5 Scottish bars named in the top 50 cocktails bars in the UK for 2022

Cardiff’s Lab 22 was voted number one cocktail bar in UK, with London cocktail bars dominating more than half of the list but Scottish bars were named in the Top 50.

Published 1st Feb 2022
Updated 8 th Aug 2023

The Top 50 Cocktails bars in the UK for 2022 have been announced at an awards night in London.

Cardiff-based Lab 22, known for inventive cocktails, has been voted number one in this year’s Top 50 Cocktail Bars list.

Tucked away above a well-known bakery, the experimental Lab 22 has jumped up 32 places in two years with its daring drinks menu from award-winning head bartender Max Hayward.

Also situated in the Welsh capital is Pennyroyal, a new entry at number 36, known for its friendly neighbourhood vibe and bold, eccentric cocktails.

Alongside the Welsh entries, a further ten are in the North of England, three in the West, two in the Midlands, three in the South and five in Scotland - leaving London to dominate half of the list.

Number two in this year’s Top 50 is Swift Soho, a much-loved regular on the list and in third place is The Connaught Bar, also voted as the 2021 ‘best bar in the world’ in The World’s 50 Best Bars.

This year’s Highest New Entrant is Tayēr + Elementary at number 4 on the list. Based in East London, it is the crowning work of bartending royalty Alex Kratena and Monica Berg.

This year’s special awards were presented to Bar Ikigai in Birmingham for Newcomer of the Year, Little Mercies in London for the Sustainability Award, Three Little Words in Manchester for Bar Team of the Year and Déjà vu in Hereford as the One to Watch.

The Scottish bars on the list are all from Edinburgh, with a new addition - The Absent Ear - the only Glasgow bar.

The are: Bramble Bar and Lounge, Panda and Sons, Lucky Liquor Co., The Absent Ear and Hey Palu.

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The Top 50 Cocktail Bars 2022 list is as follows:

  • Lab 22, Cardiff
  • Swift Soho, London
  • The Connaught Bar, London
  • Tayēr + Elementary, London
  • Satan’s Whiskers, London
  • Bramble Bar & Lounge, Edinburgh
  • Three Sheets, London
  • Oriole, London
  • Panda and Sons, Edinburgh
  • Speak in Code, Manchester
  • 🔶🟥🔵, London
  • Disrepute, London
  • Nightjar, London
  • Homeboy Bar, London
  • American Bar, London
  • SCHOFIELD’S BAR, Manchester
  • Opium Cocktails & Dim Sum Parlour, London
  • Coupette, London
  • Artesian, London
  • Scarfes Bar, London
  • Trailer Happiness, London
  • Lucky Liquor co., Edinburgh
  • Happiness Forgets, London
  • Jake’s Bar & Still Room, Leeds
  • Little Mercies, London
  • The Absent Ear, Glasgow
  • The Milk Thistle, Bristol
  • Berry & Rye, Liverpool
  • Laki Kane, London
  • Filthy XIII, Bristol
  • Lyaness, London
  • Roland’s Leeds, Leeds
  • Gungho!, Brighton
  • Hacha, London
  • The Hideout, Bath
  • Pennyroyal, Cardiff
  • Couch, Birmingham
  • Bar Termini, London
  • Below Stairs, Leeds
  • Hey Palu, Edinburgh
  • Public, Sheffield
  • Hedonist, Leeds
  • Present Company, Liverpool
  • The Pineapple Club, Birmingham
  • Publiq., London
  • Ojo Rojo, Bournemouth
  • L' Atelier du Vin, Brighton
  • Callooh Callay, London
  • Mother Mercy, Newcastle upon Tyne
  • The Cocktail Trading Co, London

Top 50 Cocktail Bars publisher Christopher Lowe said: “London has always been seen as a global leader for cocktails but as you’ll see from the 2022 list, other major cities across the UK are now catching up.

"Our newly launched website will help cocktail connoisseurs discover the best of the UK bar scene with many of these very much still under the radar.”

This year’s winners were announced during the list reveal on Tuesday 1 February at One Night Records, in London, hosted by Aidy Smith, who said: “I am absolutely honoured to present this year’s Top 50 Cocktail Bars and in doing so, celebrating the beating heart of drinks discovery.

"Without mixology, the world would never be able to discover drinks in such a unique and beautiful way. It’s this passion that sets bars and teams apart with a collective love and thirst for taste exploration.

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"After two harrowing years I can’t wait to get stuck in and honour some truly incredible people making some truly spectacular creations. Let’s do this!”

The bars on the list are places the industry like to visit, and the aim is to give a definitive rundown of where to drink in the UK.

Find out more and see the full list on the Top 50 website.

Known for cake making, experimental jam recipes, Champagne, whisky and gin drinking (and the inability to cook Gnocchi), Rosalind is the Food and Drink Editor and whisky writer for The Scotsman, as well as hosting Scran, The Scotsman's food and drink podcast.
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