Ah, Brighton – a student’s paradise by the sea. Between lectures, coursework, and trying to manage a tight budget, planning a great night out is crucial. And when it comes to cocktail bars, Brighton certainly delivers, offering everything from chic spots to budget-friendly gems.

From your classic cocktails to more bespoke cocktails in an Insta-worthy setting, we’ve got you covered for your next bar crawl – or more sophisticated night out – in Brighton.

Every type of cocktail bar in Brighton

Whether you’re looking for bespoke cocktails or your typical Woo Woo, Brighton has some of the best cocktail bars around. But of course, as a student, you don’t wanna go breaking the bank completely.

In this round-up, we’re diving deep into Brighton cocktail bars, so you can get planning those cocktail-fueled evenings with ease. But while you’re at it, why not take a look at some of the best student nights in Brighton?

the plotting parlour brighton
Source: Instagram @theplottingparlour

The Plotting Parlour

Tucked away in the city’s core yet slightly concealed, stepping into this acclaimed venue always feels like a special occasion. As you’re greeted and ushered to your table, the anticipation builds.

Given its popularity, we’d definitely recommend booking. Once settled, indulge in an array of exquisite signature mixes and timeless cocktails. Consider the tantalising ‘Fear and Loathing’ or the spicy ‘Ginger and Chili Margarita’ as you chat with your uni friends.

Every drink here is a testament to premium locally-sourced, seasonal ingredients combined with top-shelf spirits and liqueurs. Feeling peckish? Their curated selection of small plates complements their delicious range of cocktails. It’s no surprise The Plotting Parlour won first place this year in BRAVO’s Best Cocktail Bars Brighton.

Find The Plotting Parlour: 6 Steine St, Brighton, BN2 1TE

twisted lemon cocktail bar brighton
Source: Instagram @twistedlemoncocktailbar

Twisted Lemon

A staple in Brighton, The Twisted Lemon boasts over ten years of crafting both traditional and avant-garde cocktails. Nestled within a vibrant yellow alleyway in the Brighton Lanes, it exudes a distinctive ambiance, eclectic charm, and offers meticulously crafted drinks at prices students can afford.

Along with an ever-tempting bar menu, there’s a charming courtyard garden perfect for enjoying cocktails under the sun. While it’s a hotspot during weekend nights, Brighton’s love for this venue is unmistakable, earning it hearty applause and securing its position as the third favourite in the BRAVO Cocktail Bars Brighton 2023.

Find Twisted Lemon: 41 Middle St, Brighton, BN1 1AL

bar valentino cocktail bars brighton
Source: Instagram @barvalentinouk

Bar Valentino

Once inside, meander up the plush, winding stairs to discover the opulent allure of the space above. Adjacent to the Theatre Royal, Bar Valentino exudes a luxurious 1920s charm and intimate atmosphere. Seemingly steeped in tales of the past – if only its walls could share their stories.

While the ambience is vintage, the cocktail offerings are refreshingly modern. For those peckish moments, scrumptious bites from the acclaimed Spanish eatery, Tino Taperia await below. Secure a prime spot for a firsthand view of the skilled mixologists in action, and they might just let you in on their crafty secrets.

Find Bar Valentino: 7A New Road, Brighton, BN1 1UF

the gin tub brighton
Source: Instagram @thegintub

The Gin Tub

Located on Church Road in Hove, The Gin Tub masterfully marries vintage charm with contemporary flair, with a clear nod to its speciality: Gin. Their menu features a diverse array of Gin-centric selections alongside signature cocktails that tantalise the palate.

Visitors to The Gin Tub are treated to a vibrant ambience, complete with the quirky feature of ordering drinks via an old-school telephone. Ya know, the kind your Nan might still have.

The venue spices things up with comprehensive experiences like gin-tasting sessions, an enticing afternoon “G&Tea”, and a hands-on cocktail workshop where you and your mates can perfect up to four signature drinks from their menu. For those yearning for an elevated gin experience beyond the classic G&T, The Gin Club is a must-visit and one of our favourite cocktail bars in Brighton.

Find The Gin Tub: 16 Church Rd, Hove, BN3 2FL

shuffle bar brighton cocktail bars
Source: Instagram @theshufflebar

Shuffle Bar

Just a stone’s throw from St Peter’s Church near the North Laines, Shuffle Bar serves up some of the best cocktails alongside the opportunity to choose what music is playing via your phone.

If you’re looking for a cocktail bar with Happy Hour options, Shuffle Bar ticks all the boxes, offering 2-4-1 drinks all night Monday to Thursday. One of the best cocktail bars around, whether you fancy a classic cocktail or something a little quirky.

Find the Shuffle Bar: 27 York Pl, Brighton, BN1 4GU

bohemia brighton
Source: Instagram @bohemiabrighton

Bohemia

For those on the hunt for an authentic cocktail bar echoing the timeless charm of a speakeasy, Bohemia on the aptly titled ‘Meeting House Lane’ in the core of South Laines is a must-visit.

Bohemia stands out as one of the most captivating cocktail bars Brighton has to offer – perfectly complemented by a scenic roof terrace. Their cocktail menu effortlessly blends revered signature drinks with tailored creations. And if hunger strikes, don’t overlook Bohemia’s kitchen, which boasts an extensive buffet selection.

Find Bohemia: 54-55 Meeting House Ln, Brighton, BN1 1HB

mrs fitzherberts brighton
Source: Instagram @fitzherbertsbtn

Mrs Fitzherberts

When you’re in the heart of Brighton, a stop at Mrs Fitzherberts is essential. Paying homage to the renowned historical figure, Maria Fitzherbert – the beloved of the Prince Regent – this cocktail bar buzzes with energy, especially during lively weekend nights.

While Mrs Fitzherberts offers a concise and affordably priced cocktail menu filled with timeless favourites, they also treat visitors to a continuous 2-for-1 drink special. The bar’s lavish aesthetics reach up to a rooftop terrace, home to the fittingly titled ‘Lost Gardens of Fitzherbert’ cocktail lounge. For those preferring a laid-back vibe and a street-view seat, the bar’s expansive outdoor space sits squarely on Brighton’s busiest pedestrian walkway.

Find Mrs Fitzherberts: 25-26 New Rd, Brighton, BN1 1UG

no.32 brighton cocktails
Source: Instagram @no.32

No.32

Nestled within a transformed theatre and just moments away from Churchill Square, No.32 serves as a refined oasis for those seeking a respite from the bustling city-centre bars. No.32 takes pride in its expansive drink selection, with its “Uniquely 32” lineup highlighting the pinnacle of custom cocktail craftsmanship.

With fair pricing on the menu, you can also indulge in a variety of lunch and dinner offerings to keep you going between drinks. Is No.32 our favourite cocktail bar? quite possibly – we can’t get enough of this converted theatre.

Find No.32: 32 Duke St, Brighton, BN1 1AG

the mesmerist bar brighton
Source: Instagram @mesmeristbar

The Mesmerist

Found in the heart of the South Laines, The Mesmerist stands as a favourite haunt for Brighton’s cocktail lovers. For those chasing a vibe reminiscent of the 70s and a stellar drink selection, this place beckons as an ideal starting point on lively weekends.

The bar’s designated cocktail bar, ‘The Flipside’, impresses with its vast range of distinctive concoctions and 70s-inspired classics. Meanwhile, the rooftop bar above is where the party really gets started. For a memorable cocktail evening in Brighton, The Mesmerist consistently ranks as a top choice.

Find The Mesmerist: 1-3 Prince Albert St, Brighton, BN1 1HE

the black dove brighton
Source: Facebook The Black Dove

The Black Dove

Whether you’ve got a big night on the town or you’re looking for a more intimate cocktail bar for a quite few, The Black Dove on St. James’s Street is a must. Spanning two floors, the bar’s ambience is a feast for the senses, complemented perfectly by a captivating cocktail selection.

Nearly every day, the bar is buzzing, serenaded by live music acts and DJ sets. For an immersive cocktail journey, don’t miss out on Kemptown’s renowned spot, The Black Dove.

Great cocktails – check. This Brighton cocktail bar is an absolute must-visit.

Find The Black Dove: 74 St James’s St, Brighton, BN2 1PA

the golden pineapple brighton
Source: Instagram @gpshipst

The Golden Pineapple of Ship Street

Offering Brighton’s most extensive range of mezcal and tequila, this Brighton cocktail bar is located right in the heart of Brighton’s lanes. With a relaxed atmosphere fit for any occasion, a warm welcome awaits at The Golden Pineapple.

Grab your closest friends, indulge in your favourite cocktails at one of the best bars in Brighton.

Find The Golden Pineapple: 14 Ship Street, Brighton, BN1 1AD

alcotraz brighton cocktails
Source: Instagram @alcotraz

Alcotraz Brighton

If you and your mates fancy something a little different, you can always ditch the usual cocktail bars and try out Alcotraz: Cell Block One Three.

Beneath the casual strides of those on Brighton’s seafront, Cell Block One Three awaits, a clandestine underground lair styled as a speakeasy prison. See if you can sneak your liquor past the watchful eye of the Warden, ensuring the seasoned inmates reward you with crafted cocktails for your crew.

While the soothing rhythm of waves may be heard from the confines, they offer no easy path to freedom. Yet, the seafront’s closeness has historically made it a prime channel for smuggling, particularly spirits, in and out of this mock prison. Dive into the intrigue and reign within these walls!

This immersive theatrical cocktail bar is one of the most unique cocktail bars Brighton has to offer. So grab your pals and get the party started.

Find Alcotraz Brighton: 13 Kings Rd, Brighton BN1 1NE

drakes hotel brighton
Source: Instagram @drakesofbrighton

Drakes Cocktail Bar

This beautiful bar is perfectly located near Brighton seafront, with a classic cocktail menu and many house specials. If you’re looking for cocktail bars in Brighton with stunning views, you’ll be pleased to hear you can catch a glimpse of the iconic Brighton Palace Pier from here.

There’s no doubt about it, Drakes Cocktail Bar is a firm favourite.

Find Drakes: 44 Marine Parade, Brighton, BN2 1PE

meatgram brighton
Source: Instagram @meatgram

MEATliquor Brighton

MEATliquor Brighton stands out as a vibrant café and cocktail hub, adorned with mesmerising psychedelic designs and hosting regular event nights. This spot is renowned primarily for its duo of specialities – delicious burgers and crafted cocktails.

If indulging in classic American-style patties and BBQ wings, paired with refreshing cocktails, sounds right up your street, then MEATliquor Brighton is a must-visit – a treat for the senses awaits.

Find MEATliquor: 22 – 23 York Place, Brighton BN1 4GU

brighton rocks cocktails
Source: Instagram @brightonrocksbar

Brighton Rocks

A fan of Espresso Martinis? Brighton Rocks is easily one of the best, intimate cocktail bars Brighton has to offer. Tucked away on Rock Place, this Kemptown favourite needs to be on your bar crawl hit list.

As well as a great selection of cocktails, their speciality is Bourbon whiskey. They have 120 different whiskeys to choose from, from 22 countries.

Find Brighton Rocks: 6 Rock Place, Brighton, BN2 1PF

There’s nothing better than crawling Brighton’s cocktail bars in the evening to enjoy one (or two) great drinks. If you’re looking for more things to do at night in Brighton, check out our list.