Shaking things up: best City cocktail bars
Whether a return to City office life is a cause for celebration or prompts the need to cheer yourself up, Insider Engage has some tips on the best cocktail bars in the Square Mile
Returning to office life – even only for a few days a week initially – demands some sort of celebration and you will undoubtedly be excited to catch up with your colleagues in person.
With lockdown easing, people are keen to try food they could not cook themselves – so why not do the same with drinks?
To help, we have picked out some of the best cocktail bars in the City.
Located over the road from Monument station, The Folly is a must visit for anyone drifting by on their commute back towards London Bridge. The beautiful bar is open for lunch through to dinner and cocktails, with skilled mixologists continually working on new and exciting drinks – recently including a stunning rosé-themed pop.
In terms of its surroundings, The Folly is a refreshing break from the dark wood panelling of many city pubs, and its décor is built around vibrant flower displays and colourful indoor vegetation. Located over two floors, including a private dining space, this site can cater to a crowd and meet social distancing requirements.
Satisfying needs on both ends of the spectrum, The Folly has a full menu for restaurant service during the day and a late licence for Thursdays and Fridays.
Why not try: The Nightingale (Don Julio Blanco tequila, hibiscus syrup, lime and agave nectar).
Address: 41 Gracechurch St, Candlewick, London, EC3V 0BT
Demon, Wise & Partners
Nestled just behind the Bank of England, Demon, Wise & Partners is a classic basement cocktail bar, serving great cocktails made with exceptional spirits.
Catering to both the complete cocktail novice and those that are more experienced, Demon, Wise & Partners is an establishment that puts a lot of effort into offering something a bit different.
For example, why not sample signature drinks the “Demon” or the “Wise”. The Demon tends to diverge and puts a slightly “demonic” twist on a classic, while the Wise is more traditional, but both are made with a rare or unusual spirit. They are limited to 100 serves each – a board behind the bar counts down the number remaining!
Why not try: This month’s Demon, a take on a White Russian (Fair Salvador Rum, Frangelico liqueur, Fair coffee liqueur, double cream infused with coconut and nutmeg flowers)
Address: 27a Throgmorton St, London, EC2N 2AN
Open: Yes (from 2 September, Wednesday-Friday evenings only initially)
Space in the Square Mile is at a premium so many City workers will be used to navigating tight alleyways and finding pubs tucked behind other buildings. The Gobpsy goes a step further: in an hommage to speakeasies of the 1920s, it is hidden beneath a barber’s shop.
Even the website does not give away the location (it is on Fenchurch St) but this small bar offers a fun and entertaining choice for an evening of cocktails. The Gobpsy also offers cocktail-making masterclasses.
With great music, a welcoming atmosphere, expert bartenders, and excellent drinks, The Gobpsy is a must visit for anyone who wants some theatre and distraction with their drink.
Why not try: Putting on the Chic (gin, raspberries, coconut, sugar syrup and egg white)
Address: Sackville House, 141-142 Fenchurch St, Langbourn, London, EC3M 6BL
The Gobpsy is not the only cocktail bar offering City workers some theatrical escapism with their drinks. A visit to Moonshine Saloon will see you become a part of the story as you bring your own booze and join the beating heart of a covert liquor operation led by the self-styled King of the Moonshiners (and Wanted Man), Clyde Cassidy.
Throughout the experience, visitors are served bespoke, delicious cocktails that are expertly prepared by a team of world-class mixologists. As visiting “bootleggers” you can expect to see your illegally smuggled liquor combined with liqueurs, bitters, homemade syrups and garnishes to make bespoke, contemporary and classic cocktails.
Why not try: Whatever you want! All Moonshine Saloon’s drinks are made to order, from ingredients you bring yourself, meaning they cater to a wide range of tastes.
Address: 28-30 Houndsditch, London, EC3A 7DB
Located 14 floors up in the Walkie Talkie, 14 Hills offers some fantastic views of the iconic City skyline. This cocktail bar, nestled within a vibrant restaurant, is perfectly placed for the age-old combination of cocktails and dinner.
The décor is beautifully arranged to make the most of the huge windows and commanding view, with flowers and greenery running throughout.
14 Hills has an expansive cocktail and drinks menu to choose from, and the oval onyx bar is open late on both Fridays and Saturdays.
Why not try: The bestselling Blushing Bloom (Tanqueray 43 gin, St. Germain elderflower liquor, rhubarb and raspberry jam, fresh lemon)
Address: 14th Floor, 120 Fenchurch St, Langbourn, London, EC3M 5BA