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The UK’s top 50 cocktail bars: Swift named London’s best drinking spot as capital dominates list

London venues counted for half of the 50-strong ranking, including six out of the top 10

<p>Toast to the bar with the most:  cocktails at Swift </p>

Toast to the bar with the most: cocktails at Swift

/ Addie Chinn
By @dvh_ellis
02 February 2022

oho favourite Swift has been named as London’s best drinking spot by this year’s Top 50 Cocktail Bars list.

The two-storey Old Compton Street favourite placed second on the list, which was topped by Cardiff’s Lab 22. The Welsh star has risen an astonishing 32 places on the list in just two years.

The evening, hosted by Evening Standard drinks columnist Aidy Smith, saw the popular Connaught Bar come in at number three — a curious result, given it was recently named the best bar in the world — with Old Street hit Tayer + Elementary at number four (and the list’s highest new entry), longstanding Bethnal Green whisky bar Satan's Whiskers at five, the Venning brother’s Dalston bar Three Sheets at seven, and Spitalfield’s favourite Oriole at eight.

In total, a full half of the list was made up of London venues, with it dominated by familiar names including the likes of Homeboy (14), the Savoy’s American Bar (15), and Ryan Chetiyawardana’s Lyaness (31). Bar Termini, which sits opposite Swift, made number 38. Little Mercies, at number 25, additionally picked up the award for sustainability.

This year marks the fourth time the list has been released. Christopher Lowe, the publisher behind it, said: “London has always been seen as a global leader for cocktails but as you’ll see from the 2022 list, other major cities across the UK are now catching up. Our newly launched website will help cocktail connoisseurs discover the best of the UK bar scene with many of these very much still under the radar.”

The full ranking of the 25 London bars, with their rankings, is as below:

2. Swift Soho

3. The Connaught Bar

4. Tayer + Elementary

5. Satan’s Whiskers

7. Three Sheets

8. Oriole

11. 🔶🟥🔵

12. Disrepute

13. Nightjar

14. Homeboy Bar

15. American Bar

17. Opium Cocktails & Dim Sum Parlour

18. Coupette

19. Artesian

20. Scarfes Bar

21. Trailer Happiness

23. Happiness Forgets

25. Little Mercies

29. Laki Kane

31. Lyaness

34. Hacha

38. Bar Termini

45. Publiq.

48. Callooh Callay

50. The Cocktail Trading Co

For more information and the full list, visit