The cocktail has made an extraordinary return over recent years and every London hotel seems to have a cocktail bar complete with resident Mixologist. However, for many pregnant and nursing mums the pretty, tasty and trendy cocktails are off the menu because of the sheer number of shots in each gorgeous glass. But, non-alcoholic cocktails are just as beautifully made and certainly as delicious, without of course the curse of a hangover the next morning... it's the best of both worlds.
We've asked the finest cocktails bars in London to come up with the ideal non-alcoholic cocktail (or, Mocktail!) for mums off the alcohol – and there are some good ones!
1. Best for Flavour... a Mal Honey
Mint leaves, lime wedges and lemonade muddled with a big squeeze of honey and crushed ice, garnished with mint tips and lime wedge. Created by PeeJay De Jesus (£5.95).
This fresh, tangy drink will bring a smile to anyone's face. It provides a good, zingy buzz, and it comes with a stirrer, so you can grind the mint into the honey and mix it up a bit. A more refreshing cocktail would be hard to find!
at... The Bar at The Mal
A dark and moody lounge bar with a zinc-topped bar, velvet banquettes and pudgy bar stools. The florescent lights behind the bar illuminate an impressive display of bottles and tools at the ready to conjure up a delicious cocktail from the List... and more! Here, the Barman is happiest when creating, so tell him your mood, your taste and he'll create something for you. “The secret to a good cocktail is to chill everything: glass, ingredients, shaker, spoons, sieves.” says Bar Manager Lucky Adelova.
The Bar at The Mal, Malmaison Hotel, Barbican
2. Best for Value… a Coconut Kiss
Pineapple Juice, swirled with Coconut, a glug of Cream and a dash of Grenadine (£5.50).
A beautiful-looking cocktail with a smooth, creamy and slightly exotic taste about it. It's so good you could be convinced it's alcoholic... and if you close your eyes, you could be under a palm tree in the Caribbean!
… at The Lobby Bar
A modern but comfortable space to relax in the prestigious Jermyn Street. It's ideal for a secret rendezvous; a cosy nook away from the bustle of Piccadilly.
“Ladies who want to keep their pregnancy a secret and business men trying to clinch a deal often go for our non-alcoholic cocktails because they look so good and no one notices the lack of alcohol,” says Bar Manager Robert Gaggl.
The Lobby Bar, The Cavendish Hotel, Mayfair
3. Best for Elegance... a Melon Breeze
Freshly squeezed watermelon and pressed apple juice, finished off with a swirl of honey and a splash of lemon juice (£7.50).
A short and zippy little cocktail but it's gorgeously pink and packed with tastes of summer. The flavours are true – no concentrated juice from a carton here, thank you very much! All Claridges fruit purees are made fresh from plump, ripe fruits. A Smoothie, Vegetable juice and a bespoke Pick-Me-Up can also be conjured if required.
… at The Bar at Claridges
A calm, cool and airy bar which simply oozes class. Everyone is quiet, even the bubbles popping in the glasses seem subdued yet perfectly in tune. Here, taking a cocktail is an event. It’s served with a confident, yet understated air on shiny leather embossed coasters and it looks super!
“The pared lime skin that decorates the drink is there because each time you take a sip, the tart, citrus smell of lime should get to you before your lips hits the drink. It's all part of the experience,” says Daniel Baernreuther, Bar Manager at Claridges Bar.
The Bar, Claridges, Mayfair
4. Best for Vitamins... a Berries Temptation
Forest berries blended with crushed ice and freshly squeezed orange juice (£10.50).
A cocktail tasting of sun-drenched berries expertly swizzled into a glass topped off with plump strawberries and raspberries on a skewer. It must be about four of your “five a day” in one glass!
at... The Mirror Bar
A smart, extravagant bar with huge comfy chairs. Noticeable is the passion for the art of cocktail making that is evident here. If you ask about the drinks the staff will tell you in detail about the ingredients and rationale behind each creation.
The Mirror Bar, Landmark Hotel, Marylebone
5. Best for glamour... a Watermelon and Pomegranate Cooler
Fresh watermelon and pomegranate muddled with lemon juice and grenadine syrup, shaken with pomegranate juice and served tall over crushed ice (£6.50).
A fresh, tasty cocktail with a hint of bitter pomegranate. The drinks certainly taste as good as they look!
at... the Refuel Bar
An interesting decor with a huge, brightly coloured mural behind the bar. The place always seems busy and full of happy, healthy looking people! The saxophone music playing audible, but not too loud over the animated conversations going on. The bar itself is not made for lounging; it's the kind of place you stop for a drink before going somewhere else.
Refuel Bar, Soho Hotel, Soho
6. Best for Sparkle... a Mango & Ginger Fizz
Mango puree shaken with fresh lime juice and sugar syrup, topped with ginger beer and crushed ice (£4.75).
The sparkling ginger beer and tart lime juice are the key ingredients here. The result is a sweet, slightly spicy and rather mouthwatering cocktail. Anyone for another?
A vibrant and glitzy bar full of sparkles, mirrors and a gleaming sweeping staircase that brings you from street level to the bar below. The music is as Latin as it comes: a new resident band is flown over every few months from Cuba. It has a brash, confident air, and it's always packed.
Floridita, Wardour St, West End
7. Best for sipping (and of course, people-watching!)... a Passionate
Passion fruit, freshly pureed mango, lime juice swirled with coconut froth (£10).
The Passionate is a slightly tart, but soothing cocktail, perfect to have in your hand while people-watching at The Savoy.
at... The Beaufort Bar
A chic alternative to the Savoy’s famous American Bar, the Beaufort Bar is a gorgeous new bar only recently revealed when the hotel was re-opened after years of redesign and refurbishment. It’s the height of glamour attracting all sorts of London's rich and famous. All sorts of fancy drinks are served by the smartest waiters in town!
The Beaufort Bar, The Savoy, Strand
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