From mozzarella in your Martini to cocktails served with, err... buttplugs (careful when searching google for that one) Get your Instagram at the ready because here's where to find the craziest cocktails in London.
Cocktails are always what Dr BarChick orders. Hitting up Herne Hill? Do it in medicinal style. If you're feeling sickly, this is where you'll be heading to be prescribed the proper meds: think killer cocktails in intravenous fluid bags, tasty liquids in syringes and generally botanical infusions.
You gotta try: Drip Advisor - Cos sometimes you just want cocktails mainlined into your body. This bag of restorative liquid is made with Warner Edwards Melissa Gin, with Violette, Solerno, Wild Blackberry Shrub, Fresh Lime & Blackberry Soda.
119 Dulwich Rd, Herne Hill, London SE24 0NG
This is the Big Brother to First Aid Box, so expect more of the same outrageous cocktails (with less of a medicinal twist) This place looks a bit like your mate's kitchen, with bottles, books, kitchen appliances, ingredients and herbs, but they take cocktails to the next level here, with fresh seasonal ingredients, crazy garnishes and imaginative vessels. BarChick once had a Disney cocktail out of the genie's lamp. It's that good.
You gotta try: Following a lockdown of turning their sibling bar into greengrocer, they got inspired and created a new menu based around fruit & veg. Their clarified Bloody Mary is all kindsa wild, with a dehydrated tomato garnish, topped with pickles. Bloody hell yes.
336 Coldharbour Lane, Brixton SW9 8QH
This is a 1920's style speakeasy's with a seriously killer cocktail menu, with creations made using voodoo smoke, mozzarella, insects, chilli sweets and peanut butter ice cubes. Totally off-the-wall, but some of the best serves in London.
You gotta try: Monkey Colada... with a side of cow? Yeah we're not sure why either, but we're into it. It's made with Plantation Pineapple rum, Roasted Paradise nuts milk, Pineapple & Baobab cordial, Essentiae Persichetto, Cardamon Leaf & Cinder toffee.
129 City Road, London, EC1V 1JB
With the legendary Marian Beke (who used to run the show at Nightjar) rocking the bar you can count on this place for a seriously epic cocktail list. Along the same kinda otherworldly, theatrical vibe to NightJar/Oriole where each cocktail comes with its own kitsch serve and extravagant garnishes.
You gotta try: I Dream of Genie, made with saffron, Lanique liqueur with geranium, pomegranate vinegar reduction, cold brew Morrocan mint tea, orange flower water, fresh calamansi, Mahleb and palm fruit conserve and Cardamom leafs infusion. Ya know, nice and simple.
44 Old Street, London EC1V 9AQ
NightJar's Rosie & Edmund have nailed it again with this place. Old World, New World, Orient, Sharers… it’s all in here so expect original, daring and adventurous creations served up in beautiful and weird vessels. Glassware plays a huge part in their menu creation so you're always gonna have a drink you'll wanna add to your grid before you drink.
You gotta try: This Sandhammaren, served in a stunner of a Jurassic Park-worthy custom-designed amber resin vessel and made with ABSOLUT ELYX Vodka, Sourdough Åhus Akvavit, Fig Leaf Root Cider, Sea Buckthorn Jam andFresh Lemon Juice.
East Poultry Avenue, London Central Markets, London, EC1A 9LH
This epic hotel bar was once known for quirky vessels and killer serves, from levitating clouds to cocktail served in a Dali-style teardrop ring and a giant robot elephant vessel. It's all changed up a bit now but that's not to say the cocktails aren't still on the wild side. We're always excited to see what the hell is next from this legendary crew.
You gotta try: Giving their strange menu contraption a spin. All of the cocktails on their current menu are a combo of just two ingredients, and the menu is on a twisting DNA helix style thing that rotates to show you the combinations. Yeah, even the actual menu is bonkers.
1C Portland Place, London W1B 1JA
This bar that doesn't get enough attention for how damn good it is - but we kinda like it that way. Let's keep it between us, yeah? You'll find all sorts of crazy boozy stuff going down at this New York-style cocktail den where it's inventive cocktails galore, with all sorts of crazy garnishes, from toothpaste tubes to lollipops and even a frickin' balloon.
You gotta try: The Cerez Joker. This one never gets old. I mean, who doesn't want a balloon served alongside their cocktail, right? We dare ya not to squeeze the helium into your mouth after you're done.
50 Blandford St, Marylebone, London, W1U 7HX
It may look like just another city slicker bar full of suits but the cocktails here take 'insane' to another level. They've gone to every corner of their imaginations here, from creating cocktails that bubble over like they're alive to an insane augmented reality menu which took cocktails into another world... Whatever menu they're currently rocking they'll definitely liven up the post-work chat when you and your colleague are queuing for the bar. You're gunna want to get the film rolling for this one.
You gotta try: The Bubblebath; Tanqueray Gin, Aperol, Chambord, Lemon, Apple and... Fairy Liquid. Don't worry, pretty sure it's safe to drink. And it looks ace.
6 Bevis Marks, London EC3A 7BA
It might be low-key on the decor (and name) but their playful cocktails are bucket list material. For example, their Lipstick rose, garnished with a printed kiss mark, is often sent back 'cos people think it's a used glass - these guys!
You gotta try: The legendary Prairie Oyster - Based on the 19th century hangover cure, it’s guaranteed to put the pep back in your step! Basically, it's a twist on a bloody mary that looks just like an oyster with a reformulated tomato juice egg yolk, served up with horseradish vodka and Oloroso sherry.
69 Colebrooke Row, London, N1 8AA
Hidden underneath a kebab shop in Shoreditch you'll find this intriguing cocktail den, where the sky's the limit in terms of creativity - on BarChick's visit she licked boozy sap from a tree stump, and ate a gin dew drop from a leaf. Seriously. You can also expect alcoholic caviar; cocktails in the form of candyfloss; drinks hidden in bibles. This is cocktail theatre personified.
Try: Go for the Tasting Menu (it changes regularly) and now prepare for some really mad sh*t.
1 Great Eastern Street, London, EC2A 3EJ
Image credit: Find Eat Drink
BarChick's fave party guys also dish out some pretty epic showstoppers. From a giant sharing skull bonfire to their renowned bacon and egg martini (which weirdly works).
You gotta try: Heisenburg - their take on Tommy's Margarita, with a Breaking Bad-style twist. Served in a science beaker it's blue as day, with a cheeky lil' packet of powder popped on top (don't get too excited, it's only sugar).
Okay you thought all that was pretty epic, wait 'til you see what CTC have in store - each cocktail is like some kind of work of pop art. They've done it all here, from cocktails disguised in Chinese noodle boxes with chopsticks, served out of a Wellington boot, hidden in snow globes and even mini trash cans - and they taste as insanely good as they look
You gotta try: The South Beach Sezarac which comes chilling in the hooves of a baby elephant. Head there alone and your vessel can be your drinking buddy.
68 Bethnal Green Road, London, E1 6GQ
Georgi Radev AKA Tiki Big Daddy G (what a title) is the tiki-freak behind this place. Having done his thing at tropical mothership Mahiki for 10 years – yes this is the guy who brought us the treasure chest - he brought all the rum fun to Islington plus the frivolity of tiki with seriously visual drinks. Pow.
You gotta try: pretty much every serve on menu comes in some outrageous glassware, but if you want something really attention grabbing, gather your crew and take a revitalising plunge into a sea of rum, peach and soursop with their Tahitian Free Diver