Summer; the sun is beaming, fresh cut grass leads to nostalgic odours and the tweeting of birds creates a spellbinding symphony for the ears. And yet let’s face it, all you really care about is COCKTAILS! That’s right, you’ve got bucketloads of cocktails on the brain, from on the rocks to buzzy Tiki drinks and classics like the Mojito… not to mention a serving of Sex On The Beach! So, if your summer plans include pretending to be on a shaded veranda overlooking the ocean whilst actually sipping Sangria on a terrace in the pouring rain – come on London, sort yourself out – then you’ve come to the right place!
Below, we’ve noted down some of London’s best brand spanking new cocktail offerings to take you from day-time drinking to sundowner (to eventual hangover). They’re fierce, they’re fruity and they’re sure to shake up your summer…
The time has come to spice up your life with one of these groovy cocktails. As you may have heard on the pop grapevine, the Spice Girls are returning with a reunion tour this year and we can’t flippin’ wait! What you might not have heard however is that St Pancras Renaissance Hotel was the iconic backdrop to the Spice Girls’ Wannabe music vid – pretty cool, huh? And, to pay homage, they’ve rustled up a delectable menu of five iconic ‘Re-Spiced’ cocktails.
Of course, you can expect such cocktails to have the punny-est of names; so expect the fiery ‘Bloody Scary,’ ‘Posh On The Rocks,’ ‘Baby Colada,’ ‘Ginger Kick,’ and ‘Good Sport.’ Basically, if you don’t understand the names then can you really call yourself a super fan? The cocktails feature all sorts of creative flavours and you’ll wannabe trying them all! The fiery ‘Bloody Scary’ mixes chilli infused Mezcal with strawberry puree, topped with a leopard print edible garnish, whilst ‘Posh On The Rocks’ combines citrus vodka, elderflower and, in true Posh form, gold leaf petals!
P.s. You can find some of the awesome Spice Girls events happening around the city here – say you’ll be there?
For the Best of British, choose Aqua Shard. Yes, we might have some pretty rubbish weather from time to time, but where cocktails are concerned, boy do we triumph! In fact, you only need to peruse our Ever Wondered Who Invented Our Favourite Cocktails guide to see that. As a nod to such in-depth and exciting flavours, Aqua Shard has developed a summer menu of libations featuring the unique flavours of Britain with new Tanquery No. Ten gin cocktails. Expect highlights of The Garden of England, with lavender, elderflower and cava and God’s Own featuring rhubarb, grown in Yorkshire. And, paying homage to our friends in the north, how about a Peat and Salt, featuring Ardbeg 10 year old whisky topped with a traditional thistle – slàinte Scotland!
Let the good times be-GIN, and all that jazz!
Where: Level 31, The Shard, 31 St Thomas Street, London, SE1 9RY, United Kingdom
Nearest station: London Bridge (0.1 miles)
In June, The Gun in Spitalfields blew our socks with its new menu of seasonal cocktails. Going oh, so Instagrammable on us they’ve decked the halls with dusky pinks, greens, flowers and foliage to match the delightfully refreshing cocktail offerings, donning British names. Expect the Lancaster Lychee of Hendriks Midsummer Solstice Gin, lychee, rose water, lemon and egg white, and the Enfield Martini, a fruity take on the classic martini with Baller Vodka, Chase Elderflower and apple, and more where those came from!
Never ones to do things in half measures, W London has introduced a sparkling, shimmering, candy floss donning extravaganza of a cocktail menu right in time for summer! Expect unique flavours that will apple to a millennial palette such as an avocado and chili infused Margarita, popping pink candy floss wonder and a shimmering liquid gold Martini. The cocktails on offer are as buzzy and full of life as W London’s location, parked on playful Wardour Street in Soho.
Cocktail highlights include The Millennial, made with Patron Silver, Cointreau, CBD Oil, avocado, lime juice, agave and red chilli, and Get Wasted – something we’ll all be doing this summer – with Old Curiosity Lavender & Echinacea Gin, discarded Cascara Vermouth, Jägermeister, T2 pumping pomegranate infusion and caramel.
Where: 10 Wardour Street, Leicester Square, London, W1D 6QF, United Kingdom
Nearest station: Piccadilly Circus (0.2 miles)
Take a leaf out of Captain Jack Sparrow’s book and jump onto the latest alcohol craze – rum. Thanks to Burlock, their dedicated rum room takes your rum experience to another level. Their lively atmosphere takes you on a journey to the bygone era of 1920’s Cuba, without the hefty plane fare. Decked out with Caribbean vintage prints, a ‘sipping’ salon with retro hairdryers and a grand house veranda where you can enjoy a stunning view of the twinkling city scape at night.
Let’s not forget, every Monday you can get 25% off all drinks. So sit tight kids and let the rum diaries begin!
Where: 31 Duke Street, St. Marylebone, London W1U 1LG, UK
Nearest station: Bond Street (0.2 miles)
The hardworking team at Gillray’s Bar have come together to bring you a brand new cocktail selection dedicated to the summer. Look out at some of the most iconic views across the River Thames while you enjoy a cocktail inspired by Gillray’s drawings and the huge variety of gins spread over their bar. With every sip you can taste the dedication and passion gone into creating the seasonal drinks that leave you feeling refreshed (if not a little tipsy!).
Where: Gillray's Steakhouse & Bar, Westminster Bridge Road, London, United Kingdom
Nearest station: London Waterloo (0.3 miles)
We can’t help but chuckle at the delightful labels given to The Jones Family Project cocktails. In keeping it in the family, the restaurant-cum-bar has rustled up a mouthwatering menu of summer cocktails with names as quirky as the ingredients. Under Summer Twists, you can expect a range of punchy, well-travelled flavours such as Dreaming of Aruba with kraken spiced and Wray & Nephew rums, under the humorous title ‘Great Grandfather Blackthorn Sailed The Spanish Main’. Or, if you’re looking for something sweet, sour or sparkling then you can explore the Cousin Michael Loves His Pet Bubbles section, involving drinks such as Green Chilli Smile with Absolut vodka and Bubbles & Squeak cocktail. Of course, there are an array of delectable libations across both the The Jones Family Project and Jones Family Kitchen venues, all of which will leave your head spinning with delight… and probably a hangover. Enjoy!
The Rib Room will see you indulge in an encyclopaedic array of cocktails this summer. With floral feels at the helm, you’ll delve into libations that include the English Country Garden with Bombay Sapphire gin, Violette liqueur, lime juice, elderflower cordial and Champagne, and the Rib Room Spritzer with St-Germain elderflower liqueur, Patron Blanco, King’s Ginger liqueur, Allspice bitters, peach bitters, prosecco and tonic water. The refreshing mix show off heady conceptions and will whet the palette before you help yourself to the various canapés on offer.
Sing the night away at Lucky Voice and enjoy a drink or two from their new sustainable cocktail menu. Created as part of the company’s efforts to be as eco-friendly as possible, head mixologist Levi Goldspink has worked alongside chefs at Lucky Voice to create an array of cocktails using leftover fruit, veggies and garnishes from its in-house bar and kitchen.
Guests can enjoy these special-edition cocktails with an eco-twist on the classic cocktail recipe including the ‘bunny Bloody Mary’, using carrots and tomatoes with leftover veggies. Or sip on an avocado martini, (yep, there’s another way to incorporate avocado into your millennial diet), created using leftover avo’s from the guac. Who else is ready to party?!
Chin chin to gin and tequila! Enjoy Bombay Sapphire’s latest gin edition, English Estate, while overlooking London’s stunning skyline at Spirit of Summer at Radio Rooftop. The summer has officially begun and thanks to the botanical garden and Mexican hacienda pop-up, we’re in for a super summer ahead.
Choose between a countryside garden in the sky with Bombay Sapphire gin cocktails, or opt for Latin American treats thanks to Patron Tequila infused cocktails.
Until June 30th, you can dive into floral inspired terrace. OXO Tower Bar has transformed their terrace into a ‘summer of bloom’, home to the French spritz and as we’re partial to a spritz here at The Handbook, we are all over it! Guests can sit in the questionable English weather while enjoying the stunning views of our city and the Thames.
Known for their delicious and authentic Thai offerings, Giggling Squid has revamped their cocktail menu with tempting tipples to satisfy your cocktail craving. From the Mekhong River rush, a colada mixed with Mekhong whiskey, coconut water, pineapple and lime; to the Thai classic, Thai sabai, concocted of Mekhong rum and lime juice, infused with Thai basil.
Another stunning highlight is the silky pink, a lychee martini mix of fair-trade quinoa vodka, Kwai feh lychee liqueur, peach and jasmine green tea. Stunning in taste and in looks, so it’s perfect if you’re wanting to boomerang your night away…
Tucked in one of London’s historic courtyards, Mews of Mayfair has raised the roof with their new summer cocktail offerings. Immerse yourself in the Balearic experience and dive straight into the Casamigos tequila cocktails and sharers. We hope to see a return to the sunshine as every Sunday some of London’s best laid-back house and electronic DJ’s put on a stunning set, making you almost feel like you’re on a Balearic island.
Cocktail highlights include the living in Palma, with Casamigos blanco, Casamigos mezcal, sotol, lime juice, St Germain and grapefruit soda for a fruity hit; sunbathing in Formetera with Casamigos reposed, sweet vermouth, luxardo maraschino and Campari; and brunching in Menorca with Casamigos blanco, sotol, lemon juice, a spice mix and tomato juice served in a terracotta pot.
With summer (semi) on its way to London, The American Bar at The Stafford London, has launched its new cocktail menu inspired by The American Dream. You’ll be taken on a journey through America’s history, celebrating its richness in music, sport, literature and touching on monumental events in their political calendar.
Explore the frontier, a combination of Corte Vetusto Mezcal Espadin, Hendrick’s gin, infused with a spicy kick. Or have a taste of tinseltown, a real nod to The Golden Age of Hollywood, a combo of Revka vodka infused with Camellia’s Tea House ‘very berry’, limoncello foam, strawberry sherbet, blackberry and lemon juice.
Where: 16-18 St James's Place, Mayfair, London, SW1A 1NJ, United Kingdom
Nearest station: Green Park (0.2 miles)
As the summer slowly approaches, step on board the ‘Fiero Waterfront’ and immerse yourself in an Italian aperitivo lifestyle of relaxing with a food and drink in the company of your pals. To celebrate the launch of MARTINI Fiero, take a trip down to Little Venice and back on the Riva yacht while sipping on a delicious beverage.
You can’t go wrong with a gin and tonic. And when it’s a twist on the classic, we’re always eager to try. Kricket’s has introduced its premium gin and tonic, using Jin Tea gin, made from First Flush Darjeeling Tea – a delicate, floral Himalayan black tea. The citrus style gin has underlying peach and apricot tones. While the Inidian tonic water is infused with a fresh raspberry, adding a berry sweetness to the drink.
Enjoy the G&T while relating on the garden terrace at Kricket’s latest site opening at the Television Centre.