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A bartender shakes a cocktail in front of a Magritte painting at Le Magritte.
Inside Le Magritte at The Beaumont.
Helen Cathcart

The Hottest Cocktail Bars in London

The best new places to drink in the city

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Inside Le Magritte at The Beaumont.
| Helen Cathcart

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. Le Magritte Bar & Terrace

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The Beaumont, 8 Balderton St, Brown Hart Gardens
London W1K 6TF, UK

Ceci ... well it is a cocktail bar, actually: a stylish one, with a menu split between ceci n’est pas house drinks named for Magritte artworks, and ceci classics named for their being cocktails. There are a few --globally inspired-- snacks, but being honest, little would do better than a martini and some corndogs.

5. Seed Library

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100 Shoreditch High St
London E1 6HU, UK

Ryan Chetiyawardana — Mr Lyan — returns to the London cocktail scene with this self-described “analogue” bar at the new Shoreditch High Street Hotel, 100 Shoreditch. Saying “potato” is too gauche, so the snack of choice is tattie smilies, but the cocktails themselves are classics optimised with soul, rather than coldness: a bracing sansho leaf martini that still leads with “very cold” vodka; a bright whisky sour with meadowsweet and woodruff; and a penicillin that uses agave spirits instead of the peaty stuff. All told, these are cocktails delivering new ideas so solid that they feel like they’ve been around forever.

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. Le Magritte Bar & Terrace

The Beaumont, 8 Balderton St, Brown Hart Gardens, London W1K 6TF, UK

Ceci ... well it is a cocktail bar, actually: a stylish one, with a menu split between ceci n’est pas house drinks named for Magritte artworks, and ceci classics named for their being cocktails. There are a few --globally inspired-- snacks, but being honest, little would do better than a martini and some corndogs.

The Beaumont, 8 Balderton St, Brown Hart Gardens
London W1K 6TF, UK

5. Seed Library

100 Shoreditch High St, London E1 6HU, UK

Ryan Chetiyawardana — Mr Lyan — returns to the London cocktail scene with this self-described “analogue” bar at the new Shoreditch High Street Hotel, 100 Shoreditch. Saying “potato” is too gauche, so the snack of choice is tattie smilies, but the cocktails themselves are classics optimised with soul, rather than coldness: a bracing sansho leaf martini that still leads with “very cold” vodka; a bright whisky sour with meadowsweet and woodruff; and a penicillin that uses agave spirits instead of the peaty stuff. All told, these are cocktails delivering new ideas so solid that they feel like they’ve been around forever.

100 Shoreditch High St
London E1 6HU, UK

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