Mumbai’s cocktail scene was on the cusp of a revolution when the pandemic hit, taking its cues from global trends. The good news is that neighbourhoods like Lower Parel and Bandra have continued to flourish with new bar openings, while ambitions remain high. The city’s best restaurants have also invested more in their bar menus. Bottles of infusions, tinctures and syrups make use of local produce, offering an innovative twist on classic concoctions while giving a sense of place to each creation. Many of Mumbai’s prettiest pours can be found in the city’s clutch of beautiful hotels. The tropical heat requires a late-evening cool down; when the time comes to sit back and watch the sun set, we’ve got you covered. Cheers!
Aer Bar and Lounge
Location: 1/136 Dr E Moses Road, Worli, Mumbai 400018
Occasion: A celebration
Price: 1075 INR / 14 USD
Located on the top of the city’s Four Seasons Hotel (as featured in our guide to the best hotels in Mumbai), Aer serves up spectacular views of the nearby Mahalakshmi racecourse, the everchanging Mumbai skyline, and the Arabian Sea beyond. Ideal for a sundowner, we’d recommend getting there by 6pm to sample a signature drink (or two) before heading elsewhere for dinner. With its chic surrounds and adventurous cocktail list, it’s easy to see why Aer has established itself as one of the best bars in Mumbai.
Location: NRK House, Senapati Bapat Marg, Lower Parel, Mumbai 400013
Occasion: Fun night out
Price: 750 INR / 9.50 USD
When it opened in 2012, PCO, which stands for Pass Code Only, was a novel, hush-hush speakeasy in New Delhi. It has now opened a spot in the heart of Mumbai, which is already a local favourite. Despite its name, getting in is never a problem: once past the metal door, you’ll find a lively outdoor space with an Art Deco-inspired central bar serving prohibition-era drinks. Spin the mood cocktail wheel for a bespoke libation, customised to your taste. We also recommend the tequila-based Twisted Paloma.
Location: 121/123 Radha Bhavan, Nagindas Master Road, Kala Ghoda, Fort, Mumbai 400001
Occasion: Buzzy night out
Price: 600 INR / 8 USD
The bar at Americano is loud, friendly and always full. Getting a seat might be tough, but you can join in with the regulars standing around, glass in hand. The drinks are potent and most are named in homage to the city. Whether you’re looking for classic cocktails or a novel invention, there’s plenty on offer. The Worli Bird is a favourite, stirred with tequila, passion fruit, and lapsang souchong tea, as is the refreshing Alibugger, with gin, pisco, apple, basil and coconut. End the night with their house-made amaro for a brief immersion into Italy.
The Eau Bar
Location: The Oberoi, Nariman Point, Mumbai 400021
Occasion: Sunset drinks
Price: 850 INR / 11 USD
Looking out over Marine Drive, the Eau bar at the Oberoi Hotel (also in our hotel guide) has an outdoor terrace, which is perfectly positioned for catching the sunset. Whether you do that with a champagne flute in hand or a well-made gimlet is up to you. Indoors, there’s live music from Monday to Wednesday night, but we prefer taking in the bustle of the city from a comfortable al fresco perch. This is easily one of the best bars in Mumbai, lauded for its palm-fringed vistas and expertly curated drinks menu.
Location: C-2, Trade World, Kamala Mills Compound, Lower Parel, Mumbai 400013
Occasion: Night out
Price: 695 INR / 9 USD
A buzzy restaurant and bar that’s spread across 6,500 sq ft, it’s no wonder that weekends so often see revellers go straight from dinner to drinks to dancing at Koko. Most regulars consider it a fool-proof weekend spot. Their cocktails take inspiration from Asia, with the rum-based Funky Buddha coming up tops. The more adventurous should try the Tom Yum Cup, which takes the beloved Thai soup and gives it a vodka twist. To accompany your drinks, dim sum and sushi make perfect sharing plates for those looking to nibble at the bar.
Perch Wine and Coffee Bar
Location: 12, Union Park, off Carter Road, Bandra (W), Mumbai 400052
Occasion: Casual drinks
Price: 575 INR / 7.50 USD
Perch is the kind of place where regulars might spend an entire day, working from a table with a laptop during the day, then grabbing a drink with friends in the evening, and lingering into the night. Its indoor and outdoor seating offers multiple vantage points, but it’s their coffee and beverage programme that keeps people coming back. For the best of both worlds, a coffee sangria, made with coffee infused vodka, is definitely worth ordering, and has become an established favourite. Other drinks to try include the Reverse Martini 2.0, which sees a grape cordial add a kick, and the Campari and gin-based Forbidden Berry, made with lacto-fermented berry juice.
The Living Room
Location: Unit G3, Laxmi Woollen Mills, Shakti Mills Lane, Off Dr E Moses Road, Mahalaxmi, Mumbai 400011
Occasion: Quiet catch up
Price: 895 INR / 11.50 USD
Bartender Akush Gamre’s concoctions are heavy on technique and flavour. The final pour is deceptive: drinks often emerge completely clear, disguising the intense flavours that await. Gamble, a cocktail made with pisco and mezcal along with guava, celery leaf, sea buckthorn and mango ginger, is a favourite, and typifies how the bar has landed on Asia’s 50 Best Bars longlist. Paired with bar bites, The Living Room is a great place to catch up and savour both the company and the cocktails.
Location: 3/4, Dheeraj Pali Arcade, Dr Ambedkar Road, Pali Naka, Pali Hill, Bandra West, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400050
Occasion: Casual night out
Price: 645 INR / 8.50 USD
If you’re looking to drink like a local, there’s no better option than Woodside Inn. The Colaba original set the template for its inviting wooden interiors and cosy bar, and it’s spawned two outlets further afield. With a rotating selection of beers on tap, it’s a great place to discover local microbreweries. Their cocktails don’t disappoint either, with their Limonhattan and Frozen Campari Lemonade a perfect antidote to the Mumbai humidity. Don’t be surprised if you return multiple times on your trip – it’s the kind of place that makes everyone a regular.
Location: Ground Floor, One BKC, Bandra Kurla Complex, Mumbai 400051
Occasion: Date night
Price: 700 INR / 9 USD
Set in the bustling commercial hub of Bandra Kurla Complex, this monastic space couples warm, minimalist interiors with expertly crafted cocktails. Founded by Vanika Choudhary, drinks are thoughtfully executed and beautifully presented, with twists on everything from a negroni to a whisky sour. Its unique bar programme makes it one of the best drinking spots in Mumbai, and the accompanying food menu is no slouch either, with organic, carefully sourced produce that’s enlivened with homemade ferments. Whether you’re looking for flavourful grills (the charred broccoli is a stand out) or hearty meals, there’s enough to keep you going as you make your way through the cocktail menu.
Toast and Tonic
Location: Ground Floor, Godrej BKC, Bandra Kurla Complex, Mumbai 400051
Occasion: Casual night out
Price: 495 INR / 6.50 USD
Inspired by New York’s grungy East Village, the interiors of Toast and Tonic feature particle board ceilings and shelves behind the marble top bar, where drinking vinegars and tinctures take pride of place. The bar’s focus is firmly on gin, and their extensive collection offers a great introduction to the numerous Indian bottles now pouring across the city, but there’s other drinks to consider too, including a fun margarita list. Whatever you choose, pair your drinks with some stellar seafood, which the kitchen excels at, especially their easy-to-eat tacos.