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Written by Luke Bull - 05 February 2024

27 Best cocktail bars in London

A city of multitudes, London's cocktail bar scene is something to stand back in slack-jawed wonderment at. The basements, penthouses, rooftops and everything in between of our capital have been a-churn with mixologists and drinkers negotiating their way to that perfect drink.

We took it upon ourselves to order, gulp and stagger our way across the metropolis in search of London's best cocktail bars.

You can find our out top picks below, and visit the best cocktail spots in London.

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Lucky Pig cocktail bar London hire
Lucky Pig cocktail bar London hire

1. Make your own cocktails, expertly: Lucky Pig

Fitzrovia, London

Whilst the thought of shaking, mixing and pouring your own cocktails may seem like a crafty marketing trick thought up to reduce labour costs, it actually works.

Lucky Pig is an underground bar in the shadow of the iconic giant sonic screwdriver (AKA the BT Tower). Descending beneath Cipstone Street, you'll be met by a sort of neo-Victorian meets 1920s speakeasy complete with velvet upholstered couches, travel trunk tables, exposed brick and purple walls. It's intimate and tasteful and proves a seductive space to drink the inky London night away.

The draw, though, has to be their genuinely excellent cocktail masterclass. These classes aren't exactly a rare breed in London – you'll find versions of them across the city. Lucky Pig stands out purely through the excellence of their instructions and the quality of the drinks. An experienced bartender will take you through the motions of crafting 3 drinks of your choice. We went for the simple but deadly Martini, followed by a chilli-infused margarita and finishing on a classic negroni infused with dehydrated rosemary smoke. There's a lot of shaking, smoking and, of course, drinking.

Your only difficulty is listening attentively on the third drink. A perfect outing for friends or work.

2. Coffee in the morning, cocktails in the evening: Bar Termini


Bar Termini is a coffee and aperitivo bar that brings the traditional bar culture of 1950s Italy to the heart of Soho. With vintage Italian posters, checkered flooring, and a brick wall, you’ll feel like you’re at a 1980s diner.

In true Italian style, small plates of hams and cheeses, paninis, and carpaccios are offered. There are six authentic Italian coffees to choose from, plus even more cocktails. Try the Marsala Martini, a delicate blend of beefeater gin, marsala dolce, dry vermouth, and almond bitters.

The Connaught Mayfair bars 1
The Connaught Mayfair bars 2

3. One of the best cocktail bars in the world, and London: The Connaught Bar


The award-winning Connaught Bar was named the no.8 best bar in the world by The World’s 50 Best Bars 2022. That’s right… no.8. Situated in the Connaught Hotel in Mayfair, the bar features Cubist-inspired wood panelling and grand mirrors.

Try any of the masterpiece cocktails, the ones that have made this bar legendary. Faraway Collins, Good Fellas, and Wayfarer are just a few examples of such cocktails.

Cottons Vauxhall Private Dining
Cottons Vauxhall Private Dining

4. Caribbean cocktails by the riverside: Cottons Vauxhall


Located on the riverside of the Vauxhall’s south bank, this venue brings the Caribbean vibe to life.

The rum shack bar helps bring the boogie to the party. The cocktails served are mostly rum-based with some great Cottons originals to try. Their Sorrell Sling consists of beefeater gin, homemade sorrel squash, fresh lemon, créme de cassis and soda water, which definitely warrants a taste.

You can sit down and enjoy with 79 other guests or have a standing party and enjoy the music with 299 others.

The Last Talisman Cocktail Bars
The Last Talisman Cocktail Bars

5. An Asian-inspired Bermondsey Street venue: The Last Talisman

London Bridge

Only a short 9 minute walk away from London Bridge Station, The Last Talisman is a cocktail bar that has an asian-inspired style which brings a nice change of pace to your typical London pub.

Grab a drink at the bar to enjoy what the heart of Bermondsey Street has to offer: beautiful artwork, natural lighting and a wide variety of drinks. If you’re looking to try one of the Talisman signatures, we’d opt for their peach, raspberry and vanilla infusion. Topped with prosecco and goji berries, the Talisman #1 Bellini is a pretty decent version of the Italian classic.

With a standing capacity of 300 people, there’s enough space for you and, well, 299 others.

6. A cocktail bar with a bit of everything: The Huxley


Nestled in the heart of Fitzrovia, The Huxley is a three in one. Satisfy your mouth, ears and eyes at the cocktail dining lounge which boasts a bar, restaurant and art gallery all under one roof.

This quirky spot is filled with neon signs and offers an extensive range of cocktails to match the mood. Peckish? A seasonal menu explores the cuisine of Southern Europe with the chef inspired by the Mediterranean coastline and Brazil.

Want more? The Huxley hosts events such as Bottomless Brunch and 420 Happy Hours for great deals and a fun experience.

7. Glitzy cocktails with a Japanese twist: Rika Moon

Notting Hill

Although Rika Moon primarily offers a fine dining experience, we thought their cocktails deserved a place on this list.

Combining the subtlety of Japanese cuisine with locally sourced ingredients, Rika Moon is glitzy with a relaxed atmosphere. It's on the prestigious Kensington Park Road just meters down from Clare Smyths' Core' and offers sashimi, nigiri and specials such as miso black cod.

The cocktails are innovative and an ode to Japanese flavours. How about a Kinoko Negroni with black truffle and shiitake-infused gin or a sesame Old Fashioned? And of course, a range of Japanese whiskeys, wines and other tipples are available.

And finally, to accompany those drinks, the loo has a button labelled disco so you can have your own miniature bathroom rave.

8. A cocktail bar with tasty toasties: Swift


Swift is a cocktail bar located in Shoreditch. Walk inside and be struck with a spacious, cosy atmosphere surrounded by refined decor. The bar features sleek marble counters, warm lighting, and plush leather seating.

Enjoy the venue’s three cheese toastie alongside some refreshing cocktails. Can’t go wrong with a toastie….

9. Prepare to be three sheets to the wind by the end of the night: Three Sheets


This modern compact bar in Dalston is a popular cocktail bar. Three Sheets features a polished interior with a minimalist design that focuses on clean lines and a neutral colour palette.

The cocktail menu at this bar is impressive. Whether you’re in the mood for a classic martini or something more adventurous, like the “Peaches” (a mix of peaches, cloud tea, bourbon, and soda), there is a variety for everyone.

10. A cocktail bar with nice river views: Lyaness


Lyaness is a swanky cocktail bar with a marble bar and river views. As you step inside, you'll be immediately struck by the luxurious and elegant interior design, which features a striking colour palette of deep blue and rich gold tones.

The cocktail menu at Lyaness is truly exceptional, and it's no surprise that the venue is recognised as one of the top cocktail bars. The drinks are expertly crafted by a team of highly skilled mixologists, using a combination of innovative techniques and high-quality ingredients. One standout drink on the menu is the Comma Chameleon cocktail.

TT Liquor London Cocktail Bars

11. Hide away in the liquor cellar of your dreams: TT Liquor


If a wine cellar is not your vibe, you may prefer TT Liquor’s Cellar Bar filled with spirits and highly inventive cocktails. Enjoy their greatest hits of their seasonal cocktail menus, including the Groglet from their ‘British Culture’ menu — mixing tea, lime marmalade and gin never sounded so right.

The venue boasts a roof terrace and vintage-style cinema as well. Able to host up to 150 guests, this event space is perfect for taking the whole company out to celebrate.

12. Say ‘oui’ to this East London bar with a Parisian attitude: Coupette

Bethnal Green

Want to cross the English Channel this weekend without the lengthy train ride or nausea inducing ferry? Coupette, situated in the heart of Bethnal Green, promises to drop you in the streets of Paris with its French-inspired tapas and artisanal cocktail offerings.

If you’ve ever thought “boy, this drink needs more squid ink,” Coupette’s Ombre is the tipple for you — combining malt whiskey, vermouth, carob, balsamic and squid ink to give your glass that moody, goth aesthetic.

Fit for your 90 closest friends, test out the whole drink menu for an unforgettable, alcohol-filled journey.

13. Enter a new world of glitzy glamour and cocktails in every colour: Fitz's Bar


Feel like you’ve been dropped into a bygone era with a beautiful drink (tailored to your vibe and mood) in your hand? You ended up at Fitz’s Bar in Russell Square. With their Mirrorball and Mural rooms, soak in the 18th century stained-glass window and incredible artwork.

Their cocktail menu promises concoctions inspired by ‘the enigmatic world of colours’ with a multi-sensory experience. One such adventure is Monk by the Sea, a chartreuse libation with tequila, toasted rice and sugar snap spirit. A perfect refreshment for all the veggies and tequila lovers.

14. Feel right at home, without having to go back to your parents with this quirky Central London hangout: FAM


This swanky central London locale curates an eclectic and cosy vibe. With a vinyl wall, a jukebox and a ‘fam’ photo wall, this homey bar is perfect for catching up with a friend and making some new ones at the bar.

FAM does not keep it casual with their cocktails however, one of their signature drinks, Operation Neptune, combines cider brandy, ginger liqueur, peach bitters and more with an absinthe mist to send you out of this world. There are also FAM classics to please the less adventurous.

Available for private hire, the bar fits 50 guests, perfect for an intimate gathering with friends.

15. Dancing, cocktails and pizza, what more could you ask for? Supermax

King's Cross

Situated beneath Happy Face Pizza in King’s Cross is the not-so-secret haven of cocktails and music, SUPERMAX. Their aperitivo hour boasts £7 cocktails until 7pm, so start your night early (we won’t judge, we love a deal).

The SUPERMAX main cocktail menu features vermouth-forward creations, but are guaranteed to please all.

Enjoy DJs spinning disco tracks till you’re blue in the face from getting down with up to 100 of your favourite people if you want to hire the whole venue!

16. A no-frills cocktail spot with stellar drinks: Little Mercies

Crouch End

Move over Negroni Sbagliato, Little Mercies house cocktails includes a new take on the classic — their Black Beet Negroni features beetroot gin and beetroot & blackberry vermouth.

When your drinks are this good, you don’t need all the bells and whistles in the bar itself. Nothing embodies that like Littles Mercies in Crouch End, with understated dark blue walls. There is also a selection of takeaway cocktails if you want to continue the fun at your flat.

Full hire of the venue fits up to 80 guests, perfect for an intimate celebration!

trailer happiness notting hill cocktail bars 2
trailer happiness notting hill cocktail bars 1

17. Have a rum-soaked evening where quality isn’t outweighed by kitsch: Trailer Happiness

Notting Hill

Trailer Happiness is the Notting Hill bar with Polynesian and Caribbean influences. Check out their refreshing array of rum-forward cocktails with an extensive selection of daiquiris, citrus tipples and sharing cocktails to split between up 2-5 friends (close friends, hopefully).

The whole venue is available for private hire for up to 110 guests, so the next time the unrelenting grey of London gets you down, throw an unforgettable party in this retro paradise.

18. £12 goes a long way at this bar-lovers haven: Cocktail Trading Company


The Cocktail Trading Company is the creation of three friends and life-long bartenders who wanted to go into the business of running killer bars. Their rotating cocktail menus ensure that innovative creations are always at your fingertips.

The current menu — which revolves around the concept of laziness — features the Navigator, smoked salmon gin, sesame & black pepper, lemon and cream cheese (a combination of alcohol and breakfast components we couldn’t have dreamed up in any world, but who knows).

Don’t be fooled by their cheeky descriptions, this bar is serious about their craft and is a cocktail enthusiast’s dream. Take some friends down Brick Lane to this spot and see who can down the oddest concoction.

happiness forgets shoreditch cocktail bars 1
happiness forgets shoreditch cocktail bars 2

19. Sip unforgettable cocktails over candlelight in this Shoreditch basement bar: Happiness Forgets


This basement bar creates top-floor-level cocktails. In Happiness Forgets, you’d be remiss not to savour every drop. The underground, grungy interiors let the drinks do all the talking in this lively environment.

One standout on their menu is the Racketeer with Scotch whisky, sweet vermouth, umeshu and amaro. Feel at home in the comforting atmosphere of Happiness Forgets, and cosy up in a candle-lit booth to forget whatever you need to.

20. Mind-bending cocktails and interiors await you in this swanky lounge: Waeska


You’re not tripping, there is a half-gazelle, half-peacock above Waeska’s bar. Between the three bars at The Mandrake Hotel, Waeska is the most eccentric. Their menu is based on ethnobotany (the study of a region’s plants and their uses, I didn’t know either).

One of their cocktails, Poison Rain, combines vodka, mezcal, amaretto, espresso and maple syrup (an apt name for those with weak stomachs and livers). The menu is full of drinks with new innovations, including elements like a passion fruit sphere or allspice, ancho and chipotle peppers combined in one tipple.

The lounge environment is perfect for blending into the darkness of Waeska, while admiring their collection of unique artefacts and artworks, as well as the impressive labradorite bar.

21. Tequila lovers rejoice at London’s second-only agaveria: Hacha


The younger sister of their original Dalston location, Hacha in Brixton offers a Mirror Margarita bar and bottle shop and an upstairs agaveria (as the name suggests, there are a plethora of agave-forward cocktails) lounge and kitchen.

The concept of a ‘mirror’ margarita was foreign to us, before gazing into the crystal-clear liquid that looks nothing like the classic, foggy tipple (a grown-up, naughtier version, it seems). Another Hacha brainchild is their award-winning Reforma, a tequila cocktail with toasted rice syrup, sherry and rhubarb bitters.

Hacha is available for full hire, and offers interactive events like a tasting session or margarita workshop (maybe indulge the office in some tequila-centric fun for the next social event).

discount suit company shoreditch cocktail bars 1
discount suit company shoreditch cocktail bars 2

22. Hang up your jacket and have a drink at this former tailor’s shop: Discount Suit Company


Inside an old tailor’s shop, the Discount Suit Company has reinvented the space in favour of a speakeasy style bar with brick and wooden interiors. The dimly-lit space creates an intimate atmosphere, but the soundtrack of soul and old-school rock & roll keeps the bar lively.

Cocktails here are far more reasonably priced than what a suit will run you these days, so drink up! The Shing-a-ling features two types of rum, sweet potato shochu, chestnut and ube soda which to us, sounds curious but also delectable.

Next time you think you’ve stumbled across an abandoned suit shop, don’t go crazy because you’ve actually just found a chic cocktail bar.

Callooh Callay, function room in Chelsea
Callooh Callay, function room in Chelsea

23. This Shoreditch institution promises killer drinks without frills: Callooh Callay


Having opened in 2008, Callooh Callay has seen cocktail trends and bars come and go in Shoreditch, but they have perfected their space and craft to deliver consistently good times. Their two cocktail menu categories are ‘pokemenu’ and ‘legendary.’

From the Pokemenu, we are keen on the Charmander which combines tequila, funky liqueurs, salted grapefruit juice, olive and rosemary tonic and prosecco. It sounds like our type of kitchen sink drink and is wildly unique.

Callooh Callay is available for private hire and can accommodate groups of up to 160 guests. Keep this historic Shoreditch bar scene fixture in mind for future parties and other events.

24. A perfect playlist and even better drinks: Nine Lives

London Bridge

Tucked away somewhere in the London Bridge area is Nine Lives, a quaint bar set in a Victorian basement. They care as much about their music as they do about their cocktails, with a custom sound system for top-quality playback.

The drinks menu is just as curated as we’re sure the Nine Lives playlist is, with shareables, classics, and classes of ‘newbies’ and ‘idols.’ If you feel so inclined to give one of the newbies a sip, may we suggest the Diabla: with reposado tequila, blackcurrant, ginger, lime and prosecco (not your average sparkling spritz drink).

Nine Lives is the type of bar that makes you feel good just being there, the vast open concept and dim, moody lamps make this bar worth crossing London Bridge.

Nightjar headbox hackney bars 1
Nightjar headbox hackney bars 2

25. Shoreditch’s answer to the jazzy, speakeasy cocktail bar: Nightjar


26. Visit this quirky Peckham bar for a sit-in drink or a bottle for takeaway: Funkidory


Funkidory lives up to its name, as a swanky bar with natural wine and vinyl records in addition to great cocktails. Their drink menu includes local ingredients and twists on classics — like a paloma transformed into a frozen delight with the addition of rosé wine for a refreshing sip.

Recently, Funkidory expanded their bar venture into a bottle store where you can grab some of their famous drinks or a bottle of natural wine to bring home.

Its retro and cosy atmosphere is welcoming for those elevating their after-work pint or for friends getting together on a weekend. Funkidory is the type of bar where the regulars know the regulars, and creates a great environment as a neighbourhood bar.

laki kane cocktail bar angel london outside
laki kane cocktail bar angel london lampshades

27. Try pairing your favourite Thai dishes with creative rum cocktails: Laki Kane


Laki Kane has taken two delicious elements, Thai food and alcohol, and combined them harmoniously in their tropical Islington bar. The Mission Impossible tipple features Hennessy, peach brandy, mint, lemon and pineapple all topped with an Absinthe-soaked flaming sugar cube (alcohol and fire famously get along).

The flashy tiki glasses and intricate bowls for shared drinks enhance the experience and ambience. Having so many theatrical elements to their incredible cocktail menu sets Laki Lane above your average cocktail bar.

The entire venue is available for private bookings of up to 160 guests, and is a perfect place to ignore the cold, dark, damp streets of London.

28. Free your mind at this mystical tipple scene: The Bloomsbury Club Bar


Aptly named after the intellectual supergroup, The Bloomsbury Club Bar defies all rules of what a bar should be. There are overgrown vines, twinkle lights and cushy booths to curate a whimsical, somewhat magical vibe.

With drinks inspired by a special tarot deck, The Bloomsbury Club’s 14 cocktails correspond to 14 states of mind or body. For those feeling particularly guilty (maybe this is drink three, after you swore you would leave after one), try the Fallen Angel which mixes gin, pineapple vodka, vermouth, orange zest extract and grapefruit tincture. Their menu assures this tipple will clear your mind of all negativity (just be careful you don’t clear out your address while you’re at it).

This is the perfect place to escape from the real world, and delve into a bit of old-world whimsy. The Bloomsbury Club fits up to 35 people, a great venue for hire for any celebrations of any sort.

The best cocktail bars to hire in London

Finding the perfect London cocktail bar shouldn't be a chore. Let us bring you the very best London has to offer in beautiful cocktail bars available to hire. From rooftop bars to underground venues, hidden speakeasies to famous cocktail bars with the best mixologists – hire out your own room, or even the entire venue, without any hassle. London has an unbeatable cocktail scene and a range of stunning venues to enjoy. Take a look at the top selections below, or let us know what you're looking for and we'll make sure the perfect cocktail bar venues reach out to you.

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Guide to hiring cocktail bars in Hackney

Hackney, a vibrant borough in East London, is renowned for its diverse and creative atmosphere. If you're planning a special event or a night out, hiring a cocktail bar in Hackney can elevate your experience. This guide will take you through the steps to find the perfect cocktail bar for your occasion, whether it's a birthday celebration, a corporate gathering, or a casual night with friends.

Define Your Event:

The first step in hiring a cocktail bar in Hackney is to clearly define your event's purpose. Are you hosting a formal corporate event, a themed birthday party, a romantic date night, or a casual get-together? Understanding the nature of your event will help you select a bar that complements your vision.

Set a Budget:

Determine your budget for the event. Hackney offers a wide range of cocktail bars, from budget-friendly to upscale venues. Knowing your financial constraints will help you narrow down your options and make cost-effective choices during your planning process.

Online Platforms:

There are an endless amount of websites that will provide you with a rundown of the best cocktail bars in Hackney. It can often feel overwhelming to search through these sites. That’s why at HeadBox we work with the best venues and will circulate your event details directly to them. You’ll hear back from trusted venues that have availability and cater to your event. If only it was always this easy.

Location Matters:

Hackney encompasses a variety of neighbourhoods, each with its unique character. Consider the location carefully. Do you prefer a cocktail bar in Shoreditch for its trendy vibe or a more relaxed spot in Dalston or Hoxton? Location can affect accessibility for your guests.

Capacity and Space:

The number of guests you expect to attend is crucial when choosing a cocktail bar. Hackney's cocktail bars come in various sizes, so pick one that can comfortably accommodate your group. Consider indoor and outdoor spaces, especially for events during different seasons.

Amenities and Services:

Identify the amenities and services you need for your event. Some cocktail bars in Hackney offer private rooms, professional mixologists, tailored cocktail menus, live entertainment, and more. Ensure your chosen bar can cater to your specific requirements.

Ambiance and Theme:

The ambience and theme of the cocktail bar can set the tone for your event. Whether you desire an intimate, rustic setting or a chic, modern environment, Hackney's bars offer a wide spectrum of styles. Choose a venue that aligns with your event's theme.

Cocktail Selection:

Cocktail bars in Hackney pride themselves on their craft. Explore the bar's cocktail menu to ensure it matches your guests' preferences. Some bars offer unique signature cocktails, while others emphasise classics and custom creations.

Entertainment Options:

If you want to add entertainment to your event, inquire about the bar's offerings. Hackney cocktail bars often host live music, DJs, and themed events. Make sure your chosen bar can accommodate your entertainment choices.

Licensing and Regulations:

Understand the licensing and regulations associated with hosting events in Hackney cocktail bars. Check for any specific rules regarding opening hours, music volume, and compliance with local regulations. Ensuring you meet these requirements is crucial for a successful event.

Reservation and Booking:

After finding the ideal cocktail bar for your event, get in touch with the venue as early as possible to secure your reservation. Hackney's popular bars can be booked well in advance, especially for weekend dates and peak seasons.

Hiring a cocktail bar in Hackney, London offers you the opportunity to host a memorable and stylish event in one of the city's most dynamic areas. By following the steps outlined in this guide and taking time for thoughtful planning, you can ensure your event is a success. Hackney's diverse range of cocktail bars ensures there's a perfect venue for every occasion, whether it's a sophisticated corporate function or a casual night out with friends. Start your search for the ideal cocktail bar in this eclectic London borough, and you're on your way to creating unforgettable memories.

Frequently asked questions

Most cocktail bars in Hackney are equipped to serve non-alcoholic beverages and mocktails. It's a good idea to check with the bar about their non-alcoholic options, especially if you have guests who don't consume alcohol.

Many Hackney cocktail bars offer the option to customise the cocktail menu for your event. Discuss your preferences and requirements with the bar's mixologists to create a tailored experience for your guests.

Most cocktail bars in Hackney allow you to decorate for your event. However, it's important to discuss your decoration plans with the bar management and adhere to any guidelines or restrictions they may have.

The amenities and services included in the rental package can vary between bars. Common inclusions may consist of access to the bar area, seating arrangements, bartenders, cocktail menus, and audio-visual equipment. Always inquire about what's covered in your rental agreement.

It's advisable to book a cocktail bar in Hackney as early as possible, especially if you have a specific date or a popular venue in mind. Popular bars can get fully booked several months in advance.

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