Many of us have decided to go easy on the booze this month after a hectic, alcohol-fuelled December and Christmas. Then there’s all you warm-hearted charitable sorts currently on the ‘Dry January‘ or the ‘Dryathlon campaign (keep going peeps!)
But what does a month without alcohol mean for our dating lives? What, no dutch courage to rely on? Nah, a good date doesn’t have to be booze-filled and a good cocktail doesn’t have to be laden with spirits. Here are our top five choices to help get the date buds tingling!
Following on from successful residencies in Hackney and Portobello, Redemption – London’s first alcohol-free bar and gastropub – is coming to Fairly Square in central London this month. Founded by Catherine Salway to prove you don’t need alcohol to have fun, there is delicious food on offer, all washed down with mocktails. Highlights include the Coco-tini, coconut water shaken over ice with lime and agave syrup, served in a salt-rimmed glass; and Elderflower and Lemon Fizz, an elderflower and fresh lemon drink topped with sparkling water.
For some delicious mocktails, head to Carom in Soho. The ‘Drinking Without Sins’ range includes Carom Lassi, yogurt shaken with fruit and you can choose between sweet, salty, mango, passion fruit and raspberry; Apple Mojito, made from lime juice mixed with mint sugar and apply juice; and Ginger Rose, a blend of apply juice, fresh ginger, rose syrup and ginger ale.
If you can possibly swerve the alcohol on the menu then this cool 1920s-style cubist bar with leather and mirrors is a fabulous date venue. Try the Tea Rinfresco, meaning ‘I refresh you’, a blend of ginger syrup, lime juice, lychee purée, mandarin juice, Earl Grey tea, and soda water; or the Sundance, a blend of orange juice, vanilla sugar, peach juice, soda water and grenadine.
With restaurants in Covent Garden, King’s Cross and Shoreditch, a delicious curry and lassi are never too far away. There are plenty to choose from here including the Virgin Bombay Colada, a classic pineapple and cream concoction with a Bombay twist in the shape of a little coriander, Chai syrup and lime juice; or the Bhang Lassi, a traditional Holi drink with fresh shredded mint, ginger, grenadine, candied fennel sprinkles and coconut milk.
LoungeLover in East London is a great place to come for Virgin cocktails. The extensive menu includes The Grapes of Wrath, muddled grapes, lychee juice and rose syrup topped with soda water; Mikelone, a refreshing combination of kumquats, kalamasi, lychee and coco; and Little Nina, a blend of basil, strawberries and lychee with a splash of apple juice.
Are there any other venues you would recommend for virgin cocktails? Tell us @lovestruckTweet