London’s Most Quirky Cocktail Menus

Living in London for Cheap

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Last Updated on January 10, 2023 by London City Calling

So today is the 1st of February, which only means one thing… the end of dry January! To celebrate I’ve thrown together a list of a few of my favourite cocktail bars in the city, featuring many quirky, unique and downright strange drink selections.

Adventure Bar, Covent Garden & Clapham

Adventure Bar is a chain of 4 lively cocktail bars – 2 around Covent Garden and 2 in Clapham. Their Covent Garden bar, which is laid out as an underground labyrinth, is a personal favourite of mine for after work drinks.

The bar has an elaborate cocktail menu and, with drinks such as Snap, Kraken & Pop which has coco pops and ice cream in it, is perfect for anyone with a sweet tooth.

Many of their drinks come with fun little additions, such as the Flaming Zombie which is served on fire, the cricket soup which has a fried cricket on top, the Dream Catcher which comes with a fortune cookie and (saving the best till last) the Jedi Night which comes with a free lightsaber! Y

ou can also turn the cocktails into POPTAILS, a sharer for 2-3 people served in a popcorn box.

Cocktails are 2-4-1 during happy hour, which runs from 5-8 Sunday to Thursday or 5-7 Friday and Saturday.

Helpful tip: Adventure Bar often have deals on Groupon so make sure to check before you go. At the moment you can get 3 cocktails for £14 or 6 for £24.

Adventure Bar, Covent Garden, London

When you all buy the Groupon voucher and end up with too many drinks…

Toy Shop, Putney

The Toy Shop is a bright and vibrant cocktail bar on Putney High Street that serves a bizarre yet creative selection of cocktails.

As well as the classics, their menu features concoctions such as Professor’s Negroni, Revenge of The Gingerbread Man, Swizzle Diddle, Joyful Gin Fizz, Big Bad Wolf, Moopy’s Milk Bottle and Jim Jam Very Berry Bash.

If you want to find out what any of these are I guess you’ll have to go there and try them for yourself!

All cocktails are 2-4-1 from 5-8pm Sunday to Friday.

The Toy Shop is also a great place for parties with their impressive sharing cocktails such as The King of The Castle which is served in a castle, and the House Party which is served in giant toy house with a sparkler in the chimney. You’ll need the help of a few friends to drink your way through these!

Toy Shop, Putney, London

My friends enjoying the House Party sharing cocktail in Toy Shop

Simmons Bar, Various Locations

Simmons is a chain of late-night cocktail bars with 8 (soon to be 9) central London locations, including Soho, Camden, and Tower Bridge.

The bars serve all of the classic cocktails as well as a few of their own creations such as the Sherbert Sour and Coffee Pot, however, what makes Simmons truly unique is their sharing Teapot Cocktails, with the likes of Long Island Iced Tea served in a teapot and teacups.

All of the bars have an amazing happy hour which lasts for 5 whole hours, either 3-8 or 4-9 depending on location, from Sunday to Friday. Beers, wine and spirit mixers are £2.50 each, whilst a teapot of cocktail is just £15.

Simmons Soho, London

Simmons Soho’s retro interior (Photo from Simmons Website)

BallieBallerson/Glowy McGlow

Many of you will have known this previously as BallieBallerson, however this month the bar has had a fresh makeover. The colourful balls have been removed and the underground ball pit now features 250k clear balls dancing around on an LED dance floor. The cocktail list has also changed from the previous retro sweet inspired drinks to space-themed cocktails. Here’s a summary of the menu from their website:

‘Cocktails are themed around the planets; Neptune is based on charcoal and liquid nitrogen; the helium-rich Saturn is garnished with a floating balloon; and Uranus, which is undrinkable until you’ve eaten the Miracle Berry pill provided.’

Read about my full experience at BallieBallerson here.

First Aid Box, Herne Hill

Slightly outside of central, however, if you’re a South East Londoner you’ll love this one! First Aid Box is a healthy cafe by day and medicinal themed cocktail bar by night. The bar serves a selection of innovative drinks themed around ‘health, nutrition and doctors orders’ using ‘shrubs’ and spirits suspended in vinegar-based syrups to create unique flavours. Try the likes of gin mixed with matcha and pistachio, the Brockwell Park bramble which comes with a Chambered syringe and Luco-z-aid containing Lucozade syrup.

Also, remember to pop back the next morning to cure your hangover with a healthy breakfast and fresh juice!

What’s your favourite cocktail bar in London? I’d love some suggestions on where to try next so let me know in the comments below…

London City Calling

Emily is a born and raised London girl, starting life in the north of the capital then moving down to Fulham in the southwest. She has a master’s degree in Social and Cultural Anthropology from University College London and now works full-time running this blog and as a freelance travel writer, splitting her life between London and travelling the world as a digital nomad.

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