Bars Brighton – Shake, pour, pose.

The cocktail is an evocative potion, conjuring up the parties of the 1930’s socialites, the sartorial wit of Dorothy Parker and the lethal charm of James Bond. Every cocktail is a statement, so they’re as much about who you want to be, as they are about what you want to drink.

From hidden gems to glamorous bars, here’s our tour of the best cocktail venues, with styles as signature as their drinks.

Bringing a fresh pulse of life to Preston Street, Gung Ho! also thrusts cocktails into the ‘sustainability’ drive. A young, edgy bar, super charged with mythic elemental force; expect neon signs, exposed stone, fire and ice. Harnessing the power of nature further, cocktails are made from small batch foraged botanicals and seasonal fruits, meaning cocktails become a once in a lifetime adventure. Be there to live the legend – or otherwise be the audience.

L’Atelier du Vin’s love affair with the golden era doesn’t limit itself at the prohibition newspaper clippings on the walls. The team have thoroughly researched the history of their craft to use the best authentic recipes from each cocktail’s most fashionable age, and mixed them with spirits that most closely resemble what was used at the time. Zeitgeist just got a new meaning.

Step through the boutique myhotel Brighton into the dark, stylish Merkaba. The celebrity vibe is buoyed up by the occasional presence of A-list hotel guests, only spotted if the spectacular flare of the mixologists doesn’t hold you transfixed that is. Merkaba is the place to see and be seen, to quote the maligned and celebrated socialite Oscar Wilde, “there is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.”

Possibly one of the coolest venues in Brighton, The New Club as an indie, grungy vibe with American diner decorated with iconic images of New York’s fire escapes and gratified back streets. All this gritty realness needs some strong legs to hold it up, which comes in the form of great food and house cocktails that will guarantee this is one club you’ll want to be a member of.

The paragon of elegance, Hotel du Vin, situated in a gothic style building with enclosed courtyard modern bistro and neighbouring bar, just oozes effortless style. Offering a little more seclusion and a step away from the main walks of the town, come here if you don’t need to be seen, because you already know you’re fabulous.

A nautical theme in a seafront bar is always like the Titanic – the difference is in whether it pitches before or after the incident with the iceberg. HarBAR succeeds in establishing the easy elegance of an exclusive cruise ship, with a light and stylish bar whose air is frequently punctuated with live jazz. If things feel a little wobbly, don’t worry it’s probably just the cocktails. This ship isn’t sinking, Celine Dione will not be number one in the charts for what feels like a million years and Rose will not stammer her desperate plea, ‘Jack, don’t let go.’

The market place may seem like an odd place for a cocktail encounter – but a theme should only be ridden so far. Market is social, with small plates and bar top dining, come for a quick bite and an after work cocktail and find yourself still there three hours later. This Spanish bar restaurant specialises in Sherry, which is set to make a return to fashion in 2018, and adds a Spanish twist to many of their cocktails. It’s time to be a trend-setter and Market leader.

The restored Victorian splendour of the Waterhouse Bar and Terrace is the perfect spot to pretend you’ve never done a days work in your life. The plush members club feel bar is equipped with an extensive list of classic cocktails and quality wine, served with the refinement expected of the Hilton. The terrace provides the perfect perch to look down on the hoi polloi, whilst you’re entertaining delusions of Downton Abbey.

Modern French bistro vibes at Plateau are laissez-faire in the best possible way, easy going with an inherent sense of style and taste. Wines are low intervention, the menu seeks to cameo the natural flavours through simple presentation, cocktails remain classic and the playlist eclectic. In a world where we’re all increasingly encouraged to author our own perfect life a little ‘que será, será’ attitude is a much needed tonic.

The restored Victorian splendour of the Waterhouse Bar and Terrace is a perfect place to imagine you’ve never done a days work in your life! In true Victorian style, your brunch can be boozy, your lunch taken on the veranda overlooking the commoners and dinner can be enjoyed in plush leather wing backs for that ‘members only club’ feel. Unlike the Victorian era however women can vote, men can love men and children aren’t put to work in mills, so you get the best of both worlds.

Down to the Brighton Marina and the lively, eclectic Malbar. The marina setting comes into its own on summer days with the decked terrace and summer loungers overlooking the docked yachts. A pool party vibe is fortified with a cocktail list that ticks off all the classics and then in a fun twist creates cocktails that celebrates each city where the Malmaison group have a hotel, so you can be drinking in Brighton whilst drinking a Brighton.

A sexy, dark and moody interior at Third Avenue in Hove sets the scene for some classy Manhattan vibes. Cocktails at the plush bar have a fun creative side, mixing serious looks with playful tastes. Late night DJ’s at the weekend also means your nights can be as fun or as serious as you like.