Brighton is without doubt one of the UK’s party capitals, it also happens to have some of the UK’s trendiest cocktail bars and cocktails are back. Forget nasty giant pitchers of neon-pink paint strippers, we’re talking about true master craftsmen and women, concocting gorgeous drinks in some of the South Coast’s best bars.
But don’t take our word for it, get down to “London by the sea” and sample these 24 must-visit Brighton cocktail bars for yourselves.
The Copper Rooms
76 Preston Street, Brighton, BN1 2HG
The Copper Rooms is the latest bouncing baby from the people behind infamous Brighton bars like The Gin Tub and The Rum Cage, so it’s no surprise that this cocktail bar is the stuff of your gin-induced fantasies. There’s bizarre monkey portraits on the walls, stylish under-bar lighting and the occasional bottle of bubbly with sparklers strapped to the side… And you’ll love it all, because why wouldn’t you?
Come here for… Brighton’s most famous cocktails
Stay for… Totally unique décor to drink them in
69-71 Preston Street, Brighton, BN1 2HG
What we love about Maggie Mae’s is just how laid back everything feels. There’s no need to get dressed to the nines here, and nobody would expect you to, here the focus is on good food and even better cocktails. Whether you fancy ordering one of the classics, or choosing something a little more unusual like a Bourbon Sour, mixing Makers Mark bourbon, fresh lemon juice, sugar and bitters shaken with an egg white. And if that doesn’t get your pulse racing, nothing will.
Come here for… A genuinely laid-back atmosphere
Stay for… Classic cocktails done right!
The Cocktail Shack
34 Regency Square, Brighton, BN1 2FJ
Best. Shack. EVER! This fabulous cocktail bar comes in the totally unusual bambooed-up shape of a seaside surf shack, but it is NOT a tiki bar and we won’t hear that said. Not on our blog. No siree. Not that we’ve got anything against the humble tiki bar, but The Cocktail Shack is just so much more than that, with seriously creative cocktails like the Charlie and the Cocktail Factory and the Gettin’ Figgy with It to satisfy your curiosity.
Come here for… Brighton’s most unusual cocktails
Stay for… Those cute barmen shakin’ it up like Swifty is going out of fashion
32 Duke Street, Brighton, BN1 1AG
Eat. Drink. Dance. Three words to live by if we’ve ever read any, and No. 32 certainly do stick to their own life philosophies with a dangerously tempting menu packed with delicious food and uh-mazing cocktails, all served up with a healthy side helping of live music from some of Brighton’s best DJs. We think we’ve finally found our happy place.
Come here for… Food. Glorious food!
Stay for… Cocktails. Glorious cocktails!
41 Middle Street, Brighton, BN1 1AL
The word “colourful” doesn’t quite cut it when it comes to describing Twisted Lemon. This quirky cocktail bar has quickly become a firm favourite with Brighton locals thanks to its loud, vibrant art design and superb range of cocktails, all tucked into a spectacular little venue, hidden away amidst the city’s famous shopping Lanes. That’s one lemon well worth seeking out on any visit to “London by the sea”.
Come here for… Pizza by the seaside
Stay for… Cocktails… On fire?!?
12 York Place, Brighton, BN1 4GU
Arrrrriba! If you like your cocktails with a street Mexican twist then Carlito Burrito is the bar for you. As well as serving up some of the city’s most delicious burritos and tacos, this neon-lit venue has some fiery combinations of spirits for you to sample, including the Bad-ass Boss Margarita and the famously stiff Mezcal Zombie if you really rate your liver’s ability to digest alcohol.
Come here for… Fiery Mexican food
Stay for… Carlito’s Mojito, you won’t regret it
Merkaba, My Brighton, 17 Jubilee Street, Brighton, BN1 1GE
From the off, Merkaba state that they truly believe there’s “a cocktail for every occasion”. We couldn’t agree more, and from the looks of their jam-packed menu, they do genuinely have a cocktail for every occasion whether you’re drowning your sorrows in a Corden Bleu Sidecar or welcoming the night with a Bee-Keeper’s Punch. Which is certainly one way to keep your buzz (we’ll show ourselves the door).
Come here for… Cocktails with an international flair
Stay for… A BRAVO award-winning bar to drink them in, what more could a girl ask for?
25-26 New Road, Brighton, BN1 1UG
Naked lightbulbs dangle from the ceiling. Adorable bric-a-brac lines the walls. Wild flowers roam free, while gorgeous classical sculptures guard the holy gin hiding within. Mrs Fitzherbert’s is incredible. You’ll feel like Alice tumbling into Wonderland discovering this quirky and mysterious drinking den, with a cocktail list that the Mad Hatter himself would be intrigued by.
Come here for… The one-of-a-kind scenery, especially at night
Stay for… The true story of Brighton’s “Original Cougar”
The Black Dove
74 St James’s Street, Brighton, BN2 1PA
Girls, there’s no denying it. The Black Dove is cool. Adorned with chic design touches from yesteryear, this oh-so-trendy bar is well known among Brighton’s bright young things for having some of the city’s most creative cocktails including what is supposedly the “best negroni in Brighton”, we say there’s only one way to find out for sure…
Come here for… The best bric-a-brac that ever bric-a-brac’d
Stay for… Cocktails, cocktails and more cocktails
6 Rock Place, Brighton, BN2 1PF
Finally. A bar that speaks the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Brighton does indeed rock. It rocks hard. Almost as hard as the cocktails in this fantastic watering hole that claims to be “our city’s hidden gem”, which, if true, is a crying shame. After all, have you ever really lived if you’ve never tried a Brighton Rocks cocktail, which is packed with Brighton gin?
Come here for… A Brighton Rocks cocktail. It’s seriously good.
Stay for… Delicious, delicious tapas dinners
10 Marine Parade, Brighton, BN2 1TL
Patterns is the crowning jewel in Brighton’s nightlife crown. Essentially two venues in one, downstairs you’ll find some of the most immersive club nights in the UK, while upstairs there’s a totally chilled-out lounge bar, perfect for kicking back with the girls, taking in all the ocean views and getting all kinds of dizzy. Is it the sea air? Or is it the Frozen Cocktail slushie in your hand? You’d better order round two and find out.
Come here for… Frozen cocktails, “Oh we do like to beside the seaside…”
Stay for… Club nights with some of the world’s best DJs
The Plotting Parlour
6 Steine Street, Brighton, BN2 1TE
This is one bar that’ll have you and the girls wringing your hands with glee, pondering which delicious alcoholic concoction to order next. Do these cocktails look amazing? Yes. Do they taste amazing? Yes. Are they brought directly to your table by cocktail-making virtuosos who know all there is to know about your favourite tipple? You betcha.
Come here for… Award-winning alcoholic concoctions
Stay for… Round 2
Ohso Social Beach Bar
250A King’s Road, Brighton, BN1 1NB
A show of hands who enjoys a cocktail with a view? Yep, we thought so. Ruddy EVERYBODY. So, let’s all agree to meet at Ohso Social Beach Bar & Restaurant for delicious drinks overlooking Brighton’s pristine pebble beach. Even better, you can even drink a bit of the seaside culture with fabulously named blends like the Royal Pavilion and Stormy Brighton Seaside. When in Rome and all that.
Come here for… An alcoholic guide to Brighton
Stay for… Gorgeous seaside views
No.1 Middle Street Bar
1 Middle Street, Brighton, BN1 1AL
One of the newest bars on this list, but already making a name for itself amongst Brighton’s glitterati, No.1 Middle Street is where the party is at. It’s the home of burlesque performances, live DJs, champagne sparklers and a drinks list that reads like a who’s-who of our favourite cocktails, as well as a few concoctions that we’ve yet to discover. Salted Caramel Martini anybody?
Come here for… No fewer than 40 unique cocktails (seriously!)
Stay for… Some of Brighton’s wildest late night parties
8 Black Lion Street, Brighton, BN1 1ND
We know. Fame Academy was before your time to shine. Pop Idol came too soon, and The X Factor just isn’t cool enough. And now you’re too busy #girlbossing the 9-5 to even consider taking on The Voice. Fortunately for you, Lucky Voice is here to let you show off your musical talents with high-tech karaoke booths and if you need a lil’ liquid motivation, there’s song-themed cocktails like the Drunk in Love and Shake It Out to help you find your inner Queen B.
Come here for… Musical hilarity with your BFFs
Stay for… A chart-topping selection of pop cocktails
1 Bartholomews, Brighton, BN1 1HG
Put on your thick-rimmed glasses and whip out your beret, it’s wine tasting time! This independent bar is a beautiful little find amidst Brighton’s high-street fashion boutiques, perfectly located for a liquid lunch if we do say so ourselves. In fact, we do say so, and so should you when the cocktail menu features unique, alternative blends like the South West Sour and the unassuming Pidgeon, stirred with a machete. Yep, seriously.
Come here for… Perfectly made cocktails from those who know
Stay for… One of Brighton’s best vino collections
1-5 Prince Albert Street, Brighton, BN1 1HE
If The Great Gatsby were to party in Brighton (and why wouldn’t he?) then this is where we like to think he’d order his Tom Collins! The Mesmerist is like an old-school speakeasy where you can wear that flapper dress with pride and go back to a time where men were men and women were HARD drinkers. That is judging by the surprisingly stiff cocktails within these four vintage-loving walls, not that we’re likely to hear you complaining!
Come here for… Gatsby style nights with vintage cocktails
Stay for… Fabulous live music acts
The Black Lion
14 Black Lion Street, Brighton, BN1 1ND
From the outside, The Black Lion could be any other Brighton boozer. But step indoors and you’ll discover a world of imaginative décor, delicious food from a chef who’s worked his culinary magic for Michelin starred restaurants and devilishly tempting, high-class cocktails to match, including what many Brightoners believe to be the best Bloody Marys in town. And who are we to argue when they look this good?
Come here for… Quirky, imaginative decor
Stay for… Quirky, imaginative cocktails
The Lounge Bar
14 Ship Street, Brighton, BN1 1AD
5AM. The time of early-doors postmen, annoyingly punctual rubbish collections and… an Auntie Brenda, Ohhhhhhh She’s Got Wings? Si senorita, The Lounge Bar stays open until the small hours to hydrate Brighton’s party-loving locals with tasty cocktail creations that even our very experienced eye has never seen the like of. All served up in gorgeous retro surrounds complete with vintage furniture that fits the boho style profile. Nice.
Come here for… Late night cocktails with a vintage backdrop
Stay for… Early morning drinks when you don’t feel like dancing
27 Ship Street, Brighton, BN1 1AD
Seven Stars is a self-proclaimed gin pub, and tucked away in this stunning venue is a cheeky little “back bar” with more spirits than your Granny’s drink cabinet, with 10 speciality gins and even their own in-house infusions made using Sipsmiths gin (a bottle well worth trying if you’ve yet to experience it). And last but by no means least, they also make a small but stylish collection of cocktails that you’ve simply got to taste for yourselves. Bottoms up!
Come here for… Brighton’s best gin collection
Stay for… Cocktails using said gin in new and exciting ways
24 Ship Street, Brighton, BN1 1AD
Dos Sombreros is a full-on cocktail fiesta, shakin’ things up with tequila based blends as well as your classic favourites “If you like Piña Colada and getting caught in the rain”. But alcohol aside, the best thing about this seriously cool bar is the “Day of the Dead” themed artwork painted by acclaimed Argentinian artist Jonathan Daga. Creating a totally unique vibe perfect for enjoying Dos Sombreros’ crafty concoctions. Viva la cocktail!
Come here for… Brighton’s tastiest Tequila Sunrise
Stay for… Stunning Latino artwork
54-55 Meeting House Lane, Brighton, BN1 1HB
One of Brighton’s most exclusive cocktail bars, Bohemia is cool. It’s projectors against a brickwork backdrop cool. It’s expert, cute, waistcoat-wearing bartenders cool. Its cocktails served by the barrel cool. And it’s even got its own rooftop champagne garden terrace where you can enjoy all the boozy creativity in broad daylight, topping up your tans in the seaside sunshine. Cool.
Come here for… Cocktails in a rooftop garden
Stay for… A case of luxury Cuban Roulette
41 Meeting House Lane, Brighton, BN1 1HW
This handsome speakeasy is where Brighton’s trendiest people go to have a good time and not a long time. While the BYOC (“Bring Your Own Cocktails”) appears to be an empty shopfront on the surface, inside this building is a “Narnia of cocktails” decked out in authentic 20’s vintage fashion. A fully functioning pipe organ sits in the corner promising late night singalongs, while there’s even a private snooker room if your inner femme fatale feels like showing up the boys.
Come here for… An ever-changing array of original cocktails
Stay for… The immersive 1920’s décor
Be At One
5 Castle Square, Brighton, BN1 1EG
Be At One have spread to every cocktail-loving nook-and-cranny of our green and pleasant land for one good reason; they’re alcoholic maestros. These bartenders are expert conductors of all things boozy and if you’ve never sampled a Be At One tipple before, Brighton’s two-floored venue is the perfect place to discover your new favourite drink. Although with 127 different cocktails to choose from, it could take you a while…
Come here for… 127 (yep, 127) unique cocktails
Stay for… Happy hour… Duh!