Holiday parties and dinner feasts have tempted us for the last six weeks, and we happily raised our glasses and hands for another pour. But the ball has dropped and the new year is here, ushering in “Dry January”, an unofficial alcohol-free ‘challenge’ that has people saying “no” to alcohol, at least for a little while. Luckily, Mocktails are all the rage, especially at hotel bars around the world, where you can keep the party going while sticking to the post-holiday plan. Best of all—they taste really really good!
Mocktails Are All The Rage at These Hotel Bars
Middle Eight Hotel, London
Jamaican-born Head Mixologist Maurice Lawrence at Middle Eight Hotel does great mocktails with fun names, taking guests on a sensory journey through his childhood.
Low ABV offerings include ‘Easy Skanking’ (Everleaf Mountain, Del Professore sweet vermouth, elderflower, fresh lemon, topped with soda) and the ‘Well-Tempered’ (Sloe Gin, Seedlip Spice, chai spice syrup, Angostura Bitters, topped with lemonade).
Non-alcoholic drinks include the ‘Diverse Influence’ (Seedlip Grove 42, orange bitters, raspberries, ginger, lime, cranberry and pineapple) and the ‘Coco-Pino’ (Everleaf Marine, Angostura Bitters, chocolate bitters, pineapple juice, lime juice, coconut milk, coconut creme and vanilla).
The Sommerro, Oslo, Norway: Expedition Hall
Ekspedisjonshallen (a.k.a. Expedition Hall in English) at the Sommerro has been leading the way in Norway with its alcohol-free programme since the hotel’s opening. Bar Manager Louika Blouti is spearheading this wellness trend and has created an innovative non-alcoholic menu called The Prohibitionist after the National Prohibition Act of 1919 of course. Notable items include ‘The Untouchables’ (the group tasked with capturing the infamous gangster Al Capone); undercover duo ‘Izzy & Moe’ and suffragette Georgia Hopley and Capone’s older brother “Two-Gun” Hart, just to name a few. Serving up classic brasserie-style favourites the restaurant and bar is set against an original wall fresco by artist Per Krohg, it is familiar, laidback and with a backdrop of jazz music by its house band, accompanied by guest vocalists.
Hotel Californian, Santa Barbara, California: Djinn Bar
This iconoclastic enclave – part history, part imagination and all Californian – continues to drive the revitalization of Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone while upending conventional expectations. The 121-room Moroccan-inspired boutique hotel features Djinn, an eccentric library bar named after supernatural genies from Moroccan folklore. Each featured cocktail is handcrafted by legendary Mixologist Devon Espinosa, who is widely recognized throughout Southern California for his intriguing fusion of ingredients and creative presentation. The Ginger Genie (House Ginger, Lime, Soda) is a guaranteed teetotalers’ favorite.
Castelfalfi, Tuscany, Italy: Bar Ecru
Manager Tiziano Frontini and his incredible team have created a handful of non-alcoholic options available year-round, including a signature Castelfalfi Pomegranate Mocktail (image above), which is Tanqueray 0.0 and a splash of pomegranate juice and pink grapefruit soda. With Panoramic views across the incredible Florentine hills, guests can enjoy an array of enticing drinks complemented by traditional Tuscan dishes that tap into local farms and the estates produce. Read more about Castelfalfi.
St. Regis Hotel, San Francisco
The St. Regis San Francisco opened in November 2005, introducing a new dimension of luxury, uncompromising service and elegance to the city’s downtown hotel scene. Drop by the St. Regis Bar for a Virgin Snapper, an alcohol-free version of the hotel’s Red Snapper, a member of the boozy 3-Bloody Mary Flight the bar team has concocted just in time for for January 1, which also happens to be National Bloody Mary Day (who knew?!) The tomato juice, lemon juice, Tabasco and spice of the Red Snapper gives just the right kick to make you feel like the life of the party, without the Vodka.
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Photos courtesy of Preferred Hotels