The Local newsletter is your free, daily guide to life in Colorado. For locals, by locals. Sign up today!
Here’s a secret that non-drinkers know well: Oftentimes, the zero-proof offerings at bars and restaurants are tastier than the boozed-up cocktails. Whether you call them mocktails, nonalcoholic, zero-proof, no-ABV, or free spirits, these eight spots mix them up right.
Forget Me Not
This chic Cherry Creek cocktail bar could be forgiven if they poured all of their effort into the incredible liquor-based drinks they serve, but their nonalcoholic sips are anything but afterthoughts. From the Green Machine with Seedlip Grove, cucumber, ginger, and salted lemon that’s always on the menu, to the bartenders’ creative off-the-cuff creations, this is one of our favorite places to drink without, well, drinking. 227 Clayton St.
Nest Café & Bar at Nurture
Besides all the juices, smoothies, kombuchas, and teas, Nest mixes up five “Free Spirit” cocktails and pours two Grüvi non-alcoholic beers and wines. Further proof that they prioritize the alcohol-free options? The All Damn Day Margarita, mint julep, and other nonalcoholic cocktails are listed ahead of the “Spirited” booze-infused drinks on their menu. 2949 Federal Blvd.
Death & Co.
The iconic cocktail bar has just as high of expectations for their zero-proof drinks as they do for their full proof. There are always multiple options—like the tropical Beach Ritual with coconut, lemon, and carrot—and each is somehow better than the last. So try them all. It’s not like you need a DD to get home. 1280 25th St.
The nonalcoholic offerings at Awake aren’t just a portion of the menu, they’re the entire menu. Obviously being a sober bar and all, these get all the attention, so you know they’re not playing second fiddle to any other drinks. From the Weighted, Buttered Blanket (a hot buttered rum-ish) to the CBD-ini to the Smoked Sage Honeybee, the 30-deep drink lineup is varied and complex. 2240 N. Clay St.
Sullivan Scrap Kitchen
This restaurant is all about reducing food waste by cross-utilizing ingredients between the restaurant and sister catering operation TBD Foods. For their $5 seasonal shrub mocktail—which is as tasty as it is a great deal—they infuse leftover beet peels and lemon rinds into the simple syrup for the shrub. 1740 E. 17th Ave.
Honey Elixir Bar
Besides cool ingredients like marshmallow root honey syrup, house-brewed coconut chai, and Angel Heart roses, a lot of good juju goes into the five potions on Honey’s nonalcoholic menu. Check out the warming Saved by Saffron, made with Moroccan saffron, ashwagandha, rose, spices, and honey. 2636 Walnut St.
Room for Milly
This gorgeous Platte Street bar wants you to be curious, so it’s only natural that it’s a comfortable place for the sober curious. Zero-proof cocktails include the intricate Cantab mixed with iced jasmine tea, Japanese plum shrub, pomegranate, and mint, and the tiki-ish Leeward Islands with Seedlip Spice, guava, lemon juice, Medjool date, and orange blossom water. 1615 Platte St.
Roger’s Liquid Oasis at Edgewater Public Market
Dry January doesn’t mean you have to skip brunch. Roger’s Liquid Oasis makes virgin bloodies, mimosas with Grüvi bubbles, and micheladas. Or go for a Seedlip Spice and Giffard Apertivo-based negroni at 10 a.m. You do you. 5505 W. 20th Ave., Edgewater