Booze

Where to Find Booze-Free Mocktails During Dry January

Agua Frescas at Mister Oso.
Agua Frescas at Mister Oso. Kayla Jones
Dry January — the act of kicking off the new year going alcohol-free for the entire first month — has become more and more popular in recent years. Maybe it’s fueled by the common resolutions of improving health or saving money, or perhaps people just want to hit the refresh button after a month of holiday parties.

Whatever the reason, those abstaining from booze don't have to abstain from going out, too. Skip the tonic water with lime and sip on these flavorful mocktails instead.

Blood Moon Solstice at Awake
2240 Clay Street
720-379-7665

You can’t have a list of mocktails without talking about Awake, the alcohol-free bar, bottle shop and coffeehouse. One of the seasonal mocktails on the menu is the Blood Moon Solstice, consisting of Ghia (a non-alcoholic aperitif), lime, mango, cayenne, vanilla and a non-alcoholic red wine float (made with Buonafide 0.0 Rosso ‘Superiore’). The eclectic menu contains an abundance of options of non-alcoholic beer, wine, cordials and aperitifs, as well as booze-free classic cocktails, such as a gin and tonic, a Bloody Mary, a margarita and sangria.
click to enlarge Mai Chai at Honey Elixir Bar - MAURICE HARRIGAN
Mai Chai at Honey Elixir Bar
Maurice Harrigan

Mai Chai at Honey Elixir Bar
2636 Walnut Street, #104
720-328-5992

Honey Elixir Bar offers both low-abv (3 to 4 percent) and no-alcohol options on its drink menu, in addition to traditional cocktails. The team’s Ayurvedic chef, Matt, created a housemade coconut chai, along with winter spiced honey, orgeat and fresh orange and lime juice. “The drink has nuanced depth and nostalgic undertones,” says owner Jocasta Hanson, who adds that the Mai Chai is a staff and guest favorite.

Aguas Frescas at Mister Oso
3163 Larimer Street
720-677-6454

An agua fresca is a traditional, refreshing, non-alcoholic drink that makes a perfect accompaniment to the Latin cuisine at Mister Oso. Currently available in three varieties, options include the coco horchata, cucumber mint lime and the Winter Hibiscus Ponche, made with hibiscus tea, lemon juice and a warm-spiced simple syrup.
click to enlarge Lava Katana at Death & Co - SHAWN CAMPBELL
Lava Katana at Death & Co
Shawn Campbell
Lava Katana at Death & Co
1280 25th Street
720-330-2660

At Death & Co., inside the Ramble Hotel in RiNo, each cocktail falls under a category on the menu — Fresh & Lively, Bright & Confident, Elegant & Timeless, Boozy & Honest, and Grand & Celebratory — all of which offer a no-alcohol option. From Bright & Confident, try the Lava Katana, with heavy cream, cinnamon syrup, vanilla syrup, cranberry syrup and lemon juice.

click to enlarge Leeward Islands at Room for Milly - PHIL HUA-PHAM/ROOM FOR MILLY
Leeward Islands at Room for Milly
Phil Hua-Pham/Room for Milly
Leeward Islands at Room for Milly
1615 Platte Street, # 145
720-630-7020

Among the cocktails, sake, wine and beer, Room for Milly also offers a zero-proof menu “for the clear-eyed and self-possessed." The Leeward Islands is a traditional tiki drink minus the addition of rum or other booze. Instead, it has Seedlip Spice 94, a distilled non-alcoholic spirit with an aromatic blend of allspice and cardamom, which is blended with guava, lemon juice, Medjool date and orange-blossom water.

Pineapple Passion Fizz at the Cherry Cricket
2641 East Second Avenue
303-322-7666

The Cherry Cricket has a handful of mocktails at both locations to go along with your burger and fries. There’s the Sparkling Pomegranate Lemonade, Blood Orange Twist and the Pineapple Passion Fizz, which is blend of pineapple, passion fruit syrup, ginger beer and lemon. Another option: Let the kid in you order a milkshake. As with the famous giant list of burger toppings, you can add a variety of ingredients, including toasted coconut flakes, candied pecans, caramel, malt, butterscotch, peanut butter, graham crackers and Heath Bar.
click to enlarge Fig and Coconut Colada at Lady Jane - LUKE GOTTLIEB
Fig and Coconut Colada at Lady Jane
Luke Gottlieb
Fig and Coconut Colada at Lady Jane
2021 West 32nd Avenue
720-328-9288

Lady Jane general manager Stuart Weaver says the non-alcoholic drink options are very popular. “As a neighborhood cocktail bar, we want everyone to feel comfortable and welcome at Lady Jane whether you're drinking or not,” he notes. Drinks are seasonal and use as much fresh ingredients as possible, like the Fig and Coconut Colada made with Black Mission figs, coconut cream, lime, orange and balsamic vinegar.
click to enlarge Mocktails at Señor Bear. - KAYLA JONES
Mocktails at Señor Bear.
Kayla Jones
Rosa Linda’s Winter-Hibiscus Fresca at Señor Bear
3301 Tejon Street
720-572-5997

Mister Oso's sister restaurant, Señor Bear, recently rolled out six new mocktails that will be available until mid-February to help people embrace Dry January (though there's always a mocktail available on the menu year-round). Options include the Blackberry-Ginger Soda, with blackberry, lemon, rosemary and black-lime salt, and the Rosa Linda’s Winter-Hibiscus Fresca (named for the Mexican eatery that was open in the space next door for thirty years), made with hibiscus flower, citrus, bubbly water, pink peppercorn and baking spices.

Toronja y Chile at Punch Bowl Social
65 Broadway
303-765-2695

Eatertainment destination Punch Bowl Social has plenty of alcohol-free drink options for staying hydrated while you enjoy activities like pool, arcade games, shuffleboard and bowling. Try the Toronja y Chile, made with chile, honey, grapefruit syrup, fresh lime juice and sparkling water, or the Strawberry Rhubarb Fizz, which combines housemade strawberry syrup, rhubarb bitters and sparkling water. There are also a few fresh juices, such as Go Green — a healthy combination of kale, cucumber, celery, apple and fresh lemon juice.

Rain Priest at Kachina Cantina
1890 Wazee Street
720-460-2728

At Southwestern-inspired Kachina Cantina, there are a variety of non-alcoholic drink options to pair with favorites like the fry bread tacos. Check out the Raised Garden, made with blackberry, blueberry and lime; the Mana Mana, with mango, orange and honey; and the Desert Pear, which combines prickly pear, lemon and cucumber water. Our pick? The Rain Priest, a refreshing combination of watermelon, chipotle and mint.
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Kristen Kuchar is a Colorado writer covering craft beer, food and travel. For Westword, she explores vegan dining and the state's artisan beverages, such as cider and mead.