But will these cocktail bars be enough to tempt you out of your Dry January? You know you want to…
Whether they’re sleek, quirky, or uber-cool, these excellent cocktail bars all have one thing in common: they all serve some frickin’ awesome drinks.
1. 69 Colebrooke Row, Islington
Technically, this bar has no name, only an address, which is how it ended up with the snappy name of 69 Colebrooke Row. Look for the lantern above the door to find your way in. Once inside, you’ll find a cosy interior with a nostalgic jazz vibe, and a menu of inventive drinks, which definitely makes it worth the hunt.
69 Colebrooke Row, Islington, N1 8AA. Nearest station is Angel.
2. Callooh Callay, Shoreditch
Named after a line from Lewis Carroll’s ‘Jabberwocky’, Callooh Callay has drinks that will make you gyre and gimble in the wabe. The intriguingly titled Gorilla Panic catches the eye, whilst the Saint Hellier looks strong enough to take down a frumious Bandersnatch.
65 Rivington Street, Shoreditch, EC2A 3AY. Nearest station is Old Street.
3. Dandelyan, Waterloo
Aside from being pretty as a picture, Dandelyan also holds the title of World’s Best Cocktail Bar. No big deal, then. The top dog amongst Mr Lyan’s cocktail bars, Dandelyan’s menu is centred on four themes: Faith, Lust, Currency, and Rock ‘n’ Roll. We’ve found that lust just isn’t a strong enough word to encapsulate our love for these drinks.
Find it at Mondrian London, 20 Upper Ground, SE1 9PD. Nearest stations are Blackfriars and Southwark.
Hidden away behind a shabby door in Chinatown, you’ll find a brilliant little cocktail bar with an ever-changing menu. Because of the experimental nature of their creations, there’s little point recommending something which might be gone in a month. Guess you’ll have to keep visiting then, won’t you?
13a Gerrard Street, Soho, W1D 5PS. Nearest station is Leicester Square.
5. Ladies and Gentlemen, Kentish Town
It’s no exaggeration to say that Ladies and Gentlemen is the best thing you’ll find in a former public toilet. They distil their own spirits on site – including the roguish Highwayman Gin – and use ingredients foraged from Kentish Town and Hampstead Heath to create their menu.
2 Highgate Road, Kentish Town, NW5 1NR. Nearest station is Kentish Town.
6. Mr Fogg’s, Mayfair
Whilst he also operates a well-regarded gin parlour and tavern in Covent Garden, the feather in Mr Fogg’s cap is his residence in Mayfair. Drinks are as far-fetched and mysterious as the traveller himself, with the current specialty cocktail being Mr Fogg’s Peculiar Flying Machine. If you’ve got a head for adventures, this could be the one for you.
15 Bruton Lane, Mayfair, W1J 6JD. Nearest station is Green Park.
7. Trailer Happiness, Ladbroke Grove
Rum lovers better head to Ladbroke Grove, because this Tiki-style bar has a lot of it. You’ll also find other spirits infused into Tiki revamps of classic cocktails, but there’s no doubt that rum is the star of the show.
177 Portobello Road, Notting Hill, W11 2DY. Nearest station is Ladbroke Grove.
8. Happiness Forgets, Hoxton
“Great cocktails, no wallies” is the mantra of Happiness Forgets, and they do both pretty expertly. Though it may look like an unassuming little place, the quality of cocktails routinely earns it a place on the World’s 50 Best Bars list, and it cracked the top ten in 2016.
8-9 Hoxton Square, London N1 6NU. Nearest station is Old Street.
9. Nightjar, Shoreditch
A seemingly endless menu of original cocktails is the major draw here, with influences drawn from all over the world. Nightjar aims for stylish sophistication, and hits it pretty much bang on the mark. Swinging jazz nights also help to draw in the cool cats.
129 City Road, EC1V 1JB. Nearest station is Old Street.
10. The Bloomsbury Club Bar, Bloomsbury
The Bloomsbury Set loved a drink almost as much as they loved a torrid love affair, and this bar pays homage to their lives. As well as describing the cocktails, the menu helpfully tells you which of them were sleeping together. These are refined drinks, so try not to Woolf them down too quickly.
16-22 Great Russell Street, Bloomsbury, WC1B 3NN. Nearest station is Tottenham Court Road.
11. 7 Tales, Clerkenwell
Modelled on a Tokyo dive bar, 7 Tales sits underneath modern Japanese restaurant Sosharu. Drink here and you’ll find a neon-drenched venue with hip-hop beats and a unique menu inspired by Japanese philosophy.
64 Turnmill Street, Clerkenwell, EC1M 5RR. Nearest station is Farringdon.
12. Below The Cut, Fulham
There must be something about cracking cocktail bars hidden beneath great restaurants, because Below The Cut is another such place. The Cellar portion of Fulham hotspot Hanger & Cellar (Hanger is the steakhouse above) offers crowd-pleasing drinks like the gin & tonic martini and a bacon-infused old fashioned.
13. Coupette, Bethnal Green
Get ready to find your joie de vivre, because this place has a very distinct French influence. French spirits dominate a menu inspired by “avant-garde cultural icons”, and we’ll be eternally grateful for whoever inspired the Champagne Piña Colada.
423 Bethnal Green Road, E2 0AN. Nearest station is Bethnal Green.
14. Peg + Patriot, Cambridge Heath
It’s one of six cocktail bars in the Talented Mr Fox group, but Peg + Patriot has a pretty unique selling point. All of the cocktails on the menu are inspired by dishes from world class chefs such as Heston Blumenthal, Dominique Crenn, and Jiro Ono. Their twist on a Manhattan is called Beetroot, and it sounds like a nifty way to get your vegetables in.
Patriot Square, E2 9NF. Nearest station is Cambridge Heath.