At this hip Greenpoint joint, you don’t need to be health conscious or booze-opposed to enjoy its zero-ABV (alcohol by volume) libations. With a menu of nine elaborate concoctions, unusual and locally-sourced ingredients such as tobacco syrup, lingonberry and jalapeno puree are added to mix and shake drinks (US$13) even the most hardcore boozer would appreciate. For simpler (and cheaper) tastes, there are bottled sodas, shrub infusions, and slow-steeped drinks like the Dona Tumeric Honeybush for your sipping pleasure. But, really, where else are you going to come across a refreshment like Daters Gonna Date (US$13), made with Coco Rico soda and combined with Medjool dates, peanut butter and banana syrup?
Drink to try: If you enjoy complex flavours, Lone Wolf and Shrub (US$13) pairs elderflower syrup with a house-crafted rhubarb shrub syrup, lime juice and just the tiniest hint of basil.
For the jaded cocktail drinker, a proper sit-down at Existing Conditions will revive the love for a well thought through, alcohol-fee tipple. With an elevated menu of libations tantalisingly segmented into categories such as carbonated, stirred rock and nitro-muddled, it’ll be tempting to fall off the bandwagon here, but steady on. The zero-proof drinks are a labour of love for Dave Arnold and Don Lee, who make use of avant-garde methods and obscure ingredients. Serendipity (US$16), a booze-free version of an Old Fashioned, contains a clarified tomato and passionfruit base. Other unusual concoctions include Stingless with honey from the rare stingless Melipona bee in Mexico – and possibly one of the most expensive raw ingredients to be used in any drink.
Drink to try: Spruce Mousse (US$16), made with clarified grapefruit, citrus-tinged spruce tea and Champagne acid, will impart a celebratory feel without the morning-after hangover.
3. Redemption Bar (London)
In a city famous for its boozing, it says lots when an alcohol-free eatery-cum-bar has not one, but three locations (Notting Hill, Shoreditch and Covent Garden). While it’s the vegan and sugar-free food that’ll likely lure you into this temple of sobriety and clean eating, the colourful, guilt-free mocktails shouldn’t be overlooked. Expect spirit-free versions of bar standards such as tequila-less frozen pineapple margarita and more daring concoctions like Black Magic (£7.50) where Borrago (a new and exciting botanical non-alcohol spirit) is shaken with activated charcoal, lemon, egg substitute aquafaba, vanilla and maple. For the not-so-adventurous, Crantini (£6.95) is a PG-13 mocktail made with birch syrup, cranberry, orange, lemon, and coconut water.
Drink to try: Aptly named, the Pious Pina Colada (£5.95) with coconut yogurt is a clear winner because who doesn’t like having a pina colada and getting caught in the rain – this is London after all!
4. PS 40 (Sydney)
When a bar markets itself on its house-crafted sodas –the bottling is done on-site at its King Street premises – you know you’re in good hands for a booze-free drinkie. Pushing out five different sodas – wattle cola, smoked lemonade, blackstrap ginger, bush tonic and a seasonal flavour at A$5 each – you can sample them degustation-style (A$15) or have one of the non-alcoholic concoctions (A$16) where everything from tomato beer to rectified pumpkin toffee apple is employed to deliver a multi-layered mocktail.
Drink to try: We’re big fans of Burning Man (A$16). Made with Seedlip Garden (a non-alcoholic spirit bursting with clean, fresh herbal flavours), burnt honey and rosemary smoked pea flower, it gets our vote for a fresh, floral flavour balanced by herbal base notes.
5. Kava Bar (San Francisco)
Taking the tiki trend further is this new addition to the Divisadero and McAllister area. Here, kava – a mood-altering beverage from piper methysticum, a plant native to the South Pacific – is used to make non-alcoholic cocktails. You can have it traditional style (from US$6), slow-brewed and served in a coconut shell, or more elaborately shaken with coconut milk and fresh tropical juices in 7th Heaven (from US$6).
Drink to try: Since kava is said to promote feelings of well-being, Love Potion (US$10) with its heady mix of kava, yerba mate, kratom (a herbal extract said to be a stimulant) is a must-try. It’s blended with lemon and honey and then served chilled to even out any herbaceous or astringent flavours.
To book a flight, visit singaporeair.com
SEE ALSO: 6 natural wine bars around the globe