32, Walton Street, Jericho, Oxford, Oxfordshire, OX2 6AA, United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)1865 553 732
Website: View bar's website
Hours: Sun-Tue 4pm-midnight; Wed-Sat 4pm-1am
Door: Go early
Style: Lounge bar
Recommended for: Cocktails
Price guide: High-end
Food: Bar snacks
Images By: diffordsguide.com
Oxford's most renowned and respected bar continues to occupy the number one spot with some ease. Situated in a retro-styled space over three levels in Jericho, it combines great service, phenomenal drinks and a happy atmosphere.
Oxford's biggest spirits selection is crowbarred into alcoves behind a small bar. The emphasis is on rum - they age their own blend in a small Madeira cask - and bourbon though there's plenty on offer across all categories. They get through more fruit every night than a family of fruitarians in a week. Don't be fooled by the menu that looks like it was designed for a 1980s nightclub: on page two it lays out the cocktail-making rules they abide to.
In our experience, the drinks are consistently faultless, from classics to tiki to original modern drinks, all are incredibly well-balanced and, even when we were sceptical about what would be risky combinations of ingredients in other bars, far more than the sum of their parts.
Bartenders wait for years for an opening to come up here, and once ensconced, they tend to stay. That passion and enthusiasm clearly translates as soon as you walk in.