phone mail2 facebook twitter play whatsapp
A Guide to Oxford’s Cocktail Bars
Image Credit: The Mad Hatter

A Guide to Oxford’s Cocktail Bars

26 May 2017 |

With the weather warming up the only thing anyone wants to do is sit outside with a chilled glass in hand. Lucky for us that cocktail bars are cropping up all over the place, and Oxford is no exception. Mediterranean drinks, rooftop cocktail bars and an Alice in Wonderland speakeasy – explore the best summer drinking spots in our guide to Oxford’s best cocktail bars.

Raoul’s
 
Raoul’s is one of Oxford’s best known and longest established cocktail bars, and can be found tucked away in the charming surroundings of Jericho. Serving up cocktails since 1979, Raoul’s has undergone several reincarnations over the years but still wins everybody over (including the Sunday Times who ranked them as one of the top 50 bars in the world). Expect lots of fresh fruity numbers – try their Fig and Spiced Mango Daquiri for a sweet treat. They even run cocktail masterclasses called The Cocktail Perverts, which are a great opportunity to go and get mixing drinks with some mates.


 
Raoul’s Bar and Liquor Store is located at 32 Walton St, Oxford OX2 6AA.

The Mad Hatter
 
Taking its cue from the giddy surrealism of Alice in WonderlandThe Mad Hatter describes itself as a ‘speakeasy cocktail bar’ situated a little to the east of Oxford city centre over on Iffley Road. Oxford was, of course, home to the Wonderland author Lewis Carroll, and the drinks menu at The Mad Hatter riffs on this theme with style. Try concoctions like The Gigantic Teacup (rhubarb liqueur, pomegranate juice, ginger syrup), Jabberwocky Brew (chambord, grenadine, cranberry and lime) and The Humpty Dumpty (rum, falernum, orange and lime juice). Just be careful you don’t fall off that wall.


 
The Mad Hatter is located at 43 Iffley Rd, Oxford OX4 1EA.
 
Kazbar
 
The great thing about Kazbar is not only the location – slap bang on the main strip of Oxford’s inimitable Cowley Road – but also the tapas. Cocktails and small plates go together like Ross and Rachel, and in these Mediterranean styled surroundings you can taste octopus and tortilla with patatas bravas, washed down with Golden Margaritas and a hell of a lot of Sangria. Live flamenco music regularly takes over the bar, allowing you to experience a slice of Spain in the city of spires.
 
Kazbar is located at 25-27 Cowley Rd, Oxford OX4 1HP.
 
The Varsity Club (TVC Oxford)
 
On the High Street you can find a four-storey building that’s home to one of Oxford’s best rooftop cocktail bars. The Varsity Club also boasts a club area as well as a cocktail lounge – so that’s pretty much got your summer nightlife covered. Think plenty of exposed brick and low-lying seating with a relaxed vibe. Their menu of classic cocktails is accompanied by a great selection of sharing boards in the food section: choose between The Cheese, The Carnivore, The Vegetarian and The Fish. This summer they’ll also be serving lashings of Pimm's with glasses from £6.50 or jugs for £18.50. A great place for groups to spend summer nights out.


 
The Varsity Club is located at 9 High St, Oxford OX1 4DB.

The House
 
Of all the bars on this list, The House certainly takes home the Most Stylish Award. It’s a relatively recent arrival on the Oxford cocktails scene, but this intimate bar in a converted Oxford town house definitely makes an impression. Decked out with Philippe Starck sofas, The House also features a games room and private terrace, along with a comprehensive cocktail menu. Classics, Martinis, Long, Tiki, and Sours are all covered – and there is even a decent selection of Virgins for the teetotallers among you, including a fruity Strawberry Colada with lime and coconut cream. Delicious.


 
The House is located at Wheatsheaf Yard, 11 Blue Boar St, Oxford OX1 4EE.

Tell us what you think

You may also like

Bristol’s Hidden Gems: Pub Gardens and Rooftop Bars

Bristol’s Hidden Gems: Pub Gardens and Rooftop Bars

When the sun is shining, there’s little better than taking a drink in the open air. Whether it’s beside the harbour front, on top of a…

Come Rain or Shine: Weatherproof Fun in Bristol

Come Rain or Shine: Weatherproof Fun in Bristol

Known to be one of the wettest cities in Britain, if you're planning a day out in Bristol, you need to come prepared. Fortunately, we've…

A Book Lover’s Tour of Literary Britain

A Book Lover’s Tour of Literary Britain

From grand old libraries to comfy little bookshops, Britain is full of book-filled havens for literature fans. We’ve selected some of the best sightseeing spots for…

The Museum of Transology

The Museum of Transology

As Brighton prepares for Pride festivities in early August, the city is also due to celebrate its longstanding commitment to supporting the acceptance and equality…

An Interview: Mischief and Madness in Moominvalley

An Interview: Mischief and Madness in Moominvalley

At the beginning of Mischief and Mysteries in Moominvalley, a performance by Lost & Found, a British-based creative theatre group, the set is all but…

Win a Vineyard Tour and Tasting for Two!

Aldwick Court Farm & Vineyard - Win a Vineyard Tour and Tasting for Two!

Win a Vineyard Tour and Tasting for Two at Aldwick Court Farm & Vineyard!

A Culture Calling Guide to the Edinburgh Fringe 2017

A Culture Calling Guide to the Edinburgh Fringe 2017

It’s here! Every August the incomparable Edinburgh Festival takes root in the Scottish capital, bringing with it hundreds of thousands of performers, critics, musicians, comedians, dancers…

A Hungover Guide to Bristol

A Hungover Guide to Bristol

Don’t worry, we’ve all been there. That awful moment when you are forced to face the consequences of the night before which escalated all too easily…

Eastbourne’s Towner Art Gallery Showcases Two New Exhibitions

Eastbourne’s Towner Art Gallery Showcases Two New Exhibitions

Two new exhibitions open this summer at the Eastbourne’s Towner Art Gallery.

Most popular

The Best Cycle Paths in Bristol

The Best Cycle Paths in Bristol

As one of the UK’s greenest cities, Bristol and its citizens are well versed in cycling lore. The city and its surroundings are criss-crossed with well-maintained mountain and leisure trails so read on for our selection of some of the best…
Edinburgh on a Budget

Edinburgh on a Budget

Edinburgh, Scotland’s capital city, is one of the UK’s most beautiful and fascinating destinations to visit. It’s a hard task fitting in all its wondrous sights in a day, but here’s our how-to guide on getting the best of the bunch for under £20.
Bristol’s Hidden Gems: Indie Theatres

Bristol’s Hidden Gems: Indie Theatres

Bristol is known throughout the UK for being a leader in arts and culture. The city’s theatrical offerings are no different – here is our round up of where to look for a top-notch evening of entertainment.
A Book Lover’s Tour of Literary Britain

A Book Lover’s Tour of Literary Britain

From Shakespeare’s Stratford to the city that birthed The Boy who Lived, we have compiled the essential must-see destinations for literary lovers.
Win Two Tickets to the Event of your Choice!

Shoreham Wordfest - Win Two Tickets to the Event of your Choice!

Fancy expanding your literary imagination? Or perhaps sourcing inspiration for your great novel? We are giving away two tickets to the event of your choosing at this year’s Shoreham Wordfest!  
A Culture Calling Guide to the Edinburgh Fringe 2017

A Culture Calling Guide to the Edinburgh Fringe 2017

Every August the incomparable Edinburgh Festival takes root in the Scottish capital, bringing with it hundreds of thousands of performers, critics, musicians, comedians. Read on for our guide to some of the shows to look out for.
An Interview with Tessa Lynch

An Interview with Tessa Lynch

We speak to the seminal artist about her upcoming performance at Bristol's Spike Island
A Falafel Lover’s Guide to Bristol

A Falafel Lover’s Guide to Bristol

Now that we've all agreed that falafels are the best food to grace the earth, we've compiled a list of the best spots to indulge in these cheeky little chickpea chappies.
An Interview: Mischief and Madness in Moominvalley

An Interview: Mischief and Madness in Moominvalley

Moomin mania is coming to Bristol. We speak to Bristol-based collective Lost and Found on their performance.
A Hungover Guide to Bristol

A Hungover Guide to Bristol

Feeling last night's pint a little too much? No fear, we've made a list of the best hangover spots in Bristol.

Your inbox deserves a little culture!