When you think about it, London is basically just a sea of craft beer, flavoured gins and tasty cocktails. But if you’re wanting to stay off the sauce for Sober October, social situations in this city can be tricky to navigate. Whether you’re doing it for health reasons, to save money, or to raise vital funds for Macmillan Cancer Support, we’ve compiled our pick of the best bars in the city to help you ditch the drink and swap your cocktail for a mocktail.
From Espresso Marti-nos to tropical teetotal tipples, here’s what to drink in London when you’re not drinking.
At Blind Spot, a mocktail doesn’t just mean taking the one ingredient out – they also put a lot more in. This hidden bar – tucked away behind the façade of a boutique tea counter – offers bespoke and signature drinks bursting with flavours influenced by the British Empire and its ancient tea trade. Travel from harbour to harbour and taste the flavours of the world as you try the menu.
There’s Bangkok, Thailand, an exciting blend of cucumber juice, tabasco, lemon juice, tonic water; Honolulu, Hawaii – a refreshing mix of raspberry purée, coconut cream, lime juice, egg white and bubby soda water; and Caracas, Venezuela, a mocktail glass full of passion fruit juice, pineapple juice, lime juice, ginger purée, and orgeat syrup. Have a palette for something else? The bar team have got you covered. Simply tell team what kind of flavour you like – spicy, fruity, herbal, creamy – and they’ll get to work on blending it together, especially for you.
Where: 45 St Martin’s Ln, London WC2N 4HX
Just one sip of Meraki’s Greek God themed non-alcoholic cocktail menu, and you’re bound to think these carefully crafted mocktails are the real deal. Try delicious delights like the Hestias Hibiscus Lemonade, made with homemade hibiscus syrup, fresh lemon juice, fresh mint and soda water; the Demeters Excotic Field with passionfruit, blood peach, pineapple, lime juice, homemade chilli syrup and fresh pineapple juice; or the Heras Virgin Sour, made with mandarin and bergamot soda, lemon juice, homemade blood peach-lemon foam and lemon dust.
Fancy another? The Meraki mixologists will prepare a bespoke non-alcoholic creation to suit your tastes.
You're bound to think these carefully crafted mocktails are the real deal.
Where: 80-82 Great Titchfield St., London W1W 7QT
If you’re steering away from the booze this month, you can still have a good time at nhow London thanks to their excellent mocktail menu. Created with care and consideration, these mocktails taste as good as the real deal.
We love the Tutti Fruity with orange juice, cranberry juice, lime and lemonade; or try the classic Virgin Mojito for some zesty non-alcoholic sipping.
Here to offer you a helping hand during Sober October is The Athenaeum with their two special non-alcoholic cocktails which don’t compromise on taste.
For a zesty number, try their Yuzu & Grapefruit Sour, a delightful blend of Sipsmith Freeglider, pink grapefruit juice, lime juice, vanilla, ginger syrup and foam. Or, try the super-refreshing Green Park Cooler with Seedlip Garden, apple, lime, and mint topped off with soda.
Right next to Hammersmith station is Kindred – the West London members’ club focused on community and human connection. Their focus is more about letting members in, rather than keeping them out, and they have a range of tempting non-alcoholic cocktails for teetotallers.
For a fruity number, try the Arched Breeze, a mix of Sea Arch Coastal non-alcoholic juniper ‘spirit’, cranberry juice, and pomelo and pink peppercorn tonic.
A range of tempting non-alcoholic cocktails for teetotallers.
Where: Bradmore House, Queen Caroline St, London W6 9BW
The innovative menu allows guests to discover and enjoy flavours that are rarely experienced in mocktails.
If you’re taking part in Sober October, are the designated driver of the evening, or you just fancy a night off from drinking, the innovative menu at The Library Bar allows guests to discover and enjoy flavours that are rarely experienced in mocktails.
Try a reimagined classic gin and tonic with the Genuine & Tonic, made with Atopia Spiced Citrus, shaken with Everleaf’s flavours of saffron, iris and angelica; or the X-Rated, a modern London classic prepared with passionfruit and mango juice, lifted with vanilla flavours and shaken with fresh lemon juice. For something tropical, there’s the Pall Mall – a punch prepared with Atopia non-alcoholic spirit, paired with ginger, rhubarb and hedgerow berry, and mixed with London Essence roasted pineapple soda, lychee, passion and citrus.
Creatively concocted healthy alternatives without compromising on flavour.
Where: Hyde Park Corner, London SW1X 7TA
Known for its spectacular views and killer cocktails, we’re not surprised that GŎNG Bar also has some incredible non-alcoholic options.
If you’re partial to a champagne cocktail, you’ll want to get your hands on the Causeway Mist, incorporating Everleaf Forest, Aecorn Dry, Bax Botanics Sea Buckthorn, Kombucha, Soda and Grenadine. For fruity and spicy notes, try the Dry Tai made with Seedlip Grove 42, Bax Botanics Lemon Verbena, Orgeat, GŎNG Citrus, Pineapple and Aecorn Aromatic.
Known for its spectacular views and killer cocktails.
Where: Level 52, Shangri-La The Shard, 31 St Thomas St, London SE1 9QU
The Prince Akatoki’s mocktails prove that you don’t always need an alcoholic beverage to quench your thirst. At the bar, you’ll find two tantalising non-alcoholic cocktails that pack a punch, from the Ginger, a mix of Crossip Fresh Citrus Alcohol Free, Japanese Grenadine and Ginger Kombucha, to the Orange, incorporating Everleaf Forest Non-Alcoholic Bittersweet Aperitif and a Blend of Oranges.
Each cocktail is a twist on a classic, the predominant Japanese flavour is reflected in the name.
Tantalising non-alcoholic cocktails that pack a punch.
Where: 50 Great Cumberland Pl, Marble Arch, London W1H 7FD
The cocktails at this boutique establishment sure deliver on the flavour front. To tempt you away from a cheeky gin and tonic or margarita, why not try one of their moreish zero-proof cocktails.
For something spicy, go with the Spiced Ginger, and mix of Seedlip Spice 94, ginger syrup, lemon juice, ginger beer and fresh mint. Or for something sweet try the Blossom, made with Seedlip Grove 42, fresh orange juice, lemon juice and sugar syrup.
The talented team at Bounce always know how to do expertly mixed cocktails, but they’ve got a great selection of guilt-free non-alcoholic versions to satisfy our cravings, too.
We love the Espresso Marti-no, a non-alcoholic take on everyone’s favourite coffee cocktail, made with Seedlip spice, fresh coffee, hazelnut liqueur, and vanilla syrup.
We love the Espresso Marti-no, a non-alcoholic take on everyone’s favourite coffee cocktail.
Where: Farringdon / Old Street
The place to go for all-day drinking and dining with your friends, the Drake & Morgan venues always have a great selection of no-alcohol beverages.
But for those wanting a refreshing zero-proof cocktail this Autumn, try the Forest of Folklore, made using Everleaf Forest non-alcoholic aperitif mixed with white peach and fragrant jasmine soda.
For those wanting a refreshing zero-proof cocktail this Autumn, try the Forest of Folklore.
Where: Multiple Locations
This gorgeous hotel is home to a lovely cocktail bar, which of course means it’s home to some excellent mocktails too. Their new immersive menu, The Franklin Grand Tour, will drive guests to discover Italy through its most iconic flavours and products. A taste adventure awaits you from the Alps to the hills of Tuscany, and the best bit is the new menu features four unique mocktails too.
If you’re after a floral, fruity hit, try the Verona, concocted of Seedlip Spice, Cranberry Juice, Earl Grey Tea, Lime Juice, Sugar Syrup and Merchant’s Heart Hibiscus Tonic Water. We also love the sound of the Parma, made with Seedlip Spice, Homemade Rhubarb Cordial, Lemon Juice and Franklin Lemonade.
Where: 24 Egerton Gardens, London SW3 2DB
This award-winning private members club is a great place for those looking for a refreshing alternative to alcohol. The bartenders are at the top of their game and are well versed in making virgin cocktails, so no one need miss out on their favourite tipple.
A highlight of the non-alcoholic cocktail menu is the Cinderella, a tropical taste of summer to help you re-live the warmer months. A mix of three juices (pineapple, lemon and orange), alongside ginger ale and a dash of grenadine make up this refreshing drink.
Where: 115-117 Kew Rd, Richmond TW9 2PN
Getting sober curious this October? The Perception Bar has a tasty selection of non-alcoholic cocktails that will satisfy all your cocktail cravings.
Cleverly named cocktails include Naked Blueberry, Synthetic Dreams, and Follow The Rabbit, but our favourite has to be The Grinch – a spicy blend of Seedlip spice 94, matcha, fresh lime and ginger beer.
A spicy blend of Seedlip spice 94, matcha, fresh lime and ginger beer.
Where: W, Leicester Square, 10 Wardour St, London W1D 6QF
Head down to the Swan At The Globe this Sober October where they’ve a range of mocktails to quench your thirst as you gaze out the window at views of the Thames.
Our favourite is the refreshing Blackberry & Ginger Cooler, made with muddled blackberries, fresh mint, lime and ginger beer. Yum!
Made with muddled blackberries, fresh mint, lime and ginger beer. Yum!
Where: 21 New Globe Walk, Bankside, London SE1 9DT
For those going sober this October (or those that are all year round), Rake’s Cafe Bar has just the non-alcoholic option for you.
Choose between their Exotic Escape (Seedlip garden 108, passionfruit, coconut, soda, tonic) or Designated Driver (Seedlip spice, peach, lime, sugar, chives, ginger ale) and join the party whilst staying smug that you’ll be waking up the next day feeling fresh.
Where: 40 Liverpool St, London EC2M 7QN