Being well known as a place to party, one thing Brighton isn’t short of is bars. There is a huge array of places to raise a glass in, from the big chains to the independents. But how about biodynamic wines or dairy cocktails?
Local blogger Fran Villani uncovers some of the quirkier options, far from the beaten track and usual guides.
At first glance a bar that doesn’t sell alcohol may seem as useful as a chocolate teapot, but BYOC is actually the place to go if you are serious about your cocktails. Although you have to bring your own liquor, you can pre-book a two-hour slot for £20 which buys you attentive service by skilled bartenders who will craft your drinks exactly to your tastes. Mixed at your table from a vintage drinks trolley, the bar has an exclusive, speakeasy style that feels very special indeed.
41 Meeting House Lane, Brighton, BN1 2HS, (01273 823 383, byoc.co.uk/brighton)
Ten Green Bottles
If you like your wine, then the part-shop, part-bar that is Ten Green Bottles will be high on your to-do list. The friendly staff are on hand to help you choose from the huge selection and although you can take away your bottle, for just £5 corkage you can drink it in their stylish surroundings. There are often unpretentious, informative wine tastings and classes and a small food menu of nibbles and charcuterie boards are available to enjoy with your drink.
9 Jubilee Street, Brighton, BN1 1GE, (01273 567176, www.tengreenbottles.com)
Although a restaurant, Plateau has a small bar area that is really worth looking up. All of their wines are either organic, biodynamic or natural with a few local gems on the list as well. However, their select cocktails are some of the best in Brighton and have a Prohibition-era feel. In the evening the place is lively and perfect to enjoy drinks. Although casual, it retains an elegant and off-beat glamorous atmosphere.
1 Bartholowmews, Brighton, BN1 1HG, (01273 733085, www.plateaubrighton.co.uk)
The Ginger Pig and The Ginger Dog
Both of these branches of the local Gingerman Group have each created a list of classic and bespoke cocktails. Being well known for their excellent food, a good portion of the liquid menu is dedicated to dessert themed drinks. Try the Salt Caramel Martini with toffee vodka, Werther’s Original and a salt rim or the Créme Anglaise Martini with vanilla vodka and Advocaat. Ideal to pop in as an after dinner treat even if you are not dining in the restaurant.
Great Eastern, The Saint James, The Office
If you have a particular spirit you enjoy then there are a few Brighton pubs that specialise in a single tipple with artisan and small batch producers as well as the big brands. Whisky drinkers should head to the Great Eastern with 60 varieties behind the bar. If you prefer rum, then The Saint James has a large collection of 80. And finally, the perfect gin and tonic can be found at The Office in the North Laine with a choice of 25 gins.
Great Eastern, 103 Trafalgar Ct, Brighton, BN1 4ER, (01273 685681)
The Saint James, 16 Madeira Place, Brighton, BN2 1TN, (01273 626696)
The Office, 8 Sydney Street, Brighton, BN1 4EN, (01273 609134)
Boho Gelato creates the best gelato and sorbet in Brighton with incredible flavour combinations. While there’s nothing better than great gelato, just wait until you use it to make frozen cocktails. This gelateria appears as a pop-up bar at Sussex Slice once a month with a changing list of dairy and non-dairy cocktails. Gin and cucumber slushy? Yes please.
Boho Gelato @ Sussex Slice, 6 Church Road, Hove, East Sussex BN3 2FL, (01273 640206, Facebook page)
• Fran blogs about Brighton food and drink at The Graphic Foodie