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While Dry January is great for the sober-curious, the intimidation factor of a dry night out can last year-round. Luckily, there are plenty of bars and restaurants in the Denver area where ordering a mocktail won’t make you feel like a black sheep. Here are 10 smart—and delicious—options.
This airy, plant-filled bar in LoHi rotates its menu frequently, but it consistently slings some of the most ambitious mocktails in the city. Think: a blood orange spritz with pomegranate and nori and an egg-frothed Pumpkin Flip scented with woodsy palo santo. Caffeine lovers can also rejoice, since Lady Jane is one of the few Denver establishments to stir up zero-proof coffee cocktails like the cinnamon-spiced coffee tonic. 2021 W. 32nd Ave.
If you’re looking to luxuriate at an intimate chef’s counter without any wine-pairing FOMO, head to Beckon in RiNo. The hygge-centric two-and-a-half-hour experience offers a prepaid $70 From the Garden pairing consisting of six to seven zero-proof beverages—toasted caraway aquavit infused with Meyer lemon and dill, for example—intended to complement the prix fixe food menu ($175) that changes quarterly. 2843 Larimer St.
A tiki bar might be the last place you think of for boozeless drinking options, but at Adrift, try the virgin piña colada. The frozen treat features house-made coconut cream, grapefruit juice, and a hint of cinnamon, which cuts the drink’s cloying tendencies. Passing on the punch bowl has never tasted (or felt) better. 218 S. Broadway
Despite its cocktail lounge status, Poka Lola’s soda shop vibes mean you’ll never feel out of place choosing from its dedicated alcohol-free menu. There are spirit-free spins on classics such as the Aperol spritz and the old fashioned, but adventurous gastronauts can push their palates with the violet-hued Moonlight Sonata, flavored with thyme, pineapple, and purple ube. 1850 Wazee St.
Also in the Dairy Block, a short walk from Poka Lola, Deviation Distilling’s drink menu always maintains at least three nonalcoholic options that change seasonally. Current selections range from the fruity Berry Blast to the herbaceous Garden Party, which respectively feature made-in-house grapefruit and lemon sherbets. Many of Deviation’s regular cocktails can also be tweaked to be spirit-free. 1821 Blake St., Suite 130
Nestled in LoHi’s Life House Hotel, Wildflower carries its plant-forward menu through to its bar program. Zero-proof options include the floral-bright Energía Positiva with notes of hibiscus and orange blossom, and the JR, which balances out its base of Ghia (a bitter nonalcoholic aperitif made with relaxation-promoting herbal extracts) with heady green cardamom and splashes of lemon and orange juice. 3638 Navajo St.
Named after the Tatarian maples that shade the nearby sidewalks, this Berkeley cocktail lounge takes its tree theme seriously. Its mocktails are all named after the Tree of Ténéré—a lone acacia in the Nigerien Sahara once considered the most isolated tree on Earth—and depending on if you’re leaning more roots or shoots, try the Tenéré ’34 with Aperol-like Giffard Aperitif syrup and turmeric tea, or the Tenéré ’72 with Seedlip Garden 108 and green tea syrup. 4024 Tennyson St.
A N/A night out on the town is possible in just one building. Start with dinner at Local Jones, Halcyon’s anchor restaurant, with mocktails featuring Jukes wine-inspired “cordialities” beloved in the United Kingdom, then head to the hotel bar for an almost G&T made with Dhōs Gin Free, ginger syrup, lemon juice, and Fever-Tree elderflower tonic water. 245 Columbine St.
Cozy and classy with a strong alpine sense, Reynard Social’s two mocktails serve agave and sugarcane zero-proof distillates (akin to tequila and rum, respectively) in time-tested flavor combinations. The Ascend takes after the tequila-based Matador with its usage of pineapple and lime juice, while the Full Send adds onto a mojito mint-and-lime profile with a splash of coconut cream. 1616 Market St.
Catch the espresso martini wave while staying sober at Boulder’s Oak at Fourteenth. The swanky New American restaurant sources from Three Spirit, a UK-based company that wields adaptogenic herbs in its line of elixirs. Those wanting a boost should go for Oak’s N/aspresso, while those seeking a mellower experience should order the Peachy Keen. 1400 Pearl St., Boulder