Like most Londoners, I’m partial to a cocktail or three on a sunny day (and a rainy day… but that’s besides the point). There’s something about cooling off with an perfectly mixed drink that screams holiday vibes and, come summer time, the capital’s expert mixologists create special seasonal menus to satisfy all our summer sipping needs.

From fruity summer twists on the classics, to cocktails with soaring views of London’s skyline, we’ve rounded up the 36 best bars perfect for enjoying a summer serve.

Dalloway Terrace

Head to Dalloway Terrace’s serene sanctuary and enjoy a drink or two from their newly re-designed outdoor terrace filled with sweeping daisies, budding lavender and hanging wisteria in soothing lilac tones. They’ve partnered with Belvedere Organic Infusions to create a menu of signature cocktails, carefully curated to balance crisp, fruity essences and gentle herbal flavours on a base of vodka.

Cocktail highlights include the Floradora Highball, made with rich blackberries, zesty lemongrass, Bergamot Liqueur, and finished with sweet grapefruit and rosemary tonic; and the Natural Couple with Organic Pear and Ginger Belvedere, blending sweet and sour notes perfectly.

Where: 16-22 Great Russell St, London WC1B 3NN

Website: www.dallowayterrace.com

Sheraton Grand London Park Lane

A visit to the Sheraton Grand’s Palm Court Bar is like taking a step back in time to 1920s London. The interiors are Art Deco themed, with marble floors, wonderful tapestries and stunning ceiling designs, and the cocktails are always faultless. So it’s no surprise that we were so excited to hear about their new floral-inspired drinks menu. Made up of three exciting cocktails, the new menu also comes with a unique history lesson, inspired by a tale surrounding King Charles II, Green Park, his wife and his mistress.

The ‘King Charles’s English Rose’ is a rose inspired cocktail that houses English rose petals, Rose liqueur, maraschino, citrus and topped up with tonic; the ‘Queen Catherine’s Revenge’ is based around marigolds and features yellow Absinthe, yellow chartreuse, apricot brandy and finished off with homemade marigold honey syrup; and the ‘Mistresses Martini’ is based on carnations and features red carnations, clarified watermelon, vodka and red carnation syrup. Served in the breathtaking art-deco Palm Court and Park View Suites, guests can sip on a stunning drink while overlooking the space that inspired it.

Where: Piccadilly, London W1J 7BX

Website: www.marriott.com

Fitz’s Bar

You already know that summer cocktails are all about colour (and flavour of course). What you might not have heard however, is that the team at Fitz’s Bar have launched a brand new cocktail menu, The Theory Of Colour, a new multi-sensory experience which guides guests through a world of hues, tints and shades, exploring how their mood and emotions impact their choice of tipple.

 

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If you’re not familiar with this luxurious drinking den, you’re in for a treat on your first visit, where a dazzling disco ball is the star of the show, hanging above plush sofas, interesting artwork and fabulously flamboyant interiors.

On the new menu are 14 bespoke cocktails, each represented by altered treatments of a seventeenth-century still life flower painting. Your job is to choose the version of the artwork that captures your attention the most, use a UV light pen to reveal the hidden meaning behind your selection, and reveal one of your personality traits. You’ll then be presented with a cocktail with a taste to match the artwork’s visual impact. When The Handbook visited, ‘Afterglow’ (my chosen cocktail/colour palette) was revealed to offer “earthy comfort for frazzled minds”. Which, if you know me, is exactly what I need.

It really is a brilliant concept and well worth a visit. Head down on a Thursday and you’ll also be treated to live music by the Cash Cows.

Use a UV light pen to reveal the hidden meaning behind your cocktail choice.

Where: Kimpton Fitzroy London Hotel, Russell Square, London WC1B 5BE

Website: www.fitzs.co.uk

AllBright

AllBright have transformed their outdoor space into an Amalfi in Mayfair summer terrace for club members and their friends to enjoy a light al fresco lunch or spend the evening sipping on cocktails. The menu’s been revived from summer with small plates and protein rich options, but it’s their cocktails we want to guide your eyes towards.

If you’re missing your summer holiday, the Rosa Paloma will give you that sweet, tropical burst you’ve been craving, made with Malfy gin Rosa, soda water and fresh grapefruit juice.

Where: 24-26 Maddox St, London W1S 1PP

Website: www.allbrightcollective.com

Sixes Social Cricket

As if the state-of-the-art technology and delicious food (burgers served on a cricket bat anyone?) weren’t enough of a reason to head down to Sixes Social Cricket this summer, the cocktails certainly are.

From classic cocktails and spritzes, to their delicious signature cocktail list, you’ll find something for everyone at Sixes. Until the end of July, there’s 2-for-1 on their Sixes Fruit Cup and Garden Variety cocktails, but we won’t lie that we have a keen eye on their Eton Mess cocktail; a bright-red cocktail made with Strawberry Pampero Especial Rum topped with ginger foam and brûléed méringue. How decadent.

Where: 170 Great Portland St, London W1W 5QB

Website: www.sixescricket.com

Sloane Place

Dive into a floral-inspired terrace with a cocktail in hand at The Sloane, where they have a flavour to whet every appetite this summer.

From their fresh take on an Aperol (Sipsmith gin, Aperol, Prosecco, apple juice, rhubarb & rosehip cordial) to the sweet and floral Lychee & Rose Martini (Sipsmith London Dry Gin, lychee liqueur, rose syrup, lemon juice), the only problem will be which to choose first!

Where: 52 Lower Sloane St, London SW1W 8BP

Website: www.sloaneplace.com

The Little Orange Door

Don’t be fooled – we had to look twice at this cocktail to realise that it is, in fact, a cocktail. And a big one at that!

Renowned for doing things a little differently, the Little Orange Door have done it again with their Little Miss Sunshine sharer; Hendricks Gin, Reyka Vodka, St Germain, Apple, Rosemary and Sage, served in a hand painted vase for 4-6 people to share.

Served in a hand painted vase for 4-6 people to share.

Where: 16A Clapham Common South Side, London SW4 7AB

Website: www.thelittleorangedoor.co.uk

Hithe + Seek

Enjoy your summer tipple alongside a breathtaking backdrop at Hithe + Seek which overlooks the River Thames. We love their new cocktail list – a selection of refreshing, colourful and tasty cocktails inspired by the history of Queenhithe and The City of London.

There’s Hithe Tide, a refreshing, light and citrusy cocktail served in a tea pot; Elthelred’s Hythe, Mezcal-based, deep in colour and slightly spicy in taste; and The Corn Harbour, a drink that’s smooth on the tongue, slightly sweet with a wonderful Bourbon aftertaste.

Where: 60 Upper Thames St., London EC4V 3AD

Website: www.hitheandseek.com

Queen Of Hoxton

Every year the famous rooftop at the Queen of Hoxton gets a makeover, and this time it’s with a floral twist, having recently been transformed into a cherry blossom garden to welcome summer.

The cocktail menu has been given a summer spruce up too offering an array of perfectly mixed, delightfully delectable cocktails. There’s the indulgent Candy Girl cocktail of choya sake, sauvignon blanc, elderflower and egg white that’s sure to make your life oh so sweet all season long; and our favourite, the signature Cherry Blossom featuring Wray & Nephews rum, vodka, sake, orange and pineapple, all served alongside perfectly placed petals and topped with signature cocktail umbrella to ensure those summer vibes never end.

Where: 1 Curtain Rd, London EC2A 3JX

Website: www.queenofhoxton.com

St Martin’s Lane

For the best of British summertime, choose the Summer Terrace at St Martin’s Lane, in partnership with Chandon Garden Spritz, and in the heart of Covent Garden. As a nod to summer, they’ve developed a brand new menu of bespoke libations featuring unique flavours that really triumph.

Expect highlights like the Anguria, an aromatic blend of Belvedere Vodka, strawberry, watermelon, basil, lime juice, sparkling wine and soda; or the Hive, a refreshing mix of Green Charteuse, mint, sparkling wine, honey, lemon juice and soda.

Where: 45 St Martin’s Ln, London WC2N 4HX

Website: www.sbe.com

Great Fosters

Forget sipping in the city sun, we can’t think of anything more refreshing than getting out of the city on a hot summer’s day. Luckily, Great Fosters has both great cocktails and an element of escapism, located just 40 minutes from London by train.

The views from their terrace are unparalleled, overlooking the parterres, Saxon moat and the estate beyond. The perfect place to sip a G&T or, our personal favourite, a Kiwi Mule.

Great cocktails and an element of escapism.

Where: Stroude Rd, Egham TW20 9UR

Website: www.alexanderhotels.co.uk

Sky Garden

Helping to transport you to a sunny tropical garden in the sky is of course, Sky Garden. Known best for housing London’s highest public garden, we want to draw your attention to Sky Pod Bar’s drinks menu, most notably their cocktail selection. 

Play it light and delicious with their Lemon & Lavender cocktail made with vanilla vodka, Belvedere lemon and basil vodka, lavender syrup and lemon juice; or go full tropical with the Banana Colada, made with Dead Man’s Fingers coconut rum, banana liqueur, coconut syrup, pineapple juice and coconut milk.  Once you’ve had one glass from their summer cocktail menu whilst overlooking panoramic views of the capital, you won’t be able to stop yourself from ordering more.

Where: 1, Sky Garden Walk, London EC3M 8AF

Website: www.skygarden.london

Hawksmoor

Home to sizzling steaks, sumptuous sides, and always the incredible cocktail menu, Hawksmoor is the place to head for a good time, and the team have created a new range of cocktails to celebrate the arrival of summer. Just launched, these are classic drinks reimagined with fresh, seasonal produce. Lighter, longer and perfect for summer days and nights.

To fuel you through the evening, try the R.A.C. Aviation, a classic rhubarb & custard combination in cocktail form. Or for something Italian, opt for the Rimini Iced Tea, a cooler with Apple Brandy, peach, basil and sparkling Darjeeling that’s incredibly refreshing for those warmer evenings.

Where: Multiple Locations

Website: www.thehawksmoor.com

Skylight Peckham

Head to Skylight Peckham this summer and immerse yourself in the best of London’s rooftop drinking scene; relaxing under the sun, cocktail in hand, in the company of your pals.

Their 2 for 1 summer cocktail offer means you can sip all summer long, and the menu includes classics like Mojitos, Picantes and London Island Tea. There are some brand new concoctions on the menu too, including the Sunset Manifest. Made with Jagermeister Manifest (but far from a JagerBomb) you can expect a delectable mix of tropical flavours, including coconut, passionfruit and pineapple.

Where: Theatre Walk, 120 Peckham Hill St, London SE15 5JT

Website: www.skylightbars.com

GONG

If you’re after a fabulously flamboyant way to spend a summer’s evening, GONG’s new summer pop-up, a tropical oasis in the clouds, is the place to head. 

On the menu for a dreamy summer drink are 6 new cocktails using Diplomático rum and Canaïma gin, but our favourite has to be the Baya de Café, a fruity caffeine boost made with Diplomático Mantuano Rum, Mr Black Coffee Liqueur, Blackcurrant, Plum, Amaretto, Mozart Dark Chocolate and Vanilla bitter.

A tropical oasis in the clouds.

Where: 31 Saint Thomas Street Level 52, Shangri-La The Shard, London SE1 9QU

Website: www.gong-shangri-la.com

Gillray’s

In celebration of the return of the Elizabeth Tower (because strictly speaking, ‘Big Ben’ only refers to the bell) Gillray’s have introduced ‘The Clocktower’ just in time for summer; a cocktail featuring Broken Clock English Vodka, Creme Cassis and Pineapple Juice, finished with a replica of the iconic clockface.

Expect sweeping views of iconic landmarks as you settle in for a summer’s afternoon sipping your drink that’s an icon in itself.

Expect sweeping views of iconic landmarks and a drink that’s an icon in itself.

Where: County Hall, Westminster Bridge Rd, London SE1 7PB

Website: www.gillrays.com

J Sheekey

J Sheekey, the much-loved historic seafood restaurant, will be celebrating the warmer months by launching the ‘J. Sheekey Express’ and transforming its terrace into an eye-capturing installation. From Monday, 20 June until Wednesday, 31 August, the restaurant is set to invite guests onboard into a world of glamour, heritage, and opulence in the very heart of London. Diners will be taken on a truly luxurious journey along the British coastline and encouraged to sit, dream, and indulge on the limited-edition cocktails created in partnership with Plymouth Gin.

The bar team have created a new and refreshing menu of delicious tipples to sip and savour. Limited-edition cocktails include the Plymouth Highball made with Plymouth Navy, Samphire, Lillet Blanc and Blue Cheese Olive; the Devon 75 created with Plymouth, Calvados, Lemon Marmalade, Sassy Rosé cider; and the delicious Brighton Royal made from Plymouth Falernum, Nyetimer Classic Cuvee, sugar, and salt.

Where: 28-32 St Martin’s Ct, London WC2N 4AL

Website: www.j-sheekey.co.uk

Megan’s

In keeping with their reputation of serving up delicious cocktails, Megan’s have recently added some new can’t-miss summer cocktails to their menu, but there’s one in particular we have our eye on…

Merging two of their bestselling cocktails together (Aperol Spritz and Frosé) you can now order a Fraperol Spritz; a frozen cocktail made from Aperol, Prosecco, mango, strawberry and elderflower. It sounds delicious, and we bet a few of these will leave your head spinning with delight (from brain freeze, and probably a hangover).

A frozen cocktail made from Aperol, Prosecco, mango, strawberry and elderflower.

Where: Multiple Locations

Website: www.megans.co.uk

 

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Brown’s Hotel

Known for its five-star luxury and elegance, the cocktail menu at Brown’s is indulgent indeed, with plenty of tempting tipples to satisfy your cocktail cravings. A favourite of ours is the Jubilee Gintini, a special drink launched in honour of the Queen’s 70 years on the throne, balancing gin, bitters and pink Champagne, and finished off with a rose petal and a spritz of Floris’ Platinum 22 – a perfume created especially for the Jubilee.

Another stunning highlight is the No.3 Martini which by nature is simple, however the use of premium No.3 gin served in a glass made by world-famous glassware designers make it the perfect indulgent martini every time.

Where: 33 Albemarle St, London W1S 4BP

Website: www.roccofortehotels.com

South Place Hotel

In the oh-so-instagrammable South Place Hotel, you can expect to dive into an extravaganza of gin thanks to their new cocktail menu with Tanqueray. 

Expect fruity, flavoursome concoctions as you celebrate the sunshine with cocktails on the terrace. Even better, if you book in for bottomless brunch on a Saturday or Sunday, you’ll get a Tanqueray Gin cocktail on the house.

Where: 3 South Pl, London EC2M 2AF

Website: www.southplacehotel.com

London Shuffle Club

Looking for the perfect place for summer post-work drinks? Head to London Shuffle Club in the heart of Shoreditch and make the most of the long evenings on their outdoor terrace. London Shuffle Club have teamed up with Beefeater to create a truly delicious feature menu, with fresh seasonal flavours as the focus.

From the grapefruit infused Bittersweet Baby, to the short, sweet and sassy Do It With Passion, there’s a cocktail for everyone. If you fancy something longer and slightly sparkling, their new tipples are delicious, refreshing, and the ideal accompaniment to a summertime shuffle.

Where: 4 Ebor St, London E1 6AW

Website: www.londonshuffle.com

Meraki

Meraki’s restaurant is known for creating an exquisite Greek dining experience, and their cocktails live up to high regard too.

We love the Fresh Start, a mix of Mandarin infused Mint, Lemon Juice, Coconut syrup and Moet & Chandon Vintage 2012. The perfect tipple to start a summer’s evening in the best possible way.

Where: 80-82 Great Titchfield St., London W1W 7QT

Website: www.meraki-restaurant.com

The New York Bar at The Rubens At The Palace

Paint the town red when you drink at The New York Bar, the hotel lounge known for its striking red décor, original artwork and friendly ambience.

The cocktail menu is held in high regard too, offering a journey from early signature classics through to modern mixology, as well as delicious infusions and table theatre cocktails. For a contemporary twist on a summer classic, we recommend the Hibiscus & Coconut Margarita, a refreshing combination of rum, hibiscus tea, coconut cream and lime, garnished with black sesame seeds and Hawaiian lava salt, and finished with coconut and keffir lime leaf bubble smoke.

Where: 39 Buckingham Palace Rd, London SW1W 0PS

Website: www.rubenshotel.com

Bounce

Thanks to fun games of ping pong and a delicious pizza menu, Bounce is a Handbook favourite any time of year. But their cocktail menu really cranks it up a notch.

Drinks on offer include Tropic Like It’s Hot (Tequila Blanco and lime juice, topped with fresh watermelon), No Lychee, No Likey (Tanqueray gin, lemon juice, lychee juice and lavender) and Bounce favourite, a classic Ping Star Martini.

Where: 241 Old St, London EC1V 9EY

Website: www.bouncepingpong.com

The Athenaeum

The bar at The Athenaeum is one of our favourite spots in Mayfair all year round thanks to its intimate setting, plush sofas, and floor-to-ceiling windows that showcase their magnificent ‘Living Wall’. 

Come summer time, their spacious outdoor terrace is the perfect place to soak up the Piccadilly atmosphere. Cocktail-wise, we’d recommend the Fashionably Strawberry, a bright, summery twist on an Old Fashioned made with strawberry liqueur, bourbon, a splash of vanilla and orange bitters. Smooth and fruity, with a bit of bourbon kick.

A bright, summery twist on an Old Fashioned.

Where: 116 Piccadilly, London W1J 7BJ

Website: www.athenaeumhotel.com

Art Yard Bar & Kitchen

This South Bank hotel hangout certainly knows a thing or two about colourful and creative cocktails – which is apt, given they’re known for their extensive art collection and Artist in Residence. 

This summer they’ve created a collection of colour-themed cocktails and the method of choosing is simple; tell the mixologist your favourite colour and they’ll whizz you up a cocktail that takes you on a multi-sensory adventure with every sip. Love extravagance? Purple’s your pick, and you’ll sip on Toti, Cointreau, Falernum, Bankside honey and soda. Feeling sophisticated? Choose black. You’ll be served a concoction of El Rayo Plata, Creme de Cassis and Supasawa.

Where: 2 Blackfriars Rd, London SE1 9JU

Website: www.artyardbarandkitchen.com

 

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Fiume

The Battersea hotspot is celebrating the best of Italian culture this summer, transforming its river terrace into a southern Italian oasis in partnership with Ortigia Sicily and Malfy Gin. And if that wasn’t enough summer for you, they’ve also created a menu offering bespoke Malfy Gin cocktails and dishes inspired by Ortigia’s classic scents.

Think refreshing sips to transport you to the Amalfi coast like the A’Malfy Al Tramonto, made with Malfy Rosa Grapefruit Gin, Mancino Sakura Vermouth, Fever Tree rose and raspberry soda, and Prosecco.

Refreshing sips to transport you to the Amalfi coast.

Where: Battersea Power Station, Circus West Village, London SW8 5BN

Website: www.fiume-restaurant.co.uk

The American Bar at The Stafford

Tucked inside one of London’s most glamorous hotels, The American Bar at The Stafford sets the bar high with their cocktail menu. Immerse yourself in the al fresco experience and while away an afternoon in their courtyard, cocktail in hand.

A cocktail highlight from the newly launched Alchemy of Equilibrium list is the Pluvia, a mix of Highclere Castle gin infused with butterfly pea, grand Marnier, gooseberry and citrus.

While away an afternoon in their courtyard, cocktail in hand.

Where: 16-18 St James’s Pl, St. James’s, London SW1A 1NJ

Website: www.thestaffordlondon.com

Bocconcino

The dedicated team at Bocconcino have created a summer cocktail section of their bar menu with a selection of new creations to leave you feeling refreshed.

Enjoy cocktails like the Cucumber Sling with  Hendrick’s, St Germain Elderflower, fresh cucumber, lime juice and Prosecco; the Piccolo Punch with Grey Goose Pear & Apple, guava juice, lemon and sugar syrup; and a classic Pina Colada.

New creations to leave you feeling refreshed.

Where: 19 Berkeley St, London W1J 8ED

Website: www.bocconcinorestaurant.co.uk

Drake & Morgan

With summer well and truly here in London, the Drake and Morgan venues have launched a summer cocktail menu to match including their refreshing Summer Spritz – a delicious concoction of Sauvignon Blanc, Fatty’s gin, fresh grapefruit, passionfruit purée, lime, jasmine syrup  and soda water.

It’s the perfect summer cocktail for al fresco evenings catching up with friends.

Where: Multiple Locations

Website: www.drakeandmorgan.co.uk

Rake’s Café Bar

The Orgy, The Arrest, The Marriage, The Mad House…. Rake’s Café Bar’s signature cocktail list definitely knows how to get people talking, and they taste incredible too.

Inspired by the eight paintings by William Hogarth’s ‘The Rake’s Progress’ (from which the bar got its name), popping into Rake’s will make sure you’re in for a super summer’s night ahead.

Where:40 Liverpool St, London EC2M 7QN

Website: www.rakescafebar.co.uk

The Churchill Bar & Terrace

Yo ho ho and an oyster of rum…. That might not be quite how the song goes, but it’s definitely what they’re serving up over at The Churchill this summer.

Served in a repurposed oyster shell, the Tiki-style ‘Agua da Vida’ cocktail infuses a variety of tropical flavours together, including Mount Gary Black Barrel Rum, coconut oil, carob, bramley apple and banana skin kombucha. The cocktail is part of the bar’s new menu which has been designed to be more sustainable and to shed light on issues that the expert mixologists feel passionate about – including forest protection, renewable energy, air quality and wildlife conservation.

Enjoy an afternoon sipping it from the bar’s inviting outdoor terrace in leafy Marylebone, just a stone’s throw away from the bustle of Oxford Street.

Where: 30 Portman Square, London W1H 7BH

Website: www.thechurchillbar.co.uk

The Richmond Club

The Richmond Club will see that you indulge in a curated array of cocktails this summer, including their sumptuous Raspberry Mojito. Made from El Jimador Reposado Tequila, fresh raspberry, fresh lime, demerara sugar syrup, and fresh mint on crushed ice, it’s the perfect fruity tipple for summer days.

Afterwards, delve into other delicious libations which include The Passionfruit Caipirinha, with St Germain elderflower liqueur, Ciroc vodka, fresh passionfruit, fresh lime and sugar syrup; or our personal favourite, the Aperol Sour. Yum!

Where: 115-117 Kew Rd, Richmond TW9 2PN

Website: www.therichmondclub.uk

The Prince Akatoki

You can never go wrong with a Bellini. And when it’s a twist on the classic, we’re always eager to try. The Prince Akatoki has introduced its ‘Momo’ cocktail (meaning ‘peach’) and it’s an elevated version of our peachy fave.

Artisanal peach liquor meets Jasmine Tea liquor, embraced by a Sake and Japanese Peach cordial, finished with some Champagne Brut. Sweet, floral, fresh and peachy-licious; it’s a Bellini 2.0.

Where: 50 Great Cumberland Pl, Marble Arch, London W1H 7FD

Website: www.theprinceakatokilondon.com

ESQ

A West London speakeasy nuzzled inside 100 Queen’s Gate Hotel, this secret spot is the go-to spot in Kensington for classic cocktails and a cosy midweek drink. 

Their menu is pretty faultless, but if you’re looking for something extra special take a sip of their Indonesian summer nights-inspired cocktail with exotic colours and tropical tastes. The Beach Comber 14 is concocted of Pineapple Rum, Rémy Martin VSOP, Mango & Peach Purée,  Apple & Lime Juice, and Mango and Bergamot Syrup which makes it a refreshing hit.

Exotic colours and tropical tastes.

Where: 100 Queen’s Gate, South Kensington, London SW7 5AG

Website: www.100queensgate.com

Silverleaf

Cocktail season is always in full swing over at Silverleaf with a forward-thinking cocktail menu that’s centred around flavour and colour profiles. The drinks are divided by the elements, rather than style, and are represented on the menu through unique geometric colour profiles which give different ingredients their own colour. Choose the drink that best suits your mood. Cocktails have a minimalist presentation, however a touch of vibrant colour comes from the edible garnishes.

Cool off with their famous Toasted Cream and Peach cocktail this summer, which is a peaches and cream take on a classic Old Fashioned. Peaches are fermented for 10 days before being turned into a cordial, while the double cream is cooked for 24 hours before being infused into the whiskey. Finally, it’s stirred down with puffed rice to add a unique nutty flavour.

Where: 3rd Floor, Bishopsgate, London EC2M 4RH

Website: www.panpacific.com


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