We firmly believe London really is the cocktail capital of the world - home to some of the best bars on the planet and a city where there truly is a drinking experience on offer for everyone, if you're willing to look. But to be quite sure, we thought we'd ask some of our favourite hospitality professionals for their opinion...
We recently bandied together a group of London's finest hospitality professionals for a photoshoot across three jam-packed days in three different venues - and whilst we were there we thought it was the perfect opportunity to ask them an all important question...
What makes London the Cocktail Capital of The World?
Angèle Grinda, Henrietta Hotel
“Everyone can have his bar or her bar in London. Their own place that reflects who they are. I think you can find everything in this city, which is so good.”
Sly Augustin, Trailer Happiness
"Because I'm here! No, I think because it has the right balance of creativity, innovation and community, so bars in London are very connected in a way that they're not necessarily in other places. Or they may be in other places but not on the scale of London. You've got other cities that have got as many bars as London but are only recently starting to collaborate in a way that London has done for decades, since day one. We're all very, very connected and that's why we are here."
Benedetta Paris, Happiness Forgets
"Yes, because of the energy that London has. All the bars and bartenders still try hard in London and are really pioneering multiple things."
Josh Linfitt, Adam Handling Group (Including Eve Bar)
“The variety. The knowledge. And definitely the vibe. London’s obviously got it’s own little pockets, either Shoreditch or Soho and the personalities they have are reflected in the bars. So I know if I go to Henson’s Bar in Soho or Swift, I’m going to be served a classic fantastically. Not to say you can’t get that service in Shoreditch, but you go to Shoreditch, somewhere like Cocktail Trading Co. for instance and the odds are you’ll get served something in a clown shoe a lot higher than what they’re serving in Fitzrovia. So I love the fact that you can go to these different pockets and I always say to people coming to visit London, don’t try and be in that bar and that bar and that bar. Stay in that area for a day, and enjoy what Soho has to give to you. And then go to Shoreditch and smash it.”
Erik Lorenz, Kwant
“What I like about London is that you don't have these copy and paste drinks. You’ll never go into a bar and just have the same thing, same technique, same glassware, same garnish all over again. You go to Satan's Whiskers, then you go to Tayer + Elementary you go to Sexy Fish, you go to The Connaught or The Artesian - and all these bars, they have completely different styles. It’s very diverse. And I think that's what makes London unique, because that's what the guests want. You don't want to walk through three bars and have exactly the same recipe style of drink. What's the point?”
Sophie Bratt, Nobu Bar, Portman Square
“I do - the community here is unbelievable. When I first moved here eleven years ago it felt so big but the bar community makes it feel much more manageable. Making friends, sharing ideas and so many amazing venues to explore. We’re so lucky. It's my favourite cocktail capital.”
Giulia Cuccurullo, Artesian at The Langham
“In London you always have guests that are open-minded. They aren’t clueless either - and that makes it easy, because they are always willing to listen to you, to enjoy the new."
Maura Lawrence Milia, The Connaught Bar
“It’s beautiful to see so many other countries out there, but London is still at the top. I would say it’s the hospitality. We have a great community. When I think about London I think about all the great places that still give fantastic hospitality - and not only in hotel bars, you go to east London, central London or West London and you still have these fantastic spots. The sense is community is truly beautiful.”
Fredrik Olsson, Kosmopol
“I think it's the mixture of people and the drive that they bring. I think the foundation of our cocktail world in London is a lot of Europeans. The Brits are amazing, but the Italians, the French, they added a lot of flair to it as well. And also the Czechs and the Slovaks they are fantastic as well and the Scandinavians. So I think the eclectic mix we have is on par with New York.”
Antonio Gabriella, Franklin Bar
"I moved to London eight years ago because at the time it was the cocktail capital of the world - and I think it still is. A lot of the bars here are always first to try new techniques and styles of cocktails."
Ioana Munteau, Nine Lives
“London bar scene is one of the biggest. The guests know their drinks here, so it is really good for a person that loves cocktails. It’s also where the bartenders go to check out bars.“
Anna Sebastian, Hospitality Consultant
“I think it's the people and the creativity. Having events like this are a great help too - I don't think anywhere does it better. There's so much more opportunity in the industry at the moment too, especially in London!"