London’s Creative Cocktail Bars  - Find. Eat. Drink.

London, UK, United Kingdom, Unique Cocktails, Drinking in London, Best Bars in London, Creative Cocktails, Lounge Bohemia, Paul Tvaroh, Tony Conigliaro, 69 Colebrooke Row, Shoredtich, Islington, Hoxton, Hotel Bars, Artesian Bar, Langham Hotel, Marylebone, Alex Kratena, Simone Caporale, Ryan Chetiyawardana, White Lyan, Most Creative Cocktails, Most Inventive Cocktails, Creative Bartenders, Best Bartenders in London, Who has the best drinks in London, Best Bar in the World, Best Hotel Bars, Creative Drinks, Where to drink in London, Where bartenders drink in London


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Lounge Bohemia

Paul Tvaroh at Lounge Bohemia

Photo Credit: Find. Eat. Drink.

At Lounge Bohemia in East London you descend into what looks like a hyper-stylish subterranean Eastern European bunker and experience cocktails as theater. On the spectrum of creative bartenders Paul Tvaroh is pretty far out there. He’s a mad scientist showman who opened his own bar to do things just the way he wants to do them.

Paul’s bar is a reservations-only bar with just 40 seats and “no suits” allowed, meaning you can wear anything as long as it isn’t a suit. Behind the bar is his lab where he creates a range of dramatic cocktails: Campari and Soda Candy Floss (cotton candy); the Old Castro with Cuban cigar-infused rum poured from a cigar tube, Madagascar vanilla and orange bitters served over vanilla candy floss; and the Russian Breakfast with alcoholic “caviar” which is house-made chocolate and vodka beads served in a caviar tin.

Bartender Ryan Chetiyawardana enjoys drinking Tvaroh’s Holy Smokes cocktail here,  “It’s super fun. It’s served out of a hollowed out bible and you get a glass that’s cradled with gold. It’s Frankincense smoke in the bottle and then Myrrh-infused tonic.” Alex Kratena and Simone Caporale of Artesian Bar describes his approach to cocktails as “theater.”

1e Great Eastern Street, London EC2A 3EJ

T: +44.7720.707000 (book ahead) |


Artesian Bar

Forever Young and Aqui Estoy Cocktails at Artesian Bar

Photograph courtesy of Artesian Bar

The Artesian Bar at the Langham Hotel is the antithesis of Lounge Bohemia in style, but no less creative. This may have the look of a fancy, formal hotel bar, but that doesn’t mean barmen Alex Kratena and Simone Caporale aren’t having fun experimenting with their cocktail menu which changes seasonally. They’ve been crowned the World’s Best Bar by the trade magazine Drinks International and when you talk to Alex and Simone, you can see why. It’s not just their focus on the inventive cocktails, but they never lose sight of service and understanding why people come to a bar. Alex says, “It’s about reading people and constantly learning how to serve people. Some people want a lot of information; some people like to be entertained; some people just want a quick espresso. You always need to be able to figure out what the person wants.”

Barman Paul Tvaroh calls this “the best hotel bar in the world. They have an amazing menu with all kinds of things you won’t see anywhere else.” Charleston bartender Brooks Reitz agrees and recommends visiting bartender Simone Caporale “to have your mind blown by his cocktails.”

Alex and Simone believe that taste is only one of the senses to be stimulated. “The more tastes you stimulate, the more people remember,” Alex explains. “We make a lot of playful, interactive cocktails. We don’t take it too seriously and every cocktail is inspired.” One example is the Aqui Estoy cocktail which was based on a meal in Mexico. It is served in a skull wearing a sombrero which has burning cassia bark under it -- an allusion to the smell of a taco stand. The Forever Young cocktail was created with a nod to the history of the Langham Hotel where Oscar Wilde stayed and wrote The Picture of Dorian Gray. “We translated all the different elements of the novel into the cocktail.” You drink your cocktail through a straw sticking out of a mirror that reflects your image. “The garnish is the picture of yourself,” says Simone.

1C Portland Place, London W1B 1JA

T: +44.(0)20.7636.1000 |


69 Colebrooke Row

Cocktails at 69 Colebrooke Row & Distilling at the Drink Factory

Photo Credit: Find. Eat. Drink.

Tony Conigliaro is one of the most innovative bartenders in the world. He’s also an author, publishing the super geeky and technical book called Drinks and a new quarterly limited edition magazine called Drink Factory, the cocktail equivalent to haute couture. His Bar With No Name (69 Colebrooke Row) is where you can enjoy Tony’s cocktails and around the corner is his lab called Drink Factory. This is where he and his team don white lab coats and create, distill, replicate, and experiment. They use all kinds of lab and distilling equipment, a Rotavapor,  a copper Al-Ambiq still. It’s also where the magic happens.

69 Colebrooke Row is located in Islington and you’ll find a small room with a sliver of a bar and just a few bar seats. The menu changes seasonally and you’ll feel just as comfortable ordering a perfectly executed classic Negroni as one of their creative cocktails, like the Prairie Oyster or the Terroir. The Prairie Oyster is their twist on a Bloody Mary hangover cure, but with no oyster or egg. They make it with a tomato yolk, Horseradish Vodka, Oloroso Sherry, Shallots, Pepper Sauce, Celery Salt and Micro Herbs. The Terroir is served simply chilled and tastes like the essence of mountain and rocks. It’s created by distilling clay, flint and lichen.

In addition to 69 Colebrooke Row, you can also try Tony’s cocktails at the Zetter Townhouse and the Grain Store in King’s Cross, where he created the cocktail menu to pair with chef Bruno Loubet’s cuisine.

69 Colebrooke Row, London N1 8AA, United Kingdom

T:+44.7540.528593 (book a table) |


White Lyan

Ryan Chetiyawardana’s White Lyan

Photo Credit: Jason Bailey

“It’s very important to have people who push boundaries and White Lyan is a very groundbreaking concept with a very different approach to cocktails. It’s a bar without any perishables, everything is pre-made and bottled.”

- Bartender Alex Kratena of Artesian Bar

White Lyan is created by bartender Ryan Chetiyawardana and located in East London’s Hoxton. Ryan has taken the classic cocktail bar and turned it on its head. He’s serving familiar cocktails, but in an unfamiliar way. Everything is made to exacting detail and served at the right temperature, but there is no trace of the traditional back bar. Which means you won’t seen any bottles of liquor on the shelves. There is no ice, fruit, juices, or mixers, and there’s no ordering a Bombay and tonic. Until experienced in person this concept can, rightfully so, throw people for a bit of a loop. One of Ryan’s goals is to take away people’s fallback drinks that they usually order and challenge them.

Ryan created White Lyan with a focus on control and looking after customers. The control comes in the form of saying exactly how he wants to serve the drink, which then frees up the barman to focus on the customer. “We didn’t want to create a temple for the cocktail. We wanted to create an environment that was fun to be in.”

“What we’ve done is calibrated the drinks so that even something familiar like an Old Fashioned instead of serving it over ice, where it starts to dilute, we serve it without ice and as it warms up you get a very different flavor profile. We’ve mapped out a journey for that cocktail and you get a very different textural journey to it.”

“Everything in the bar is either made by us or bespoke for us,” says Ryan, but that doesn’t mean he’s not using products that are readily available. “By no means are we ever professing to be experts on making vermouth. There are people who have been doing it for like 200 years.” He works with distillers or blends various vermouths and bitters together depending on each use and dilutes with his own filtered and mineralized water.

The menu is filled with classics like the Martini, Manhattan, Negroni and Old Fashioned, as well as their own signature drinks: the Lyan Club Cocktail with Mr. Lyan Gin, tumeric and red apple shrub; the Bone Dry Martini with Mr. Lyan Vodka and bone.

In addition to his White Lyan project in Hoxton, Ryan also consulted and created the cocktail program for Henry, A Liquor Bar in the Hudson Hotel in New York City. Ryan has taken New York State produce as his inspiration and starting point for the seasonally-focused cocktail menu and includes many regionally-made spirits.

153-155 Hoxton Street, London N1 6PJ

T: +44.(0)20.3011.1153 |


Photograph courtesy of Artesian Bar

Photograph courtesy of Paul Tvaroh | Lounge Bohemia