James Bond is fond of his Martini, Don Draper likes his Old Fashioneds and Carrie Bradshaw has a soft spot for the Cosmopolitan. But when it comes to non-alcoholic drinks, Hollywood’s most iconic association is perhaps Shirley Temple, the child star who inspired a mix of ginger ale and grenadine, garnished with a cherry.
Mocktails have come a long way and now they’re far from being a sickly-sweet bomb of pinkness meant for those too young to enjoy a “real drink.” In fact, Tinseltown has some homework to do to catch up with today’s bartenders, as there are so much more interesting non-alcoholic choices out there than Sheldon Cooper’s “Virgin Cuba Libre” (a.k.a. “Rum and Coke without the rum, and make it a Diet Coke”).
So, forget doppelgangers with depressing names and discover how flavourful, appealing and overall inviting is the new generation of mocktails that some of our favourite bars across Dublin are mixing. They’re so good that even if your night out is not a 0% ABV one, you’ll still want to enjoy them.
The stunning cocktail menu at these two sleek bars is based on Thai star signs and each animal corresponds to a spirit or type of cocktail. The year of the Rooster is for rum, Gin matches the Tiger and to our delight, Non-Alcoholic drinks are associated with the confident Dragon.
You can choose from five different and carefully composed mocktails that make creative use of herbs, floral flavours, spices and fruits to craft excellent taste. Treat yourself to a Thai Mojito, Koh San Cooler, Siam Lemonade, Cucumber and Eldelflower High Tea or Thai Ice Tea. All of them as beautifully presented as any other star sign!
Where: Dundrum Town Centre and Malahide
More information: candlelightbar.ie
This chic venue has a small but appealing non-alcoholic section on their list. Enjoy a fruity Watermelon Sour filled with herbal flavours including a refreshing blend of sweet Thai basil, mint and thyme; or treat yourself to a Spiced Sour, which will take you on an exotic trip with flavours of cardamom, oak and zesty citrus fruit.
Where: 55 Percy Pl, Dublin 4
More information: angelinas.ie
This hipster haven is home of vegan pizzas, great music, a cool pub quiz, bingo nights and a game room with over 100 board games, ping-pong and a several gaming consoles. Now they’ve launched the ultimate boozeless (and low alcohol) lineup of tipples featuring innovative non-alcoholic spirit Seedlip, as well as other non-alco wines, premium spirits, bitters and mixers.
On the non-alcoholic side (0 to 0.5% ABV) they’ve a selection of beers and ciders as well as cocktails including Seedily Spice 94 Gin & Fentimans Tonic Water, Seedlip Herbal Gin & Fentimans Tonic Water, Nojito and Bitters, Lime & Soda. They’ve also a selection of low alcoholic cocktails, beers and more.
Where: 199 Phibsborough Rd, Phibsborough, Dublin 7
More information: the-back-page.com
This oasis of fine tequila offers a surprisingly thoughtful and reasonably priced selection of non alcoholic cocktails. Enjoy a spicy one with their Homemade Ginger Beer, or order a mouth-watering Pirata Non-Toxico with scorched pineapple juice, grapefruit, lemon and agave syrup; a Pinky Tuscadero with a lovely combination of cranberry juice, jalapeño and rosemary syrup, lime and rhubarb; or a Pie Non-Magico where cucumber, homemade ginger syrup and limes are mixed into a refreshing creation.
Where: South Great George’s Street, Dublin 2
More information: 777.ie
Saba has one of the most varied selection of mocktails in Dublin. Both venues (the one on Clarendon Street and the one on Baggot Street) have their own signature non-alcoholic tipples, and with all options under five euros, they’re also some of the best value 0% ABV options outside tea, coffee or minerals.
At Clarendon Street, try Pink Condition and let its mix of mint, lime, eldelflower, nettle syrup and homade grapefruit soda tease your taste buds, or treat yourself to a Yam Cherry Cooler with kaffir lime leaves, lime, pineapple juice, black cherry syrup and soda (just to name a couple of their taste selection). On the Baggot Street venue, don’t miss Saigon Honey, made with fresh berries shaken with pineapple juice and honey. Picture below, the Blue Moon, a mix of blueberries blended with peach, fresh ginger and apple juice served over ice with ground cinnamon.
Where: 26-28 Clarendon St, Dublin 2 and 22 Baggot Street Upper, Dublin 4.
More information: sabadublin.com
This sleek hotel offers both style and substance. Instead of ending the menu with the mocktails like most venue, its comprehensive drinks list begins with the boozeless range, appropriately named “Clear Minds” and featuring the likes of a Strawberry & Mint Cooler made with muddled fruit and white lemonade; a Virgin Mojito and a Virgin Mary, alcohol-free rendition of the brunch classic, and a tasty My Tea Berries, which mixes Irish Breakfast Tea flavoured with seasonal berries and peach purée, for those with a Bellini craving who are shying away from the ABV.
Where: Grand Canal Square, Docklands, Dublin 2
More information: themarkerhoteldublin.com
Bowlane is an unusual case: a Jack of all trades, master of all of them. It’s consistently good with the food and has a strong wine list, good beer and award-wining drinks.
Their “No Booze Cocktails” list is as creative and visually striking as the rest of them and it includes fruity tipples like Tropical Smash, made with passion fruit, ruby grapefruit, blood orange, lime, apple and lemonade; No TV No Beer Make Homer Go Something Something, a nod to the famous TV show that combines lavender, honey, lemon and soda; the Cool to be Cooler that mixes mint, cucumber, lemon, gomme, eldelflower and tonic and a spicy Not So Bleedin Maire that merges tomato, lemon, hot sauce, Worcestershire, balsamic reduction, basil, salt and pepper.
Where: 17 Aungier St, Dublin
More information: bowlane.ie/social
Simply named “For Those Who Abstain”, Zozimus’s mocktail section offers three delightful alternatives for teetotalers.
Brodignac is on the caffeinated side, with a base of cappuccino, and a nutty combination of almond and chocolate. Their Lilliput combines grapefruit, agave and whites for a pleasant citrusy glass with a lovely texture, and Laputa offers a hot ‘n’ cold contrast of lemon, chilli, cucumber and ginger. They’ve also offer a smoothie selection as part of the beverage options in their brunch menu.
Where: Anne’s Lane, Anne Street South, Dublin
More information: zozimusbar.ie
This gorgeous bar within the iconic Shelbourne Hotel offers a sophisticated and luxurious experience so it’s no surprise that all palates are well looked after. Their non-alcoholic selection includes an Innocent Mojito with mint, apple soda, soda water and sugar; a fruity Red Soda Pop with grenadine, cranberry, mint, fresh raspberry and soda water, and an exotic Fresh Me Up that mixes pistachio syrup, lemon juice, pineapple juice and soda water.
Where: 27 St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2
More information: shelbournedining.ie/no-27-bar-lounge
This retro-glamorous bar also does quite an appealing liquorless concoction. Named Berry Cocoa Bomber, it is delightful fruity mix of cloudy apple, cranberry and lemon juice, hibiscus syrup, chocolate bitters, fresh berries and mint. As neatly presented as any of its other visually striking tipples, it’s a real treat for those looking for a 0% ABV glass. Most of the cocktails on their menu can be turned into mocktails upon request.
Where: 6-8 Wellington Quay, Temple Bar, Dublin 2
More information: theliquorrooms.com
Gabriela’s passion for writing is only matched by her love for food and wine. Journalist, confectioner and sommelier, she fell in love with Ireland years ago and moved from Venezuela to Dublin in 2014.
Since then, she has written about and worked in the local food scene, and she’s determined to discover and share the different traditions, flavours and places that have led Irish food and drink to fascinate her.