What To Drink When You’re Not Drinking: The Best London Brands

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What To Drink When You’re Not Drinking: The Best London Brands

Photo by Kangan Arora from Londonist Flickr pool.

All the sense of occasion, none — or very little — of the ABV. These are some of our favourite London breweries, distilleries, chocolate-makers and cocktail-slingers doing great alcohol-free options for when you want to brighten your night in, boozelessly.

All available for delivery, and all 0.5% alcohol or lower.

London’s not short of kombucha breweries doing variations on the fermented, tangy tea — but for something that feels fierce enough to make it a good substitute for the kick and heat of alcohol, Kompassion’s Scotch bonnet is the one. Looks good in a champagne coupe, fizzes lightly like a celebration, and mixes well with non-alcoholic bitters if you want to get showy with it.

The brewery runs on green energy, with deliveries by cargo bike, and there’s a subscription option with your kombucha delivered in refillable bottles. The empty bottles are collected, sterilised and reused weekly, like a milk round.

Details: £16 for six bottles or £6.50 for a large bottle through the subscription service, delivery across a lot of London — check the website for postcodes.

Order here.

The Tottenham brewery’s non-alcoholic offering’s crisp, light, citrusy, slightly tropical — and also nice, easy, bit summery. Mostly the same adjectives we’d throw around about Beavertown’s core IPAs, really, so if you’re a fan of those, enjoy.

Details: £1.60 a can, delivery across London.

Order here.

Others to look out for: Nirvana Brewery — a Leyton-based alcohol free brewery, with a range of six beers, two of them 0% and Shrb Bier, a Walthamstow-based company making unfiltered, unfermented beer — with a range of three, all 0%.

Eve Bar — maple-salted Nogroni

Made with Aecorn and Seedlip zero-alc spirits and bitters, maple and salt, it’s an alcohol-free take on the negroni that actually manages to pack some of the bittersweet, sticky punch of its boozy namesake.

Details: £20 for a 500ml bottle — delivery across London.

Order here.

Others to look out for: Hacha Bar in Haggerston do a non-alcoholic version of their Mirror Margarita, swapping out the tequila for Seedlip.

Image: Islands Chocolate.

A south London chocolatier making seed-to-bar chocolate — where the beans are made into the end product at their place of origin — Islands was behind our best, richest, most everything-will-be-okay hot chocolate of the winter. You’ll spot them sliding into mainstream takeaway spots in coming months (including Gail’s Bakery, where they’re now the in-house hot chocolate option), but for ease of access and cost-per-park-thermos, buy your own direct from Islands.

The 70% hot chocolate buttons are vegan-friendly, and they also do a drinking chocolate and a cocoa, all of it from family-run farms in St Vincent.

Details: £20 for a 1 kg bag. Delivery across London.

Order here.

Others to look out for: Dark Sugars — the Brick Lane chocolate shop has six hot chocolates available for delivery, including classic milk chocolate, white chocolate, chilli chocolate and ‘pitch black’ options.

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