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Top 10 gin cocktail bars in London

Of all the gin joints…

Gin: a fabulous, flavoursome spirit which lends itself very well to the creation of a wide range of cocktails. There are, happily, a large number of different gins available, and an equally broad spectrum of cocktails that can be made from them thanks to the versatility and range on offer.

With so much promise, there is, however, the curse of too much choice: which gin to choose, and where to order it?

Here at The Spirits Business we’ve taken on the selfless challenge of putting up our Top 10 list of gin cocktail bars to offer guidance to the otherwise uninitiated. Just to clarify, these are in no particular order. All are as good as they are different!


This bar certainly lives up to its name, based in London’s advertising hub, the Golden Square in Soho. The bar has a perpetually changing décor, currently with pieces by Ben Eine of Cameron’s-gift-to-Obama fame, ensuring a fresh perspective on the place each visit.

Which drink?

Graphic boasts one of the finest, or at least most extensive collections of different gins in the UK – no mean feat! It is also home to the Juniper Society – a fortnightly gin masterclass hosted every other Monday by a different gin brand.

Given their ginspired (sorry…) spirit selection, it’s a tough call on which drink comes up trumps, but if push comes to shove, we’d go for the yellow paint tin – Tanqueray, maraschino, lime and pineapple… Wow.



While primarily famed for its whisky selection, Albannach’s gin collection is not to be sniffed at. There are two watering holes in the establishment, the restaurant/bar and the downstairs A-Lounge (open Thursdays to Saturdays).

Which drink?

The bar staff are incredibly knowledgeable and good at their job, so pretty much any drink you get will be spot on, but their real skill (whiskies aside) lie in their Negronis. With the help of the very enthusiastic staff, we made our way through a good selection of different gins, each one completely changing the nature of the Negroni. Personal preference would have to be the Plymouth for the quintessential Negroni, but do experiment; whichever gin you choose, they’ll mix it masterfully.


Berry Bar

Hotel bars generally struggle to create a cosy and exciting atmosphere, simply through the confines of being based in usually non-cosy buildings, and consequently lacking cosy nooks and crannies. To add insult to injury, London is littered with bars that ooze that sort of built-in (in the most literal sense) charm – just looking down this list will prove that! Nevertheless, the Berry Bar at the Hilton London Green Park manages to feature on this list on the strength of its drinks and dedication to great gin-based cocktails. Not cheap, but certainly worth a trip, especially as they have a Beefeater 24 Afternoon Tea – certainly not just your average cucumber sandwiches!

Which drink?

Possibly as an hommage to all things English, this bar’s best, and possibly most popular drink, is the Earl Grey Martini. Served in a chilled tea pot, this manages to do justice to both drinks in a single glass.


Duke’s Hotel

Of Ian Fleming’s “shaken, not stirred” Martini fame, Duke’s Hotel in the backstreets of Mayfair is an obvious choice for gin fiends. While a bold claim if ever there was, they back themselves to make the best Martini in the world, a claim supported by James Bond’s recommendation himself (if you had to listen to the recommendation of any fictional character, clearly, it would be James Bond).

Which drink?

Unsurprisingly, a Martini. Shaken, not stirred.

69 Colebrooke Row

This unobtrusive little bar in Islington achieves the status of aching coolness with a minimum of effort. So low profile it doesn’t even have a name, the drinks are an inspired blend of alchemy and good taste. The drinks menu is fairly stunning anyway, but if there’s nothing that really jumps out at you, the bar staff will happily come up with something to satisfy your alcoholic whim.

Which drink?

A nice contrast to the traditional Martini from Duke’s, the Martini here has added ‘dry’ essence – definitely one for the gin enthusiast!

Mark’s Bar at Hix

Back to Soho for this seriously swanky bar which smacks of a trendy member’s club, although, fortunately, open to all. The dark and dusky colouring of the place offers an unprepossessing backdrop for the choice selection of British art, including pieces from the internationally renowned Damien Hirst to smaller British artists, making the pieces seem somehow more personal.

Which drink?

The Gin punch à la Terrington offers a fantastic fusion of fresh and fizz, with Beefeater gin, lemon sherbet, lemon juice & green Chartreuse topped with soda. Certainly worth coughing up for.

Bob Bob Ricard

This Anglo-Russian bar is once again deep in the heart of Soho. The glitz and ostentation of Russia’s high-life is kept in check with just enough English sobriety, making this a glamorous, yet comfortable venue. Everything about this place, from the food to the drinks, manages this impressive balancing act of all-out brazen flamboyance with a twist of understated charm. The “Press for Champagne” button is a good example of this: a modest little sign for a hugely immodest request.

Which drink?

A prime example of the Anglo-Russian co-existence is the BBR pink rhubarb gin and tonic. Exciting and decadent, yet still fundamentally English.

The Nightjar

This place was never going to be anything other than trendy and cool, being minutes from Old Street tube station. Nevertheless, it goes above and beyond, creating a completely authentic speakeasy atmosphere – something that’s no mean feat in a country that never actually had a Prohibition law in place… One of the nicest things about this bar is the attention to detail, not only in the décor, music and general feel, but the different glass and presentation for each and every cocktail on the extensive and innovatively ordered menu.

Which drink?

With so much choice, it’s difficult, but we’re set on The Colony, with Tanqueray 10, grapefruit, Maraschino and gomme syrup, it has great balance and is very refreshing.


This place was made with a Victorian gin palace in mind, so it’s highly unlikely to disappoint in our gin cocktail bar quest. In an unobtrusive location in Marylebone, this place manages to make you feel utterly transported to a different time and place (just without the jet lag).

Which drink?

It’s usually a good sign when there’s a cocktail named after the bar itself, especially when the latter is so impressive. The Purl is a warm (that’s right, warm) punch with gin, Doom Bar bitter, aniseed and cinnamon. Utterly unlike anything else and very much worth a try.

The Arch Bar

Situated in the Intercontinental Hotel, 1 Park Lane, it’s never going to be a cheap evening at The Arch Bar. Moreover, the atmosphere there is very much one of a hotel bar, rather than an intimate or cosy feel. But, and this is a big but, despite these drawbacks, this is definitely a must for gin lovers everywhere. With a selection of 25 different gins, and an almost exclusively gin-focused drinks menu, The Arch Bar is a fantastic example of gin’s versatility and the (highly skilled) barmen’s expertise. In addition, 5.30pm to 6.30pm is the Gin Hour, when the barman gets creative with his/her daily special gin. A real treat.

Which drink?

The Mother’s Ruin makes the most of the smooth and tasty Six o’clock gin; a great use of a great gin.

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