Posted 3rd September 2012
Not the cheapest drink choice, but arguably one of the most impressive (and enjoyable!)
If you are a cocktail enthusiast then Bristol is without a doubt one of the best places to be. We are home to some incredibly talented mixologists and a real variety of cocktail bars – arty, retro, quirky, vintage – the list is endless! Here are some of our favourites:
Hyde & Co, Clifton Triangle
Step into prohibition era at the beautiful speakeasy cocktail bar. The entry policy is no free tables, no entry so booking or arriving early is advised, queuing outside is not an option. Keep your eyes peeled for the sign with the bowler hat then ring the doorbell and wait for entry. Once inside expect excellent drinks, table service, low lighting and antique furnishings. Secret doors and tables are tucked away in every corner – on my last visit we had to go through a bookcase! Sophisticated and very cool.
Amoeba, Kings Road, Clifton Village
Live DJs, intimate lighting and a buzzing atmosphere. Amoeba is not table service but their cocktails and setting are fantastic – we particularly like the garden, perfect for summer evenings. Entrance policy is more relaxed here however there are doormen on the weekend. There’s a real emphasis on unusual sprits too – they have a really wide selection of liquor so ask the bartenders what they recommend.
Milk Thistle, Colston Avenue
Same owners as Hyde and Co and the same policy when it comes to entry, strictly through a member of staff, no queuing – ring the bell and wait for them to answer. Another vintage bar however not just prohibition, these guys have different rooms with different period feel. Pay attention to the house rules – etiquette is a big deal at the Milk Thistle, but its these touches and rules which make drinking there such a fabulous experience.
Charlies Bar, Whiteladies (previously The Colour Inn)
Intimate and arty – The Colour Inn is one of the coolest places we know. Murals on the wall, local art, an inspired cocktail menu, a bar dog (we love them) and a great atmosphere. Enter through the front door until about 9ish when entry the the more discreet door at the back only. Make sure you try the gingerbread martinis.
The Rummer, All Saints Lane, City Centre
The Rummer is suave and sophisticated. A classic menu, a roaring fire, beautifully decorated and fantastic service. In addition to excellent cocktails you can also expect brilliant food and a great wine list. Its a little pricey but not too much so and is open throughout the day as well as the evening. We love it.
Some other cocktail bars to watch out for…