The Garden Soda at Secret Admirer is like a botanical-infused gin and tonic, thanks to Seedlip Garden 108, a popular nonalcoholic distilled spirit. Scroll down to find more ways to enjoy creative mixed drinks—without the alcohol.
Writer: Karla Walsh
Photographer: Duane Tinkey
To reset after a spirited holiday season or to kick off a new, less boozy lifestyle, 15% of Americans embarked on a Dry January challenge in 2021 (up from 10% in 2020), according to a YouGov survey.
Whether you’re omitting alcohol entirely or are seeking a flavorful option to alternate with your cocktail to pace your consumption, these local gems offer complex and creative nonalcoholic mixed drinks.
With a menu separated by ABV (alcohol by volume), this new-in-2021 sibling to Hello, Marjorie; Good News, Darling; and Bellhop has a wide range of spirit-free and low-ABV options for the days you want to take it easy. The Secret Spritz (with turmeric, yellow bell pepper and orange zest) is an unexpected and zippy happy hour option, and the Garden Soda (starring Seedlip Garden 108, a popular commercially available distilled nonalcoholic spirit), is like a layered, botanical-infused gin and tonic, minus the next-day headache. (110 S.W. Fifth St., secretadmirerdsm.com)
Turmeric, yellow bell pepper and orange zest star in the Secret Spritz at Secret Admirer, which opened downtown in 2021.
Your options go far beyond club soda and lime at this island-inspired tiki bar adjacent to Court Avenue. In the menu’s “booze-free” section, you’ll find Instagrammable tiki drinks that feel festive and vacation-worthy. You won’t even miss the rum—and will practically feel like you have your toes in the sand—once you have a Blue Hawaiian in hand, which features vibrant, violet-hued pea flower tea, pineapple, coconut and lime. Or opt for the Cyclone, a spirit-free twist on the zombie cocktail made with orange juice, passion fruit puree, lime juice and grenadine. (316 Court Ave., revivalhousedsm.com)
You’ll feel like you’re escaping to the tropics when you sip on a Blue Hawaiian—with pea flower tea, pineapple, coconut and lime—at Revival House, a tiki bar adjacent to Court Avenue.
Clyde’s Fine Diner
In the “zero proof” section of the menu at this East Village upscale diner, you’ll find options ranging from light and refreshing (like “Learnin’ the Blues,” featuring lemon, rosemary and blueberry) to after dinner-worthy (see: “Starfish and Coffee,” with DreiBerge espresso cold brew, grapefruit, simple syrup and club soda). Pro tip: The cold brew concoction with a brownie a la mode is the move come dessert o’clock. (111 E. Grand Ave., Suite 111, clydesfinediner.com)