8 of the best cocktail bars in Bath

Circo Bar and Lounge (c) Neil Watson

Circo Bar and Lounge (c) Neil Watson - Credit: Archant

Dirty martini or classic margarita? Fruity daiquiri or rich White Russian? Find out the top places for an evening out in Bath with our guide for the discerning drinker.

1. Circo Bar and Lounge

Known for its signature cocktails and extensive wine and champagne list, those with a refined palette should look no further than Circo Bar and Lounge for a few evening tipples.

The bar produces its own bitters, infusion, juices and purees in addition to its impressive back bar selection. However, if that isn’t enough to tempt you, the award-winning mixologists hold popular cocktail making classes most days of the week.

2. The Dark Horse

Cocktail lovers, you’re in good hands at The Dark Horse on Kingsmead Square. Welcoming and relaxed, this intimate, low-lit venue offers plenty of cosy corners to while away an evening with a cocktail or two.

It’s a local affair at The Dark Horse with everything from the artwork adorning the walls to the spirits in your drinks sourced from the West Country.

3. Opium Bar

A quirky cocktail experience, Opium is tucked away in the Vaults under Grove Street. The interior, a combination of periods to Victoriana to Bohemian Louis IV, feels hidden, intimate and quirky, and almost reminiscent of a chic bar you could find on the streets of Paris.

With an extensive selection of cocktails , in addition to a hand-picked wine list and selection of world beers; you’ll be spoilt for choice.

4. The Montagu

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Head to Bath’s iconic Royal Crescent for a five-star affair at the hotel’s Montagu Bar.

Warm up on a cold evening with a ‘Bath Dreams’, a delicious concoction of Bailey’s, Ameretto Disaranno, Kahula, double cream and hot chocolate or sip on a refreshing ‘Peartini’, featuring Grey Goose la Poire, Disaranno, lime and sugar syrup. Lovers of wine and fizz, don’t despair, there are plenty of bottles stocked in the award-winning cellar to choose from too.

5. The Canary Gin and Wine Bar

Spread over two floors, the Canary Gin and Wine bar is the go-to destination in Bath for gin lovers as its home to the famous Bath Gin Company. The recipe for the eponymous spirit was developed in Bath and derives from the combination of Kaffir lime leaf, wormwood and liquorice. This ‘gin of a different persuasion is used to create The Canary’s signature cocktails.

Start on the ground floor Gin Bar before heading upstairs to the Martini bar to sip on a cocktail crafted by master mixologist Tom Pople. Never fear if gin is not your tipple, the well stocked bars have alternative spirits, wines and beers to sip on.

6. Sub13

Extensive and inventive cocktail menu aside, this handsomely decorated haunt is well-worth a visit. Sip on something sparkling in the Perrier-Jouët Champagne Lounge, designed by Shaun Clarkson (of Harvery Nichols and OXO tower fame), hang out in the main bar and sample cocktails brimming with homemade infusions, or sit out in the garden and watch the world go by.

Due to the high volume of stag and hen parties that descend on Bath, its nice to know that ‘No trashy fancy dress/ glitter/ inflatables’ is part of the award-winning Sub 13’s dress code.

7. Cosy Club

Don’t be fooled by Cosy Club’s bijou entrance. Climb the stars and you’ll find an Art-Deco inspired snug, a gin-palace-style bar and terrace seating overlooking Southgate Place.

A tempting array of cocktails fill the menu; from a classic English Garden (Hendrick’s gin, pressed apple juice and elderflower) to a glass of something bubbly (the Sparkling Duchess is a mixture of Chase raspberry liqueur and Martell brandy shaken with blackberries topped with Prosecco).

8. Casa Iguanas

Aiming to bring downtown Rio to Bath, the menu at Casa Iguanas Cocktail Bar and Cachaçaria focuses on Brazil’s favourite spirit cachaça.

With a long list of cocktails to work through, and 2-4-1 on Happy Hour Cocktails, this bar is perfect for catching up with friends at the end of a long week.