Cocktail Bar Review: Bar Social, London

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Bar Social London might have one of the most vibrant and cutting-edge cocktail scenes of any international city, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t space for the occasional bar that is so outstandingly terrible it makes a McDonald’s milkshake look like the epitome of sophistication.

Shining brightly like a fake lighthouse luring a trading ship to its fate on the rocky shore, Bar Social advertises it’s presence with illuminated bottles of liquor in its window. Like a cheap candy store, it tempts unsuspecting punters with glowing bottles of exotic delights such as Maker’s Mark bourbon and Tanqueray gin. That alone should warn you not to step across the threshold, for booze bottles in the window is the equivalent of the restaurant that advertises it’s culinary expertise with faded pictures of food garnished with slices of carrot with grooves along the side. There is of course an even earlier warning that is the website, with it’s homepage gallery of drunken youths pulling the “I really shouldn’t have had that last flaming Samba shot” face. Presumably those in the photos were paid for their marketing assistance, for if my visits were anything to go by, there’s hardly a queue to sit on the sticky faux leather seating.

Set over a ground and upper mezzanine (why do these places always have a mezzanine?) level, it’s a bijou set-up with most of the lighting coming courtesy of the Jaegermeister-branded bar-top fridge. The cocktail menu itself is impressively extensive.You can choose from a range of Martini’s (chocolate, espresso etc), just don’t ask for it ‘dry’, it’s not that sort of place. The range of Mojito’s, Daiquiri’s and so on is equally utilitarian and allows all manner of fruit combo’s to be ordered. Things get much more fun as you peruse further into the publication, for Bar Social is seemingly way ahead of the trend curve by being quite a fan of those classic drinks such as the slippery nipple, sex in the park, orgasm No. 3 and cuban pussy. Yes, that’s right, this is clearly the place to pull.

Prospective customers worried that the aforementioned libations sound too exotic for their palate need not fret, for this is a bar that likes to keep things simple and stick to a single flavour in each drink. Sadly that meant my Old Fashioned tasted only of Angostura bitters, my (regular) Daiquiri tasted only of sugar, my Margarita tasted only of lime, and my Cuban Pussy tasted of, well let’s not go there. And so it is revealed that this tasteless relic from the olden days can’t make cocktails. It can’t come as a surprise, but let’s hope that they don’t blight the landscape much longer.

1 STAR out of 5

The Cocktail Geekthe cocktail geek

 the Cocktail Geek

Written by the Cocktail Geek Geek

Posted: March 12, 2013

Mark (aka thecocktailgeek) is an enthusiastic imbiber of spirits and mixed drinks in all their guises. Working outside the drinks industry, his experience comes firmly from the extensive time spent on the customers side of the bar. Based in London, he enjoys the quality and variety on offer to drinkers in the capital, but also regularly travels to experience cocktail culture around the world. In addition to running his own site reviewing spirits and bars, he is also a founding member of the London Cocktail Society, the members group for cocktail afficiandos. Mark can be contacted on or found speaking his mind on Twitter @thecocktailgeek.