Evil Eye on Stonegate is legendary for its inventive and extensive cocktails – and its packed gin shop.
Famously, it broke the world record for ‘most varieties of gin commercially available’ in 2018 with over 1,000 gins on offer.
However, that shop has been closed – and replaced with a takeout mocktail bar, offering mocktails, smoothies and milkshakes to takeaway.
The mocktails aim to look and taste like real cocktails – but without the hangover!
“Alcohol goes through waves,” Evil Eye general manager Dave Hartley told YorkMix.
“We’ve had the gin wave and because sales started dropping of gin, rather than trying to do it again we just thought we’d leave that for now.”
The shop front had been a gin shop for around four years.
More demand for alcohol-free
The change was around a year in the making. “We stopped buying new gins,” said Dave. “We’ve still got some left so we’re selling those off and moving them on to the bar.”
The Evil Eye will still sell gin – albeit a smaller range – alongside plenty of cocktails and other alcoholic drinks.
But the gin shop itself will become a mocktail takeout bar – an idea hatched two months ago.
“We wanted to do something new with the space. As far as I’m aware there’s nowhere else doing takeout cocktails that you can actually walk around York with.”
After receiving a number of messages on social media about the limited range of non-alcoholic drinks they had on offer, Evil Eye have increased their mocktail range to nearly 30 drinks.
They use alcohol-free versions of spirits like gin, rum, absinthe and tequila.
The full range of mocktails are available to takeaway or to enjoy inside.
Try a Knuckles & Sonic that uses non-alcoholic gin and aperitif, or a Smooth Squid which has non-alcoholic spiced rum – or perhaps a spin on the classic with a Marga-Ain’t-A that features non alcoholic tequila and orange liqueur.
Evil Eye have been working with non-alcoholic spirit company Lyre’s to create the cocktails, after being approached by them.
“It means that people can still come in and have something more interesting than just a non-alcoholic beer or juice.”
Dave hopes that people will give them a try. “It’s not just fruit juices blended together,” he said.
The mocktails, smoothies and milkshakes are all £4.50 each – with a special offer of two for £5 during August.
For months like Stop-tober and Dry January, there are plans for one night events or promotions for the entire month. And that’s not all that could be happening in the future…
“The future plan is to hopefully start selling the non-alcoholic bottles with recipe books,” Dave adds.
“We’ll do different editions of the recipe books, like handheld little books with maybe 30 recipes in each one.”