January is the perfect month to exercise a little clean living after the excesses of Christmas, but that doesn’t mean detoxing has to be boring. For those of you who are cutting back on the booze or doing Dry January this month, we’ve found the best mocktails London has to offer so you can exercise a healthy lifestyle and still treat yourself after a hard day’s work.
Mark’s Bar at Hix Soho – Downstairs at HIX Soho is Mark’s Bar, where you will find the apothecary bar, surrounded by British art and bearing a list of seasonal cocktails. The menu has five non-alcoholic concoctions to choose from but the Shirley Temple, made with Luscombe ginger beer, Mark’s grenadine and lime, is a classic choice. If you’re looking for something a little more savoury there’s the Bloody Shame, made with Mark’s Mary Mix, tomato juice, lemon and celery.
Dandelyan – This impressive cocktail bar was created by the award-winning Ryan Chetiyawardana and serves incredible new creations alongside classic cocktails with a twist. The distinct interior, designed by Tom Dixon, means you can either sip your alcohol-free January cocktail at the green marble bar or while sitting on one of the pink leather banquettes. And you’ll be looking over the Thames, too. Try The Bradsell, made with cold brew Square Mile coffee, malt syrup and chai spices. After a drink you can dine in style at Sea Containers, as they’re both located in the riverside Mondrian London hotel.
Lima – Lima in Fitzrovia brings the flavours and ingredients of Peruvian cuisine to London, served in a clean and contemporary way, and the cocktail list is a brilliant extension of this detox-friendly menu. The establishment, which is led by Peruvian chef Vergilio Martinez, has three mocktails to choose from. Amor De Pina 7 is a mix of pineapple, pear, almond and cream, while the equally fruity but less creamy Frutas 8 is made with strawberry, apple, pear and kiwi. For a sharper fix try the Pink Sour 8, which blends hibiscus, lemon juice and sugar with Victorian lemonade.
Drake & Morgan – Drake & Morgan in King’s Cross has not one but two bars on its premises, found on the ground and lower ground floors. Walk down the emerald green staircase and perch at the marble-topped central bar or bag one of the leather-clad booths to enjoy a classy alcohol-free cocktail. The detox-friendly cocktails can be found under the ‘Abstainers’ and ‘Freshly Made’ sections of the menu. Try a Ginger Mimosa, made with orange juice, fresh ginger, rosemary and ginger ale – a perfect way to take the edge off the cold weather.
City Social – The elegant bar at Jason Atherton’s City Social is helping to make Dry January a little easier for everyone this year with a new mocktail on its list of sought-after drinks. Bar manager Tim Laferla will be serving up ‘Due Dill-igence’, made with Seedlip, the world’s first non-alcoholic spirit. Look out at the stunning view of London while drinking this fresh cocktail made with the Garden 108 variety of Seedlip, with its grassy and floral notes, mixed with elderflower, lemon, ginger, cucumber and dill.
Margot – This superb Italian restaurant in Covent Garden boats an extensive wine list with more than 300 bottles on offer, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a cocktail or two, or an alcohol free one at that. Margot is offering two mocktails: the punchy Felicitá made with mixed berries, pomegranate, cranberry juice and lemon, and the slightly sweeter Mr Green, a refreshing cocktail made of cucumber juice, apple, agave syrup and lime.
The Cinnamon Club – The Cinnamon Club in St James’, known for its award-winning Indian cuisine, is an excellent spot in Westminster to stop for a mocktail. After a long day, you can sip on the Red Passion mocktail made with lychee syrup, cranberry juice and grenadine while surrounded by leather-bound books.
This is a guest post from London-based journalist, Loulla-Mae Eleftheriou-Smith, who has written for The Independent and the Evening Standard, as well as our Open for Business blog.