Bristol's 10 best cocktail bars
PUBLISHED: 15:21 22 September 2016
Mojito or Moscow mule? White Russian or Singapore sling? Whatever your tipple of choice, Bristol boasts an excellent list of cocktail bars for you to visit. From hidden speakeasies to opulently decorated bars, we pick 10 of the best venues for you to enjoy a drink or two
Named Bristol’s ‘best kept secret Prohibition bar’, Hyde & Co is a speakeasy style bar with low lighting, a grand piano in the corner and a selection of vintage lampshades that adorn the tables. Expect classic concoctions from the Prohibition era with a plethora of tinctures, bitters, homemade syrups and interesting ingredients to create delicious cocktails. Make sure to book your table to avoid disappointment!
We can’t talk about Hyde & Co without mentioning its ‘flirty younger sister’, The Milk Thistle. Just a five minute stroll from the Harbourside, this 1950s style cocktail bar is spread across four floors in one of the finest historic buildings in the city. A regularly changing menu means you can expect twists on classic cocktails and inventive delights. Enjoy old favourites such as a Manhattan, Martini or Daiquiri alongside the venue’s Milk Thistle Dairy, a tasty mix of London dry gin, lemon, spiced pear syrup and sparkling wine.
A bar within a bar, Number 63 serves lovingly created cocktails and house-infused spirits. Formerly a beauty salon, the bar is full of upcycled fittings, taxidermy and interesting knick knacks. Quirky and full of charm, and lots of live music to be enjoyed throughout the week, expect a lively atmosphere while you sip one of the delicious cocktails.
Occupying a listed building in Bristol’s Old City Quarter, also the destination of the first stagecoach from London, is The Rummer Hotel. With more than 400 premium spirits from all over the world, the hotel’s extensive cocktail list includes lots of rum cocktails ready to be mixed by knowledgeable bartenders. Pick a cosy corner in the low-lit hotel bar in front of the roaring log fire with cocktail in hand.
Based on Kings Road in the heart of Clifton Village lies Amoeba, a Bristol bar boasting a drinks menu bound to leave you spoilt for choice. The cocktail menu is brimming with inventive house creations and classic concoctions, and there are over 70 craft beers from around the globe to choose from. Spread over three floors, there are plenty of cosy candlelit snugs, comfy sofas and a pretty decked garden adorned with fairy lights and cushions to enjoy a round of drinks. Happy Hour is throughout the week between 4 and 9pm!
This beautiful redbrick warehouse is home to Bocabar Bristol, a food and drink haven filled with vintage tassel lamps, comfy sofas, low wooden tables and local art hanging from the walls. The ten-foot bar displays a selection of local draught beers and ciders, cocktails and wines, alongside Ottolenghi-inspired tapas, salads and delicious cakes. Choose from cocktails such as the Opal Fruit known as ‘the original Starburst alcoholised’ or the Rainy Day Monkey with Doorly’s white rum, banana liqueur, dark chocolate liqueur, caramel syrup and cream. Hungry? Why not try one of the delicious thin base pizzas, freshly made and heaving with tasty toppings.
An adult drinking den in the heart of Bristol, Red Light can be found through a graffiti emblazoned doorway after pressing buttons on a broken payphone. Expect a late night drinking den with a hint of glamour full of leather slingback chairs, soft lamp lighting and chaise lounges to relax on. Browse the menu divided into ‘foreplay’, ‘sex’ and ‘cigarette’ to find a cocktail list full of customisable classics and new house creations.
Sat on Bristol’s Whiteladies Road, Charlie’s Bar is the ideal spot to unwind in during the week while perfect for a drink and a dance at the weekend. Order a round of cocktails, including the deliciously sweet Gingerbread Martini, and find yourself a cosy corner to while the evening away. If you’re lucky, the owner may bring in his chocolate labrador Luigi who loves to say ‘hello’ to customers.
Often referred to as the city’s original speakeasy, Hausbar know their stuff when it comes to cocktails. The bartenders are happy to mix a cocktail to your liking, or enjoy a signature tipple such as a mojito or martini expertly created. Hidden beneath an Indian restaurant at the top of Whiteladies Road, ring the doorbell before being led through a velvet curtain to the low-light, Berlin-inspired bar that’s perfect to relax in.
Combining old favourites with interesting cocktail concoctions such as Tu-Whit-Tu-Whoo-Woo, a mix of Stoli vodka, sage, peach and cranberry syrup, lemon juice and prosecco; or the festival themed cocktail served in a wellington boot, Her Majesty’s Secret Service is a haven for delicious drinks. Classy and low lit, with plenty of antique touches including a polished oak gun cabinet and Persian rugs, the décor exudes a ‘classy evening out in Bristol’. Enjoy Happy Hour every evening except Sundays when HMSS is closed.
Heading for drinks in Bath soon? Why not take a look at our guide to the best bars?