RECENT summertime openings are aiming to reinvigorate after-work drinking with masterful mixology, which is exemplified in Bishopsgate’s newest installation, The Drift at Heron Tower, from the same team behind The Folly and The Anthologist. Set over two massive floors with a sprawling bar on each and a secluded cabana overlooking Europe’s largest aquarium, The Drift is angling to please the City’s palate with a variety of innovative drinking options. Cocktails are impressive, or you can purchase a wine flight set of 125ml tasters to quench your curiosity. Nearby, in Moorgate, the Chiswell Street Dining Rooms recently opened in the c1750 Whitbread Brewery. They’ve put together a pretty sleek and subdued bar with clean lines and inventive bartenders who prove their mettle with cocktails like the New York Sour (Bulleit and lemon/lime drizzled with Merlot). For the ultimate “flights” a little further east, head to Nuno Mendes’ Viajante Bar in Bethnal Green. Requiring a reservation from at least a day before, the £40 cocktail tasting menu matches mind-boggling molecular mixology with Mendes’ signature amuse bouches. A hop, skip and a jump to Hoxton is Happiness Forgets, a new basement speakeasy-style bar with low-rent, top-shelf cocktails. The bartender and resident mastermind cut his teeth at New York’s Pegu and can produce a superlative glass at a cut-rate price. Across town, the Brompton Bar and Grill has recently set up an Absinthe Bar which is serving the infamous tipple that toppled the like of Rimbaud, Oscar Wilde and Van Gogh. Along with the traditional slotted spoon ritual, they’ll whip you up a variety of Green Fairy-lashed contemporary cocktails like the Absinthe Caipirinha.
Across town in Canary Wharf, the Battery Club has now opened its chic 3rd Floor late night bar with stunning views across the river . “The Den” features wood panelled walls and a low tin ceiling to complete the New York feel. Tim Badham is the founder of Innerplace, London’s leading providers of VIP entertainment, including film premieres, fashion shows, launch parties and members club access. www.innerplace.co.uk