The Travelling Cocktail Drinker: The Best Bars in London

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As Summer looms ever closer, it is the perfect time to explore the UK’s capital city, enjoying the quirky public houses and beer gardens in the sun. If you are heading to London any time soon, these are the best cocktail bars that you absolutely must visit.

Swift, 12 Old Compton Street

The perfect spot for a romantic date, Swift features two levels: a lively bar up top, with a Mediterranean style and an atmospheric, ambient bar downstairs. When choosing a cocktail to sip on upstairs, we recommend a Sgroppino, a prosecco-based drink that is thick, frothy and garnished with lemon sorbet. Downstairs, the Amber Cane is unmissable – a rum-based twist on the traditional Manhattan.

Bar Three, Basement, 5a Brushfield Street

If you can find it down the sweeping staircase that takes you below Blixen restaurant, Bar Three is definitely worth a visit. With a flat-price for all alcoholic cocktails, visitors can choose from light, medium or full when it comes to the strength of their drink. Be sure to try the Whisky and Milk cocktail, a bourbon-based drink that is incredibly moreish!

Bar Termini, 7 Old Compton Street

A bar with a preference for the classics, this small but perfectly formed bar only has room for 25 people at a time – so get there early! The alcohol menu is almost exclusively made up of negronis and wines, with our favourite being the Marsala Martini, a delicious mix of gin, sweet marsala, dry vermouth and almond bitters.

Satan’s Whiskers, 343 Cambridge Heath Road

On the outside, this bar isn’t much to look at, but once you step inside you are transported to an up-and-coming trendy cocktail area, with music, posters and some questionable taxidermy. The cocktails change on a daily basis, so that regulars can always try something new. Let the bar staff know your favourite flavours and they will pick you a cocktail from the list that you are sure to love.

Punch Room at the London Edition, 10 Berners Street

This exclusive, retro bar insists on reservations, so that you appreciate your cocktails all the more. A roaring fire in the corner helps to warm those toes on a cold evening, while you are treated to one complimentary glass of punch to help warm your heart. The cocktail list is a mix of classics and quirky drinks, including the 57 Shades of Grey – a mix of vodka, whiskey, Campari and prosecco. The perfect place to start your evening.

The London bar scene is always evolving, with new bars opening and old favourites sadly closing. Every time you visit, there is somewhere different to explore, so be sure to return regularly and test new cocktails! There’s a reason why London is considered to be a mixologists paradise!

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Bartender's top tip

A well-chosen garnish can enhance both the flavor and appearance of your cocktail. Beyond the visual appeal, garnishes like citrus twists, olives, or cocktail onions can subtly influence the overall taste profile of your drink. Practice techniques like expressing a citrus peel to release the aromatic oils over the drink, enhancing its aroma and flavor.

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