Cocktail Bars With a Twist

James Bond’s cocktail of choice was a martini – shaken, not stirred, of course! But it seems spies these days are more adventurous with their beverage choices, or at least they are at The Bletchley cocktail bar in London.
The Bletchley is a themed bar that requires the drinker to get really involved in the game. This is not a pub where you can just sit and have a quiet drink – this unique establishment makes you work for your cocktail.

After a recent revamp, the owners have built on the success of the pop-up bar and are looking to make it a more permanent feature. Visitors must dress up in provided spy gear and crack a number of codes to receive their custom-made cocktail. There is no menu to choose from and no way of purchasing a drink without playing (and winning) the game.

It got us thinking about what other quirky themed bars there are in the world. And we’re not talking about decoration – we want all immersive cocktail fun!

Safe House, Milwaukee, Winsconsin

Like The Bletchley, Safe House has a spy theme, but the mission lies in getting into the bar, rather than purchasing your drinks. You must know the secret location of the front door and the password to enter. And once you are confirmed as a trustworthy spy, you must never reveal the secrets that lie inside and take that password to your grave!

The Ice Bar, Quebec City, Canada

You may have heard of a chain of bars called Ice Bar, where the temperature is always kept cold and visitors are encouraged to wear ski jackets on arrival. But The Ice Bar in Quebec City is really something else. The entire building has been crafted from ice and, for this reason, it is only a viable bar when the outside temperature is suitably cold enough. As the temperature rises, the bar begins to melt and so a brand-new bar is built every year, with new sculptures and delicious cocktails. It would be wise to pack an extra pair of socks if you intend to visit!

Ninja Akasaka, Tokyo

With waiters that creep up on you in a stealthy fashion, a drawbridge and lots of secret tunnels, this bar is lots of fun (and a little bit scary!) The ninja waiters are also there to entertain you, showing you magic tricks as you enjoy your cocktails. Just remember to always be on your guard!

BallieBallerson, London

Back to the cocktail capital and London has a treat for all those adults who never really wanted to grow up! This ball-pit bar allows visitors to sip their cocktails while diving in and out of a massive ball pit! Who says the kids have to have all the fun?!

If you are looking for somewhere a little more exciting to enjoy your cocktails, why not give one of these bars a go?

More to explore

Bartender's top tip

Keep your cocktail costs down. If you have favourite spirits or ingredients to make your cocktails, buy bigger bottles to keep your costs lower.

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