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17 Cocktail Bars You Must Visit In Bristol

Getting drunk never looked so classy.

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1. The Milk Thistle

instagram.com / Via Instagram: @milkthistlebristol

A Bristol favourite, you can’t talk about cocktails without talking about Milk Thistle. Although its home is in the centre, you’d be hard pressed to find the clandestine bar without knowing where it is, a nod to prohibition days. Look for an inconspicuous doorway between The White Lion pub and Tuk Tuk cafe.

You should order: A Milk Thistle Daisy, made with gin, lemon juice, spiced pear syrup and fizz.

2. Cosy Club

Twitter: @CosyClubBristol / Via Twitter: @CosyClubBristol

A grand setting greets you when you arrive at Cosy Club. Traditional portraits mixed with large tropical plants line the huge ballroom-esque bar – a fitting introduction to the relative newcomer. After a long week I once ordered a Sea Breeze here (it’s what Lorne drinks in Angel, don’t judge me) and the bartender looked up the recipe and quick as a flash made me one of the best drinks I’ve ever had.

You should order: Tell the bartender any classic cocktail you'd like and watch them work their magic.

3. Amoeba

Instagram: @amoeba.clifton / Via instagram.com

Amoeba is a hidden gem that manages to serve chilled drinks in frozen glasses, but still manages to be the toastiest place to enjoy a cool cocktail. Tucked away in Clifton Village, the bar is quaint, cosy and compact whilst still set over three floors. The perfect place to take non-cocktail drinkers, Amoeba has an impressive stock of craft beer, cider and wine for the less fabulous imbibers.

You should order: A Chanel no.5 – vodka, elderflower, fresh raspberries and prosecco.

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4. Flipside Cocktail Club

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Flipside has been a main staple on Whiteladies road due to its irresistible loose-leaf cocktail concoctions and tempting weekday 2-4-1 deals. This deal is amazing because it gets you to step out of your typical cocktail comfort zone by sharing rounds with friends with different booze tastes.

You should order: The Heisenberg Lemonade – gin, Curaçao, Hooch and a suspicious packet of "blue stuff".

5. Hyde and Co.

Instagram: @hydeandcobristol / Via instagram.com

Owned by the same prolific founders of Milk Thistle, Hyde and co. describes itself as “Bristol’s best kept secret”. There’s something lovely about ringing a buzzer to an innocuous door on a nondescript street only to be welcomed into a low-lit, velvet curtain-clad room by a dapperly dressed waiter.

You should order: Go big or go home – be brave and try a Little Death, a mix of mezcal, tequila, maraschino, raspberry syrup and orgeat.

6. Harvey Nichols Bar

Instagram: @https://www.instagram.com/loubellsk/?hl=en / Via instagram.com

You haven’t known luxury until you’ve ordered a drink at the bar in Harvey Nichols, so stop looking at clothes you can't afford downstairs and head upstairs for a cocktail that's pricey but worth it. Known for its gratuitous extravagance, the bar is decked out in stunning chic white interiors and is a perfect home for the seasoned cocktail drinker.

You should order: A classy bar deserves a classy drink, so go full Bond and order a Vesper as it’s intended: “three measures of gin, one of vodka, half a measure of Kina Lillet. Shake it very well until it's ice-cold, then add a large thin slice of lemon peel.”

7. Psychopomp Microdistillery at The Old Bookshop

Instagram: @https://www.instagram.com/lolra/?hl=en / Via instagram.com

Setting up shop in ever-popular The Old Bookshop is Psychopomp Microdistillery, a small, independent distillery. Known for producing unique craft distilled gin in limited quantities. Specialising in classic and seasonal recipes for cocktails and cool G&Ts make sure you book a table because Pyschopomp is in high demand.

You should order: A Bloody Mary with some of the best garnish you’ve ever seen.

8. The Doghouse

Facebook: TheDoghouseBristol / Via Facebook: TheDoghouseBristol

Tucked away under the city in the centuries-old tunnels is The Doghouse, a bar that specialises in dancing until 3am and well-crafted cocktails. The Doghouse’s aesthetic isn’t just that of a standard cocktail bar; when you enter into the low-light bar there is a definite feeling of adventure and mischief in the air. Fair warning: if you start you night here, chances are you won’t end up leaving.

You should order: A Trapped! In A Lovecraft Nightmare – chocolate liqueur, mint liqueur, green chartreuse, bitters and cream.

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9. Red Light

Twitter: @DeeADavies / Via Twitter: @DeeADavies

The cocktail bars in Bristol are often known for their gimmicks, but Red Light has a real wow factor, which makes it one of the best places to introduce newcomers to the city. Eponymous red light seeps underneath a graffitied doorway by a seemingly out-of-service telephone – but when you pick up the phone, steps emanate from the doorway and a well-dressed host ushers you to a neon-lit room. An excellent hide-away from the hustle and bustle of Park Street, Red Light is a must.

You should order: Test out the excellent mixologists, I tell them I like vodka, fruity, sweet drinks served tall and I get a different delicious drink every time.

10. The Bootlegger

Twitter: @Brstlbootlegger / Via Twitter: @Brstlbootlegger

Live music, ambient lighting and laughter emanates from The Bootlegger situated just after The Arches on Gloucester Road. A jazz bar with a prohibition twist the Bootlegger serves over 90 different cocktail combinations with strictly fresh ingredients.

You should order: Feel like Don Draper and relax with an Old Fashioned.

11. Browns

Twitter: @BrownsBristol / Via Twitter: @BrownsBristol

Browns might be a chain, but the Bristol premises at the top of Park Street are nothing less than unique. Modelled after Doge’s Palace in Venice and once part of Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, Browns is one of the most striking Bristol bars to unwind in.

You should order: A British Royal; a twist on a traditional Kir Royal, with vodka, prosecco and rhubarb & rosehip cordial.

12. Her Majesty’s Secret Service

Twitter: @HMSS_Cocktails / Via Twitter: @HMSS_Cocktails

Her Majesty’s Secret Service, much like Red Light, Milk Thistle and Hyde and co. is a difficult place to find unless you know what you’re looking for; in this case, you’d be looking for a phone booth in order to enter the eclectic bar. However, unlike the others who stick to a prohibition era-style décor, HMSS prefers the surreal and you could find your cocktail being served in a Wellington boot, tin can or in a Chinese takeaway box.

You should order: A Reviver No: 2, which comes served in an urn with Egyptian embalming gin, fortified honey wine, mandarin liqueur and absinthe.

13. Turtle Bay

Instagram: @turtlebayuk / Via instagram.com

Many nights out in Bristol start at Turtle Bay and who can blame us with their amazing 2-4-1 cocktail deals from 10pm till close. As a Caribbean-themed restaurant rum lovers are in paradise with a mixture of original recipes and tried and tested favourites.

You should order: Pretend you’re on a deserted island and get some alone time with a Jumbled Julep, which features white rum, passoa, fresh strawberries, mint and apple.

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14. The Bristologist

Instagram: @weeza_pie / Via instagram.com

The chic Bristologist came onto the cocktail scene in 2014 and has been a must for every Bristolian since then; with a very Bristol-centric themed menu (well, duh) it’s also a great place for people new to the city. With an excellent menu of comfort food you’ll find it easy to prepare your body for some strong, strong cocktails.

You should order: The Cliftonite, a blend of prosecco, Amaretto and blackberries.

15. Manos Liquor Bar

Instagram: @manosbarbristol / Via instagram.com

If you venture up to the triangle you’ll definitely find drunken students, however, it’s worth braving them to get to Manos Liquor Bar. An independent bar that prides itself on having stocks of unusual and quirky boozy concoctions that will delight even the most experienced connoisseur.

You should order: A Chartreuse Sazerac; cognac, bitters and sugar served in a Chartreuse-rinsed glass.

16. Aluna

Instagram: @alunauk / Via instagram.com

Aluna is located a few doors down from Turtle Bay slap bang in the centre of town, offering more eclectic mixology and a few old classics for good measure. Also serving food from round the globe Aluna’s décor is definitely reflects its diverse menu, as extravagant mirrors and grandfather clocks are sporadically located around the bar.

You should order: If you like a bit of theatre with your cocktails then try Aluna's Secret Concoction – it’s lit with a blowtorch and smoked to perfection.

17. Hausbar

Facebook: Hausbar / Via Facebook: 130503606999703

Ringing the doorbell of a non-descript door under an Indian restaurant to enter a cocktail bar is pretty standard in Bristol. However, Hausbar offers a cool cabaret-style alternative atmosphere with its long thin bar being the perfect place to perch and watch the bartenders do their magic. An excellent place for a quiet mid-week drink, or stay until the wee hours on the weekend.

You should order: A Last Word, which is a gin sour with maraschino and lemon.

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