London, a city steeped in history and culture, is also a trendsetter in the world of artisanal booze. The city’s vibrant bar scene is a haven for craft drink enthusiasts, offering a myriad of spots where one can indulge in finely crafted cocktails, locally brewed beers, and small-batch spirits. From cozy speakeasies to bustling gastro-pubs, here’s a guide to some of the best bars in London for an artisanal drinking experience.
1. The Connaught Bar – Mayfair
Nestled in the prestigious Connaught Hotel, The Connaught Bar is an epitome of elegance and artisanal craftsmanship. Known for its innovative cocktails and refined atmosphere, this bar offers a unique drinking experience. The mixologists here are masters of their craft, blending rare ingredients with homemade bitters and tinctures to create exquisite cocktails. The bar’s signature drink, the Martini, is a must-try, tailored to your taste at your table.
2. The Gibson – Old Street
The Gibson, located near Old Street, is a quaint bar with a charming Edwardian-era vibe. Famous for its namesake cocktail, The Gibson Martini, the bar takes you on a journey through time with its vintage decor and classic music. The cocktail menu is an adventurous foray into unique flavors and presentations, making each drink a work of art.
3. The Bermondsey Arts Club – Bermondsey
Set in a former public restroom, The Bermondsey Arts Club is as quirky as it is classy. This cocktail bar, with its Art Deco interiors and dim lighting, offers a cozy ambiance perfect for enjoying artisanal drinks. The menu features a range of creative cocktails made with house-infused spirits and fresh, locally sourced ingredients.
4. BrewDog – Various Locations
For craft beer aficionados, BrewDog is a paradise. With several locations across London, this Scottish brewery is renowned for its wide range of innovative and bold beers. The atmosphere in BrewDog bars is lively and unpretentious, ideal for enjoying a casual evening with friends while sampling some of the finest craft beers in the city.
5. The Nightjar – Shoreditch
The Nightjar in Shoreditch is a celebration of the Prohibition-era speakeasy culture. Known for its live jazz music and vintage spirits, this bar offers a menu that is a mix of historical and contemporary cocktails. The drinks are not only delicious but also visually stunning, complete with elaborate garnishes and presentation.
6. Satan’s Whiskers – Bethnal Green
Satan’s Whiskers is a laid-back, hip cocktail bar in Bethnal Green. This bar is known for its daily-changing menu of classic and contemporary cocktails, made with seasonal ingredients and house-made syrups. The ambiance here is unassuming yet stylish, with stuffed animals and vintage posters adorning the walls.
7. Scout – Hackney
Scout, located in Hackney, epitomizes sustainability and minimal waste. This modern, minimalist bar focuses on local British produce in its drinks, offering a menu that changes with the seasons. Scout’s philosophy is about simplicity and innovation, reflected in its unique cocktails and homemade ferments.
London’s artisanal booze scene is as diverse as it is innovative, offering something for every palate. These bars not only serve excellent drinks but also offer unique experiences, each with its own character and charm. Whether you’re a cocktail connoisseur, a beer enthusiast, or just looking to explore new tastes, London’s craft drink scene will not disappoint.