ftl awards 2018 best beverage of the year

#FtLionAwards 2018 – Best Beverage of the Year?

It’s that time again where we, having brought you a year filled with objective and comprehensive food reviews, recognise the very best of Britain’s Halal culinary scene.

Sponsored by west London Indian restaurants Chai Naasto and the newly opened Patri, #FtLionAwards 2018 will be considering the following 12 categories, with nominees having been shortlisted following much debate and dialogue:

  • Best Beverage of the Year
  • Best Starter of the Year
  • Best Main of the Year
  • Best Dessert of the Year
  • Best Kebab of the Year
  • Best Newcomer of the Year
  • Best Curryhouse of the Year
  • Best Burger of the Year
  • Best Veggie Dish of the Year
  • Best Seafood Dish of the Year
  • Best Steak of the Year
  • Best Restaurant of the Year

At the same time, we’ll be offering you the chance to vote for your favourite on our Instagram and Facebook pages, where you’ll also have the chance of winning a fantastic Celebration Set Menu for 2 at Chai Naasto’s west London branch in Hammersmith.

SHORTLIST – Best Beverage of the Year

We want you to either: 1) vote for the following nominees, or 2) let us know both your favourite drink and the place you had it, all on our Facebook and/or Instagram pages.


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We were really impressed by Elvet Steakhouse’s large non-alcoholic drinks bar which, given these awards, has proven to be more than justified!

While all mocktails by the mixologist were outstanding, it was the Pina Colada that caught our attention. Dreamily creamy, with a candyesque combination of the sweet tangy pineapple coupled with the aromatic distinctness of coconut juice, all made for a dangerously addictive concoction. We’ve had enough pina colada mocktails ranging from attempted made by high-end establishments to streetfood aficionados to know how easy it is to mess this up. Elvet Steakhouse smashed it out of the park!


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And there was nothing to choose between these two Chocolate and Strawberry shakes by, again, Elvet Steakhouse.

The strength of these essentially revolved around the balance achieved between the ratio of milk to ice cream. Here it was impeccable – thick, rich, creamy and milky. This is precisely how all shakes ought to be made, with bold, robust and satisfying flavours. Luscious!


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Marco Pierre White’s English Chophouse presented an assortment of beverages out of which the one that truly impressed us, starting with the first sip, was the Not-So-Cosmo.

The extreme citrusy kick, delivered by the sharpness of the grapfruit, which was cleverly offset by the sweetness of the orange peel therein, just blew our hair back! Fantastically tangy, with a clever candy-esque aftertaste.


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Wow; kudos to the mixologist at Rake’s Cafe Bar! A cracking trio of sophisticated mocktails that tantalised the tastebuds and had us scratching our noggins in wonderment.

And while there was very little to choose between the three, we had to go with The Amuse Goose for presenting that perfect balance between the sweetness of the lychee and the refreshing tanginess of the gooseberry. Delightfully zingy!


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We were happy to find that the Virgin Mojito at Mango Tree still delivered on that tangy, eye-squinting, introductory kick we fell for the first time we visited.

What makes this version different from most others is the use of shredded mint, which managed to provide a delicious textural contrast while effortlessly marrying against the citrusy lime therein. Our only quibble was with the ratio of ice, which resulted in short-lived enjoyment. Nonetheless, one of the better Virgin Mojitos we’ve had.

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