10 Whimsically Brilliant Cocktail Bars in London

Whether you like your cocktails shaken or stirred, there’s a dizzying array of happy choices throughout London. There’s something for everyone -  from the posh, well-heeled lady and gent to the casually laidback bloke. Be prepared for exciting combinations and audacious pairings, London’s cocktail scene is among the best in the world.
Here are our picks for the best cocktail bars in London: 

1. Paramount

 
Where: 101-103 New Oxford Street, WC1A 1DD
 
Why: From simply outstanding views that give you a high even before your first order to delicious mixes that are finished to perfection, Paramount has many aces up its sleeves. Located on the ear-popping 32nd floor, prepare for your eyes to pop up once you step in at this posh bar that boasts of a hand crafted copper bar. And their cocktails are every bit the conversation starters that they promise to be!
 
Must try Mix: Dakers Last Words for its citrus and rosemary infused Bombay Sapphire Gin

2. Zetter Townhouse Bar


Where: 86-88 Clerkenwell Road, EC1M 5RJ.
 
Why: Zetter’s attention to detail and signature warmth is the envy of many of its contemporaries. It’s plush, townhouse like décor wins you over the minute you set foot here plump cushions, stuffed animals and a handsome collection of books and paintings invite you to get comfy and settle in. It has recently won the World’s Best New Cocktail Bar Prize and lives every bit up to the victory. Experience the magic that a handful of ingredients can make to a regular cocktail at this opulent bar that has quickly captured many hearts across town.
 
Must Try Mix: The Master at Arms for its smooth mix of rum and homemade Grenadine.

3. London Cocktail Club

 
Where: 61 Goodge Street, W1T 1TL. (gin palace); 224 Shaftesbury Avenue, WC2H 8EB. (rum parlour).

Why: The London Cocktail Clubs on Shaftsbury Avenue and Goodge Street are two whimsically brilliant joints for cocktail lovers. From turning gourmet food and dessert into drinks (buttercream frosting, anyone?) to making classic cocktails a notch better, LCC is as badass as it gets in the cocktail world. It has excellent variety of food to match and even an award for it! The décor at Goodge Street is quite punk style and at Shaftsbury Avenue you will be welcomed with tattoos on the wall and skulls and bones too.
 
Must Try Mix: House Grog and Arrack
 
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4. The American Bar at The Savoy

Image Source:fairmont.com
 
Where: Strand, London WC2R 0EU

Why: The oldest surviving cocktail bar In England since 1893,  The American Bar is the creme de la creme of cocktail bars and still has plenty of mettle to prove it. The playfield for some of the best bartenders in the world, its little wonder that the likes of Frank Sinatra called it a home away from home. Having a drink here is a magnificent sensory experience and Eric Lorincz’s mystic creations make sure that you’re left nothing short of awestruck. Whether it’s a short silent film accompanying your cocktail order or relishing the longest surviving cocktail on the menu, you are in for a blockbuster experience here.
 
Must Try Mix: Green Park because it is the bar’s longest surviving cocktail and Pickering Place which is exquisitely thought out and executed.

5. Ladies and Gentlemen

 
Where: 2 Highgate Road, London NW5 1NR

Why: It’s not everyday that you get to sit on a lavatory sipping on your cocktails and actually enjoy it. This underground loo turned chic cocktail bar might have chosen a bizarre location to set up shop but its easy to forget where you’re sitting once the spirits start flowing. While you enjoy the soft jazz music playing in the background, your enthusiastic bartender whips up some clever concoctions for you behind the tiny but well stocked bar. With an onsite gin distillery, you can be sure that the booze will never stop flowing!
 
Must Try Mix: Rhubarb and Custard Cocktail for its delicious combinations.
 
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6. Satan’s Whiskers

 
Where: 343 Cambridge Heath Road, London E2 9RA

Why: A booze enthusiasts calling, Satan’s Whiskers is a laidback bar that lets its brilliantly executed menu do most of the talking. Their drinks menu changes daily and the staff are quick to point out house favorites. The whole scene is quite relaxed and makes for a great casual evening out. The food is given equal importance here and that is what rounds off the deal. With prices that still seem to be medieval given the eye-ripping rates at some of London’s cocktail bars, you’ll go home with a happy stomach and pocket for sure.
 
Must Try Mix: Tipperary for its perfect blend of whiskey with other ingredients.

7. The Gibson

Image Source: thegibsonbar.com

Where: 44 Old Street, London EC1V 9AQ

Why: With frosted windows and Art Deco interiors, The Gibson makes an impression even in its small and intimate setting. When it comes to cocktails, The Gibson definitely means serious business. Bartenders whip up interpretations that are insanely exciting and good looking too. The drink list is long and drool-worthy and will coax you to visit again and again. A great vibe with a good mixologist is a recipe for a fun night for sure.
 
Must Try Mix: Electric Earl for the electrifying effect of the ‘buzz button’
 

8. Dandelyan

 
Where: 20 Upper Ground, London SE1 9PD

Why: Although you’ll have fancy up to visit this swanky offering from Ryan Chetiyawardana at the Mondarin Hotel, it’s definitely worth all the dressing up. The drinks, in true Lyan fashion are refreshingly different and excite your palate with exotic flavors and combinations. With dramatic views of the Thames for company, be sure that you’re seated in one of the best spots in London. What transpires behind the green marble bar is pure magic!
 
Must Try Mix: Ford & Warner for its fruity explosion.

9. Kansas Smitty’s

 
Where: 63-65 Broadway Market, London E8 4PH

Why: The electrifying combination of good jazz music and heady cocktails is a sure winner anywhere. This bar is inspired by the epicurean atmosphere of Kansas city and in true rebel fashion has kept its interiors to the bare minimum. But when it comes to the real deal, it makes a strong impression with its bourbon juleps and talented jazz performances. There’s never a dull moment at the Kansas Smitty’s and we’re thanking our stars for it!
 
Must Try Mix: Bourbon based cocktails are as smooth as the jazz that’s played here!

10. Experimental Cocktail Club

Image Source: sergetheconcierge

Where: 13A Gerrard Street, London W1D 5PS

Why: Paris sends its best. Experimental Cocktail Club makes a grand entrance across the channel and it surely has made heads turn. You’d find yours turning many times to locate its nondescript location but once you’ve found it, you are in for a fun evening for sure. Set over three floors and decorated cleverly (read exposed bricks with quirky décor pieces), Experimental Cocktail Club is a lively venue buzzing with drunken stupor. The cocktails are great and extensive. There’s much to bring you back and keep you from leaving too.
 
Must Try Mix: St Germain for its slightly spicy but immensely refreshing taste.
 
Have we missed your favorite cocktail bar? What is the whackiest cocktail you have ever had? Tell us in the comments below! 
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
RESHMA DEWDA RESHMA DEWDA

A hippie hiding in civilized clothes, a borderline feminist and a dreamer stuck in a practical avatar, Reshma is an incorrigible idealist who lives in a black and white world. A robin hood in her own right, she loves to come to the rescue and most times , she ends up rescuing herself in the bargain.

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