How does a trip to London sound like? Last weekend we did it ourselves and got the chance to experience a first-hand impression of its vibrant cocktail scene. There’s no need to say that the UK capital is a global trendsetter, and when it comes to bars it is no different. In fact, we believe that it should be somewhat mandatory for any cocktail lover to travel there for a yearly visit, if only to see some of the world’s top bartenders in action and taste some of their amazing cocktails on the spot.
We did our research, asked for suggestions about where to go and which bars not to be missed, and decided to be true to ourselves. It must be said that, on top of amazing cocktail bars, London offers a wide range of activities for visitors. Regardless if you are looking for a cultural weekend full of art gallery visits and museums to discover, or if you are a foodie craving to try different kinds of cuisines from all over the world, London won’t let you down.
Did we go to any art gallery of museum, you might ask? No, we didn’t. Did we discover new dishes we had never tasted before? Again, the answer is no. But we sure had the chance to discover some of the best cocktail bars in the city, which we truly enjoyed. And as we already did with our beloved Barcelona and the magical city of Rome, we bring you a list of 5 bars that we consider to be among the best places to enjoy a drink when in town. Enjoy!
The big sign saying “vermouth” at the back bar of this cocktail bar was all we needed to fall in love with the place. If that wasn’t enough, we got the chance to taste some truly delicious cocktails and were delighted by the amazing team behind the bar.
Opened just a few months ago, this cocktail bar has gained its own place among the best, having been honored with the New Bar of the Year and Bar Manager of the Year awards at the Class Bar Awards 2017. So if you are around Soho and lust for a glass of vermouth, or any other perfectly made cocktail, for that matter, you know where to go.
Swift (Image Source)
We were looking for the ultimate Negroni, and we definitely found it! Located right in front of Swift, whose bartenders also encouraged us to go to for this classic Italian drink, the bar has a short but unquestionably effective menu.
The bar boasts four different kinds of signature Negroni, each of them with its distinctive notes. Obviously, we could do nothing else but try them all, and we must say that they were all worth it. The place is small but always crammed, and retains the charm of those classic Italian cafes with which we experienced true love at first sight.
Bar Termini (Image Source)
The Punch Room is with no doubt a must visit if you are on the lookout for a quality cocktail in a cozy atmosphere. Located at the luxurious London EDITION Hotel, it is a great example of a classic bar and the perfect place to enjoy a drink while relaxing after a long day of strolling around Soho.
As vermouth lovers, we opted for a classic Boulevardier and the experience was beyond perfect. But if you want to go for their specialty, order a Punch Bowl. They have no less than eight crafted punches to choose from. Cheers!
Punch Room (Image Source)
We could not make a list of cocktail bars in London without including Marian Beke’s. Being one of the world’s leading bartenders and having bartended in such a celebrated venue as Nightjar, a visit to The Gibson is non-debatable.
Its decorations, which are vaguely reminiscent of the pre-Prohibition era, and the flamboyant adornments on their drinks, characterize the place. Despite this, once there, just focus on how Marian plays his magic, and enjoy yourself with whatever you choose to drink. You are in good hands.
The Gibson (Image Source)
American Bar at Savoy
The American Bar represents a piece of cocktail history, not only in the UK but worldwide as well. Behind its bar, there have been illustrious names such as Ada “Coley” Coleman or Harry Craddock. The latter was the creator of the legendary Savoy Cocktail book, which is still among the must have books for bartenders around the world.
Nowadays, the bar is still at the top, having been awarded Best International Bar Team 2016 at Tales of the Cocktail, and Best Bar in Europe at World’s 50 Best Bars 2016 (#2 worldwide). A must-go spot for any cocktail lover.
American Bar at Savoy (Image Source)
We have provided you with some of the places we wouldn’t miss when visiting London. You will be able to discover the city in a different way through each one of them, by savoring its cocktails sip after sip. If you did not have enough reasons to plan a visit before, we have just given you five. The ball is in your court now!
My name is Jorge Ferrer, I am a spirits and cocktails lover and a vermouth enthusiast. I earned my MsC in Innovation and Entrepreneurship at ESADE Business School and at the moment I hold a Trade Marketing Specialist position in Brown-Forman. I am planning to market my own vermouth, feel free to reach out or connect with me at www.linkedin.com/in/jorgeferrer191/ or @jorge_chinaski