If you’re still doing Dry January, we salute you. We (and everyone we know) gave in at least a week ago, but that doesn’t mean we’re still not interspersing our shame with bouts of healthiness. So if you’re struggling to find a place for a date that doesn’t involve tequila, read on to find some of London’s very best bars with tantalising non-alcoholic offerings.
The aptly named Redemption is officially London’s first non-alcoholic cocktail bar – and believe us, it does it in style. This saintly spot started its life as a pop-up on the rooftop of Netil House, where hip east Londoners lounged in the sunshine, supping admittedly expensive, but delicious coconut water-based mocktails and vegan snacks. The bar has now taken up permanent residency in Ladbroke Grove. We had the delicious COCO-RITA, which dazzled us with its fresh lime juice, agave and coconut water shaken over ice served with a pinch of salt and a salt rim. Go on; give it a go – your liver will thank you.
Mark’s Bar, a longstanding Soho favourite, made it onto the list purely because of the wonderful inscription at the top of its mocktail page: “Our final page of mixed drinks is listed in sympathy to the drivers, the impending mothers, those who have consumed too much, those that are not yet able to consume, and finally to those whose religion, culture, or mother forbids them to imbibe.” Fabulous – and the cocktails look pretty damn good too. Definitely date material.
The Connaught, Mayfair
Okay so taking you here may not be the brightest idea if your willpower is waning at the mid-Jan point – the cocktails at The Connaught definitely hit the spot. However, if you expect the mocktail options to be little more than an after-thought, you’d be very much mistaken. The beautifully presented guilt-free options taste almost as good as the real thing. You can choose from a list of six January-friendly options, including the Sundance, which is a heavenly mix of peach juice, orange juice, vanilla sugar, soda water and grenadine. Beats a smoothie any day.
The very concept behind this trendy bar is based on alcohol being banned – perfect for a Londoner looking to avoid their favourite tipples. The menus tell the story of the Bombay Prohibition; explaining that permits are required for those looking to indulge in “foreign liquor for preservation and maintenance of my health”. Unfortunately for those facing Dry-uary, this bar is all about succumbing to the liquor by serving some of the most delicious old-style cocktails around. However, the reason it makes this list is that amongst the lengthy menu filled with flips, gimlets, juleps and sours is some top notch alcohol-free versions. Like the sound
of a Watermelon Sharbat complete with fresh watermelon muddled with spearmint, lime and sea-salt thrown over cubes of ice? And for only £3.50? Of course you do – well, what are you waiting for?
And just in case you still need a little convincing to commit to Dry January again next year, there’s one more pick to tickle your booze-free taste buds. This hidden gem, which sits elegantly on the edge of Hyde Park, specialises in guilt-free health food as well as delectable mocktails ready to soothe any Londoner’s post-Christmas liver. Not only are the classy mocktails delicious and packed with healthy ingredients, the boutique hotel oozes class and is enough to make you realise that Dry January isn’t synonymous with missing out.
The spot is the latest creation of British designer Anouska Hempel (who is ranked one of the world’s top 100 interior designers and architects) and it shows. Go on, try a mocktail with style – believe us, you won’t regret it.