The sparkling options are also pretty good and affordable, but I’d swerve dinner as it’s worth noting service can sometimes be a little sketchy.
Price: Cocktails at Ham Yard Hotel start from $15 (£12)
Opening hours: 7.30am to 10.30pm daily.

8. Kaia at The Ned, 27 Poultry

Kaia's food options are a little pricy for what you get —there are plenty of better Asian restaurants in the city, but the cocktails are worth a detour if you’re in the area. 

two cocktails on a marble table at Kaia, at the Ned in london
Cocktails at Kaia

The menu is short but includes delightful ingredients like yuzu, cherry sake, pandan and miso—don’t miss ‘Manila’ and ‘Aichi’. Once you're fully imbibed bedrooms at The Ned won't disappoint and the hotel serves a pretty decent early London breakfast too.
Price: Cocktails at Kaia start from $19 (£15)
Opening hours: 12pm to 12am Monday to Saturday. Closed Sunday.

9. Upstairs at Langan’s, Stratton St

There are just eight cocktails on the Upstairs at Langan’s menu and each has been named after a song. The delightful ‘I’m Still Standing’ features an intriguing mix of clarified double cream, cola syrup and Courvoisier, while ‘Maggie May’ contains yuzu, banana peel rum and champagne. 

two dirty martinis at Upstairs at Langan’s, one of the best cocktail bars in london
Cold, briny and potent, just how I like it at Langan's

I ordered off-menu with a classic vodka dirty martini, the perfect drink to enjoy alongside good tunes.
Price: Cocktails at Langan’s start from $20 (£16)
Opening hours: 5pm til late.

10. Shoreditch House, Ebor St

I’ve never had a membership to Soho House but have always managed to hang out at various London outposts through work events or friends, and while I used to love hanging by (or in) the pool in Shoreditch House back in the mid-2000s when the place had a funky edge and arty crowd, these days I actually just prefer a local pub and London Fields Lido. 

two Picante de la Casa's at shoreditch house, one of the best cocktails in london
Poolside cocktails at Shoreditch House

But there’s one good cocktail that goes hand in hand with Shoreditch House and that’s a Picante de la Casa—the perfect blend of spice, citrus and Patrón tequila.
Price: Cocktails at Shoreditch House start from $11 (£9)
Opening hours: 8am to 3am daily.

11. Seabird, 40 Blackfriars Rd

With 12 alcoholic blends, 3 non-alcoholic cocktails, and a $250 (£200) absinthe-infused fishbowl Seabird really does cater to all tastes. Sitting on the rooftop of the Hoxton Hotel in Southwark the views here are undoubtedly impressive as is the surrounding decor which almost feels as though you’re on vacation. 

two cocktails at seabird above the hoxton southwalk, one of the best places to grab a cocktail in london
Some of the best cocktails in London can be found at Seabird

Luckily the cocktail selection lives up to the surroundings with interesting bespoke blends as well as a few classics. Oyster happy hour is Monday through Thursday between 3pm to 7pm where English and Scottish oysters are just $2.50 (£2) a pop and a martini costs just $9 (£7).

Price: Cocktails at Seabird start from $9 (£7).

Opening hours: 3pm to 11.30pm Monday and Tuesday. 12pm to 11.30pm Wednesday and Thursday. 12pm to 12.30am Friday and Saturday and 12pm to 11.30pm on Sunday.

12. Bar Américain at Brasserie Zédel, 20 Sherwood St

I love this cozy little spot inside Brasserie Zédel and regardless of the fact it’s right in the center of town I always manage to snag a table without a booking. The menu features 12 blends but I always order off-menu with a zingy Pisco Sour or my favorite classic, a Dirty Martini.

one of the best cocktails in london can be found at the stunning bar americain inside brasserie zedel, the image shows a wooden table topped with two cocktails and a bowl of popcorn
Perfect cocktails every time at Bar Américain

If you’re after something a little less hard-hitting the menu features interesting blends like Airmail which sees Havana Club 7yr rum muddled with champagne, lime juice, and honey, or Blood and Sand; a heady hit of whiskey, sweet vermouth, orange juice and cherry heering. Wait staff are friendly, the interiors are a delight, and complimentary popcorn is standard.
Price: Cocktails at Bar Américain start from $16 (£12.50)
Opening hours: 5pm to 12am Monday to Thursday. 4pm to 12am Friday. 3am to 12am Saturday and 4pm to 11pm Sunday.

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