Looking to drink the best cocktails in Shoreditch? There’s absolutely loads of choice when it comes to the best Shoreditch cocktail bars. Whatever you’re visiting East London’s shining nightspot to drink, whatever kind of atmosphere you’re envisaging, there will be a fantastic Shoreditch cocktail bar for you – we guarantee it!
There’s so much choice in fact that it can be difficult to know where to start! There are so many great Shoreditch cocktail bars ready to serve you the perfect drink, whether you’re stepping off the bus on the Kingsland Road, emerging from Old Street Underground Station or polishing off a curry on Brick Lane.
Naturally these are tough times for Shoreditch cocktail bars at the moment. While the ongoing situation with COVID-19 means that many of these bars have been forced to temporarily shut their doors, many are offering takeaway or delivery service of their killer cocktails. This can be just the thing to whet your appetite while you plan your first big night out when the lockdown lets up.
We’ve put together this guide to the best cocktail spots to go to in Shoreditch right now. From glitzy, fashionable bars to holes-in-the-wall lying off the beaten track, here’s the lowdown on the best places to go for cocktails in Shoreditch.
The A-Z of the best Shoreditch cocktail bars
The Alchemist – Old Street
For sheer spectacle, The Alchemist can’t be beat. The team specialises in ‘molecular mixology’, analysing the proportions of drinks to a near-atomic level to create unexpected blends that are full of special effects. This results in unique creations like the ‘Lightbulb Moment’, a gin-based creation delivered in a bulbous glass that bubbles and steams like a magic potion. Subdued, classical decor and a menu of classic dishes with a twist make this a place to linger at for hours.
Head here for: Insta-worthy cocktails to impress mates and dates alike.
145 City Road, EC1V 1LP | 020 3976 7887 | thealchemist.uk.com/venues/old-street
Barrio brings the best of Latin culture to the Shoreditch High Street. It’s the place to go if you’re hankering for richly spiced cocktails made with rum or tequila. Old classics like mojitos and caipirinhas sit alongside some bolder, more bespoke creations. This allows the adventurous drinkers to rub shoulders with those who like to keep things simple. Mexican tapas-style dishes are served up hot and messy, just as they should be. The colour-drenched décor can make even the dead of winter feel like a beach party.
Head here for: Tequila and tapas in a relaxed cantina setting.
141-143 Shoreditch High Street, E1 6JE | 020 7749 3940 | barriobars.com/shoreditch-2
If you’ve always wanted to get seriously into whiskey, Black Rock is the perfect place to start. A small, subdued basement bar hidden among the glassy offices of Finsbury, Black Rock’s long benches and rows of enticing bottles provide the perfect environment for experimentation. It keep things simple, with bespoke whiskey highballs and cocktails. The one-word names help guide you towards the kind of thing you’ll like. Try the ‘Sweet’ for a sugary blend of whiskey and iced tea, or the ‘Spice’ for a highball imbued with a hit of chilli.
Head here for: A quiet, peaceful drink from one of the finest whiskey libraries in London.
9 Christopher Street, EC2A 2BS | 020 7247 4580 | blackrock.bar
It’s never a dull night in Callooh Callay! It’s one of the first Shoreditch cocktail bars, still going strong to this day! Known for its speedy service even on the busiest nights, this is where to take a London newbie if you’re looking to dazzle them on their first night in town. The cocktail menu is always eclectic and never boring. Highlights include ‘Doff the Cap’, a tangy blend of mezcal, gin, orange, and grapefruit.
Head here for: Expertly mixed cocktails in a setting with bags of atmosphere and first-rate service.
65 Rivington Street, EC2A 3AY | 020 77394781 | calloohcallaybar.com
The Cocktail Trading Co.
The vintage styling of the Cocktail Trading Company could fool you into thinking you’ve stepped back in time and arrived in a Victorian member’s club. That is, were it not for the state-of-the-art cocktail menu! Quirky drinks include the ‘Nelson’s Blood’, which blends two types of rum in a mock barrel to make a sweet and refreshing nautical brew. Consistent pricing across the menu is also a welcome touch, encouraging experimentation with the different creations on offer. No two visits will be the same!
Head here for: A quiet, relaxed conversation over unique, adventurous drinks.
8 Bethnal Green Rd, E1 6GQ | thecocktailtradingco.co.uk
Tucked into the basement of Shoreditch mainstay Jaguar Shoes, Gold Step is drenched with the ambience of 1980s South America. Specialising in tequila and mezcal, it’s designed for those who want something a little more nuanced than a shot with a wedge of lemon and a lick of salt. So, expect plenty of Latin twists on the classics, like a mezcal-based negroni.
Head here for: Full-bodied, satisfying drinks with smooth agave flavours.
32-36 Kingsland Road, E2 8DA | 020 7683 0912 | jaguarshoes.com/venues/gold-step
Green Room at The Curtain
Open all day, the Green Room moves seamlessly from serving tea in the afternoons to cocktails in the evenings. Peruse its extensive menu for one of the many unique cocktails inspired by London’s diverse communities. Alternatively, relax with a timeless favourite like a martini or an old fashioned. You’ll be enjoying one of the most appealing spaces in East London, overflowing with natural light from the enormous windows.
Head here for: A relaxing drink as the sun goes down.
45 Curtain Road, EC2A 3PT | 020 3146 4545 | thecurtain.com/eat-drink/greenroom
The Gibson is named for a variant on the classic martini, which substitutes a pickled onion for the olive in its garnish. It is one of the jewels of Old Street. The classical styling and elegant interior houses a cocktail experience with real care and thought put into it. What’s more, the menu differs depending on the month in which you make your visit. Enjoy a warming sherry-based cocktail in autumnal October or relive beach memories with a fruity gin-based delight in July. Either way, you’ll fall in love with the stylish surroundings.
Head here for: A different experience every time; a seasonal experience no matter the weather.
44 Old Street, EC1V 9AQ | 020 7608 2774 | thegibsonbar.london
Looking Glass Cocktail Club
Though it’s not obvious from the outside, stopping at the right spot on the Hackney Road can transport you to Wonderland. The Looking Glass Cocktail Club feels like the Mad Hatter’s tea party. Its mis-matched vintage furniture is strewn higgledy-piggledy around the space. The cocktail ingredients may seem mad too, but give one a try and you’ll appreciate the thinking behind these award-winning concoctions. Our advice – throw caution to the wind and try something that sounds too mad to be true.
Head here for: The unexpected, and a hidden gem to boast to your friends about discovering.
49 Hackney Road, EC2A 3EP | 07896 718880 | lookingglasslondon.co.uk
London Cocktail Club
Housed next to Box Park, the London Cocktail Club makes for the ideal complement to a sampling of street food. Its style takes notes from Americana aesthetics, so you can enjoy some enticing whiskey drinks in a diner-style booth. Happy hour extends until 7pm every day, making it a great choice of stop for a pre-dinner cocktail. Although the music extends well into the night if you do decide to linger.
Head here for: Drinks and street food after work.
Unit 12, 29 Sclater Street, E1 6HR | 020 7580 1960 | londoncocktailclub.co.uk/shoreditch
By day this is the relaxed Italian cafe Spelzini, but at night it transforms it into Luigi’s Bar. Heavy on the sweet vermouth, this is definitely the place to go if you’re hankering for the best negronis. Plus, there are also plenty of Italian snacks to go with your drinks. A slice of salty cheese, some delectable cured meat or a handful of sharp pickles can be just the thing to pair with a wickedly strong but sweet cocktail. Here, you can find some of the best around.
Head here for: Punchy Italian cocktails served with premium bar snacks.
154-158 Shoreditch High Street, E1 6HU | spelzini.co.uk
Leave the Old Street roundabout at the Hoxton end, and if you know what you’re looking for, you’ll find Nightjar (clue: look for the bird symbol on the door). Once inside you’ll be transported to the kind of freewheeling speakeasy that hearkens back to the era of prohibition. Indeed, the enormous cocktail menu is themed as such, divided into pre- and post-prohibition era drinks. There’s so much here it would take many, many visits to sample it all. So, you’d best get started as soon as possible!
Head here for: A proper 1920s speakeasy feel, with a dizzying array of home-grown cocktails.
129 City Rd, EC1V 1JB | 020 7253 4101 | barnightjar.com
A popular spot on Hoxton Square, Nikki’s has plenty of tables available, and on busy nights they all get used! It’s not hard to see why this bar sees so many visitors; its generous cocktail list offers a broad selection of options for all base spirits. Even if you want to stick to rum or vodka all night, you won’t have to order the same drink twice.
Head here for: Drinking with a group in a good party atmosphere.
39A Hoxton Square | 020 8191 8835 | nikkisbar.co.uk
The Redchurch Bar
Though the inside is styled like a classic British pub, the Redchurch is more likely to serve you a contemporary cocktail than a pint of mild bitter. One of the most popular Shoreditch cocktail bars, this place gives you the best of both worlds – the comfort of a pub and the adventurous menu of a cocktail bar. Its plush red seats are perfect to sink into while sampling an old favourite or something new and different. The Redchurch offers an ample supply of both.
Head here for: A good prolonged session with friends.
107 Redchurch Street, E2 6DQ | 020 3325 9739 | theredchurch.co.uk
Spitalfields Bar at Hawksmoor
The team behind Spitalfields Bar at Hawksmoor aren’t content with serving up the same old drinks from decades past. Their takes on classic cocktails are refreshing and different, often involving lengthy processes to get them just right. Their Fuller-Fat Old Fashioned is made with brown butter that is painstakingly infused into bourbon in a water bath!
Head here for: A new twist on classic cocktails in a dazzling, timelessly cool setting.
157B Commercial Street, E1 6BJ | 020 7426 4856 | thehawksmoor.com/locations/spitalfields-bar
Concealed below a street-level liquor store on Kingsland Road is this atmospheric cellar bar serving up historical-themed cocktail bars. Its interior of exposed brick and warm wooden floors is inviting and alluring all at once. Also, naturally, the cocktail list is extensive enough to sink yourself into for an evening.
Head here for: Intimate, speakeasy vibes and themed cocktails steeped in history.
17B Kingsland Road, E2 8AA | 020 3131 3490 | ttliquor.co.uk
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