The non-alc aperitif brand in question is Everleaf, created by Paul Mathew, who also owns the relaxed The Hide Bar on Bermondsey Street. Tayēr + Elementary, the minimalist bar by the Old Street roundabout which has been a fixture in the top 10 of the World’s 50 Best Bars since it opened, began producing RTD (ready to drink) cocktails for delivery during lockdown, which descended just months after it opened. This is the first time Monica Berg and Alex Kratena, the award-winning bartender duo behind Tayēr, have worked on a non-alcoholic RTD cocktail, inspired by a long-standing friendship with Mathew.
Everleaf has three different expressions, using natural, sustainably sourced botanicals (Everleaf has achieved B-Corp status). Each is very different: Forest has depth and complexity, with vanilla, saffron and orange blossom among the botanicals; Mountain is aromatic, with cherry blossom, strawberry and rosehip; while the clear gin-like Marine is refreshing, using juniper, bergamot, kelp and sea salt. What they all share, however, is a bittersweet aperitif balance and a full mouthfeel that replicates as closely as possible the drinking experience of an alcoholic spirit. Everleaf is a step up from many alternatives because it isn’t watery or one-note in its flavour. They all work as a simple spirit and mixer, with tonic, soda or (in the case of Forest) ginger ale; but also in various teetotal twists on classic cocktails.
For the Tayēr RTD, the team created a highball with blood orange and timur pepper (a Nepalese relative of tingly Szechuan pepper). Berg and Kratena wrote, ‘Over the past five years at Tayēr + Elementary, we have been serving our “I am not drinking” series, and this recipe is a natural extension of that. The aim is to highlight the botanical profile of Everleaf while creating an exciting, intelligent and interesting taste profile that invites you to drink when not drinking!’
The canned drink is not the only bartender collaboration involving Everleaf this month. The Hide Bar, close to London Bridge and The Shard, was taken over on 15 January by another World’s 50 Best Bars entry. Brummell’s go-to watering hole when in Scotland, Edinburgh’s Panda & Sons, where founder Iain McPherson is known for his experiments with the effects of freezing liquids, swapping out elements of a drink and concentrating flavour, brought that geeky preparation approach to non-alcoholic cocktails.
On Monday 29 January, it’s the turn of Pietro Collina (formerly of Eleven Madison Park and NoMad in both New York and London) to take over The Hide Bar, bringing Latin American flavours from his current home, Notting Hill’s Viajante87, to meld with the Everleaf expressions.
Everleaf x Tayēr RTD 250ml cans (£4.50 each) are available via both collaborators’ websites. Book a table for the Dry January takeover on The Hide Bar’s site.
In other no-booze news, Hoxton is the location for the London Dry January pop-up of Torstig, the Brighton low- or no-alcohol bar. They offer a full list of 0% ABV cocktails, using a range of premium alcohol-free products from brands such as Crossip, Wild Eve, Lyre’s and Three Spirit. They also stock 0.5% wines, Guinness 0.0 on tap and CBD-infused IPA (OK, now we’ve reached peak hipster). Torstig will be at 93 Kingsland Road until 20 January; torstigbarcom
Franco’s, the Italian restaurant on Jermyn Street, St James’s, is offering an extensive menu of non-alcoholic drinks, including a whole cocktail list made with reputedly healthy and mood-enhancing ingredients such as GABA-activators, CBD oil, matcha and kombucha. How effective they are is debatable. How delicious a Kombucha Mule – with ginger kombucha, hibiscus syrup, blackberry jam and lemon juice – is, less so. francoslondoncom