This Saturday (21st May) is World Whisky Day, and although we might not love the stuff quite as much as the Scots, London still boasts an incredible variety of whiskies thanks to a huge rise in the drink’s popularity. We’ve got whisky tasting sessions, whisky-inspired menus, and a glittering selection of whisky-based cocktails. And with dozens of new artisanal distilleries opening around the world each year, there’s never been a better time to dive in. So if you’re partial to a wee dram of the world’s favourite tipple, here are our best places for whisky:

The Gallery

Popular neighbourhood bar

The Gallery in West Hampstead is renowned for its vast collection of whisky, making it an obvious choice when it comes to choosing where to celebrate Whisky Day this Saturday. A highlight from their new cocktail menu is the Plum and Rye, featuring Rittenhouse Rye, House Red Vermouth Blend and a crowning splash of Akashi Tai Umeshu, a plum wine from Japan. With strong notes of toffee, peach and plum, balanced with herbal bitters and a touch of tart lemon, it’s one of the tastiest whisky cocktails around.

Where: 190 Broadhurst Gardens, West Hampstead, NW6 3AY

The Vault at Milroy's of Soho

Sophisticated bar in the basement beneath a whisky shop

Specialising in fine and rare whiskys, Milroy’s has long been one of the most reliable places to find the best liquor in the city. In the basement beneath the shop, however, lies The Vault, a refined bar where you can taste some of those fine drams upstairs. There are over 250 varieties of whisky available, so be sure to chat to the knowledgable and friendly bar staff to help you choose.

Where: 3 Greek Street, Soho, W1D 4NX

Kansas Smitty's

Jazz and blues bar

Kansas Smitty’s has put itself firmly on the map by offering Deep South-infused jazz and blues at Broadway Market. And if you like your juleps to be laced with scotch, this is an excellent time to visit. Collaborating with rare whisky specialists R&B Distillers of Edinburgh, Kansas Smitty’s have rustled up the Piney Brown Julep, made with R&B Borders single grain whisky, laced with lavender, pine, salted heather honey, bergamot and lemon. Delicious!

Where: 63-65 Broadway Market, Hackney, E8 4PH

Black Rock

New specialist whisky bar in Shoreditch

From the founders of Victorian-themed speakeasy Worship Street Whistling Shop, Black Rock is aimed at whisky purists. But the creative twists which make the Whistling Shop so famous are also present here – Black Rock is centred around a giant oak table with two enormous channels of whisky built into it, storing and ageing the whisky right beneath your eyes. Best of all, you can pump cocktails directly from these barrels into your glass. Or, if you’re after something bespoke, give one of the mixologists a shout and they’ll create something for you at your table.

Where: 9 Christopher Street, Shoreditch, EC2A 2BS

Boisdale of Canary Wharf

Celebration of all things Scotland

Although world whisky has been making strides, for most Brits you still can’t beat a good Scotch. And for a uniquely Scottish celebration of World Whisky Day, it has to be a night at Boisdale’s. There’s live music six days of the week, especially jazz, and both the food and the drinks menu bring you the best of Scotland. There’s air-dried Highland Wagyu beef, Dunkeld oak-smoked salmon and of course a bit of haggis. A special whisky bar brings you the drams, with a cigar terrace if you want to push the boat out.

Where: Cabot Place, Canary Wharf, London, E14 4QT, United Kingdom
Nearest station: Canary Wharf DLR Station (0 miles)


Blades at Hush

Blades at Hush brings together three of the finest things in life: steak, lobster and whisky. Inspired by the 60s and the private member’s clubs that James Bonds’ M frequented, they serve up American, Scottish and Japanese whiskies which you can either have in a whisky flight or in a Blades Tipple – featuring Blades own blend whisky. We’re sure Bond would approve.

Where: 8 Lancashire Court, Brook Street, London, W1S 1EY, United Kingdom
Nearest station: Bond Street (0.3 miles)