Worldwide icon-chevron-right Europe icon-chevron-right United Kingdom icon-chevron-right England icon-chevron-right London icon-chevron-right Zero heroes: the best alcohol-free cocktails in London

Zero heroes: the best alcohol-free cocktails in London

These alcohol-free cocktails served in top London bars put a fresh spin on drinking when you’re not drinking

alcohol free cocktails strawberry at sager + wilde
Andy Parsons
Advertising

Forget sickly sweetness and elaborate garnishes. The mocktail is dead: London’s alcohol-free cocktails are pure class. Discover booze-free bevs that champion clever ingredients to achieve dreamy results without a drop of the hard stuff. These top London bars are pioneering in their approach to drinking when you’re not drinking, riffing on classic cocktail recipes or completely throwing away the recipe book and starting afresh. Zero-proof never looked so good.

Photography by Andy Parsons

Zero heroes: the best alcohol-free cocktails in London

alcohol free cocktails, hops at waeska
Andy Parsons
Bars and pubs, Hotel bars

Hops at Waeska

icon-location-pin Fitzrovia

£10

Hops, rhubarb-and-red-fruit cordial, Real Kombucha

You might associate hops with your favourite IPA, but this drink is an alcohol-free dream. The flowers here add a bitter edge to a pink and sparkling elixir. Combined with tart kombucha and rhubarb, plus sweet vanilla and a sharp grapefruit tonic top, it’s like a twist on a summer spritz. A fresh rhubarb candy teeters on the top of your glass, but you’ll still be steady on your feet after knocking back a few of these.

alcohol free cocktails, glacier dark at every cloud
Andy Parsons
Bars and pubs, Cocktail bars

Glacier Dark at Every Cloud

icon-location-pin Hackney

£3.50

Blackcurrant, liquorice, sage

Hackney’s Every Cloud has been serving low- and no-alcohol drinks since its launch more than two years ago. Its current offering is inspired by an ice cream devoured by the bar’s owner, Felix Cohen, on his holidays on the Isle of Man. It blends a malty liquorice-and-brown-sugar cordial with blackcurrant soda made by east London soft-drink producer Square Root, and is served with sage leaves perched like bunny ears on the top. The result is nicely sour, with a mild medicinal vibe: like a cough sweet, in a really good way.

Advertising
alcohol free cocktails, dry old fashioned at dishoom
Andy Parsons
Bars and pubs, Cocktail bars

Dry Old Fashioned at Dishoom

icon-location-pin King’s Cross

£6.50

Smoked demerara, orange bitters, applewood, cayenne, orange peel

There’s nothing quite as indulgent as an old fashioned – a cocktail best made slowly and with a lot of care. So it’s good to know that Dishoom staff dedicate as much energy to the Dry Old Fashioned, stirring away until it’s just right. To recreate those lingering whisky flavours, they smoke brown-sugar syrup with hickory wood, while ginger juice adds a suggestive tingle. They’re secretive about the rest, admitting only that in-house ‘copy bitters’ and ‘spirit essence’ are in the mix. It all combines to deliver a number as smooth and smoky as Sinatra.

alcohol free cocktails, sling at bar three
Andy Parsons
Bars and pubs, Cocktail bars

Sling at Bar Three

icon-location-pin Spitalfields

£6.50

Seedlip, pineapple, raspberry, soda

This replica of a singapore sling, served at Spitalfields’ Bar Three, really looks the part: it’s a tall, resplendently scarlet drink. It doesn’t disappoint on flavour either. Fermented raspberry and pineapple cordials work together to recreate zingy holiday flavours. And the Seedlip Spice 94 – a non-alcoholic botanical spirit – gives body and warmth. This cocktail’s deservedly the most popular of three ‘free’ drinks available at Bar Three, although punters have been known to ask for the addition of a cheeky nip of rum in there.

Advertising
alcohol free cocktails, something tiki at sexy fish bar
Andy Parsons
Bars and pubs, Cocktail bars

Something Tiki at Sexy Fish Bar

icon-location-pin Mayfair

£7

Orange juice, toasted coconut, cream, yuzu, tonka bean

Bar supervisor Nikolett Maczo was asked to make ‘something tiki’ for Sexy Fish’s zero-booze cocktail list. There’s no denying this drink’s tropical charms – it’s served in a mermaid glass, with a fishtail-shaped biscuit spread with Malaysian coconut jam jutting from the top. A potion of orange, yuzu, toasted coconut syrup and cream, it’s a sober take on the Painkiller (rum, pineapple, cream of coconut, orange juice). Alcohol-free tonka bean bitters give a warm spice flavour that could easily be mistaken for rum – it’s like having the hard stuff without getting shipwrecked.

alcohol-free cocktails, plum by eve bar
Andy Parsons
Bars and pubs, Cocktail bars

Plum at Eve Bar

icon-location-pin Covent Garden

£7.50

Plum, bay leaf, brown sugar

Basement bar Eve has developed drinks for a sober night out that also pair with the food in upstairs sister restaurant Frog. Plum is the most popular choice on the ‘Non-Intoxicating’ list, consisting of black tea infused with, you guessed it, plum, mixed with bay-leaf-infused white tea, demerara sugar syrup and soda. It’s not the most visually appealing drink – a puddly, orangey-brown liquid in a wine glass – but it’s dazzlingly similar to your fave vino, with background fruitiness and a tannin-heavy taste. Plus you get to dodge the red-wine hangover. Cheers to that.

Advertising
alcohol free cocktails strawberry at sager + wilde
Andy Parsons
Restaurants, Contemporary European

Strawberry at Sager + Wilde Paradise Row

icon-location-pin Bethnal Green

£4

Pink peppercorn hydrosol, strawberry shrub, verjus, soda

Shrubs are all the rage for 2019. And no, they’ve got nothing to do with topiary. A shrub is a sweet drinking vinegar, which Sager + Wilde makes all the more palatable with macerated strawberries. This intense combo joins Austrian verjus (an acidic juice made with unripe grapes) and pink peppercorn hydrosol (a non-alcoholic botanical drink distilled in the bar’s own copper still). It sounds complicated but all you need to know is this: it looks like a negroni and has an in-your-face, bubblegum-ish flavour that’s ideal with brunch (the bottomless kind is so 2018).

Snap up exclusive discounts in London

Time Out's handpicked deals — hurry, they won't be around for long...

Advertising