Dry January Is Here And So Are The Best Non-Alcoholic Cocktails
After surviving 2021, the year we all thought was going to be better than 2020 because now we have a vaccine and the pandemic is going to end, you might need to give your liver a break. If you're doing Dry January and taking a break from booze, you're in luck. Nonalcoholic drinks are more popular than they've ever been and spirit-free libations — which include liqueurs, beer, wine and ready-to-drink options — are booming. Here are a bunch of the best and most Instagram-worthy zero-ABV drinks in Los Angeles.
All Day Baby — Blueberry Pomegranate Colada
Want a tropical vibe without hard liquor? All Day Baby in Silver Lake has a blueberry pomegranate colada ($6). Think pina colada with, yes, blueberry and pomegranate but minus the rum so you can enjoy it guilt-free at any time. Like at 9 a.m. with a waffle sandwich.
- 3200 W. Sunset Blvd., Silver Lake.
AOC — Green Goddess
This green drink has been a longtime bestseller at AOC, both with and without booze. At lunch, the bar churns out nonstop NA Green Goddesses ($8) for diners on a green juice kick. It's an invigorating mix of green tea, arugula simple syrup, lemon juice, cucumber juice and jalapeno juice.
- 8700 W. 3rd St., Beverly Grove.
- 11648 San Vicente Blvd., Brentwood.
Fellow — Zero Fashioned
To experience nonalcoholic drinks that are the closest thing you can get to cocktails in appearance and interesting flavors, check out what barman Adam Fournier is doing at Fellow in Westwood. Not only has he created a spirit-free margarita and a zero-ABV "sparkling rosé," he offers an Old Fashioned-style drink without an ounce of bourbon. His Zero Fashioned ($11) involves housemade alcohol-free American whiskey spirit, mashbill syrup and whiskey barrel-aged bitters. It's the perfect nightcap because there's no danger it'll affect your sleep.
- 1071 Glendon Ave., Westwood.
De La Nonna — Orange Spritz
Aperol Spritz fans should visit Arts District pan pizza joint De La Nonna for a tasty spirit-free replica of the cocktail. The Orange Spritz ($14) is made with zero-proof sparkling wine, orange and nonalcoholic bitter aperitif. No, it's not just another orange soda. It boasts the bitter notes of the aperitif and the dry effervescence of a spritz.
- 710 E. 4th Pl., Arts District.
Bar Bohémien — Gentle Spirit
If you find yourself wanting to toast the end of another workday at Bar Bohémien, the rooftop bar in Culver City's Citizen Public Market, the bartenders has a customized drink for you. On the menu, it's called Gentle Spirit ($12) and is made according to your flavor preference with a nonalcoholic spirit. The one pictured here involves Seedlip Grove 42, watermelon, lemon, simple syrup and soda water. But you can get it any way you want.
- 9355 Culver Blvd, Culver City.
Cara Cara — Ginger Snap
Want to feel like you're day-drinking without actually drinking alcohol? The spirit-free Ginger Snap at Cara Cara, the Proper Hotel's rooftop restaurant "is bright, tropical and a touch spicy from the fresh ginger, then the tea just adds a bit of depth and complexity," according to the hotel's beverage manager, Max Seaman.
- 1100 S. Broadway, Downtown L.A.
Big Bar — Paper Glider
In Los Feliz, Big Bar's Paper Glider ($10) is built like a guilt-free Boulevardier Sour but made with zero-ABV spirits Lyre's American Malt, Giffard aperitif, Lyre's Rosso and lemon. "It definitely makes a more interesting NA for people who know booze but want to take a break," says Eugene Lee, Big Bar's bar manager.
- 1927 Hillhurst Ave., Los Feliz.
Bicyclette — Passion Fruit
For non-drinkers who are tired of the sweetness of soda and juice-based options, Shawn Lickliter has created the perfect solution. His Passion Fruit ($11) drink at Bicyclette is a bright, dry, vegetal libation made with Seedlip Garden 108 as well as grapefruit, red bell pepper, basil and soda. "It has a savory and citrusy element to it without being cloying," he says.
- 9575 W. Pico Blvd., Beverlywood.
Redbird — Guicy
Craving an Americano or Aperol Spritz to start your brunch at Redbird but don't want alcohol? Bar director Tobin Shea created a spirit-free spritz inspired by popular aperitivo cocktails. The Guicy ($10) is made with Giffard Aperitif syrup, red verjus, San Pellegrino wild strawberry essenza and orange.
- 114 E. 2nd St., Downtown.
Nic's on Beverly — Orange Creamsicle
At vegan restaurant Nic's on Beverly, the Orange Creamsicle slushie ($14) does double duty as a nonalcoholic option and a cocktail (when it's spiked with bourbon). The frozen drink, which is dispensed via slushie machine, combines orange, carrot, lemon, ginger, coconut milk and coconut cream.
- 8265 Beverly Blvd., Fairfax.
Soft Spirits — Ready-to-Drink NA Offerings
Soft Spirits in Silver Lake is the first and currently only nonalcoholic bottle shop in Los Angeles. Here, you don't have to comb through the store to find the one shelf of meager NA offerings. The entire store is a wonderland of premium zero-ABV spirits, wine and beer. If you love amaro, Casamara Club's Alta amaro sodas ($5.50) are excellent. They won't take the place of amaro but they have the bitterness and spiciness that makes them more interesting than any standard soda. There's also a canned spritz made with Ghia, an L.A.-based spirits-free aperitif. For something cocktail-esque, peruse the Mocktail Club line which includes the Manhattan Berry, a combo of blackberries, pear shrub and ginger.
- 3208 1/2 W. Sunset Blvd., Silver Lake.