One of the best ways to enjoy alcohol can be through a cocktail.
With a broad range of flavours, complexities and thrills, the cocktail market is broad and likely has at least a drink for everyone. Even if you don’t drink, mocktails are always such a delight. Naturally, there are high expectations, and Brighton meets them by offering a range that includes classics and masterpieces.
If the location is in question on where to get this thrill, fear not, as here we have a list of Brighton’s finest!
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Our top picks for the best cocktail bars in town
The Best Cocktail Bars in Brighton and Hove
THE PLOTTING PARLOUR
Located right in the heart of the city yet tucked away from the bustling crowds, stepping into The Plotting Parlour evokes a sense of occasion. This sensation endures as a welcoming host greets you and escorts you to your reserved table. Given its well-deserved reputation, it’s advisable to make a reservation. Anticipate indulging in the most delectable signature dishes and classic cocktails you can imagine. Explore options like the ‘Fear and Loathing’ or ‘Ginger and Chili Margarita’ as you engage in lively conversation with your fortunate companions. All beverages are crafted using the finest locally sourced, seasonal ingredients, and top-tier spirits and liqueurs. Additionally, a tempting array of small plates is available to accompany your drinks.
To access this contemporary incarnation of a speakeasy, you’ll need to ring a bell, and then ascend the slightly twisting, velvety staircase leading to the red-room elegance above. Situated in close proximity to the Theatre Royal, Bar Valentino exudes a lavish 1920s ambience, seemingly steeped in tales of yesteryears that its walls could tell if they could speak. However, the cocktail menu remains as fresh as a spring daisy, and a modest selection of delectable snacks can be promptly delivered from the superb Spanish restaurant Tino Taperia (ranked in the Top 20 for both International and Best Team), located below. If you enjoy watching the skilled bartenders at work, you’ll have a prime vantage point, and they’re more than willing to share their trade secrets if you’re interested in discussing their craft.
THE ROSSI BAR
With midweek 2 for 1 cocktail deals before 7pm and a plethora of underground live music in their basement, the Rossi Bar is a hidden community hub for Brighton’s buzzing music scene. With it being particularly quaint and affordable, there are many reasons why this bar, in particular, would draw you in as an option to have a cocktail at. While it is known to have occasional busy nights, there is a casual vibe that the Rossi Bar always maintains. This punk-provider cocktail bar provides a safe space and some great affordable drinks.
THE TWISTED LEMON
As a beloved fixture in Brighton, The Twisted Lemon has been delighting patrons with both traditional and creatively reimagined cocktails for more than ten years. Nestled within its own vibrant yellow alley in the heart of the Brighton Lanes, this establishment exudes a distinct atmosphere, characterised by its offbeat charm and thoughtfully crafted cocktails offered at enticing prices. The venue boasts a straightforward bar menu, and it even features a delightful courtyard garden, perfect for enjoying cocktails in the sunshine. With its appealing blend of elements, it’s no surprise that this spot tends to draw a lively crowd on nights at the weekend.
Ever since Burnt Orange opened in June 2021, it has swiftly earned a special place in the hearts of both Brighton residents and tourists. Nestled within the historic Lanes of Brighton within the Old Coach House, Burnt Orange Brighton stands out as a shining gem in the portfolio of renowned local restaurateur Razak Helalat. Razak, who is already celebrated for introducing Brighton to two beloved dining establishments, The Coal Shed and The Salt Room, has recently added the exciting new venue, Tutto, to his repertoire. With its inviting yet refined ambience, Burnt Orange strikes a harmonious balance, providing a mature and vibrant setting that has become a favourite hangout for the discerning residents of Brighton.
Under new management since 2016, Brighton Rocks is an intimate, always-evolving atmospheric bar at the heart of Kemptown. They pride themselves on excellent service, classic-inspired drinks, and great vibes. In addition to their fantastic range of cocktails, they also provide an enviable selection of craft beers, organic wines, and some of the best spirits the world has to offer, including their extensive range of whiskeys. Their speciality is in Bourbon whiskey, which makes up the majority of their 120 different whiskeys/whiskies from 22 different countries and growing.
Brighton offers a wonderful variety of cocktail bars at a range of different price points. With something for everyone, we recommend trying a few of these and seeing what works for you!