Bristol’s best cocktail bars

6 09 2012

Tonight at St George’s, Bristol’s best cocktail bars will join forces for the first Cocktails in the City event, with cocktail masterclasses, drinks samplings, demonstrations and tutored tastings. So what better excuse than to feature the dozen bars taking part:

Perennially popular, open later than most and always packed. Deceptively spacious so if you think it’s standing room only upstairs, head downstairs, if you don’t mind students.

Bordeaux Quay
Out on its own on, err, Bordeaux Quay, Bordeaux Quay isn’t known for its cocktails. But it serves mighty fine food, bakes its own bread, and recycles its rainwater.

The Colour Inn
Formally Whitelock & Grace and subtle, The Colour Inn is now loud and brash from the outside but still much the same inside, although many of its cocktails are now luminous.

Goldbrick House
One of Bristol’s most stylish drinking dens, with a warren of rooms and ‘secret’ terrace. I ate here once surrounded by a phalanx of bodyguards, but that’s another story.

Found underneath an Indian restaurant overlooking the Downs, this subterranean lair serves some of the best drinks in town in Bristol’s original speakeasy.

Harvey Nichols
On the second floor of the most expensive shop in town is probably the most expensive cocktail bar in town. A glamorous enclave for the beautiful people.

Hotel Du Vin
The hotel in a former sugar refinery where the Beckhams stayed when they visited Bristol a few years ago. Drink in style in sumptuous no expense spared surroundings.

Hyde & Co
You used to have to go up some stairs then down some stairs to find this elusive haunt. Now look out for the bowler hat. Small but perfectly formed.

The Milk Thistle (below)
The big daddy of what my cousin Jeremy calls ‘doorbell bars’. Three floors of extravagance. The only disappointment is having to step back out onto the centre.

Officially now a ‘house of teas’ rather than a cocktail bar, but retaining the same owners as it did when it was Tequila Max where scantily-clad ladies served shots.

The Rummer
A hostelry has stood on this site since the thirteenth century. On Christmas Day, the cobbled lane it is in will feature in an episode of Dr Who filmed last month.



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