In a city as sprawling as Los Angeles, grabbing drinks takes some strategizing: How many cocktails can you safely order before you need to get behind the wheel in X amount of time? Are you eating beforehand? Are you close enough to call a car? Can your friend/S.O./weird neighbor be your D.D.? Fortunately there’s a movement taking shape and it’s bound to make Angelenos’ lives just a tad easier (and healthier): no- and low-ABV drinking. And next week, there’s an entire pop-up bar, N o l o, devoted to it.
Don’t call them “mocktails,” a name usually reserved for cocktail recipes minus only the alcohol. No- and low-alcohol-by-volume beverages try to build their own flavor profiles using ingredients that work without the taste of gin, mezcal, rum and the other usual suspects, and often rely on bitters, house tonics, fresh juice and herbs—and, in more than 2,000 bars and counting, a product called Seedlip.
Billing their goods as the world’s first distilled non-alcoholic spirits, the English company cold-macerates botanicals, then distills them using techniques found in The Art of Distillation a 17th-century handbook. The result? A component that adds the flavor and depth of booze, sans alcohol. On July 24 and 25, Seedlip is popping up in 16 cities around the world, including two in L.A., with city-specific concoctions that include zero or very little alcohol.
On Tuesday, head to The Normandie Club, and Wednesday, its sibling bar, The Walker Inn, for a menu of six to 10 Seedlip-based drinks, all at $8 apiece. You can catch the same menu both nights, with options such as the Sharp Shooter (pictured, no-alcohol), made with Seedlip Spice, carrot juice, lime juice, ginger syrup, grenadine, salt solution and a cracked-pepper garnish; the Woo-Cachaça (low-alcohol) with its blend of Seedlip Spice, Velvet Falernum, Giffard Banana liqueur, Giffard Passionfruit liqueur, lime juice, coconut cream, Cachaça, grated cinnamon and dehydrated banana chips; and the Devil’s Salas (no-alcohol), with Seedlip Garden, lemon juice, pineapple gum syrup, Fee Brothers celery bitters, jalapeño water and muddled cucumber.
Traveling on those dates? You can also find the N o l o pop-up bar in New York City, Hong Kong, Athens, Melbourne, London, San Francisco, Toronto, Barcelona and more.
N o l o runs 6 to 10pm on July 24 at The Normandie Club and July 25 at The Walker Inn, located at 3612 W 6th St.