100s of titles, one news app for just $10 a month.
Dive Deeper:
National Cocktail Day: Where to get your hands on the best drinks deals in Bristol
Here's a few ideas to get you going on National Cocktail Day
Lanarkshire connoisseurs say 'sip, sip hooray' for World Cocktail Day!
Chin, chin, it's time for gin! To mark World Cocktail Day, we challenged members of regional food group, Lanarkshire Larder,…
We tried cocktail cans from Aldi, Tesco, Asda and one tasted 'like the real thing'
Cocktail cans are the perfect summer drink and ideal for taking on the go
Tourist stunned after being charged £510 for two drinks and snacks at Greek restaurant
Complaining to her travel agent, the angry tourist said: 'warn your future customers that the restaurant-bar we visited, charged us…
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
We visited a popular Edinburgh bar's new Japanese-style room, and it felt like a fairy garden
Four-star boutique hotel Tigerlily has just introduced their unique Japan-inspired set up perfect for an Afternoon tea treat with their…
Where to watch Rangers game in Glasgow as pubs and bars screen Europa League Final
With fans scrambling around to try and find a place to watch the big game with their pals, we've put…
Get all your news in one place
Latest Entertainment news:
Woolies Mudcake Lovers, Your Road Is About To Be Rocked With This New Cake Coming Very Soon
Get ready to rock 'n' road.
Read news from The Economist, FT, Bloomberg and more, with one subscription
Learn More
We’re Sorry To Report That Kourtney K Was Told To Drink Travis’ Kum For Her Fertility Issues
Sorry... what?
For Just $700,000 In College Bribes You Too Could End Up Dating Euphoria’s Hottie Jacob Elordi
It's official, Jacob is dating Olivia Jade -- best known for *that* college admissions scandal.
Abuse Accusations by Ex-wife Amber Heard are 'Insane', Says Johnny Depp
Actor Johnny Depp testified on Wednesday at his defamation trial against his ex-wife Amber Heard that it has been "unimaginably…
'Moon Knight' writer: 'Split' was an influence, but not the way you think
Jeremy Slater reveals that the team behind 'Moon Knight' took a close look at how Shyamalan's 2017 film 'Split' handled…
From analysis to good news, read the world’s best news in one place
Saudi Arabia buys 5% of Nintendo, because why not
Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund, which has purchased small and large stakes in a number of tech companies, has purchase…
Teenie Queenie – An Adorable Three-Year-Old Girl Dressing As A ‘Mini-Queen’ Visits Care Homes
An adorable three-year-old girl who delighted retirees by dressing as a ‘mini-queen’ and paying ‘royal’ visits to care homes has…

Glasgow's best cocktail bars - and what to order when you get there

By Kirsty McKenzie


Popping to the bar for a drink with friends is always good fun, but it can get a bit tiresome going to the same pub down the road week after week.

So why not shake up your nightlife a little and try a cocktail? Friday May 13th marks World Cocktail Day and Glasgow is overflowing with enticing bars and surprising drinks lists served straight up or with a twist.

Branch out from your local watering hole and take a seat at one of the city's top bars for a long, fruity margarita or inject some adrenaline into your night with an espresso martini.

From a speakeasy-inspired by Van Gogh to Glasgow's first Caribbean rum joint, these cocktail bars are guaranteed to entertain you for the night.

The Old Toll Bar (Old Toll Bar/Facebook)

The Old Toll Bar

From the outside, it looks like traditional old man's pub - but southsiders in the know are well aware that there’s more to see inside The Old Toll Bar.

The Kinning Park pub serves up craft beers, premium spirits and cocktails over candlelight.

A historic Glasgow boozer stripped back to its Victorian grandeur - it stands to reason that some of the oldest cocktail recipes in the city can be found at the Old Toll Bar.

The Finnieston

Fish is the name of the game at the Finnieston - but their delicious drinks have always been quite the catch. Housed inside a tiny blue building slap bang in the centre of the Finnieston strip, this seafood bar-restaurant is a must whether you are a pescatarian pilgrim or not.

The cocktails, like the red-leather banquettes, are trad-transatlantic. Gin cocktails are their speciality, with over 60 brands of gin reside on the shelves, and the bartenders also know just how to hit the bittersweet note of a great Manhattan.

Tabac on Mitchell Lane (Facebook - Tabac)

Tabac

If you’re a fan of classic cocktails then this bar and restaurant hidden down a side street in Glasgow’s city centre is the perfect spot for you.

Take a seat under the watchful eyes of the bar's whacky abstract art and get ready for a wild one. This place has long set the benchmark for eclectic drinking holes in the centre, with a huge cocktail selection including margaritas you'd be hard-pressed to beat in Mexico.

The Grow Room

Glasgow's hidden CBD cocktail bar recently relaunched in April celebration of 4/20 – so it had to be high on our list.

Tucked away in an old fire escape at the previously mentioned Tabac, The Grow Room is blazing a trail through the city's food and drink scene with a brand new cocktail menu, and banging tunes all weekend.

Scotland's first CBD cocktail joint rolled into the Mitchell Lane bar in January 2020 and the new menu for the exciting relaunch has been created by Tabac's very own Lynsey Cameron. We'll drink to that!

Banana Moon

Now we have it, how the west end survived without Banana Moon for so long is a mystery. There have always been drinking dens and battered pubs and good restaurants on this side of town but a chilled, straight-up-and-down cocktail bar was missing. Making up for lost time, Banana Moon is the perfect place to relax with friends, listen to vinyl records and grab a quirky cocktail.

Banana Moon is the official home of the world's first alcoholic oat milk beverage too - who wouldn’t want to ask for a Panther Milk? A cool name, cool drink. It’s easy enough to have one too many, so be careful. Those panthers can be deadly.

Sharp but light, the Old Fashioned cocktail is the real star of the Kelvingrove Cafe's menu (Kelvingrove Cafe)

Kelvingrove Cafe

With its glossy mahogany walls and plump leather booths, Kelvingrove Cafe is achingly hip. The true hub of the independent bar scene in Glasgow, the cocktail bar and restaurant defines Finnieston’s indie spirit, hidden in plain sight behind vintage signage like a legal speakeasy.

Spirit fans can sit surveying a wonderwall of twinkly fairy lights, world liquors and vintage bitters as they sip. A true Glasgow institution. - and their Old Fashioned always hits the spot.

Rumshack Glasgow (Rum Shack/Facebook)

Rum Shack

Established in 2015 on Pollokshaws Road, Rum Shack is Glasgow's first Caribbean bar and serves more than 100 rums from all over the world.

This lively southside joint offers some of the best cocktails in the city and there's even a club venue below for those ready for a rum-fuelled night on the tiles.

Outside in the summer they have a beer garden too - which has cheerful yellow seats, fairy lights and deck chairs. Sure, you might not get the brilliant blue sea and dazzling white sands alongside your cocktails, but one sip of their signature rum tipples should momentary whisk you away to sunnier climes.

Blue Dog

Situated just a stone's throw away from Slug and Lettuce on West George Street, if you are planning to bar-hop then check out this casual drinking den.

It's cosy, dimly lit and provides live music and cocktails until the small wee hours. A mainstay of Glasgow's thriving live music scene for almost 20 years, we recommend paying them a visit and ordering the Pablo Escobar’s Turkish Delight, a gin cocktail served up with blood orange liqueur, raspberry, rhubarb bitters, and fresh lemon.

The Spiritualist

This elegant bar and restaurant boasts a truly stylish setting - think marble-topped tables, rattan chairs and lots of greenery.

Enjoy some serious people watching while you indulge in surprising cocktails such as the Cocktail in the Rocks – a classic tipple poured into an ice ball, which requires a small mallet to crack open.

Chinaskis

Venture one street up from Charing Cross to discover this hidden alfresco drinking and dining oasis.

Enter inside the tiny sage green building and grab a seat at their bar or head out on to their terrace come summertime.,

The outdoor spot is decked out with stylish tables and chairs and set with potted plants and climbing greenery. Try a New York Sour White or splash out on a Rum Old Fashioned topped with orange - both make for the perfect summer drink.

Bar Gandolfi, upstairs at Cafe Gandolfi in the Merchant City (Cafe Gandolfi/Facebook)

Cafe Gandolfi

A bar that opened way back in 1979 might not be the first place you would think of for modern, sophisticated drinking. But the cocktail list at this café and bistro, set in the heart of the Merchant City, is as contemporary as any city-centre bar.

Take a seat at the bar - the countertop is a custom-made pewter beauty - and enjoy the signature martini, made with Sipsmith gin and served with a slither of ginger.

The Absent Ear has been named one of the best cocktail bars in the UK. (The Absent Ear/Instagram)

Absent Ear

This luxurious Glasgow bar - all dim lights and plush velvet furnishing - has been voted the UK’s best cocktail bars thanks to expertly executed mix of classic and modern drinks. Try the 'soup de jour', a Carrot and Coriander Mary, comprising carrot, coriander, galangal, amontillado sherry, MSG, tamari, your spirit of choice, and '50 or so other yummy items.'

Housed in a top secret basement, guests are only given the address of drinking den when they complete their booking. Described as 'a hedonistic haven from your wildest dreams', much of The Absent Ear remains shrouded in mystery - but you’ll know when you’re in the right place when you come face-to-face with a portrait of artist Van Gogh, who served as inspiration for this secret watering hole.

What is inkl?
The world’s most important news, from 100+ trusted global sources, in one place.
Morning Edition
Your daily
news overview

Morning Edition ensures you start your day well informed.

No paywalls, no clickbait, no ads
Enjoy beautiful reading

Content is only half the story. The world's best news experience is free from distraction: ad-free, clickbait-free, and beautifully designed.

Expert Curation
The news you need to know

Stories are ranked by proprietary algorithms based on importance and curated by real news journalists to ensure that you receive the most important stories as they break.

Dive Deeper:
National Cocktail Day: Where to get your hands on the best drinks deals in Bristol
Here's a few ideas to get you going on National Cocktail Day
Lanarkshire connoisseurs say 'sip, sip hooray' for World Cocktail Day!
Chin, chin, it's time for gin! To mark World Cocktail Day, we challenged members of regional food group, Lanarkshire Larder,…
We tried cocktail cans from Aldi, Tesco, Asda and one tasted 'like the real thing'
Cocktail cans are the perfect summer drink and ideal for taking on the go
Tourist stunned after being charged £510 for two drinks and snacks at Greek restaurant
Complaining to her travel agent, the angry tourist said: 'warn your future customers that the restaurant-bar we visited, charged us…
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
We visited a popular Edinburgh bar's new Japanese-style room, and it felt like a fairy garden
Four-star boutique hotel Tigerlily has just introduced their unique Japan-inspired set up perfect for an Afternoon tea treat with their…
Where to watch Rangers game in Glasgow as pubs and bars screen Europa League Final
With fans scrambling around to try and find a place to watch the big game with their pals, we've put…
Get all your news in one place