Seven superb bars to visit during London Cocktail Week

More than 350 bars are taking part in this celebration of the city’s cocktail scene – and here are some of the best

London Cocktail Week – a celebration of the capital’s creative and game-changing cocktail scene – is back. The event runs from 13 to 23 October (so calling it a “cocktail week” is slightly misleading), with hundreds of the city’s best-loved bars taking part.

The boozetastic bonanza features immersive experiences and exclusive drinks offerings. For £15, drinks devotees can purchase a special wristband to enjoy £7 cocktails in hundreds of London bars, as well as four “cocktail villages” across town.

More than 350 bars are taking part in the event – making it hard to choose which ones to visit. Here, we’ve selected just seven which are worthy of your time and money.

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1. Black Rock

Black Rock

Since first welcoming patrons in March 2016, Black Rock has won a reputation as a leading destination for whisky fans. The centrepiece of the famous bar is an 18ft oak tree table top that dispenses liquid gold – including a £7 Cherry Beamer, made from Yellowstone Select bourbon whiskey, pineapple juice and berry tepache, topped with soda and garnished with a pineapple leaf (an exclusive for London Cocktail Week).

9 Christopher Street, EC2A 2BS;

2. Oriole


Located in Smithfield Market, Oriole is hidden behind an unassuming entrance that leads down a set of stairs to a candle-lit basement decored in a dramatic “explorers” theme, with palm-patterned wallpaper and other thematic gestures. For London Cocktail Week, the bar has concocted a £7 Colombo Sour featuring Hennessy VS Cognac, mango yoghurt, roasted coconut juice, kaffir lime cordial and pink lemon foam.

East Poultry Avenue, EC1A 9LH;

3. Callooh Callay

Callooh Callay

Callooh Callay has been in the business of making cocktails for the past 12 years and has won a series of awards in the process. The Alice in Wonderland-inspired bar features a secret door which leads to a back-room bar featuring metal palm trees, which will “make you feel like you walked into a 70’s shagpad after a few pills”, said The Infatuation. During London Cocktail Week, the bar will be serving £7 Whistle Pig cocktails (featuring six-year-old rye whiskey, passionfruit and mango demerara, cardamom and grapefruit bitters and angostura bitters) and £10 Summer Nights (the same but topped with Moët & Chandon champagne).

65 Rivington Street, EC2A 3AY;

4. Trailer Happiness

Trailer Happiness

Mourning the holiday vibes now summer is officially over? Trailer Happiness provides a great alternative to real-world travel in the form of its tropical tiki bar. Situated in a basement on Portobello Road, this spacious drinking den may leave you feeling like you’re in California for the night. For London Cocktail Week, Trailer Happiness has created a limited-edition £7 Coco Club featuring La Hechicera banana-infused Columbian rum, buttered coconut shrub, lime juice, grapefruit and falernum.

177 Portobello Road, W11 2DY;

5. Swift Soho

Swift Soho

Swift Soho is spread across two floors, each of which offers a different menu, providing something for every palette. The art-deco style surroundings and friendly staff will make you feel right at home this October, with Swift’s bartenders serving up two limited-edition cocktails: the £7 Raconteur (Appleton Estate signature rum, passionfruit, honey, ginger, lemon juice and angostura bitters) and the £7 Ruffian (WhistlePig Piggyback rye whiskey, fig, maple syrup and Brazilian bitters).

12 Old Compton Street, W1D 4TQ;

6. Three Sheets

Three Sheets

Three Sheets is a forward-thinking east London bar with nine signature cocktails split into three sections according to the strength and flavour of each creation. For London Cocktail Week, the bar will be introducing an innovative twist on a whisky soda, featuring a mix of milk-washed Glenmorangie X single malt Scotch whisky, clear lemon, vanilla, benzoin and soda.

510b Kingsland Road,, E8 4AE;

7. The Sun Tavern

The Sun Tavern

The Sun Tavern is home to London’s largest Irish whiskey collection but that’s only one reason to visit during London Cocktail Week. The bar’s expert mixologists have brewed up a £7 Arnie Palmie (don’t look that up on Urban Dictionary), made from Dewar’s blended 12-year-old Scotch whisky, Yuzu Umeshu, milk oolong tea, tonka bean and fizz. Staff at The Sun Tavern are “implausibly knowledgeable”, said The Telegraph, and “you’ll generally find both oldsters and youngsters” here.

441 Bethnal Green Road, E2 0AN;

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