• The Marvellous World of Mocktails

    Designated drivers rejoice! The mocktail is leaving its soporific sibling at the door and making its way onto more tables than you can shake a swizzle stick at. Time to seek out the best of the best – bar none – in Britain.

    Image by Vikramdeep Sidhu

1. Redemption Bar

The Goldfinger Factory, 13-15 Goldbourne Road, London, W10 5NY

Have a night off, not a night in, at the ever so unconventional Redemption Bar in Portobello (soon relocating to Shoreditch). Here, you’ll find a top notch selection of alcohol-free thirst quenchers, including the signature Coco-Rita, which includes the ever so hip tipple of the moment: coconut water. Alongside the mocktail menu is a fine selection of health conscious bar snacks to suit all tastes and attitudes and you’ll soon be drawn in by the warm atmosphere on offer. Plus, by the evening’s end, you’ll still have enough energy to start shouting their motto ‘spoil yourself without spoiling yourself‘ from the rooftops.

2. Dishoom

7 Boundary Street, London, E2 7JE

If exquisiteness is the order of the day, a trip to Dishoom will not disappoint. Their Bombay-esque Permit Room – a space set aside specifically for the imbibing of delicious drinks – offers liquor free liquids with a distinctly Indian twist that should delight all; from regular punter to Raja.  Their Virgin Chaijito puts herbs (mint and coriander) and spices (cinnamon, clove, nutmeg etc.) at centre stage, while the Passionfruit Sharbat takes the tang of citrus to new heights.

3. Hyde & Co

2 The Basement, Upper Byron Place, Bristol, BS8 1JY

What better place to sip on a mocktail than in a perfectly placed Prohibition style bar? Hyde & Co (sister of the city’s ‘best kept secret’ The Milk Thistle) makes drinking a mocktail much more salacious than it ever deserves to be, but ten times more fun. With award winning bar manager Mark Scott running the show, you can be sure of a sensational tasting drink or two and the unique atmosphere that comes with the carefully put together vintage decor and low lighting will have you questioning what era you’re in before the night is through. For a true taste of the off kilter, grab a table at one of their increasingly popular taxidermy nights.

4. The Brink

15-21 Parr Street, Liverpool, L14 JN

Offering Liverpudlians and friends a chance to successfully socialise in an environment where alcohol plays no part, this venue has been dubbed revolutionary in its drive to bring community spirit back from the…well, brink. Not only does it provide a hub for budding artists, upcoming musicians and those from all walks of life with a story to tell, the drinks (sourced sustainably from around the world) are simply sensational. The cheekily titled Brink Panther blends ripe red berries with pink lemonade in honour of its muse, while a Shampagne Cocktail should keep those with a taste for the finer things satisfied. What’s more, all drinks come in at under £3 a pop, making a night out at The Brink the best bargain this side of The Mersey.

5. Fat Buddha

 Pilgrim street, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE1 6BL 

Offering all the classic cocktails one could ever dream of, with the exception of the intoxicating ingredients, Fat Buddha makes teetotal partying a hugely pleasurable experience. Get fruity with their I Can’t Believe It’s Not Buddha, which comes complete with a mysterious ‘secret mix’, and try out their Asian fusion smoothies if you’re sticking around for appetisers. With a modern approach to traditional Pan-Asian cuisine and a funky space to shake the day off after hours, it is no wonder this place has won multiple Best Restaurant awards in recent years.

6. Bluu Bar

Smith Field Market Buildings, Thomas Street, Northern Quarter, Manchester, M4 1BD 

 Located  in the vibrant Northern Quarter, just a stones throw away from shopping mecca The Triangle Centre, lies Bluu Bar – a cosily eclectic spot with booths to suit bubbly groups and dusky corners for canoodling couples. Start your mocktail tour with a Bloody Shame – alternatively known as a Virgin Mary (as if you weren’t behaving like a saint already) – for a quick kick of tomato and tabasco goodness that will invigorate the senses for the remainder of the evening; plus you’ll get a tangy smack of flavonoids (we didn’t make that up) from the accompanying celery stick. The divinely sweet Strawberry Mockery should provide the cherry on top of a perfect date, but even if it goes a little awry, you’re guaranteed to walk away with a darn fine Instagram snap.

7. The Alchemist

Level 1, Trinity, Leeds, LS7 6HW

Those on the hunt for glamour and grandeur need look no further than The Alchemist. From the gently twinkling lights to the truly OTT presentation of each uniquely crafted infusion, this place delivers on theatricality from the get go and has a distinctly ‘treat yourself’ state of mind. As one might gather from the name, this bar doesn’t just dish up any old swill, choosing instead to serve smoking glasses of potion like liquids in a spectrum of changing colours that are literally bubbling over. A beaker of their frothy Mochatini, with a crunch of cookie syrup, comes highly recommended.

The only place we know of where you can combine scientific practice with complete and utter decadence. If every night were spent drinking here, we’d be signing up as lifetime members of the Temperance League.

Featured Image: mrlemonfilm