Steph Whalley raises the bar with the best booze-free tip-top tee-total tipples
THERE'S nothing worse than going to a bar or restaurant, looking for something non-alcoholic to sip on and ending up with a soft drink that makes you feel like an absolute soft shite.
Down with the murky tap water, J2O and Pepsi bloody Max that leave your sober motives - whatever they may be - sticking out like a sore thumb. We’re here for soft drinks that bring all the party with none of the hangover and thankfully, Liverpool’s raft of bars and drinking dens have got ‘em in spades.
Whether you’re a non-drinker, the designated driver, up the duff, nursing a relentless hangover or just keen to try something different, we’ve got you covered.
Keep scrolling for the scoop on the Liverpool venues doing the absolute most when it comes to mocktails and non-alcoholic bevs...
Arguably one of the coolest bars in the city. (Country? World? Universe?) The Oracle is a clandestine establishment, signposted only by an overhead lantern. Hunker down in a candlelit corner and become the subject of sleight of hand magic tricks performed by resident magicians. Drink from an extensive menu of cocktails, including the Deceivers - a list of alcohol-free concoctions, both sweet and sour.
One(s) to try: The Robert-Houdin (orange, milk, chocolate and cream) and The Dumbledore (sherbet lemon, kiwi, pineapple and orange).
We all know that VietNom is the only place to be for classic Vietnamese scran in Liverpool. Duh. But have you ever noticed the handful of 0% bevvies on the drinks menu? Soft drinks that aren’t a second thought include a cocktail shaken with non-alcoholic Aperol, one topped up with 0% sparkling wine and a duo of alcohol-free fruit beers to wash your bánh mì down with.
One(s) to try: Lervig No Worries Pineapple beer and the Lemon Coconut Fizz.
Inspired by a former vendor of The GPO food hall who was in recovery during his time there, The GPO Bar mocktail menu aims to provide sober visitors with as much choice and consideration as their booze-slugging counterparts. The small but mighty selection aims to recreate the look, taste and feel of a traditional cocktail using a refined ingredients list sans alcohol.
One to try: The Softcore Martini - a faux Pornstar Martini with a shot of lemonade on the side.
When a mocktail menu is branded "Character without comprise", you know it’s going to hit different. Three cheers for the Be At One "lo and no alcohol" drinks list which provides both low alcohol and completely alcohol-free cocktails that still have spirit aplenty.
One(s) to try: The Forest Fire (Seedlip Spice 94, ginger, lemon, oak smoke bitters) and the Pants on Fire (white peach, jasmine soda and 0% sparkling fizz).
A sober affair should never come at the compromise of sophistication - unless you want it to of course. The lovely lot down at River North have taken two classic cocktails and reinstated their virginity, removing spirits from the equation entirely. Choose from the No-Groni or the Amarett-no Sour, making mocktails of the traditional Negroni with Seedlip, Aecorn Bitter and Aecorn Aromatic, and Amaretto Sour with Lyre’s Amaretti, lemon, sugar and (optional) egg whites.
One to try: Double park them both!
Revs is long-reigning royalty when it comes to cocktails that put a smile on your face and a hangover in your future but this lot are no court jesters when it comes to mocktails either. The Booze Free menu features a choice of technicolour drinks that are just as appealing as their liquor-laced alternatives, including a tropical Red Bull concoction.
One to try: The Noo Woo - strawberry, passionfruit, grenadine and cranberry juice.
Bakchich is best known as Bold Street’s little slice of Lebanon. It’s adored for its menu of authentic (and friggin’ delicious) street food but as a dry bar, serving no alcohol at all, these guys know how to finesse a mocktail too. Think timeless classics alongside a couple of more creative interpretations of traditional cocktail recipes.
One to try: The Pomegranate Mojito, shaken with lemonade, rose water and pomegranate purée.
The Long Shot has earned a reputation for innovative cocktails, craft beers and monster sandwiches. These guys don’t just stop at 0% beers - including alcohol-free Heineken - they’ve also made almost every single cocktail on their drinks list available as a soft alternative. Non-alcoholic cocktails replace spirits with a mix of Martini Vibrante, Aecorn Dry and Aecorn Bitter - premium alcohol-free aperitifs with sophisticated flavour profiles. Ooh, fancy.
One to try: The Cloud 9, which swaps vodka and Prosecco for Aecorn Dry and soda, mixed with kiwi, elderflower and lemon.
Gin and craft beer in a gorgeous, characterful setting? Sounds perfect. Not quite. Add in an enormous wood-fired pizza oven smashing out some of the best pizzas in the city – now you’re talking. But that's not all. Turncoat also boasts an amazing array of mocktails for when gin is unfortunately out of the question.
One(s) to try: The Berry Cooler with elderflower and cranberry, and Tropical Twist with pineapple and orange, are both vibrant and fruity concoctions.
Read again: Liverpool's 15 best late-night drinking dens
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