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98 � squaremeal.co.uk

BARS + DRINK

At Tredwell's, Eames's Gun Powder

Gimlet uses fresh, cold-pressed lime juice

and green-tea syrup, while his Down the

Apples and Pears cocktail mingles vodka

with a fresh fruit purée of apple, pear,

elderflower and thyme.

"Mass-market cocktails, with all their

additives, sugar-coat the mouth and give

a massive high in the evening, which is

always followed by a cataclysmic low the

next day, and because of the way sugar

works, we crave more," says Alex Harris

at Behind �is Wall bar in Mare Street,

Bethnal Green. "It's not the alcohol we're

addicted to, it's the sugar."

NATURALLY SPEAKING

To counteract this, everything at the

basement bar is produced in-house or

carefully selected to exclude artificial

additives and unnecessary sugar. Freshly

squeezed grapefruit is mixed with raw

honey, cardamom and ginger as a base

for a Negroni or Sidecar, and blackstrap

molasses are used in place of the classic

caster sugar syrup. High in B vitamins,

iron and calcium, this gloopy black sugarcane

syrup is actually low in sugar due to

the way it is extracted and boiled during

processing. �ere's even a cocktail garden

planned for the roof to grow ingredients

for super-local Bloody Marys.

"Years ago it was natural to use smallbatch

spirits from artisanal producers and

fresh ingredients in drinks, and you'd be

able to enjoy them with less of a hangover,"

says Harris, who believes the recent trend

is just an extension of what's happening

with food thanks to the growing interest

in the provenance of what

we're consuming.

"First it was organic

wines, then it was the

craft beer movement, and

with people getting into

more natural diets, local

produce and grass-fed

meat - and thinking more about what they

put into themselves - it's only natural that

this transfers to cocktails."

FITNESS FIRST

So how about an asana with your alcohol?

Last year, Behind �is Wall offered Voga

(a yoga and 80s fashion mash-up) with

post-class cocktails, and the fitness bug

seems to be catching. �is summer, Drake

& Morgan launches a morning yoga

class and Tanya's Cafe in Chelsea offers

monthly health talks, fitness brunches and

collaboration with local fitness brands.

But can healthy living and healthy

drinking ever really co-exist?

"Any conscious effort to make a

healthier choice should be commended,"

says nutritionist Panagos.

"But you've got to ask:

what actually makes

a cocktail healthier?

Is it just that a fancysounding

superfood

has been added to an

otherwise high-sugar, high-alcohol mix?

And while agave sounds healthy, it is

still sugar. It's a question of balance and

staying informed."

For Newell at Drake & Morgan it's

everything in moderation. "People are

much more focused on drinking better

than drinking more these days - it's all

about quality over quantity."

PIMP UP YOUR PIMM'S

Move over quinoa, the latest superfoods aren't on your plate - they're in your

Piña Colada. Healthy cocktails aren't just about taking things out, they're also

about what you put in. Meet the superfood cocktails, transforming even the

most empty-calorie mixes into vitamin-rich elixirs.

At Grace Apothecary Bar in Belgravia, you'll get a dose of organic berries,

maca powder and chia seeds in your muddle, and at Nama Foods vegan

restaurant in Notting Hill, you can pick up juices pepped up with blue algae

and medicinal mushrooms.

At Oblix, on the 32nd floor of The Shard, bar manager Wendy Stoklasova

might mash some tamarillo fruit into the mix (it's halfway between a mango and

tomato), and her Forgotten Cosmonaut has sea buckthorn juice - purportedly

used in space to support astronauts' immune systems.

At Tanya's Cafe at MyHotel, Chelsea, the idea has completely taken over, with

owner Tanya Maher applying her raw, organic and

ethical food principles to everything on the drinks

menu, with spirits infused with raw honey, chia

seeds, spirulina and nuts.

"Our frozen Matcharita is made with matcha

green tea powder, which is high in skin-boosting

antioxidants," she

says. "And our

chocolatey Filthy

Rich is made with

acai berry powder

and cacao powder,

both extremely

high in healthboosting

minerals.

"It tastes like a

naughty treat but

the whole idea is to make up for the dehydrating e—ects

of the alcohol by using hydrating superfoods as well as

cold-pressed juices to create a balanced drink."

It's not just alcohol packing a punch

in the calorie department, there's the

artery-coating syrups and mixers too

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