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An orange cocktail being poured into a freezer-frosted glass from a steel Boston shaker, with a small cocktail bottle in the background, which is painted with a yellow, red, and blue paint swipe
A serve from A Bar With Shapes for a Name on Kingsland Road in Dalston
A Bar With Shapes for a Name [Official Photo]

The Hottest Cocktail Bars in London, Right Now

The best new places to drink in the city

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A serve from A Bar With Shapes for a Name on Kingsland Road in Dalston
| A Bar With Shapes for a Name [Official Photo]

London’s cocktail scene moves faster than an influencer lunging for the last canapé on the tray at a launch. At least it did, and then the novel coronavirus pandemic came, and lockdowns put more than just the drinks on ice. Bars — bar nightclubs — have perhaps suffered most, thriving as they do on intimate indoor spaces, so it’s no surprise that few have dared open debut ventures as the city slowly kicks back into gear. But those that have are shaking serious serves — here’s where to find the best new cocktails in London.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. 🔶🟥🔵 A Bar with Shapes for a Name

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232 Kingsland Rd, Whitmore Estate
London E2 8AX, UK

When Remy Savage was head bartender at Artesian, one of the best cocktail bars in the city, the menu was a double helix so playful it was practically a toy, and its cocktails were only allowed two ingredients. His new venture with Paul Lougrat and Maria Kontorravdis takes some of this playfulness — it’s a bar called Yellow Triangle, Red Square, Blue Circle, after all — and some of that constraint — 20 bottles turned into 15 - 16 cocktails, all of whose recipes will be put to Instagram for judgement — and alights in Dalston with one of the most compelling offers the city has seen in a very long time.

2. Mezcaleria @ Kol

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9 Seymour St
London W1H 7BA, UK

Maxim Schulte’s contribution to Santiago Lastra’s hyped Mexican debut Kol is a clever cocktail menu which takes a duo of ingredients key to Lastra’s menu and fashions them into two different cocktails from a roster of classic serves. So corn and sea buckthorn are translated into a sea buckthorn French 75 and a corn Old Fashioned, while fig leaf and gooseberry are switched into a short clean batanga based on fig leaf mezcal on the one hand, and a floral mai tai on the other.

3. Mezcaleria El Comillo @ El Pastor Soho

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66-70 Brewer St
London W1F 9UP, UK

Harts Group has continued in the proud tradition of its new Soho restaurant which once housed Hix: food above, vibes below. It helps that El Pastor’s drinks offering is one of its strong suits across its modest portfolio, with a decent range of sipping mezcals and tequilas alongside a seven-strong margarita section and a few more well-chosen cocktails, including the approaching-omnipresent mezcal version of a negroni.

4. Limin' Beach Club

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GV5Q+6W
London SE1 9PP, UK

The cocktails at this sandy, escapist spot by the Thames come from Paolo Molinaro, which Limin’ has dubbed its “executive liquid chef.” And execute he does, with drinks that range widely. From the sharing punches, one made with dark rum, velvet falernum, grapefruit, and lime gets points for its “Heming-my-way” name and tang that’s more refreshing than a London breeze, while a Trinidadian riff on a daiquiri gets some zip from an ingenious shrub based on sorrel, the island and region’s name for hibiscus.

5. Mr Ji

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72 Old Compton St
London W1D 4UN, UK

Mr Ji is getting most of its plaudits for Ana Gonçalves and Zijun Meng’s witty Taiwanese-inspired food menu, but it would be extremely wrong to sleep on the cocktails from Cyan Wong. The salted plum negroni — which uses mezcal for its base ahead of gin — and the rice martini are the stars, with the latter’s milky, soft appearance belying the thick complexity of pairing Cuban rum with manzanilla, glutinous rice syrup, and a hint of citrus.

1. 🔶🟥🔵 A Bar with Shapes for a Name

232 Kingsland Rd, Whitmore Estate, London E2 8AX, UK

When Remy Savage was head bartender at Artesian, one of the best cocktail bars in the city, the menu was a double helix so playful it was practically a toy, and its cocktails were only allowed two ingredients. His new venture with Paul Lougrat and Maria Kontorravdis takes some of this playfulness — it’s a bar called Yellow Triangle, Red Square, Blue Circle, after all — and some of that constraint — 20 bottles turned into 15 - 16 cocktails, all of whose recipes will be put to Instagram for judgement — and alights in Dalston with one of the most compelling offers the city has seen in a very long time.

232 Kingsland Rd, Whitmore Estate
London E2 8AX, UK

2. Mezcaleria @ Kol

9 Seymour St, London W1H 7BA, UK

Maxim Schulte’s contribution to Santiago Lastra’s hyped Mexican debut Kol is a clever cocktail menu which takes a duo of ingredients key to Lastra’s menu and fashions them into two different cocktails from a roster of classic serves. So corn and sea buckthorn are translated into a sea buckthorn French 75 and a corn Old Fashioned, while fig leaf and gooseberry are switched into a short clean batanga based on fig leaf mezcal on the one hand, and a floral mai tai on the other.

9 Seymour St
London W1H 7BA, UK

3. Mezcaleria El Comillo @ El Pastor Soho

66-70 Brewer St, London W1F 9UP, UK

Harts Group has continued in the proud tradition of its new Soho restaurant which once housed Hix: food above, vibes below. It helps that El Pastor’s drinks offering is one of its strong suits across its modest portfolio, with a decent range of sipping mezcals and tequilas alongside a seven-strong margarita section and a few more well-chosen cocktails, including the approaching-omnipresent mezcal version of a negroni.

66-70 Brewer St
London W1F 9UP, UK

4. Limin' Beach Club

GV5Q+6W, London SE1 9PP, UK

The cocktails at this sandy, escapist spot by the Thames come from Paolo Molinaro, which Limin’ has dubbed its “executive liquid chef.” And execute he does, with drinks that range widely. From the sharing punches, one made with dark rum, velvet falernum, grapefruit, and lime gets points for its “Heming-my-way” name and tang that’s more refreshing than a London breeze, while a Trinidadian riff on a daiquiri gets some zip from an ingenious shrub based on sorrel, the island and region’s name for hibiscus.

GV5Q+6W
London SE1 9PP, UK

5. Mr Ji

72 Old Compton St, London W1D 4UN, UK

Mr Ji is getting most of its plaudits for Ana Gonçalves and Zijun Meng’s witty Taiwanese-inspired food menu, but it would be extremely wrong to sleep on the cocktails from Cyan Wong. The salted plum negroni — which uses mezcal for its base ahead of gin — and the rice martini are the stars, with the latter’s milky, soft appearance belying the thick complexity of pairing Cuban rum with manzanilla, glutinous rice syrup, and a hint of citrus.

72 Old Compton St
London W1D 4UN, UK

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