London Cocktail Week may be over, but anytime is a good time to savour a good drink, especially if it’s a non-alcoholic apéritif like Everleaf. There was a time when staying sober on a night out meant being limited to boring carbonated drinks or overly sweet, juiced up concoctions that made your sugar levels skyrocket through the ceiling. The drinks scene has thankfully evolutionized over the years, with the growing number of low/non-alcoholic spirits.
I was recently invited to a bar-hopping event that coincided with London Cocktail Week, which celebrated it’s 10th birthday this year – something that I would normally decline on a ‘schoolnight’, but reconsidered as soon as I realized that it involved delicious NON-alcoholic cocktails, made with Everleaf, London’s bartenders’ top choice for non alcoholic aperitifs at three of London’s top bars.
Our exclusive tour kicked off at The Hide Bar on Bermondsey Street, where we were introduced to owner and Everleaf founder, Paul Mathew. It was there that I had my first taste of Everleaf, in the form of a refreshing Everleaf Spritz followed by a punchier Everleaf Sour. Paul, with his bag of tricks, then briefly talked us through the process of creating Everleaf, whilst we nibbled on the sumptuous array of snacks that accompanied our drinks.
A conservation biologist with a long family connection to botany and the environment, Paul eventually left the field to focus on his passion for bartending, and has since opened three bars of his own around London as well as consulted for many others around the world. The birth of Everleaf was based on his vision to create a delicious and fun non-alcoholic drink option for people when they don’t necessarily want to drink, and to also to embrace the concept of sustainability – sustainable consumption as well sustainable sourcing of ingredients.
Exceptionally aromatic, Everleaf has complex notes of vanilla and saffron for colour and richness, gentian and iris for wild bitterness and earthy warmth, as well as vetiver and orange blossom for freshness and vibrancy. The Angelica that is commonly used in gins, liqueurs, and aperitifs gives and earthy and slight musky flavour, and helps to bind and balance the other flavours together. And finally, they use Voodoo Lily (konjac) from Asia and acacia from Africa to give texture and length to Everleaf, that other non-alcoholic drinks lack. It took over a year of experimenting to develop Everleaf, involving a long process of researching plants, sourcing, dehydrating samples, macerating and extracting to get the flavours – and the hard work has definitely paid off.
The evening carried on with a visit to Demon, Wise & Partners, where we may have also had a cheeky sample of their London Cocktail Week specials (the American Dream was too good to resist!), before we got back on course with a ‘I’m Not Drinking this London Cocktail Week’ at our final destination, newly launched and critically acclaimed Tayēr + Elementary.
It was a really fun night out and I would definitely love to revisit all three bars again, and maybe even try my hand at making some Everleaf concoctions in my own kitchen.
For those looking to get their hands on a bottle of Everleaf to experiment with in the comfort of their homes, you’ll be glad to hear that it is available to purchase from Sainsbury’s stores at an RRP of £18 per 500ml bottle. Designed to be mixed with soda water or tonic to create a refreshing spritz drink, it can also work as a base for cocktails or sipped neat over ice – go on, treat yourself. I know I would.
- I was invited as a guest – views and photos are my own.