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8 must-try cocktails in London, as recommended by mixologists

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Amy Swales
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We’re spoilt for cocktail choice in London (not least having several of the world’s best bars on our doorsteps) and sometimes the options for a night out are overwhelming.

Do you want to try the Next Big Thing or go for a tried-and-tested classic? Sip something experimental or savour a well-made traditional tipple? 

To make your next cocktail conundrum a little easier, we decided to ask people who drink magnificent mixes for a living (lucky them) for their recommendations. Thus, find here eight drinks given the boozy seal of approval from a selection of mixologists and industry experts.

Whether our professional hit list includes your favourite or introduces you to something new, boozy inspiration is never a bad thing. Just don't tell anyone else.

Main image: iStock

  • Colombian Negroni (Three Six Six)

    Drink: Colombian Negroni

    Katy Kruckzo, bar manager at Blind Spot in St Martins Lane hotel, recommends heading to Three Six Six in Battersea for this jacked-up take on a Negroni.

    “It’s got coffee beans infused with Aperol, Colombian Dictador aged gin, Lillet Rose, orange peel and OLG Campari tincture – an absolutely smashing cocktail combining your classic Negroni with a caffeine kick.”

  • Cortez the Killer (Oriole)

    Drink: Cortez the Killer

    Carlos Londoño from Covent Garden’s Café Pacifico loves this tequila cocktail from Oriole bar in Smithfield Market, Farringdon.

    “This is a tequila-based drink with balsamic Vermouth and agave Tonka syrup. I love it because it is a simple recipe with stunning and complex results. Plus the guys behind the bar are just geniuses!”

  • Mezcal Martinez (Cahoots)

    Drink: Mezcal Martinez

    Head barwoman at gin parlour Mr Fogg's, Kata Simon, recommends a sparky mix from tube-themed bar Cahoots in Soho.

    “My favourite is the Mezcal Martinez. It's a twist on the classic cocktail, which actually, you can find in a few places, but I love to have it in Cahoots.”

  • Dandelyan Daisy (Dandelyan)

    Drink: Dandelyan Daisy

    Food and drink writer Rebecca Seal, drinks historian and cocktail curator at the Sheraton Grand London Park Lane, says Dandelyan’s rum and Reisling mix is one to try.

    “If you want to be educated and surprised while sipping a cocktail, head for Dandelyan. Expect wild ingredients, like aronia, zedouary, propolis and endive. I love the Diamond Daisy, a spin on the classic using rum, Riesling wine, lime, pandan and cavalo nero.”

  • Satan's Manhattan (Satan's Whiskers)

    Drink: Satan's Manhattan

    Anna Sebastian, the bar manager at The Savoy's Beaufort Bar, loves Satan’s Whiskers in Bethnal Green for this vermouth-laced classic.

    “I love that place: the atmosphere, the music and the drinks are well-balanced classics with a local twist. Also, two of my ex-staff work there!”

  • Mas a Tierra (High Water)

    Drink: Mas a Tierra

    Catarina Ferreira, mixologist at Rudie’s Jamaican bar and restaurant, advises a trip to High Water in Dalston for this potent rum cocktail.

    “I chose this because I love drinking and making rum cocktails – especially ones with Jamaican rums which are perfect for delicious and fun cocktails. This one uses Appleton and Wray and Nephew rums with brandy, menthe vert, pineapple and lime.”

  • Avocado + Chamomile + Apple (Sager + Wilde)

    Drink: Avocado + Chamomile + Apple

    Karine Tillard, Patrón’s brand ambassador, loves this green tequila mix featuring avocado by Bethnal Green cocktail bar Sager + Wilde (Paradise Row branch).

    “The cocktail has some really green flavours, the avocado and apple really compliment the smooth taste of the Patrón Silver. I think it’s really hard to create a well-balanced avocado cocktail and I highly recommend Sager + Wilde – it just ticks all the boxes; it has amazing food and stunning, creative drinks. The staff are great and provide perfect service.”

  • Spring Break White (White Lyan)

    Drink: Spring Break White

    Kelsey Ramage, expert mixologist at Dandelyan, couldn’t resist recommending a drink from sister bar White Lyan in Hoxton. Not strictly a cocktail, but wine with a twist.

    “When someone told me White Lyan was doing their own wine, made without using grapes but through fermenting other ingredients, my initial wine-snob response was, well, bullshit. But it's really good – crisp, dry and fresh but still has a funky ferment-y character that you’d find in an actual natural wine. It's delicious, and crazy like most drinks there. Plus the staff are amazing, fun and the whole place has a chilled unpretentious vibe to it. As cocktail bars go, it's my fave.”

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Amy Swales

Amy Swales is a freelance writer who likes to eat, drink and talk about her dog. She will continue to plunder her own life and the lives of her loved ones for material in the name of comedy, catharsis and getting pictures of her dog on the internet.

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