Gone teetotal? Fancy a night out without the hangover? We've got just the thing. Forget what you know about mocktails, because these top-notch bars are proving that it's all about non-alcoholic spirits, artisan craft beers and replacement booze. From award-winning cocktails made sans liquor through to watering holes that make the most of vermouth and sherry, here's 13 of the best bars for no to low-ABV drinks in London.
The riverside retreat that needs no introduction, Lyaness is known for its innovative approach to drinks. Helmed by Ryan Chetiyawardana, the swanky hotel bar centres its cocktail menu around signature ingredients, with 5 tipples that can be made totally alcohol-free for £7.50. We’ve got our eye on the boozeless version of the Golden South Sea Pearldiver, which pairs Seedlip Grove & Garden with beurre noisette, strawberry and the house-made Golden Levain.
Albie at The Hoxton
The latest hotel to join Ennismore’s London family, The Hoxton Southwark is home to cosy rooms, rooftop favourite Seabird and slick all-day hangout Albie. Inspired by the Italian and French Rivieras, this neighbourhood pick features ‘no-to-low’ wines and brews alongside a list of ‘no-alco cocktails’ - think Seedlip spritzes (£8.50), whisky-free penicillins (£9.50) and negronis made with Caleño (£9.50).
Renowned steak-slinger Hawksmoor doesn’t only do meat well, their cocktails are also an award-winning bunch. Skip the spirit-soaked selection and move onto ‘Temperates’ that feature sour cherry Æcorn Aperitif mixes (£6), an Earl Grey Iced Tea (£4.50) and a rhubarb-tipped kombucha number (£5.50). There’s also low-ABV beers and session IPAs if you fancy something a bit more hoppy.
According to The World's 50 Best Bars (one of the most prestigious hospitality awards out there), the Connaught Bar is the best bar in London. And when this ritzy Mayfair number isn’t shaking award-winning cocktails and wheeling around a martini trolley? They’re muddling up drinks from the ‘Innocence’ menu. There’s the Glossy - kombucha mixed with oolong tea - and a salted cacao coconut Smooth Mover (all £12).
As the name would suggest, this Dalston bar divides its menu into three tiers. Three Sheets is known for its innovative take on the French 75 (£9), and luckily for you, it appears on ‘One Sheet,’ meaning that it’s one of the lighter choices. You’ll also find a frothy Almond Flower Sour (£9) and whisky sodas for those days when you don’t fancy throwing three sheets to the wind… see what we did there.
Could 2020 finally be the year of vermouth? Vermuteria certainly hopes so. Holed up in the uber-cool Coal Drops Yard, this Italian-style spot is home to a fairy-lit terrace and a chilled out restaurant-slash-bar. Sip your way through a huge range of drinks, sticking to vermouth mixers, sherry and Campari sodas for a low-ABV evening.
Known for quirky presentation and live music in the heart of east London, Nightjar is one of the best bars in the city. If you don’t fancy a boozy sesh, pass the Prohibition tipples and signature serves to find low-alcoholic and alcohol-free alternatives. There’s Sauterne’s Cup (£10) which utilises Sassy Cidre, a pilsner-spiked Cincinnati (£10) and a trio of Seedlip suggestions just to name a few.
Split between the airy Heads upstairs and the darker Tails below, Heads + Tails models itself after two sides of a coin. At Heads, the menu leans towards spritz-style drinks, light highballs and wines, offset by breezy floor-to-ceiling windows and marble accents. Downstairs, at Tails, it’s a boozier affair, but you’ll still find 0% and low-alcohol muddles throughout this Hampstead bar.
Don’t worry beer-lovers, Draft House hasn’t forgotten about you. With alcohol-free choices ranging from BrewDog’s Nanny State and Raspberry Blitz sour over to the low-ABV Big Easy from Thornbridge Brewery or Mikkeller’s Henry & His Science, there’s plenty. Whether you’re heading to Northcote in Clapham or The City’s Chancery, there’s choices across Draft House’s many pubs.
Hidden beneath Ollie Dabbous’ Mayfair restaurant Hide, this subterranean bar is an unlikely contender in the alcohol-free cocktails game. Head to Hide Below where much of the menu can be made without booze for £9 each. That means aloe vera infusions, sparkling highballs and bloody marys minus the vodka.
Ham Yard Hotel
Nestled in the centre of Soho, Ham Yard Hotel is the kinda place that’ll always impress. From date nights to client meetings, this West End hotel works no matter the occasion. Check out the bar and restaurant where you’ll find a range of low alcohol drinks including the Royal Cup (£11.50), made with Dubonnet, Cointreau, cranberry juice, lemon, homemade grenadine and absinthe.
Pair your okra fries and black daal with one (or two) of Dishoom's ‘Dry Tipples.’ There’s the Sober Martini which combines ginger and gentian root, as well as a teetotal twist on the whisky sour. These come in at £6.50 or less, while Lucky Saint beers and Estrella’s Free Damm will set you back a fiver.
At Ella Canta, it’s all about Mexican bites and Agua Frescas. The Park Lane restaurant and bar pioneers the popular Central American non-alcoholic drink, with flavours like Prehispanic Lemonade and watermelon with pink peppercorn and habanero. Better yet, these dry mixes come in at half the cost of the other cocktails, all priced at £7.
Continue the liquor-less fun with our guide on things to do in London if you don't drink.