The whole speakeasy thing doesn’t work if, once you pull back the door, the bar behind it isn’t buzzing. And it was really quiet when I visited Tincture. It’s below a vegan restaurant and is also predominantly plant-based – and right now, there’s a bit of a correlation between veganism and teetotalism. And while there are as many alcohol-free cocktails on the menu as there are boozy ones, you wouldn’t picture that from a bar modelled on the Prohibition era’s hedonism. The reality is that it’s a great hangout, on or off the wagon.
Chiming in with the planet-saving plant-based ethos, there was no refit when the basement bar space was acquired. Instead, it’s chosen to recycle the art deco-leaning interior. Luckily, it’s a lovely bar – if a little fifty shades of brown.
Seasonal, zero-waste cocktails are named after the foodstuff that makes them, and while five a day might be a bit much, we polished off a few of these sinkable bevvies pretty swiftly. Favourites included Pears, a kombucha-filled number with shavings of parmesan on the side, and Nips, a curiously earthy combination of apple, bitters and rum infused with roasted parsnips, which came with root veg crisps. Powering the alcohol-free stuff is an in-house creation called ‘crossip’, which our engaging bartender described as like a Lucozade sachet. It was a bit of an acquired taste in the Sazerac – a boozeless drink which tasted smoky, like a mezcal cocktail. But credit to it’s creators, it’s always nice to find new, interesting things to drink when off the booze.