Whether you’re looking for a quick shot or a refined cocktail, our list of London’s best vodka bars will keep you cosy through London's chilly winters, and refreshed through the long, hot summers.
Bar Polski, Holborn
Tucked away in a Holborn alleyway, this bar is devoted to all things Polish. With over 50 different vodkas categorised by styles, this is the place to come if you want a lesson in the extraordinary range of this often under-appreciated drink. Popular with London’s large Polish expat community, this friendly bar also serves up culinary specialities such as bigos stew if you get a little carried away on your voyage of discovery.
Bar Polski, 11 Little Turnstile, WC1V 7DX.
Baltic Bar, Southwark
An adjunct to the popular restaurant of the same name, this bar’s commitment to vodka extends to producing its own flavoured shots. Shots come in frozen glasses, while the more ambitious drinker is catered for with carafes of 4, 10 and 20 shots. With a vodka list of over 60 varieties including rye, grain, wheat and potato-based drinks, Baltic combines popular classics such as bison grass with more exotic flavourings such as sweet plum & chilli, and horseradish.
Baltic Bar, 74 Blackfriars Road, SE1 8HA.
For those who prefer relaxing in traditional surroundings, the Dukes Hotel is a must visit. Its cosy elegance has appealed to generations of London drinkers. James Bond’s creator Ian Fleming was a regular and it is claimed that 007’s vodka martini may have its roots in the bar. Dukes’ martinis are justly famed and so potent that there is a two-drink maximum. After all, it’s better to leave feeling stirred, not shaken.
Dukes Bar, 35 St James's Place, SW1A 1NY.
The Library Bar at The Ned, Bank
One of an extraordinary 17 bars at The Ned, The Library Bar is the place to go for a private atmosphere in stylish surroundings. Boasting one of the best curated vodka lists in London, the Library Bar’s vodka martinis are worth the trip in themselves. The bar’s Apricot Vesper is a delightful twist on the classic, and the trolley attendants are happy to expertly guide you through the menu.
The Library Bar at The Ned, 27 Poultry, EC2R 8AJ.
East London Liquor Company
The East London Liquor Company is the first vodka, gin and whisky distiller in east London for over 100 years. The distillery has a bar serving fantastic cocktails, while tours are available for those who want to know more about the process behind the drinks. The company’s grain vodka is produced using 100% British wheat spirit and is one of the best of the new wave of London-produced vodkas.
East London Liquor Company, 221 Grove Road, E3 5SN.
Hotel bars don't always have the best reputation, but Claridge’s is not just any hotel. Its bar neatly balances traditional glamour with a modern edge to make this one of the most inviting and sophisticated places to drink in London. Wend your way there for a vodka list populated with premier — and pricey — brands such as Beluga Gold Line, and cocktails which have long been recognised as among the capital’s best.
Claridge's, Brook Street, W1K 4HR.
Belowzero Ice Bar
Belowzero’s list of vodka cocktails demands inclusion. The bar’s current theme is London Land, showing off some of the capital’s landmarks in ice form making this a destination for locals and tourists alike. If the vodka doesn’t warm your cockles, then at least the -5°C temperatures will make the city outside seem warmer when you leave.
Belowzero, 31-33 Heddon Street, W1B 4BN.