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The best mocktails in London bars

Ditch the booze for these delicious mocktails served with just as much flair in London bars

By Elizabeth Darke

In a city brimming with bars, breweries and prosecco-based pop-ups, it would seem that drinking in London without actually, erm, drinking is an impossibility. Leave your beer goggles at home for one night, however, and you'll see that the selection of non-alcoholic cocktails and booze-less blends available in the capital is pretty extensive. In some venues, the alcohol-free offerings are even more creative and tastebud-seducing than their liquor-rich counterparts. Don't believe us? Have a sip on one of these teetotal tipples...

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London's best mocktails

The Temperance at Behind This Wall

Bars and pubs Cocktail bars Hackney


This wooden-clad Hackney hideout prides itself on its organic, additive-free and seasonally-led tipples. Arrack, sake and herbal liqueur blends all grace the alcoholic drinks menu but the bar's rather virtuous Temperance option is equally exotic. Here, a sour kombucha base is mixed with fennel seed, pomegranate molasses and cardamom tonic. With flavours this busty, who the hell even needs booze?

Rock Shandy at Polpo Smithfield

Restaurants Italian Farringdon and Smithfield


Going teetotal in Polpo's Dive Bar, just off Shaftesbury Avenue, is surprisingly do-able and that's entirely thanks to the Rock Shandy. Shun the bar's ever-popular 'Spritz Hour' for a glass or five (go on, you're allowed!) of this sherbet-y lemonade swirled with bitters and fresh limes and you can enjoy all the fizz without having to suffer the Aperol shakes the morning after. 


Bartender's choice at Nightjar

Bars and pubs Cocktail bars Shoreditch


In this Shoreditch speakeasy the order of the day is most often any spirit over 40 percent ABV. Though for those on a strictly sober night out, there is a solid choice of faux-tails (my words, not theirs) to choose from. But if none of those tickle your fancy, simply flag down the barman, explain exactly the flavours, fruits, depth and dryness you're after and he will shake up something to satisfy. 

Virgin Bombay Colada at the Permit Room

Bars and pubs Cocktail bars King’s Cross


The cocktail menu at Dishoom King's Cross's Permit Room is a comprehensive read, so for the dinky but delectable list of booze-free options, head straight to the back page. Serving up an Indian twist on a South American classic, the froth-topped Virgin Bombay Colada is laced with a warming chai syrup, and exploits the freshness of crushed coriander and the zing of limes to balance out a sweet and oh-so velvety pineapple and coconut cream base.


Cocotini at Redemption

Restaurants Vegan Notting Hill


At the home of guilt-free consumption in London, the list of non-alcoholic drinks (the only drinks served) is vast. No need to scan the whole menu, however, simply pick straight from the top and go for the camp-as-Christmas Cocotini. Made from mix of red berries and refreshing coconut water, this mock martini is shaken with crushed ice and then drizzled with lime juice for a zesty, wince-inducing aftertaste. Granted, it's not the most ingenious concoction, but boy is it delicious.

Rising Rasta at the Rum Kitchen

Bars and pubs Cocktail bars Notting Hill


Sure, visiting The Rum Kitchen and ordering a rum-less tipple does seem a little pointless. That said, if you can resist the temptation to sample one of the many Caribbean-imported distils on the drinks menu, this virgin drink is an absolute belter. Punchier than Mike Tyson at a Punch and Judy show, the mix of ginger ale, lime, and zingy grapefruit juice will transport you to Jamaica and back with absolutely no sign of jetlag the next day.


Seedside at Sexy Fish

Restaurants Asian Mayfair


Located in the 'Size Zero' section of the cocktail menu at Mayfair's most sultry seafood restaurant, the Seedside is so convincingly alcoholic-tasting that even Shane MacGowan would be fooled. But how? Made from bark, spices and citrus peel in a similar process to the herbal remedies of 17th century London, Seedlip is the "world's first booze-free distilled spirit". Sugar-free, calorie-free and sweetener-free too, when blended with sugar, mint, lime and soda, it’s leagues tastier than a gin and slim.

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The best low-calorie cocktails in London

Bars and pubs

Step away from the mocktail. For all its good intentions, it's not the only way to go if you're on a health kick and want to curb the calories. We've found a bevy of low-calorie cocktails in London that are big on taste, big on booze and in some cases, a very big deal. So from superstar martinis to healthy mojitos and even nifty negronis, enjoy these guilt-free picks around town (but maybe not all at once).


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