Top 50 Cocktail Bars

UK’s Top 50 Cocktail Bars revealed

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

London calling: Satan's Whiskers in Bethnal Green was named the number one cocktail bar in the UK
London calling: Satan's Whiskers in Bethnal Green was named the number one cocktail bar in the UK

Related tags Cocktails Spirits Top 50 Cocktail Bars London

The 2023 Top 50 Cocktail Bars sponsored by Franklin & Sons have been unveiled, with London’s Satan’s Whiskers taking the top spot.

Announced at Omeara, also in the capital last night (Tuesday 7 February), it was revealed the Bethnal Green bar​ had jumped up four places from last year.

Last year’s number one Lab 22​ in Cardiff was named number two on the list, which is sponsored by Franklin & Sons. The standout bar is known for its innovative and daring cocktail menu.

Tayēr + Elementary​ in east London was the third best cocktail bar. The venue is the lovechild of bartending elite Alex Kratena and Monica Berg.

Set in two parts, Elementary serves up classic cocktails from a draught system while Tayēr is where the theatre of bartending takes form, with an everchanging menu of drinks, focusing on seasonality.

This year’s highest climber was named as Bournemouth’s Ojo Rojo​, which soared up the list by 31 places to number 15.

The Mexican-inspired cocktail bar showcases Mezcal and Tequila-based drinks, boasting one of the largest and best collections of agave spirits in the south-west.

Soma​ in London’s Soho was this year’s Highest New Entrant at number 30 with its Indian-influenced cocktails.

Award-winning bars

Merseyside-based Manolo​ took the title of Newcomer of the Year. Serving classic London cocktails in a Caribbean-themed bar. The venue opened its doors in September 2022 and is already a hotspot for fellow industry faces.

Serving modern Italian drinks in the heart of Edinburgh, Hey Palu​ was named Bar Team of the Year.

Run and owned by husband-and-wife duo Alex and Rachel Palumbo, the venue was opened in September 2019.

The team is small but perfectly formed with Alex at the forefront and Rachel covering the floor.

Judges were impressed by the intricate and detailed staff training once they’ve been appointed based on their essays on Kenny Loggins.

Furthermore, Little Mercies​ in Crouch End was awarded the accolade of Sustainable Bar of the Year for the second year running.

The venue saves more than four tonnes of CO2 a year and its green initiatives include replacing paper towels with cloths and hand towels, making their own hand soap, buying neutral grain spirits and switching to more eco-conscious suppliers.

Project Halcyon​ was named the One To Watch this year. Owned by brothers Aaron and Callum Darke of Zymurgorium Group, the bar in Manchester’s Bonded Warehouse and is kitted out with its own distillery.

Shine a spotlight

Its drinks menu offers easy to understand tipples with complex layers of flavours and each name on a bird.

Top 50 Cocktail Bars publisher Chris Lowe said: “While London continues to dominate this year’s list, it is very exciting to see other major cities across the UK make their mark on the list.

“The ever-growing interest in cocktails and bartending within the UK means we are spoilt for choice on where to go and this list allows for the best of the UK bar scene to have a spotlight placed on them – and for consumers to find these hidden gems.”

The list reveal was hosted by award-winning TV presenter, speaker, and wine and spirits journalist.

Smith said: “It was my absolute honour to join the Top 50 Cocktail Bars family last year and present an awards programme that sits at the beating heart of our industry/

“It’s been a rough couple of years and these people have fought relentlessly to keep the nation’s spirits high in so many wonderful ways – it’s time to pay a nod to that.

“I’m raring to go and couldn’t be more excited to announce the liquid pioneers of 2023. From the northern coast of Scotland and the valleys of Wales to the southern tip of England, this isle is home to some of the best mixology and bar team talent on the planet and it is my pride and honour to read each and every name on the list.”

The top 10 Cocktail Bars:
1 Satan’s Whiskers, Bethnal Green, London
2 Lab 22, Cardiff
3 Tayēr + Elementary, Shoreditch, London
4 SCHOFIELD'S BAR, Manchester
5 Swift, Soho, London
6 Panda & Sons, Edinburgh
7 Three Sheets, Dalston, London
8 Speak in Code, Manchester
9 Bar with Shapes for a Name, Hackney, London
10 The Connaught, Mayfair, London

See the list in full here​.

Related topics Spirits & Cocktails

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