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#FtLionAwards 2021 Beverages Drinks Mocktail Cocktail

#FtLionAwards 2021 Beverage of the Year shortlist

With the UK’s hospitality industry returning to something close to normalcy, we’ve had far more opportunity this year of getting back to doing what we do best – offer arguably the most detailed food reviews in the UK.

The hope, as always, is that our annual awards for this last month play some meaningful part in helping to encourage everyone to dine out safely for 2022.

This year’s #FtLionAwards 2021 is being sponsored by Kitchen 37, a hugely impressive, family-run restaurant that’s recently opened in east London’s Forest Gate which you have to visit.

#FtLionAwards 2021 Shortlist...
  • Beverage of the Year (1 Dec 2021)
  • Starter of the Year (3 Dec 2021)
  • Main of the Year (5 Dec 2021)
  • Grill of the Year (10 Dec 2021)
  • Seafood of the Year (12 Dec 2021)
  • Veggie of the Year (15 Dec 2021)
  • Burger of the Year (17 Dec 2021)
  • Dessert of the Year (19 Dec 2021)
  • Newcomer of the Year (24 Dec 2021)
  • Restaurant of the Year (26 Dec 2021)
  • Winners (1st Jan 2022)

As with every year, you have the chance of voting for your favourite on our Instagram and Facebook pages. 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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While we only got to try one of Bella Cosa‘s three mocktails, this Temporale offered deep, citrusy flavours, with the tart aftertaste of the grenadine to finish things off.

And though we regret, to this day, not ordering the other two, do let us know how they were if you visit this impressive Italian restaurant in London’s Canary Wharf.


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Ever had a coriander based drink? Neither had we until the incredibly impressive Colonel Saab in London’s Holborn served us.

With a gentle zesty undertone, we were left stunned by the clarity with which the distinct taste of the coriander actually came through. What an absolute revelation!


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DUSK in Essex took their food and drinks to another level this year, with an expert mixologist brought in to create a Tea Flight that would fully compliment their new Michelin-inspired menu.

While all the drinks were impressive, the most exciting was the CBD, especially with DUSK being the first restaurant we’ve reviewed to showcase this newly touted health-giving concoction. Fittingly presented in laboratory beakers, this turned out to be a mild citrusy affair, with the addition of the lemon and lime pearls providing that occasional sharp fruity burst.

Don’t worry, CBD is Halal…


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Doubel-Michelin Chef Atul Kochhar’s incredible new restaurant Mathura (the last review to qualify for this year’s review) is established in the stunning Grade-II building of Westminster Fire Station.

Of the trio of non-alcoholic beverages, the ‘Afghanistan’ was, as one Lion put it, a “brilliant example of mocktail execution”. Here we had a sparkling, sweet and sour, mature concoction, that concluded with a sharp, zingy kick.


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So Famous‘ in Sheffield is the only place to have a milkshake shortlisted for this year’s awards.

The thick and rich Jammie Dodger shake, on the other hand, was as good as any milkshake we’ve had in quite some time. Full to the rafters and with plenty of soft-scoop ice cream, this was more a dessert, with its rose and strawberry flavoured syrup coming through really well.


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Indian celeb chef Sanjeev Kapoor’s The Yellow Chilli in London’s Wembley was one of those rare restaurants that had evidently put considerable thought into its non-alcoholic drinks menu (so often an after-thought for so many such restaurants).

Although there weren’t many non-alcoholic beverages to choose from, what few there were, turned out to be extremely good, with the Peru Paula and the Cucumber Basil Martini being our drinks of choice.

While they couldn’t be more poles apart, the former’s salty-spicy rim helped balance against the masala chaat-infused concoction, with the sweetness of the guava coming through gently.

Regarding the latter, then this succeeded where so many cucumber-based ones have failed. Not only did it assure that minty-zesty hit, but the taste of the cucumber actually managed to materialise to finish off a refreshingly good glass.

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