It was the first place in Britain to open a naturist beach, has the country’s oldest cinema and was once home to the ‘mother of modern witchcraft’, but Brighton is so much more than just quirky facts and a few pebbles strewn about the place, it’s also a hive of cocktail activity. From mojitos before a photobooth moment to espresso martinis in tunnels, we asked DesignMyNight to put together a list of some of the very best cocktail bars in town.
One of the most unique cocktail concepts in Brighton, BYOC is so much more than just a basement bar. Subterranean with a private, vintage cinema in tow, this spot invites you to bring a spirit of your choosing, in true BYO fashion. What their master mixologists do with that spirit? Only go ahead and churn out out some of the leanest, meanest cocktails in the business, all with a speakeasy twist.
Fancy cocktails in Brighton with a little dose of cabaret on the side? Tucked away above Grand Central, a casual British pub just shy of the main train station, the 1920s inspired Nightingale Room isn’t just a spot where gin cocktails come out to play, it’s a spot where some of the best in burlesque, comedy and music take to the stage for a night of unstoppable entertainment.
Scooting past The Black Dove could be easy due to its humble pub front, but you’d be barmy to miss the cocktail curation going on behind the scenes. Known in Kemptown for their broody interiors, dripping candelabras and a pirate inspired galley in the basement, The Black Dove are more than just pint pulling, they’re classic mixes and interesting takes on old favourites.
If gin is your thing, then it’s a dip in the tub for you. A spot where mobile phones get no signal (true story), but socialising is rife, The Gin Tub may have blocked your access to Instagram via copper and foil filled walls, but it does give you access to some of the best gin cocktails in the business. Fancy sharing? Use the retro telephones on your table to phone another, sharing the wealth over gin sliders and more.
We know it’s not nice to spread rumours, but Be At One don’t happen to mind, especially when it’s the rumour that they’re home to one of the best happy hours in Brighton. And guess what? The rumours are actually true. With the best in 2-4-1 deals, not only does your money go a little further here, cocktail party spot Be At One are host to everything from Oreo cocktails down to your humble porn star martini.
Hailing themselves as ‘Brighton’s best kept secret’, The Plotting Parlour is a secret we more than want to share. Found just shy of Old Steine, not only was this quirky little haunt named Brighton’s best cocktail bar at Brighton and Hove Food Festival, they’re famed for making all ingredients in-house, making for a more than charmed cocktail experience in vintage surroundings.
This is a cocktail bar in Brighton that has a grab-em-by-the-balls approach to nightlife. Not only do they turn out a raucous selection of soul, jazz and burlesque nights alongside DJs and dancing aplenty, no visit to The Mesmerist would be complete without grabbing one of their unusual cocktails before a a couple of rounds in the photo booth.
Not only is No 32 a late night spot in Brighton where the young and the fun come out to play, it’s also a place where cocktails take president. Hunker down in a booth or indulge in a few over dinner as you can enjoy everything from a banoffee pie themed cocktail with whipped cream and vodka, to their ‘Passion Island’ with limoncello and prosecco.
Brighton has a habit of hiding cocktail bars in pubs, and this speakeasy spot just so happens to be one of those. Found above casual boozer The Wick (where pints and delicious Thai grub are rife), this elusive little number isn’t just big with bourbon and illicit cocktails, their soundtrack of jazz and discreet vibes promise an intimate cocktail experience throughout the year.
For more info on Brighton’s best bars, visit DesignMyNight and follow them on Instagram and Twitter; @DesignMyNight.