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Top 10 Cocktail Bars in London

 
 
 
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Connaught Bar

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Connaught Bar
The American Bar at The Savoy
Three Sheets
Coupette
Scout
Lyaness
Happiness Forgets
Kwant
Artesian at the Langham
Swift
 

 

The list of the World's 50 Best Bars was revealed in October 2019 and we learned that London has 10 of them. That's more than any other city. Read on to sample the full list.

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Connaught Bar

World's 50 Best Bars: Number 2

Carlos Place, Mayfair, London, W1K 2AL

Tube: Bond Street Station

 
 

If you're after perfection in a glass in an ultra-stylish location then look no further than the main bar at the Connaught Hotel in Mayfair. The bar has been lavished with awards: senior mixologist Erik Lorincz won the Diageo Reserve World Class Bartender of the Year 2010 and Agostino Perrone won the International Bartender of the Year 2010 at the Tales of the Cocktail event, New Orleans, with the Connaught Bar picked up the World's Best Hotel Bar 2010 award in the process. The bar also now offers a signature serve of whisky and bespoke chocolate tasting to enhace the characteristics of the whiskies. It's not cheap (you won't get much change from 30 for two drinks) but given the shimmering platinum silver leaf decor, the superb individual service and the meticulous attention to detail that goes into everything that you sip, you'll agree that being treated like royalty is money worth spent. What's more, the bar snacks are refilled regularly and come at no extra cost.

 
 
 

The American Bar at The Savoy

World's 50 Best Bars: Number 5

The Savoy, Strand, Covent Garden, London, WC2R 0EU

Tube: Holborn Station , Covent Garden Station, Tottenham Court Road Station

 
 

During The Savoy's 220million refit the American Bar was barely touched, ensuring it stayed true to its traditional, sleek design that is synonymous with the iconic drinking destination. This move was clearly a clever one after the bar was voted the world's best in the 2017 World's 50 Best Bars ranking. The white decor, art deco mirrors and fittings, polished piano - used for live American Jazz seven nights a week - and Terry O'Neill monochrome portraits come together to form one of the capital's most stylish bars. Erik Lorincz currently leads the award-winning team of bar staff, who still refer to the legendary Savoy Cocktail Book that is considered 'the bartender's bible'. Written by Harry Craddock, the head bartender in the 1930s, the book contains cocktails such as the famous White Lady, which is made with Bombay Sapphire gin, dry orange liqueur, fresh lemon juice and a dash of egg white. As well as these traditional choices, the bar aims to serve classic drinks that appeal to the modern palate.

 
 
 

Three Sheets

World's 50 Best Bars: Number 16

510b Kingsland Road, London, E8 4AE

Tube: Highbury & Islington Station

 
 

Opened in September 2016, by brothers Noel and Max Venning, Three Sheets is a neighbourhood cafe-bar in Dalston specialising in mixed drinks. Carefully selected wine and beer is on offer but the speciality is cocktails. With a weekly rotating seasonal menu, they use modern kitchen techniques and ingredients to create drinks that are delicious and unique. Noel moved to London from Manchester, where he was running Crazy Pedro's, after stints at Trof and the Deaf Institute. Max left the Drink Factory, overseeing 69 Colebrooke Row, to open Bar Termini. Now both run this small cocktail bar serving superior, seasonal drinks like melon mixed with sweet wine, served with meats and cheeses from the Ham and Cheese Company.

 
 
 

Coupette

World's 50 Best Bars: Number 23

423 Bethnal Green Road, London, E2 0AN

Tube: Bethnal Green Underground Station

 
 

Where the Albion pub used to be on Bethnal Green Road, Chris Moore, who formerly headed up The Savoy's Beaufort Bar, has set up a relaxed neighbourhood bar in a 160-year-old building, serving very good cocktails. Coupette is a low-lit joint with exposed brick walls and a hip-hop soundtrack. The vibe is industrial chic with a Francophile drinks list that's big on Calvados and Normandy-style cidres. The French theme extends from the bar - topped with vintage 10-Franc coins - into the kitchen from where you're served quiche Lorraine, baked Camembert and saucisson sandwiches with Comte and cornichons, as well as pastries and brunch from 11am.

 
 
 

Scout

World's 50 Best Bars: Number 28

93 Great Eastern Street, London, EC2A 3HZ

Tube: Old Street Station

 
 

One of London's first sustainable bars, Scout is an intimate venue that sees cocktail master Matt Whiley (co-founder of Purl and Worship St Whistling Shop) serve an adventurous drinks menu while still being kind to the planet. Set on Great Eastern Street, where Old Street meets Shoreditch, this is a bar where they only using ingredients from the British Isles or ones grown on site, the menu is a seasonal one and uses quirky ingredients like beetroot, mastic, parsnip and cherry bark. The bar also turns any leftover cocktail ingredients into bar snacks, for example when an egg white is used in a drink the yolk will then go into the bar's mayonnaise. "Scout is a science lab, not a bar" says the Evening Standard pointing to the 10-seat private room downstairs where they make their ingredients in ovens, kilns and test tubes.

 
 
 
 

Lyaness

World's 50 Best Bars: Number 39

Sea Containers , 20 Upper Ground, London, SE1 9PD

Tube: Blackfriars Underground Station

 
 

Pioneering mixology maestro Ryan Chetiyawardana shook the industry as hard as he shakes his cocktails in 2018 when he announced the closure of his award-winning bar Dandelyan - officially named the World's Best Bar 2018. Fortunately, he swiftly replaced it with a new incarnation, Lyaness. Sitting in the exact same spot, within the swanky Sea Containers London hotel, the venue still boasts spectacular views over the River Thames. What has changed, however, are the interiors and cocktails. Jacu Strauss is responsible for the former, creating a striking Art Deco aesthetic with a baby blue colour palette, gold touches and statement mirrors. For the cocktail menu, Chetiyawardana - known for his innovative approach to drinks - puts the focus on seven unique ingredients, with three drinks per ingredient. Expect concoctions made with pineapple purple, aromatised milk wine and king monkey nut.

 
 
 

Happiness Forgets

World's 50 Best Bars: Number 40

8-9 Hoxton Square, Hoxton, Hoxton, London, N1 6NU

Tube: Old Street Station

 
 

Embracing the new wave of drinking habits in London, Happiness Forgets is a quaint underground bar that provides drinkers with decent cocktails and a place to sit and enjoy them. Owner Alastair Burgess aimed to create somewhere different that made drinking an enjoyable experience, and so his 'high-end cocktails, low-rent basement' bar was born. With a 'great cocktails, no wallies' rule, this candlelit drinking den provides top quality classic drinks with a modern twist injected.

 
 
 

Swift

World's 50 Best Bars: Number 41

12 Old Compton Street, London, W1D 4TQ

Tube: Leicester Square Station , Tottenham Court Road Station, Covent Garden Station

 
 

This little gem in the middle of Soho serves first class cocktails on two beautifully decorated floors. Book in for the dark and atmospheric speakeasy bar downstairs where there is a piano and live music sessions on Sundays. The barman are friendly and attentive so you can sit at the bar enjoying your drinks, watching them expertly mix cocktails. Top tip: make a reservation in advance for the downstairs bar as space is limited. It fills up - even in a Monday night - and on a Saturday night is loud, crowded and buzzing. Recommended.

 
 
 

Kwant

World's 50 Best Bars: Number 47

23-25 Heddon Street, London, W1B 4BH

Tube: Piccadilly Circus Station , Oxford Circus Station

 
 

Below Momo and run by the same team, Kwant (pronounced "quaint") is a stylish cocktail bar - the first solo venture from multi-award winning bartender Erik Lorincz. The c ocktail supremo made his name at the Savoy's American Bar, putting it at the top spot in the World's Best Bars list. At this Heddon Street bar he and Momo's Mourad Mazouz have created a relaxed haven with a focus on perfect five star service, 9th Century style and a nod to traditional British elegance. With a subtly tropical decor, furnished with light coloured inspired by exotic references to African Culture, and hand painted green and gold wall and ceilings, Kwant has a vintage feel. The menu at the bar throws a spotlight on high-balls, bespoke glassware and bar-grown garnishes, showcasing classic serves perfectly crafted with meticulous attention to detail.

 
 
 

Artesian at the Langham

World's 50 Best Bars: Number 48

Langham Hotel, 1C Portland Place, Marylebone, London, W1B 1JA

Tube: Oxford Circus Station

 
 

Enjoy dominoes and daiquris on Mondays from 5pm or sax on Saturday nights from 8pm at one of London's most glamorous hotel cocktail bars. When the landmark Langham, one of London's oldest hotels, celebrated its 140th anniversary in 2007 it was in the middle of a £50 million David Collins-design facelift. The Artesian kept its name but emerged more splendid and opulent than before. Where else would get "energised ice" that's "purer, colder and denser than regular ice"? If you think you don't need such fripperies clinking around in your cocktail, think again. It makes the drinks more potent.

 
 
 

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