Because cocktail hour is so much cooler when you're in Walter White's RV

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In the Vaults, the cocktails are just the beginning ...

When it comes to boozing, London's got a stellar reputation for mixing up drinks to suit every taste and appetite.


Of course, to satisfy the insatiable thirst of the capital's inhabitants, this means a rotating stream of themed pop-up bars for every style and sensibility.


Cocktails served from customised washing machines? Been there. A bar designed to mimic a black and white movie? Done that.


In the city's sea of ever-changing bar backdrops, here are a few more to know about this summer... happy sipping!



Little Nan's Cocktail Den

Where: Shoreditch – The Basement, 26 Curtain Road, Shoreditch, London, EC2A 3NY

When: until 12 September

Go if: you like your cocktails served in teapots. The south London staple has set up an intimate pop-up venue (max capacity, 31), full of vintage kitsch and retro charm: think overstuffed sofas, needlepoint pillows, flowery lampshades and royal memorabilia. It's like your gran's sitting room but so much better. And with way more booze.


From £35 for a two-hour stint, including bottomless teacups of cocktails and unlimited pick 'n' mix popcorn. Book in advance.

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ABQ London

Where: Hackney Wick – 80 Eastway, Victoria Park, London, E9 5JH 

When: until 1 October

Go if: you're obsessed by Breaking Bad. This pop-up bar inspired by the hit series lets you 'cook' up your own cocktails and sip them in a makeshift RV. Other quirky touches include laboratory-style beakers, test tubes and yellow boiler suit-clad staff members.


Limited availability (each session has a capacity of 22 and will set you back £30 for two cocktails, gifting you with two hours of pretending to be Walter White) means July and August tickets have sold out, so book quickly to get your hands on tickets for September/October.

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Breaking Bad bar

Photo: Twitter/abqlondon


Alcoholic Architecture from Bompas & Parr

Where: Borough Market

When: until early 2016

Go if: you like your alcohol experiences to be totally immersive – we're talking a breathable cocktail cloud saturating the air and ensuring alcohol is entering your bloodstream from your eyeballs to your lungs. Drinks are themed to reflect the setting (the bar is set up on the grounds of an ancient monastery) and include honey-based mead, wine tonic Buckfast and 'sacred shots' like the Franciscan Conversion, a blend of Frangelico and vodka. Off-peak time slots start at £10. Prepare yourself for some divine intervention.

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The Jameson Works x Galvin Brothers Whiskey Den

Where: The Reverend JW Simpson Bar, Fitzrovia, 32 Goodge St, London, W1T 2QJ

When: until mid-August 2015

Go if: furniture shopping while whiskey drinking is your bag. This pop-up space within the Reverend JW Simpson bar features bespoke furniture from Yorkshire-based furniture-makers The Galvin Brothers, with whiskey from The Jameson Works. The space is designed to complement the drinking experience, with handcrafted copper drinking vessels (inspired by the distillery process) and specialised tables with built-in coasters. An exclusive cocktail has been created for the installation: the Galvanised Jameson, made from tea syrup, lemon juice, elderflower, Jameson and a garnish of lemon balm leaf and charged siphon serve.

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Wonderland Bar

Where: Waterloo – The Vaults, Launcelot Street, London, SE1 7AD

When: until the end of August 2015

Go if: you like your cocktails with a spot of culture – you can catch a performance of Les Enfants Terribles' Alice's Adventures Underground (which combines puppets, live music, circus and more). The Wonderland Bar isn't just for theatre-goers; those in search of a bit of escapism can take a tumble down the rabbit hole, sipping on Bourne & Hollingsworth cocktails and enjoying the on-site flamingo croquet, hedge maze, aerial acrobats, and live bands and DJs on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Free entry.

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World's Safest Pop-Up Bar from iCracked

Where: Covent Garden – 77 Shelton Street, WC2H 9QW

When: 13 August from 6pm to 10pm 

Go if: your motto is safety first. Or you're particularly accident-prone. This gimmicky bar is open for one night only and will be covered in bubble wrap, ensuring it's the 'world's safest bar' – at least, for your phone. The idea behind it? Research from iCracked has found that most phone breaks occur on nights out, with 30% happening in central London. Well, it's another excuse for a cocktail. And yes, we assume you are allowed to pop the bubble wrap as part of the evening's entertainment ... 

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Bubble wrap bar

Photo: iCracked

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