Best cocktails bars in Brighton
When it comes to living it up large, Brighton has no shortage of options. In a city with more bars per capita than any other in the UK the competition for serving superior cocktails keeps every mixologist on their toes. In no particular order here is our guide to all the best cocktail bars Brighton has to offer.
Indulge in the opulence of The Metropole Bar at Hilton Metropole. With views over Brighton’s promenade and interiors that have retained their original grandeur whilst receiving a thoroughly sympathetic modernisation, this is a perfect place to drink decadently. The signature cocktails have been crafted by local cocktail wizard Matt Ottley who has created an elaborate and amusing mythology around a fictional Admiral Neil Halverson Hilton. Travel the world of exotic tastes with drinks inspired by adventures, and pull up a bar stool to hear first hand how each cocktail came into being. For a party, quite literally with a twist, book in for a cocktail masterclass or enjoy their bottomless brunch.
Right in the heart of Brighton’s North Laine is L’Atelier Du Vin, a 1920’s prohibition inspired, bootlegger bar. It’s low-level lighting and classic jazz soundtrack create a perfectly intimate setting to enjoy a cocktail made by expert mixologists. L’Atelier’s delivery of authenticity is evidenced in their menu categorising cocktails by the dates they were coined, or at least at their height of social appeal; get your Al Capone on with a 1920’s Sidecar or celebrate the end of prohibition with the 1930s Between the Sheets. With over 300 different spirits to choose from L’Atelier Du Vin pride themselves on enjoyment not snobbery outlook to their menu and will make to requirements ensuring everyone’s tastes are satisfied.
Drakes has earned itself a well-deserved reputation as a boutique hotel of distinction, with consistently excellent fine dining. It also boasts a slick bar complete with statement black granite bar top and unbeatable sea views. An intimate stylish space where you can kick back with friends and enjoy artisan cocktails and an impressive selection of fine wines, champagnes and craft beers. With one of the most comprehensive ranges of premium whiskies and cognacs in the city, why not try a flight? It’s a great way to really appreciate the differences between blends, regional varieties and ageing processes.
We can’t resist a low lit neon spiked bar that plays 80’s tropical beats into the early morning and that serves cocktails like nowhere else in Brighton. Running on a zero waste policy Julien and his team create a seasonal ever-changing menu focussing on local and lesser used ingredients. With cocktails being created using what’s in season and on hand it’s a case of here today, gone tomorrow, FOMO’s* going to get you in its grips and keep you coming back. Another reason to love this bar is the home-brew goodies on offer – think orgeat, grenadine, falernum, ginger beer, triple sec, coffee liqueur and syrups all made from scratch. (*FOMO, Fear Of Missing Out)
Housed on the first floor of The Mesmerist, The Flipside is Brighton’s newest and grooviest 70s inspired cocktail lounge taking style nods and inspiration from this iconic era that heralded the legendary Soul Train movement. The funky cocktail menu features drinks that were all the rage in the 70s but brought up to date with a modern (and sometimes surprising) twist! The Flipside is open Thursday to Saturday evenings and can also be hired exclusively for your own events and celebrations from Sunday to Wednesday. Groovy Baby!
Whether you’re looking for fruity, creamy, spicy or fresh, the ‘Malchamists’ at Malmaison have all the ingredients and skill to mix you up your favourite! Using fresh and seasonal ingredients, you can expect to see new cocktails on the menu throughout the year. Enjoy the views and take in the sea breeze on the ship-shaped terrace overlooking the marina. Or for views without the sea breeze, try their conservatory with floor to ceiling glass windows while you sip on your cocktail.
Bohemia is tucked away in the winding Lanes, hiding from many its three floors of bar, diner and roof terraces. Despite this, Bohemia is all about bold noticeable looks, pulling in crowds of style-conscious revellers. Drinks are bold statements here too, with cocktails that utilise as much pyrotechnics, dry ice and UV lighting as you’d expect from a Las Vegas headline show. Luckily it’s not all smoke and mirrors with the Bohemia cocktails delivering plenty of fun, exceptionally drinkable mixes both new and old.
Market Restaurant has social dining at its heart, so naturally, a touch of social lubricant is more than forthcoming in the form of excellent wines, local beers and of course cocktails. The Anglo-Spanish theme permeates through to the cocktail menu, with the sherry infused Bloody Mary making for an excellent brunch or lunch time treat. Negroni’s are a focus here too, with masterclasses and paired tasting sessions making for a suitably social evening.
Gather your squad, grab a mic, and order a drink at Lucky Voice Brighton – you’re all set to enjoy your very own private karaoke room! Are you ready to enjoy your very own private karaoke room? If the answer is yes then Lucky Voice Brighton is waiting for you. Lucky Voice Brighton recently decided to completely upgrade their menu, and with a new menu comes the excitement of delicious new cocktails! The menu has been created by their talented managers Steve and Francois who have used their years of expertise to create something tempting for everyone. Now organised by taste in our menus, finding a cocktail you like has never been easier.
At Plateau, an independent wine bar and restaurant, they like to keep it simple, quality ingredients lovingly crafted, served in a fun, friendly environment where music is a passion, not an afterthought. The boffins at Plateau put a great deal of effort into compiling a wine list focussing on organic, biodynamic and, above all, natural wines. Their wine list changes weekly and they host regular wine tasting events and discussions. They have a strong, passionate team of bartenders on hand to mix up a fine selection of classic cocktails. Believing that quality ingredients make quality cocktails, they use only the very best.
New to Brighton in November 2019, the Coppa Club screams cool with its colourful interior and all-day dining ethos. The ‘stay all-day’ vibes here are helped by some of the comfiest looking seating in town, a killer menu and a delicious cocktail menu. Prop yourself up at the bar, order a ‘Stroppy Cow’ or a ‘Cancha Mojito’ and enjoy your evening while nibbling on some snacks from the bar menu. During the summer, their outside terrace is going to a popular one to sip on an Aperol Spritz or two…
Kujira is an ‘izakaya bar’, the is a type of informal place to go after work for drinks and a little food for the working professionals of Japan. Kujira offers Japanese inspired cocktails invented by their mixologist and perfected through homemade botanicals, juices and syrups, adding to the area’s growing reputation as the cocktail capital of Brighton.
The Mesmerist in The Lanes is a long-standing favourite amongst us Brightonians. Following an extensive refurbishment, this handsome venue now exudes style and sophistication, whilst the classically inspired cocktail list still features an impressive choice including indulgent Salted Caramel Espresso Martinis as well as punchy Negronis. There’s a fine selection of craft beer and cask ales available at the bar too. Ask for details on their cocktail masterclasses if you fancy trying your hand at mixing (and drinking!) your own.
Sophisticated seaside drinking location by day and late-night buzzing bar by night, Ohso really do suit whatever occasion you catering too. Enjoy an Aperol Spritz on a sunny afternoon overlooking Brighton Palace Pier, or meet friends for a boogie and a beer during the evening. Choose from a well-stocked bar all day with thoughtful drink options suiting all tastes.
Located opposite the British Airways i360, with spectacular sea views, The award-winning Salt Room is a stunning modern British seafood and grill restaurant celebrating the fruits of the sea. During the summer months, their seafront terrace is opened up for alfresco dining and drinking, or otherwise, the modern bar welcomes guests just after a tipple. The same seasonality and innovation that is applied to the menu finds its way into the cocktails, with a selection of drinks changing through the year and with a hint of earthy herbs and sea spices sprinkled throughout. the taste of the sea is never far away. The Salt Room also offer a cocktail masterclass.
Just yards from the seafront in The Lanes is a jumble of quirky gothic-style buildings. This is the Hotel Du Vin, where you can enjoy a tipple alfresco style in the vine-covered pergola or sink into a leather armchair in the bar or lounge. With over 100 whiskies and rums to choose from, a legendary wine cellar and a range of delicious cocktails, anything goes. Hotel du Vin hosts monthly wine tasting events, each with a different theme. If cocktails are more your scene, why not try one of their masterclasses where you can learn how to make a selection of cocktails with their expert mixologist.
Cyan is the new all-day eatery and bar in The Grand, mixing splendour with casual social vibes suited to remote workers and party-goers alike. The food and drink menu draws heavily on local producers so you’ll see plenty of brands from the city gracing plate and cocktail glass. While the new-look venu is vivid in cyan hues, the iconic central bar and four marble pillars that are a feature of the original building have been preserved, giving a striking old-meets-new look.
Priding itself on delicious wine and exotic cocktails, the bar at The Old Ship Hotel is the perfect spot for a little alfresco drinking in the summertime. The cocktail offering is nicely paired with the location, with a leaning to the fun side and a preference for fruity fresh flavours. Located right on the seafront the views are ideal for a sunny day, a cool long drink, and a bit of people watching. If you fancy a bite to eat, you can choose from the bar menu for a light bite or snack, alternatively, you can move onto their fine dining restaurant.
If your mission is to find a great bar to sample some delicious cocktails, then the West Beach Bar & Kitchen at the base of the British Airways i360 should be on your tick list. There’s a large cocktail menu featuring many classics along with plenty of the West Beach Bar’s specialities, all taking inspiration from the vibrant city of Brighton. Prices range from £7.95 – £9.50 and there are plenty of mocktails to choose from if you’re off the booze. Head to West Beach Bar & Kitchen for a premium cocktail experience with spectacular views!
One of Brighton’s most well known pubs, The Black Lion, is situated in the heart of The Lanes just near the seafront on Black Lion Street. Not only does The Black Lion have a good reputation for a music filled night out and it’s amazing food, it’s the go-to place for great tasting, affordable cocktails, with an extensive list made from quality ingredients and seasonally changing creations. There’s something for everyone! Look out for their regular cocktail offers including 2 for 1 Tuesdays!
Voted best place for a drink (winner and third place) at the Brighton Restaurant Awards. In the heart of Brighton’s buzzing North Laine, you’ll find My Hotel Brighton. The hotel’s wacky futuristic theme transports you off world and continues in their swanky Merkaba bar, where you can celebrate life with an artisan cocktail. The tantalising menu has a huge range, including Asian, bohemian, Brighton, American and tiki inspired cocktails. They love to host a party, so if you’re after a night to remember, why not try one of their cocktail packages. Or you could take part in a fun cocktail masterclass where you’ll receive expert tuition from experienced cocktail bartenders. Music is provided by Top local DJ’s every weekend.
Cocktail bar, games room and generally all-round stunning venue, there really isn’t any reason why Upstairs at The Joker isn’t top of everyone’s date night list. Entering through the downstairs pub, it’s almost as though you are part of an exclusive members club! Described as traditional with a twist, the cocktail list has six house cocktails and a selection of the classics. A local jazz artist also performs here, adding to the laid back and luxurious atmosphere that oozes from this bar.
Winner of the best cocktail bar in 2018 at the Brighton Restaurant Awards. Nestled in a side street just off the Old Steine and Kemptown Their success is built on an exceptional cocktail list created by some of the most talented mixologists in Brighton, including Manager, Luke Loddo. With more awards such as ‘Best New Bar‘ at the Brighton Bartender awards rolling in it’s no wonder you’re advised to book a table, and yes you heard us right – you can book in, rock up and enjoy table service all night long – no more jostling at the bar. Bliss.
The Fix is an innovative bar hidden within the tall walls of Regency Square, within The Set restaurant and Artist Residence Hotel. The mixologists here pride themselves on drinks “as creative and bespoke as the Artist Residence itself”. With playful service and a deep passion for the product, they invite you to join them for a taste of something new. (Image credit: The Fix )
Hotel Una is a family run boutique hotel, in the beautiful Regency Square in Brighton, where they take genuine pride in providing great service without being stuffy. Named after the river Una and with rooms named after the rivers of the world, the hotel boasts individual but unpretentious interiors, balanced soft colours and a homely atmosphere, to create a space to exist in harmony. As well as a discerning list of champagne and wine, the in-house bar offers a distinctive menu of classic and homemade cocktails using recipes inspired by century old accounts, brought back to life using homemade bitters, tonics, foams and macerations.
Situated next door to the Theatre Royal is El Mexicano, which claims to be the only authentic Mexican restaurant in Brighton and Hove. Hidden away, up an unassuming flight of stairs to the side of the restaurant, is their tremendously popular, and ever busy Bar Valentino. This cosy little bar is lined with leather sofas and curvy mirrors and has a brilliant little balcony overlooking the buzzing New Road, ideal for a spot of unashamed people watching. Offering seriously potent cocktails, Bar Valentino is guaranteed to get you in the party spirit. (Image credit: Bar Valentino Facebook)
A worthy mention in our Cocktail Bars Brighton listing, The Black Dove on St James’ Street is a laid-back hostelry with quirky décor and basement DJs. The ideal place to lubricate tired vocal chords and soothe worn-out limbs in eclectic and sumptuous surroundings. The stereo plays a healthy rotation of be-bop, Jamaican ska, cool jazz, delta blues, Afrocentric, 30s/40s/50s vocal greats and contemporary beat music.