London is awash with fabulous places to drink, and while your mind might drift towards pubs with a nice warm fireplace in winter and bustling beer garden in summer, there’s another style that the city clearly seems to ‘get’: the cocktail bar.
Should anyone question the city’s cocktail bar stature–the sheer volume, the quality!–then show them this award list of the UK’s best cocktail bars, where London dominated proceedings with 24 appearances in the top 50.
The jewel in that very crown? Why it’s Bethnal Green heroes Satan’s Whiskers, of course – who took home the number one spot at a lively award ceremony last night (February 7). Described by Top 50 Cocktail Bars as “The city’s original neighbourhood cocktail bar”, the bar has climbed back to the top spot; familiar territory after taking home all the spoils in 2019.
Narrowly seeing off Lab 22 in Cardiff and fellow London Haunt Tayer+Elementary, SW topped a list dominated by neighbouring capital bars in the Top 50.
This list by Top 50 Cocktail Bars is compiled to create a unique list of venues, entirely created by the bar industry, with 100 experts recruited to make up the voting group. In this special academy, you’ll find bartenders, bar owners, waiters, and drinks writers – basically, people who know what’s occurin’ in the world of cocktail bars.
Read about the full Top 50 Cocktail Bars list here.
Why does Satan’s Whiskers have the magic touch?
Satan’s Whiskers are clearly doing something right. They’ve been open since 2013 and, having taken home these prestigious awards in a short space of time, made quite the name for themselves.
Top 50 Cocktail Bars praised Satan’s Whiskers for their daily changing menu, and its frankly “damn good music” – you’ll be bobbing along to selection of ’90s hip-hop through each and every cocktail you devour.
“Whimsically known as London’s ‘bartenders’ bar’, it is not your clichéd swanky London cocktail bar, but full to the brim with character that oozes from its exposed bricks, taxidermy and hip-hop music and unique décor,” they added. “Unassuming would describe it in one word.”
“We’d also say this is a humble venue that doesn’t make a song or dance about its many accolades gained over the years and blends in well with the local surrounding community.
“Some customers have described the interior, in a light-hearted way, as like “going to hell” on account of the stuffed animals mounted on the walls and in dark corners.”
Bar snacks and Bloody Mary’s also made up the long list of things the Top 50 Cocktail Bars crew loved about Satan’s Whiskers, and you can read all about their victory here!
Top 10 cocktail bars in the UK
1) Satan’s Whiskers, Bethnal Green, London;
2) Lab 22, Cardiff, Glamorgan;
3) Tayer+Elementary, Shoreditch, London;
4) Schofield’s Bar, Manchester, Greater Manchester;
5) Swift Soho, Soho, London;
6) Panda and Sons, Edinburgh, Scotland;
7) Three Sheets, Dalston, London;
8) Speak in Code, Manchester, Greater Manchester;
9) 🔶🟥🔵 aka A Bar With Shapes For A Name, Hackney, London;
10) The Connaught Bar, Mayfair, London.
Where else in London made the Top 50?
Not content with just the six appearances in the top 10, London bars also took home 18 other places from the remaining 40. Here’s which ones made it the cut of the lime:
11) Little Mercies, Crouch End;
16) Disrepute, Soho;
17) Artesian, Fitzrovia;
19) Nightjar, Shoreditch;
21) Publiq., South Kensington;
22) Scarfes Bar, Holborn;
23) Lyaness, South Bank;
24) Opium Cocktails and Dim Sum Parlour, Soho;
26) Happiness Forgets, Hoxton;
29) Homeboy Bars, Islington;
30) SOMA, Soho;
31) Coupette, Bethnal Green;
33) Bar Termini, Soho;
34) Seed Library, Shoreditch;
35) Murder Inc, Soho;
37) Calooh Callay; Shoreditch;
38) Silverleaf, Spitalfields;
46) AMARO BAR, Kensington;