Whether you like it shaken or stirred, we’ve got you covered
By Steph Dye (follow Steph on Twitter: @HelloIAmSteph)
London can be extortionately expensive at the best of times and cocktails – which are now a featured on every menu from Hounslow to Hackney are no exception. We at Broke in London don’t like to be out of pocket, which is why we are constantly seraching for the best food and drink deals that the capital has to offer. However, it can be nice from time to time to do your best James Bond impression and sip on a fancy cocktail or two…or four. For that reason, we’ve rounded up the best bars that offer both exceptional mixology and affordable prices. The average price for a cocktail is generally considered to a whopping £8-£10 so we’ve made sure that the bevvies on our list average out at cheaper (plus some offer deals and happy hours for even better prices). So go on, have one on us…
Behind This Wall | Hackney | Avg. price £7.50
What is it?: A speakeasy-style joint in the centre of Hackney that, unlike the name suggests, is not hidden behind a wall. Just down some stairs and behind a curtain. It’s got a cosy vibe and is the perfect place to enjoy a classic cocktail or two, good company and some even better vinyl.
Any offers?: No offers on the drinks, though Behind This Wall does do an oyster happy hour, serving them up for just a pound each.
Where is it?: Basement, 411 Mare Street, London, E8 1HY.
When is it?: Tuesday-Saturday 6pm-11pm.
Try the: Uncle Buck (£7): aged rum, ginger & naga chilli molasses, molé bitters and root beer.
Frank’s Bar | Peckham | Avg. price £7
What is it?: Frank’s Cafe situated on the tenth floor of a multi-story car park. Whilst the hype is high regarding this budget bar, it is important to remember that it is basic – yes, you will probably have to sit on the floor and yes, it will probably be very busy – due to it’s cult status among students.
Where is it?: 10th Floor, Peckham Multi-Story Car Park, 95a Rye Lane, SE15 4ST.
When is it?: April – Late September: Tuesday-Friday, 5pm-11pm; Saturday-Sunday, 11am-11pm.
Try the: A constantly busy bar means rushed bar staff — go for easily mixed cocktails, such as the Moscow Mule or a Tom Collins.
First Aid Box | Herne Hill | Avg. price £7.50
What is it?: The unusual concept behind The First Aid Box in Herne Hill is the idea that all of the alcoholic mixes are health inspired or have an element of nutrition. A lot of the cocktails come in unusual, gimmicky containers, such as syringes and beakers, all based around the medical theme.
Where is it?: 119 Dulwich Rd, London SE24 0NG.
When is it?: Tuesday-Thursday, 5pm-11pm; Friday, 5pm-12am; Saturday, 9am-12am.
Try the: Hibiscus Daiquiri (£7) Bacardi Carta Oro, fresh lime, hibiscus tea syrup and rose.
Little Bat Bar | Islington | Avg. price £8
What is it?: This narrow, neighbourhood bar in Angel comes from those behind the Callooh Callay bar in Shoreditch. However, this bar is far more cosy and relaxed, with comfy seating and less extortionately priced drinks to match.
Where is it?: 54 Islington Park St, London N1 1PX.
When is it?: Monday-Thursday, 6pm-12am; Friday & Saturday, 6pm-1am.
Try the: Pan Am Cocktail (£8): An award winning cocktail of Bacardi Carta Blanca, Aperol, egg white, lemon juice, almond syrup and Angostura spray.
Little Bar | Tooting | Avg. price £7
What is it?: This tiny bar in Tooting is the baby of Madeleine Lim, Food & Drink editor of Independent Magazine. It’s small and refined list of cocktails is short and sweet, with lots of classics, as well some that are unique to the Little Bar. The bar also offers some snacks, as well as hot food from Rick’s across the road.
Where is it?: 145 Mitcham Rd, London SW17 9PE.
When is it?: Sunday-Thursday, 5pm-11:30pm; Friday & Saturday, 5pm-1:30am.
Try the: SW17 (£7): Prosecco, Somerset apple brandy, bitters and a sugar lump.
The Permit Room | King’s Cross | Avg. price £8
What is it?: For a prohibition bar with a difference, head to The Permit Room, which is inspired by the prohibition era of Bombay. Staying away from tradition of speakeasy-themed drinking dens, the bar stands proud, as opposed to being tucked away and is a large room which is always filled with a buzz. In fact, it is normally so busy that you’ll probably have to wait a while to get your hands on a cocktail….
Where is it?: Granary Square, 5 Stable St, Kings Cross, London N1C 4AB.
When is it?: Monday-Wednesday, 8am-11pm; Thursday-Friday, 8am-12am; Saturday, 9am-12am; Sunday, 9am-11pm.
Try the: BollyBellini (£7): Raspberries, lychees, rose and cardamom with sparkling Prosecco.
Simmons Bar | Various location | Avg. price £8
What is it?: A quirky, late night cocktail bar that serves up all of the classics, as well as some not-so-classic, yet still tasty specialities. There are locations all over London, yet they all have a distinctively cosy, intimate vibe, with lots of unusual design features such as skull disco balls and retro gaming platforms.
Any offers?: Simmons do have a happy hour every day from 3pm-8pm, with super cheap drink prices, including 2 cocktails or a bottle of wine for £10, cocktail teapots for £15 or bottles of beer, glasses of wine or a spirit and mixer for £2.50. Cocktails are also 2 for £10 all day on a Saturday.
Where and when is it?: There are 7 locations across London: Soho, King’s Cross, Mornington Cresecent, Fitzrovia, Fulham, Liverpool Street and Tower Bridge with two more locations coming soon! Check the website for specific locations and opening times.
Try the: Long Island Ice Tea, for a cocktail with plenty of kick and a WHOLE lot of alcohol. (£8.50 or £5 during happy hour)
Embracing the brilliance of the night tube? Check out what other late night bars your can get to on the 24hr tube.
Discount Suit Company | Aldgate | Avg. price £8
What is it?: The Discount Suit Company takes inspiration from the clothing store that once sat on the site (including the signage). It’s difficult to find, hidden in a basement sat at the bottom of a couple of flights of stairs, but when you do find it… it’s definitely worth it. The cocktails are avant garde, but delicious, so you can enjoy a couple in the intimate surroundings of the bar.
Where is it?: 29a Wentworth Street, London, E1 7TB,
When is it?: Monday-Thursday, 5pm-12am; Friday & Saturday, 12pm-1am; Sunday, 5pm-11pm.
Try the: A Boxlock (£8): Toasted Pineapple Infused Scotch Whisky, Amaro Montenegro, Absinthe, Lemon & Agave Syrup. Topped with a Pilsner Fizz.
Little Nan’s Bar | Various locations | Avg. price £6.50
What is it?: This quirky bar that has branches across South East London and also Dalson embraces everything kitcsh and tacky. However, if that’s your thing, you’ll love the knick-knacks, mad prints that make these bars so special: part 90s party, part your nan’s living room. Put into simpler terms…it’s not your average bar.
Where and when is it?: Deptford, Peckham, Nunhead and Dalston. Check the website for details.
Try the: The Deptford Arms (£6): London Gin, Babysham, mint, grapefruit juice and Prosecco.
Made in Brazil Boteco | Camden | Avg. price £7.75
What is it?: With a name like Boteco, which loosely translates into a place to get a good drink and have a good time, you would definitely expect to get a good cocktail…. and indeed you do. Revel in the buzz of the restaurant and bar or take your drinks upstairs to the roof terrace and watch the people of Camden go by.
Any offers?: When you sign up to their newsletter, you receive a voucher for a free Caipirinha. They also offer happy hour deals from 5pm-8pm every day as well as all night long on a Monday… can’t say fairer than that!
Where is it?: 48 Chalk Farm Road, London, NW1 8AJ.
When is it?: Monday-Thursday, 5:30pm-12:30am; Friday & Saturday, 4pm-2am; Sunday, 12pm-12:30am.
Try the: Traditional Caipirinhas. They come is every flavour imaginable at this bar and start at just £6.95.
Not ready to stop there? Check out our favourite live music venues to keep the party going!