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12 Cocktails You Need To Try In London

Or, an alcoholic bucketlist for when you finally get sick of your vodka-cranberry.

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1. The Blind Pig - The Hunny Pot

The Blind Pig

Above Soho's Social Eating House you'll find The Blind Pig, home to some of London's most whimsical (a word rarely applied to alcohol) cocktails. The sweetest is this Winnie the Pooh offering, full of buttered rum, mead, apple brandy, lemon and honey.

2. Barrio - Ram Berry Jam

Barrio

Any cocktail that comes with something edible is an automatic winner. It just so happens that this one - made with homemade raspberry jam liqueur, vodka, cava and lemon - is also delicious in its own right. (The Jammie Dodger definitely helps, though).

Locations here.

3. Nightjar - Inca Cocktail

Nightjar

If you've ever felt your cocktail is missing a certain dead something, Nightjar's got you covered. The Inca Cocktail uses tequila, tomatillo, hazelnut oil, chilli wine, epazote, sherry, agave, and .... buffalo worms? Somehow, it's delicious. We live in a mad world.

4. Nightjar - Toronto

The Handbook / Via thehandbook.com

Just in case you're (understandably) not ready to add worms to your drink, the Nightfall offers several dozen other choices. The best is the Toronto, which tops bourbon, roasted pecan coffee maple syrup and Fernet Branca with smoked candy floss.

5. Blade Soho - Boozy OMG Hot Chocolate

Absolutely London / Via absolutely.london

This Soho gem does what it says on the tin. Blade's top-secret hot chocolate recipe is fortified with Stagg Jr straight bourbon to warm you up in London's endless winter.

6. The Gibson - The Hogmanay

The Gibson / Via Instagram: @thegibsonbar

Look, let's be real. This isn't for everyone. The Gibson is known for its weird and wonderful cocktails, perhaps piquing with this bourbon, port, chorizo and bacon jam, bread seeds, absinthe smoke, jelly, oranges, lemons, butter ice and pork floss (and breathe) concoction.

7. Purl - Blue Bayou

Purl London

Purl is best known for its flashiest cocktail, the Mr Hyde, but if you want to balance aesthetic with taste, go for the Blue Bayou. With vodka, La Diablada pisco, Enamor Yuzu liqueur, Bitter Bianco, Citrus sherbet and Blue Air, it's a triple threat: colourful, sour and photogenic.

8. Oriole Bar - The Duke of Savoy

At Oriole Bar in Smithfield Markets, cocktails are an art form. The Duke of Savoy is technically made to share, but when Courvoisier, hazelnut sugar, quince, Calvados, apple and lemongrass looks this good, you'd be forgiven for hogging all the steam.

9. Callooh Callay Bar - Gorilla Panic

Callooh Callay / Via Instagram: @calloohcallaybar

If dessert cocktails are your thing - and if they're not, why? - then Callooh Callay has the perfect drink in its Gorilla Panic. The Shoreditch bar uses Bols Genever, white cacao, apricot, banana, almond oil, yoghurt powder and lime to make the perfect post-dinner treat. (Or pre-dinner. Or just, you know, dinner).

10. Apples and Pears - The Wrong Trousers

Apples and Pears

This Wallace and Gromit themed drink uses Courvoisier, Campari Mandarin Napoleon, orgeat and lemon. Apples and Pears tacks on an added snack too, which I'm beginning to think might be the hallmark of a good cocktail.

11. Flight Club - Fruity Mare

Flight Club

Flight Club Shoreditch is home to a cocktail for every mood, but Fruity Mare wins by throwing vodka, rhubarb, lychee liqueur, lime, cranberry and strawberry into one drink AND turning it into a slushie. Think of it as childhood with a kick.

12. Wetherspoon's - Literally every single pitcher

The Great Wood Wetherspoons / Via Twitter: @thegreatwoodjdw

Because, you know what, you can throw as much garnish and glitter into a jam jar as you want, but nobody's too good for a Spoons classic. Anyone who tells you otherwise needs to take their pretensions, shove them back in their purse, and slap down £8.99 for a plastic pitcher of Purple Rain. Night sorted.

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