Whether you prefer a classic cocktail bar with a 70-year pedigree, or one of the more recent players that have emerged to cater for the growing taste for adventurous drinking, you'll find something to your taste in one of the best cocktail bars in London.
Find other stylish drinking spots in London with the best rooftop bars and top London champagne bars.
Go for modern twists on classic tipples or try new concoctions from the mixologists behind the striking green marble bar at Lyaness. Boasting stunning views of the Thames, this suave lounge bar serves cocktails inspired by the botanicals found in the British countryside.
2. The American Bar
Come and discover why the American Bar at the Savoy Hotel is consistently chosen as the world's best cocktail bar. This is the longest surviving cocktail bar in London and it still hits all the right notes with a live pianist every evening playing the Great American Songbook.
Prohibition-inspired Shoreditch speakeasy Nightjar really does capture the 1930s vibe, with live swing, jazz and blues every night. Dress up and get into the mood as you shuffle the cards to select your cocktail of choice from a historical selection.
4. The Connaught Bar
Order a martini at The Connaught Hotel’s 1920s-inspired Connaught Bar, one of the best cocktail bars in London – in fact the world, given its status as number one in The World's 50 Best Bars 2021 list. Watch a master at work as your drink is made on a trolley before you and take in the atmoshphere to this historic drinking spot.
Give your taste buds a treat at award-wining Artesian at the Langham Hotel, where the staff offer their takes on classic cocktails and a few of their own inventions. Proximity to the BBC means that you're also quite likely to spot a famous face relaxing after a long day of filming.
6. Dukes Bar
Indulge your inner James Bond with a martini made table-side at the impeccable Dukes Bar in the eponymous hotel. Small rooms and the old-world setting exude luxury, plus even the bar snacks are great.
7. Cocktail Trading Company
Prepare for an evening devoted to quirky drinks and general fun in Brick Lane, as you step through the unassuming doors, enter a dimly lit bar and try a range of cocktails from award-winning London bar mixologists, Cocktail Trading Company.
8. Eighteen Sky Bar
Explore a cocktail menu inspired by spice, herbs and botanicals while taking in unrivalled views of The O2, Canary Wharf and the Thames Barrier at the stylish Eighteen Sky Bar, located on the 18th floor of the InterContinental London – The O2.
9. Tayēr + Elementary
Voted second on The World's 50 Best Bars 2021 list, Tayēr + Elementary is run by Alex Kratena, who previously ran Artesian when it gained top spot in the list four years on the trot. Split into two, Elementary is a relaxed space for dining and drinking, while Tayēr provides creative seasonal cocktails. Make sure to try the signature One Sip Martini.
10. The Rooftop
Grab a premium cocktail at The Rooftop, the almost secret rooftop bar of The Trafalgar, St James, Curio Collection by Hilton hotel, and settle back into the cosy seating, as you see eye to eye with Nelson on Trafalgar Square below.
11. The Bloomsbury Club
Order a Bloomsbury set-inspired cocktail while contemplating the complex love lives of the period at Bloomsbury Club. Located in the Bloomsbury Hotel, the bar is a cosy library where the books have been replaced by booze.
12. Callooh Calley
Make your way to Callooh Callay’s secret JubJub bar and feel like the Goodfella you always wanted to be. For years this bar has been one of the premier locations for cocktail lovers in London, after it first carved its niche through zany cocktail names and high-quality tipples.
13. Radio Rooftop Bar
Step into the express lift leading to Radio Rooftop Bar on the 10th floor of the ME Hotel and savour the fabulous Thames' views while sipping a cocktail. A great destination at any time, it comes into its own in summer when the expansive terrace is the place to be seen.
14. Experimental Cocktail Club
Hidden behind what’s seemingly any old door is the atmospheric Experimental Cocktail Club, set within an old townhouse in the middle of Chinatown. Choose one of its signature tipples or be guided by its expert mixologists.
15. The Zetter Townhouse Clerkenwell Cocktail Lounge
Taste cocktails inspired by old apothecary recipes at The Zetter Townhouse Clerkenwell Cocktail Lounge. Top chef Bruno Loubet has created a collection of supper bowls and sharing platters to accompany your drink.
16. The Punch Room
Soak in the Edwardian ambiance of the Punch Room, in the London Edition hotel in Berners Street. Inspired by 19th-century clubs, this wood-panelled lounge offers more than 30 punches against a soundtrack of vintage soul, blues, ragtime and doo-wop.