Creating memories with friends and family is what the festive season is all about. Whether it’s meeting loved ones, a catch-up with chums or post-work drinks, the neighbourhood’s best winter cocktails in 2023 are sure to do the trick.
Get cosy at The George's upstairs bar, which has a range of cocktails, alcohol-infused coffees and spirits for relaxed winter drinks in London. Order a Fitzrovian for a warming combination of whiskey, dry cherry, cordial and sparkling wine, or try a Spicy Clementine Margarita featuring clementine sherbert and chilli-infused tequila. For something even more indulgent, enjoy a new take on a classic with its Sticky Toffee Old Fashioned, crafted from a base of walnut and brown butter bourbon.
Bowie fans, this is the place to head this winter for all the young dudes. Not only is Heddon Street the spot where the cover photo for the Ziggy Stardust album was taken, but The Starman also features artwork dedicated to the Brixton music icon. Let all the [grown-up] children boogie downstairs in the basement bar with mulled wine or cocktails, including the blackberry-flavoured Vramble and keep an eye out for festive specials.
Ready to experience one of the world’s top bars? Sip on selections from Artesian's sustainable Ingredients of the Future cocktail menu between shopping splurges on Regent Street. Each celebrating one ingredient, the 16 cocktails on The Langham’s world-renowned cocktail bar’s new menu range from the creative to the downright quirky. Try the whisky sour-esque Insects featuring crickets, or opt for Dates, which conjures up nostaligia at Christmas time.
Shhhh… don’t tell anyone, but there's a secret spot for Christmas cocktails on Heddon Street. “The West End’s best kept secret,” Hidden Heddon basement bar beneath Heddon Street Kitchen is an ideal place for cocktails and gossiping. Order festive creations such as the Chocolate Orange Espresso Martini, the Irish whiskey-based Fairytale of New York Sour, or enjoy a warming Cognac mulled wine. For a special festive treat, book a cocktail masterclass to enjoy with friends and family.
Another Heddon Street hotspot, Ziggy Green is the ideal beginning, middle or end point of your day out in London. Enjoy free-flowing Daisy Fizz as part of a daily bottomless brunch, or watermelon margaritas paired with tacos during evening Ziggy Nights fiestas (Wednesdays to Saturdays only). This chilled venue, which is reopening in a new Heddon Street location this November, keeps those Aussie vibes coming, whatever the weather.
Grab a spot on Aqua Spirit's partially covered and heated terrace, and make a seasonal selection from its wide-ranging cocktail menu. The Clementine Fizz mixes clementine juice with sugar syrup and Prosecco, while a Chilli Margarita will help to warm you from inside out.
Green Bar at Hotel Café Royal
Step into an absinthe winter woodland as Hotel Café Royal’s Green Bar is transformed with forest-themed foliage. Be inspired by tales of the Green Fairy as you pick from cocktails such as the woody and earthy flavours of The Forager and the fruity and floral Velvet Essence.
Snuggle up with blankets and hot water bottles on Gaucho Piccadilly’s heated Terrazas Patagonian Terrace this winter. In collaboration with Argentinian winemakers Terrazas de los Andes, the cosy terrace is the perfect spot to catch up over Christmas drinks in London, such as warming mulled wine. Alternatively, order from its cocktail menu which includes the festive-themed Fig With It featuring whisky, fig and Angostura.
Bentley's Oyster Bar & Grill
Champagne and oysters are what Bentley's is famous for, but its cocktail menu is truly something special. Start with the likes of a Damson's Jam Sour (gin, homemade damson jam, lemon juice, frangelico, absinthe and egg white) or warm up with a hot apple toddy. Teetotallers aren’t forgotten, with mocktails such as the Lyres Highball that’s full of fruity flavours, from lime and peach to the spicy kick of ginger.
Explore more of the neighbourhood at Christmas, from the best festive dining, to festive afternoon teas and places to take a date. Or why not make a day of it and enjoy the best of the season in nearby St James’s.