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bars � drink
and Portobello, is completely sans alcohol
and billed as 'spoiling yourself without
Redemption owner Catherine Salaway says:
"We treat our drinks with the same respect as
if we were putting alcohol in them. The bar
industry needs to make it easier for people
to make healthier choices. We are o ering
people somewhere sophisticated to have a
good time without alcohol."
The bar's food and drink o erings have
been designed by nutritional therapists with
sugar-free cocktails including Lettuce Spray, a
Japanese-inspired cocktail of iceberg lettuce,
lime, cucumber, wasabi and aloe vera.
Healthier soft drinks are also a key focus
at Hackney's Raw Duck, which o ers a range
of drinking vinegars such as black cherry,
strawberry, and purple carrot and beetroot.
Co-owner Clare Lattin says: "Vinegar with
the mother in it [the oating strands of
cellulose giving it a murky appearance] has
long been drunk for health reasons, it was
also used to preserve fruit in times gone by.
We took this idea to create drinking vinegars
and they are very popular."
Somerset House's newest bar
Pennethorne's also has exciting
seasonal concoctions, such
as the summer menu's Spring
Garden - a blend of mint,
elder ower, cucumber and lime
- and autumn ingredients set to
include winter berries, ginger and chilli.
And it isn't just the avour and choice that
has matured: sophisticated presentation
ensures virgin drinks are streets away from
a pint of cheap squash. Look out for J2O
Spritz served in Champagne glasses and
for striking bar-top infusion jars holding
mixed Bottlegreen cordials.
Meanwhile, ingredients you might expect to
nd in the kitchens of top restaurants, such
as red peaches, sa ron, tarragon and sesame,
are increasingly moving front of house as
bartenders focus on quality and freshness.
At restaurant L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon,
six virgin cocktails - including the bestselling
Spiced Carrot and Peach and Chilli
Tea - are on o er. General manager Achille
Checuz says: "We are moving away from
the perception that a drink sans alcohol is a
dull juice-based drink to something which is
diverse, complex, re ective of a restaurant's
philosophy and representative of our guests'
Artesian's non-alcoholic drinks also call
on unusual elements, including Death of the
Hipster, featuring Workshop Co ee, jasmine,
tonic, oak smoke and elder ower, and Snake
Charmer, with carrot, sesame, elder ower
and orange blossom.
Non-alcoholic versions of classics are also
featuring on a growing number of lists,
including Matt Whiley's Peg + Patriot and
Showdown in Marylebone. Whiley centrifuges
alcohol to create 'placebo' drinks such as
non-alcoholic Campari and Blood Orange
Soda. Other creations include G�Ts and Gin
Rickeys with the key component made by
adding gin botanicals to water.
Whiley says: "More and more people don't
want to drink all the time but want to go out,
and it is important to o er something that
is still an interesting drink. These drinks are
growing in popularity
and make up around
10% of our drinks sales."
similarly o ers a
on its famous Dandelyan Sour, called the
Sourless, with the avour pro le of a classic
sour. Brands such as Belvoir and Luscombe
are also taking inspiration from alcohol for
their suggested serves. Belvoir proposes an
Elder ower Mojito and is introducing a Spiced
Ginger Punch for autumn, while a Virgin Red
Grapefruit Mojito is among ideas from Italian
sparkling drinks brand Galvanina.
Luscombe founder Gabriel David says his
Wild Elder ower Bubbly can be enjoyed at
weddings and parties. "The great thing is that
it looks like Champagne, so people don't feel
self-conscious standing out as a non-drinker."
So what's next? Experts say expect more
from blood orange (Schweppes has released
a new grapefruit and blood orange sparkling
juice drink) and birch water, stealing a march
on coconut as the health drink du jour. Gone
are the days of dilute orange and overpriced
mixer bottles of ginger ale: the non-alcoholic
future is bright and (blood) orange.
"MORE AND MORE PEOPLE DON'T WANT TO DRINK
ALL THE TIME BUT WANT TO GO OUT" MATT WHILEY
Pennethorne's Fruity Forest
L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon
THREE SOFT OPTIONS
PEG + PATRIOT
Town Hall Hotel, Patriot Square, E2 9NF
197 Richmond Road, E8 3NJ
6 Chepstow Road, W2 5BH