When it comes to cocktails, London has got it going on! From quaint and quirky craft cocktail spots to classic and luxurious hotel bars, there are simply too many outstanding options to fit in a “top five” list. Future 52 Martinis projects include “best of” lists by London neighborhood or other kinds of logical categories. But for the time being, let’s take a look at a few of my latest favorites found on my last two visits:
Untitled: Cocktails Conceived in a Laboratory
Fans of Tony Conigliaro’s mad scientist mixology methods will appreciate his latest endeavor where each of the 12 drinks embodies its one word name. “Violin” delivers woody notes while “Snow” incorporates the powdery clean elements of clay and chalk. Cocktails are served in custom glassware alongside a menu of very tasting small plate snacks. There’s a cool concrete communal table and an overall modern, stark and edgy décor that takes a fresh detour from so many curio-packed placed. And, if your server asks if you want a wish, just say yes.
Sager & Wilde: Rustic Chic Restaurant, Wine & Cocktails
The popularity of the original Sager & Wilde wine bar spawned a spin-off second Sager & Wilde with a full-blown restaurant and cocktail programme (but still plenty of vino!) Bar Manager, Marcis Dzelzainis, brings serious cocktail cred to the game having worked in destination bars like Dandelyan and 69 Colebrook Rowe. Settle in for dinner, or just grab a bar stool and enjoy something simple and sophisticated like a Fino Martini (sherry, gin and lemon oils) or something original like the Olive Oil Old Fashioned. And, you might want to head over early and make a full cocktillian-culinary day of it as this hip little pocket of London is brimming with hotspots all within a few feet of one another like Mother Kelly’s Paradise Garage, Peg + Patriot and more…
Oriole: Creative Cocktails + Jazz
This sexy, subterranean spot far outshines its popular older sister, Nightjar (IMHO…) It’s tropical, sensuous and a little spendy. Like their sibling, they like to show off their talent for theatrical preparation and stunning presentation. Live jazz and blues kicks off at 8:30pm. Head there on Sundays and Tuesdays for music without the cover charge!
Punch Room: Punch in a Private Club
The latest lounge turning out large-format drinks is the reservations-only Punch Room in the so-hip-it-hurts London Edition Hotel. Trendy cocktail lovers cozy up in soft light levels that makes everyone feel just a little more glamourous and the miniture punch bowls are almost as delitful as the drinks they hold. The menu offers up a selection of 30 house sesasonal and rotating punches plus a few permanent fixtures. Plus, I just love a place that serves a tiny welcome drink!
Berners Tavern: Cocktails in Simply Stunning Surroundings
Didn’t plan ahead and reserve your spot at the exclusive Punch Room? Not to worry because the other bar in the London Editions gorgeous restaurant, Berner’s Tavern, is plenty damn impressive in its own right. When a place is this pretty, less work might go into the food and drink side – but not so, here. There is a long list of lovely cocktails shaken and stirred by young, friendly barstaff exhibiting a much more relaxed kinda vibe than you’ll find in the Punch Room. And if you decide to eat here (which you should) the oxtail mac’n’cheese is a must!
This town definitely has something to offer to drinkers from all walks, so stay tuned for more London coverage later!