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.Read More
The Hottest Cocktail Bars in London
The best new places to drink in the city
1. 🔶🟥🔵 A Bar with Shapes for a Name
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
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
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.
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4. Mr Ji
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.
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