The Handbook
The Handbook

If you often find yourself sitting at your desk wondering why every hour can’t be cocktail o’clock then, dear Handbooker, you are very much like us. However, courtesy of some whopping London bars whizzing up some brand new cocktail offerings, every hour can be cocktail o’clock because you’ve got so many new cocktail concoctions to give a taste test to. So, seeing as it ’tis the season to be tipsy it’s time to shake up your routine and get your cocktail fix.

Aqua Shard

So you’ve got a dilemma on your hands; it’s Pancake Day but you love cocktails. Solution? Combine the two! Genius! This Pancake Day, Aqua Shard has created a miracle concoction that looks truly scrumptious. The cocktail itself looks like syrup but is in fact made with Zacapa 23yo rum, homemade syrup, Rubis chocolate wine, Italicus Rosolio De Bergamotto, banana syrup and lime. Ooo, now that beats any home-made, sticking to the pan pan-cake any day!

Available from Monday 4th to Sunday 10th March

Where: Level 31, The Shard, 31 St Thomas Street, London, SE1 9RY, United Kingdom
Nearest station: London Bridge (0.1 miles)
Website: www.aquashard.co.uk

The Ivy Soho Brasserie

Love music AND cocktails? Well, who doesn’t! However, if you’re a super fan of the duo then get yourself down to The Ivy Soho Brasserie for a splash of their brand new musically influenced cocktail menu. As a Happy Birthday to themselves, the brasserie has launched a menu based around rockin’ music legends from the area. Our favourite had to be the Satisfaction (Rolling Stones, 1965), which comes with a fresh blend of Plymouth sloe gin, maraschino liqueur, lemon juice and hibiscus and rose tea. Phwoar, sounds groovy!

Where: 26-28 Broadwick St, Soho, W1F 8JB
Website: www.theivysohobrasserie.com

VIVI

Offering deliciously bold, seasonal menus which showcase the very best of British dining; VIVI restaurant and bar is a bustling hotspot for comforting age-old classics and cocktails! Reviving itself on the 25th of February, VIVI Bar will celebrate old school bartending with classic and creative cocktails inspired by the music of the VIVI era – which, might we add, is definitely music to our ears! On offer, you’ll find cocktail highlights including the Wild Honey on the Beach with Bulleit Rye whiskey, Pimento Dram, lemon thyme infused honey and lemon which pays homage to The Beach Boys… wouldn’t it be nice to try it? And, as a nod to The Beatles, you’ll find The Weeping Guitar with Gin Mare, Italicus Rosolio di Bergamotto, cucumber, elderflower, lime and tonic water. Ob-la-di, ob-la-da is what we have to say about that!

Where: 11 St Giles Square, London WC2H 8AP
Nearest station: Tottenham Court Road (0.1 miles)
Website: www.vivirestaurant.co.uk

Balthazar

You don’t have to be up in bonnie Scotland to indulge in your fair share of whiskey. In fact, at Balthazar they’ve got a whole bar of the stuff since relaunching their American Whiskey bar that boasts a huge range. So, if you no longer want your relationship with the spirit to be on rocks and, instead, you’d like to make it pretty neat… then why not attend the pop-up with New York bar Saxon & Parole? The event will see guests testing the serves of top mixologists using Rebel Yell whiskey, in highlights such as Manhattan ‘On Draught’ with Rebel Yell Small Batch Reserve, Martini vermouth & leather bitters, and much more where that came from!
The pop-up is set to take place from the 25-27th of February 

Where: 4-6 Russell Street, Covent Garden, London WC2B 5HZ
Nearest station: Covent Garden (0.2 miles)
Website: www.balthazarlondon.com

Mews of Mayfair

Take a trip to Mews of Mayfair and you’ll find yourself Lemon Drop in hand, reclining in their groovy, chic bar. The new cocktail is making its debut on their famed cocktail list and includes Belvedere vodka, Acqua Di Cedro, Cointreau and lemon. However, if life gives you lemons and you’re just not a fan, there’s a whole range of alternate cocktails for you to test out.

Where: 10 Lancashire Court New Bond Street W1S 1EY
Nearest station: Bond Street (0.3 miles)
Website: Grab It Here

Courtyard

Previously the King’s Head, Courtyard is a must-visit location on Fulham high street that has gone got itself a whacky, quirky and downright delicious cocktail menu that, we believe, is totes millenial! The list features cocktails such as The Regina George and if you don’t know who that is then, frankly, you’re just too old! You can also get your hands on a Stranger Things concoction which involves mix of strawberry infused Reyka Vodka with passion fruit and prosecco served in a light bulb, as featured. So, if you’ve binged watched your favourite shows and you’re hankering after the next best thing then Courtyard and its cosy bar spaces has got you covered.

Where: 4 Fulham High Street, Fulham, SW6 3LQ
Website: www.thecourtyardfulham.com

The LaLiT London

Despite donning the name Teacher’s Bar, The LaLiT is far from being a venue under the strict eye of authority. The Teacher’s Bar at The LaLiT runs wild with sophistication, style and great cocktails! Their latest menu zig-zags between classic offerings and innovative serves, from Red Velvet mixed with Chambord, St. Germain elderflower liqueur, Ketel One vodka, fresh raspberries and egg white, and Indian Summer made with Tanqueray London Dry Gin, homemade chai tea syrup, rhubarb bitter and fresh lime, topped with ginger beer. And with that, we’re slowly slipping away from our work desks and heading straight to The LaLiT…

Where: 181 Tooley Street, London SE1 2JR, UK
Nearest station: London Bridge (0.4 miles)
Website: www.thelalit.com

Hotel Café Royal

When David Bowie came to throw a retirement party for his alter ego, Ziggy Stardust, in the 1970 he chose the notorious Café Royal, the central London haunt of celebrities and creatives and in honour of both Bowie and Ziggy Stardust, Hotel Café Royal opened the must-visit bar, Ziggy’s. Mirroring Bowie’s eclectic mix of songs and vivacious fashion choices, the menu is alive with flavour and variety and includes highlights such as Electric Dream with coconut oil-washed Bourbon, lemon grass syrup, fresh mint leaves and Angostura bitters and Femme Fatale with vodka, Byrrh, sake, served in an absinthe-rinsed glass, centred around Bowie’s preferred drinks and rock music.

Where: 68 Regent Street, Piccadilly, W1B 4DY
Nearest station: Piccadilly Circus (0.1 miles)
Website: www.hotelcaferoyal.com

Tonight Josephine, Shoreditch

Tonight Josephine, we’re going to be wow-ed by how insatiably Instagrammable this pretty in pink venue is. Phwoar! Tonight Josephine, snug in Waterloo, is already well known on the gram as being one of the most Instagrammed venues in the UK, emanating serious mum from Mean Girls and Legally Blonde vibes. However, recently a brand spankin’ new one opened in Shoreditch and we just have to write about the cocktails!

Perhaps the favourite was the Violet Femme which comes adorned with parma violets that have featured in numerous Insta shots thus far! The cocktail is a real palette cleanser, using Bombay Sapphire gin, violet liqueur, fresh lemon juice, sugar, egg white and, of course, parma violets. The rest of the cocktails sashay between sweet options, such as the Love Potion No.10, and classics like Pornstar Martini’s and Cosmos. The basement venue would perhaps receive the award for most sassy bar around, with neon signage shouting about lady gardens, well behaved women not making history, and peace signs. It’s cutesy with a tinge of bad-ass and we’re predicting big Insta things for the location.

Where: 111 Waterloo Road, Lambeth, SE1 8UL
Website: www.tonightjosephine.co.uk

Gillray’s Steakhouse & Bar

Named after James Gillray, the 18th-century English master caricaturist who gained notoriety satirising the politicians of his time, Gillray’s Restaurant & Bar is a quintessentially English dining experience paying homage to top quality British produce and that other British institution – gin. Suffice to say, when it comes to curating new cocktail menu’s, Gillray’s know exactly what they’re doing. Splashing gin all over the shop, enjoy their new menu whilst cheers-ing to the River Thames, London Eye and the Houses of Parliament, taking in the views and many a cocktail, rustled up by Head Barman Rui.

Where: Gillray's Steakhouse & Bar, Westminster Bridge Road, London, United Kingdom
Nearest station: London Waterloo (0.3 miles)
Website: www.gillrays.com

Burlock

Ahoy Me Hearties! How’s about a hearty cocktail or two at Burlock? Right up your street you say? Well, gather round and we’ll begin…

Burlock has got itself a new Rum Map featuring cocktails ‘o the Caribbean and we think you’re gonna love ’em. If you try eight of the delicious delicacies you’ll get another one for free and this can be used on any day. If you’re hankering after more of where that came from however, then feast your eyes on Monday Rum Sessions with 25% off, running on a weekly basis – who said Monday’s were so bad?

Where: 31 Duke Street, St. Marylebone, London W1U 1LG, UK
Nearest station: Bond Street (0.2 miles)
Website: www.burlocklondon.co.uk

The Piano Works Farringdon

The Piano Works, Farringdon, has recently updated their top ten cocktails list, all of which we suggest you try perhaps in staggered visits (or all at once, based on how sore you want your head to be). The quirky top ten list is based around the ten most requested songs at The Piano Works, and gets updated each year. This year’s list features the likes of Empire State Of Mind, with chambord, gran mariner and cracked pepper, and Thank You, Next, with koko kanu, prosecco, chambord, coconut cream and fresh lime juice. It’s a good way to keep on top of your music knowledge and indulge in mighty fine cocktails. So say Don’t Stop Me Now to the bartender and Lose Yourself in cocktails.

Where: 113-117 Farringdon Road, corner of Ray St Farringdon, London, EC1R 3BX
Nearest station: Farringdon (London) (0.2 miles)
Website: www.pianoworks.bar

If you’re into your tipples, why not take a look at this blooming amazing floral gin bar opening up