It’s happy hour again: London cocktail bars

We’ve definitely got that Friday feeling here at Completely London, and we do love an excuse to clink glasses. Which is why we suggest heading to one of London’s many fine drinking establishments for a well-made cocktail and a dash of atmosphere to lift the spirits.

A warming kickstart at The Modern Pantry, EC1
You may not immediately think of chef Anna Hansen’s airy, elegant Clerkenwell dining rooms as a drinks destination, but next time you’re in the neighbourhood, pop in for an expertly made Chilli Espresso Martini.

A bit of theatre at Purl London, W1
When we visited this cosy Marylebone bolthole, we were warmly welcomed by a delightful serveuse named Paisley, who took us through the Early Spring Molecular menu with a frankly encyclopaedic knowledge of spirits and mixers.

In a ‘clears’ mood, we went for the Ketel No2, which floated onto the table in a fog of liquid nitrogen and was accompanied by little pipettes of flavoured bitters – orange, vanilla, coriander – to customise and experiment with.

Old meets new at Hawskmoor Seven Dials, WC2
Go to Hawksmoor for the superb steaks and burgers, but pause and linger at the bar first  for what is probably London’s finest take on a classic – the Tobacco Old Fashioned.

Even if you’re not partial to a cigar, the hint of tobacco in this perfect combination of rye whisky, sugar and bitters infused on the premises pushes this tipple to the top of Completely London’s cocktail bucket list.

Breaking science at The Whistling Shop, EC2
Slip down the stairs at this newly opened Victorian gin joint on Worship Street and the urge to assume the persona of a character in a Dickens novel is overwhelming.

We purred over a Black Cat’s Martini made with the cleanest Beefeater gin and ‘removed cream’. The genial and nattily attired Sam explained the infusion/extraction process, which leaves the totally clear libation with a creamy aftertaste.

Ever had one better? Tell us your London cocktail favourites.

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