While January might have you considering slipping into hibernation mode, there are plenty of reasons to get out and about this month. Below is evidence of the exciting new spots opening around the world and ready to show wine and spirits lovers a good time. And even if you’re doing Dry January, these days, the world’s best bars are primed to cater to all needs – this list of London’s most enticing alcohol-free cocktails should give you a good idea of the range that’s in store.
So what bars are there to seek out in January? In the below list, you’ll find a New York bar specialising in clarified cocktails, a trend we’re expecting to see even more of in 2023. But it’s not all forward-thinking drinking, with a pair of new bars looking back to the 1970s to find their inspiration (although, weirdly there’s no mention of a Harvey Wallbanger…).
Read on for our selection of the hottest new bars to visit this month.
The best new bars to visit in January 2023
‘The Maestro’ has landed in London’s famous Corinthia hotel. Italian bartender Salvatore Calabrese, who goes by this musical moniker, is best known for his citrusy creation, the Breakfast Martini. And at his latest haunt – an L-shaped space with a marble fireplace and furnishings fittingly dressed in red velvet – his signature drink is served in miniature form as a welcome offering. Various riffs on the classic Martini take a prime spot on the menu, as you’d expect from any self-respecting London hotel bar, but Calabrese also plays another of his calling cards: ‘vintage cocktails’ containing aged spirits and with a price tag to match their rare status. Plan to visit when there’s live music and make it a very special occasion. LR
The chef and restaurateur behind this new Melbourne cocktail bar is Shane Delia, who also runs Middle Eastern restaurants Maha, Maha East and Maha Bar. Described as ‘Maha’s thirsty neighbour’, Jayda is all about creative cocktails. Its drinks list offers a unique twist on the classics we all know and love, like a Strawberry and Yoghurt Negroni with rosehip, strawberry, yoghurt, gin and vermouth, or the Not an Espresso Martini, made with tonka bean, vanilla, cold brew coffee and vodka, which is served on the rocks or with saffron cream. If you get peckish, the bar snack menu also has a Middle Eastern feel, with dishes including a braised beef borek bun, lamb cigar bourek and za’atar focaccia. IA
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It’s Okay promises to bring good vibes to Vancouver. And with 1970s New York bar-inspired decor, daily specials and a 2am licence, it sounds like this new drinking spot will be a welcome addition. The concept comes from a trio of friends from the city’s hospitality scene and bills itself as ‘a neighbourhood bar that’s open late’, ideal for those nights where you keep wanting ‘just one more’ drink. The menu features a good selection of beer, wine and a few cocktails (Mezcal Old Fashioned, included). On the food front, you’ll find classic bar snacks (pickles, olives, chicken wings), salads and sandwiches, and daily special offers should make it all the more appealing. IA
Enmore Country Club
Also channelling that ‘70s feeling – but with an altogether more groovy look, from its patterned wallpaper to its glacier-cherry-topped cocktails – is this new Sydney ‘dive bar’. At Enmore Country Club (which is not a country club at all), new spins on disco drinks include a ‘hard cherry cola’, but the 70-seat bar is also boasting an impressive natural wine line-up, with the list projected onto the walls. LR
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The UK’s natural wine subscription service and online shop Oranj saw a fair bit of growth through lockdown – and it’s great to see it emerge from the other side with its very first IRL venue. Opening before Christmas, it occupies a former warehouse just off London’s Brick Lane, and combines the wine with DJs and kitchen residencies from rising star chefs and popular pop-up concepts from the London scene (currently, you’ll find Filipino food from Sarap). The bar serves from a list of customer favourites and of course, there are plenty of interesting orange wines pouring. LR
New York, USA
This New York bar has a clear USP – literally, its name means ‘clear’ in the Malay language. That’s because the drink offering here is focused on clarified cocktails. Using a milk washing technique, the process removes the ‘cloudy’ parts of a drink. Milk-washed spirits and milk punch cocktails have a long history, but in recent years, there’s been a bit of a revival – and according to the bar’s founders, Singapore is at the forefront of the trend. Bringing the technique to NYC, Jelas will serve up a rotating selection of five clarified milk punch cocktails showcasing Southeast Asian flavours. Expect concoctions like a New York Sour (a whiskey sour with a red wine float) and a twist on a Margarita made with Sichuan pepper and Jasmine tea. IA