London’s Best Cocktail Bars

Cocktails signify good times, whether its a pre-dinner Bellini or a sharpening late-night Espresso Martini. This month sees several new openings; sip rooftop drinks at The Prince in Earl’s Court, find fragrant cocktails at Petersham’s new bar, La Goccia and see-and-be-seen at Soho House’s new White City outpost whose glamorous ground floor bar is open to members and non-members alike. Here’s our go-to guide to finding your favourite drink in London:

Best for Negroni: Mele e Pere & Bar HIX

mark hix

I can’t remember who said that a Negroni has ‘the distinct advantage of having alcohol as a mixer’; it certainly isn’t an amateur’s drink. The best places to partake of a negroni (gin, vermouth and campari) are the excellent Italian restaurant Mele e Pere (they use their own vermouth) and Bar HIX both on Brewer Street. meleepere.co.uk and hixrestaurants.co.uk

Best For Eastern Standard: White City House 

eastern standard cocktail

If I were to go anywhere to guarantee a great cocktail it would be one of the Soho House outposts and where trendier right now than the newly opened White City House. The non-members area on the ground floor is super cool with low lighting, velvet sofas and Television House memorabilia; or wing your way up to the members’ rooftop to enjoy 360 views across London. Go here for an Eastern Standard – Grey Goose or Bombay Sapphire, lime, cucumber and mint. Television Centre, 101 Wood Lane, whitecityhouse.com

Best for Pisco Sours:Pachamama

pisco sour

You won’t taste a better Pisco Sour than the ones served at this Peruvian restaurant. The food is absolutely knock-out too. 18 Thayer Street, Marylebone pachamamalondon.com

Best for Atmosphere: First Aid Box

First Aid cocktail bar

We have had fantastic evenings in this South East London slick, ground-floor bar. The cocktails sound gimmicky but the bar staff really know their stuff and the place has a great vibe. We love Feel the Breeze … in the West Indies with rum, maraschino, orange sherbet, passion fruit and bitters and Ball Park Figure. On Friday and Saturday night’s the back opens up as a Peaky Blinders’-inspired backroom bar. Herne Hill firstaidbox2015.com

Best for House Drinks: La Goccia 

la goccia bar cocktails

The gorgeous bar at the brand new La Goccia restaurant at Petersham Nurseries, Covent Garden is as sophisticated as it gets. We love their eclectic glassware in which they serve their own cocktails blended with home grown botanicals. The Walled Garden is delicious: Boxer gin, Petersham prosecco, Campari, passion fruit and lime. Floral St, Covent Garden petershamnurseries.com

Best for Espresso Martinis: Soho Grind

Where else to go than an espresso bar for the ultimate Espresso Martini. This super chilled after-dinner spot in the heart of Soho is the ideal place for a pick-me-up. Try the Espresso Negroni or a Turbo Gin & T too. 19 Beak Street, grind.co.uk

Best for Prohibition Style: The Blind Pig 

the very hungry caterpillar cocktail

The low-lit and stylish bar above Jason Atherton’s restaurant Social Eating House, takes its name from under-the-radar drinking spots during the Prohibition. The spring cocktail menu is based around classic children’s literature and features a whole host of new drinks dreamt up from the pages of story books, like this Very Hungry Caterpillar, tequila-based cocktail. 58 Poland St, Soho, socialeatinghouse.com

Best for Frozen Margaritas: The Prince 

First there was The Pergola at both Paddington and White City; now newly opened for 2018 is another rooftop dining/drinking destination in the same group – The Prince. Just waiting for the weather to heat up again. Frozen margarita anyone? 14 Lillie Road, Earl’s Court, theprincelondon.com 

Best for White Port & Tonic: Bar Douro

2017’s ‘drink of the summer’ is back and set to be even more popular this year. Get yours at Portuguese Bar Douro in Flat Iron Square along with their delicious salted almonds. London Bridge, bardouro.co.uk

— Annie Reid
1st May 2018