Cocktail of the Week: Silo’s Non-Alcoholic Pine Needle Cocktail

A teetotal tipple to ease yourself into yet another lockdown, this wintry drink comes from Hackey-based, zero waste restaurant Silo

Just when you thought the start of 2021 couldn’t get any bleaker – with sub-zero temperatures and the misery of another interminable lockdown – ultra-sustainable chef Doug McMaster suggests we start using our old Christmas trees to make cocktails. Bear with us, though, because this complex cocktail is actually a tasty work of alchemy.

In keeping with Doug McMasters’ laudable zero waste ethos, this cocktail is on the menu at his trendy East London restaurant Silo during the winter months. “It’s like a light Aperol Spritz with the added nuances of sweet almond, floral marigold, and citrusy pine resin,” says McMaster of his creation, which can be mixed both with and without alcohol. 

If you are attempting Dry January at home, the Silo team have substituted spirits with Seedlip Garden 108 and Aecorn Aromatic — alcohol alternatives that bring more than enough aromas and spices to the mocktail mix. So, before you dump your Christmas tree on the street like the rest of your neighbours, why not salvage a few handfuls of pine needles and whip up a batch? You’ll thank us later. 

Silo’s Non-Alcoholic Pine Needle Cocktail

Serves 1


  • 15ml Seedlip Garden 108
  • 15ml Aecorn Aromatic
  • 10ml Pine Syrup*
  • 10ml Lemon Juice
  • 100ml Soda Water

Glass: Champagne flute, sherry or wine glass


  1. Start by making the pine syrup. Briefly blitz the pine needles and water in a blender until the needles are in 2-3mm pieces. Combine with sugar on the hob and bring to the boil for a couple of minutes, stirring to avoid caramelising the sugar. 
  2. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Pass the syrup through a tea strainer or coffee filter to remove pine needles. The syrup will keep in a sealed clean jar or bottle in the fridge for up to two weeks.
  3. When you’re ready to make your cocktail, simply add a couple of cubes of ice to your glass, pour over the syrup, spirits and lemon juice, and top with soda water.

Want more teetotal tipples? These are the best non-alcoholic spirits for Dry January…

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