Booze

Twenty Places to Sip Booze-Free Mocktails During Dry January

Adrift offers booze-free tiki drinks.
Adrift offers booze-free tiki drinks. Adrift
Dry January — the act of kicking off the new year by 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:

Adrift
218 South Broadway
720-784-8111

adriftbar.com
Adrift is known for its boozy tiki cocktails, but you can still enjoy the beach vibes without imbibing. Pair island-style bites with a thoughtfully made frozen virgin colada with pineapple, housemade coconut cream, grapefruit juice and cinnamon syrup. The P.O.G. is a Hawaiian classic with passion fruit, orange juice, guava and soda.

Ash'Kara
2005 West 33rd Avenue
303-537-4407
ashkaradenver.com

This Mediterranean eatery in the Highland neighborhood offers several spirit-free cocktail options, including a bourbon-less take on its popular Ash Toddy made with mulled pomegranate, housemade honey mint syrup, lemon juice and hot water. Looking for something more refreshing than warming? Try the Cucumber Lemon Soda made with fresh juices.
click to enlarge
Bang Up to the Elephant / Instagram

Bang Up to the Elephant
1310 Pearl Street
303-792-4949

banguptotheelephant.restaurant
Bang Up to the Elephant brings beach vibes, tropical drinks and vegan eats. For a sans-alcohol drink option, it has a selection of sweet proof-less Fizzies that are also available on the happy hour menu. Made with a base of lime and club soda, these sippers are punched up with flavors like guava, hibiscus punch and mango.

The Cherry Cricket
2641 East Second Avenue
303-322-7666
2220 Blake Street
303-297-3644
cherrycricket.com
The Cherry Cricket has a handful of mocktails at both locations to go along with your burger and fries. Try the Sparkling Pomegranate Lemonade, Blood Orange Twist and the Pineapple Passion Fizz, which is a blend of pineapple, passion fruit syrup, ginger beer and lemon. Another option: Indulge in a milkshake. Like its famously long list of burger toppings, the Cricket offers a variety of ingredients to create your own sweet treat, with options like toasted coconut flakes, candied pecans, caramel, malt, butterscotch, peanut butter, graham crackers and Heath Bar.

Death & Co
1280 25th Street
720-330-2660
deathandcompany.com
At Death & Co, the swanky bar inside the Ramble Hotel in RiNo, each cocktail falls under categories like Fresh & Lively or Bright & Confident. There's also a non-alcoholic section with three options, including the Aplenglow, a blend of hibiscus, black tea, bay leaf, lime and seltzer. You'll find a handful of non-alcoholic wine and beers offered as well.

Deviation Distilling
1821 Blake Street
720-645-1539
deviationdistilling.com

This Dairy Block distillery may be known for its creative gins and other spirits, but there are always at least three seasonal mocktails on the menu, and the majority of its other cocktails can be made non-alcoholic with a few tweaks. Right now you can sip the Swizzled, Not Stirred, made with raspberry balsamic shrub, lemon juice, all spice dram and soda water; the Berry Blast, made with fresh blackberries and raspberries and house grapefruit sherbet; and the Garden Party, with cucumber, fresh dill and sage and a house lemon sherbet.

Dew Drop Inn
1033 East 17th Avenue
720-612-4160
dewdropinndenver.com

Our pick for the Best New Bar in 2022, Dew Drop Inn, serves up a few low-alcohol and booze-free options alongside traditional cocktails and eats like big bowls of mussels. Skip the martinis and margs, and opt for the Ginger Lime Mule Shrub from Colorado's Lost Identity Beverage Co. or the Mum's the Word, made with floral tonic and citrus.
Sip booze-free in style at Forget Me Not.
Forget Me Not / Instagram
Forget Me Not
227 Clayton Street
720-259-5369
forgetmenotdenver.com

At this Cherry Creek hot spot that serves small plates, cocktails and wine, there are a few zero-proof options that are “sans alcohol but never free of spirit," according to the menu. These include Perfect Vision, a mix of Seedlip's Grove, coconut water, verjus (the pressed juice of unripened grapes) and rosewater; Deep Roots, made with Seedlip's Garden, tarragon, beet, ginger, citrus and the Italian red bitter soda Stappi; and the Green Machine, which combines Seedlip's Grove with cucumber, salted lemon and ginger.

click to enlarge
Mai Chai at Honey Elixir Bar.
Maurice Harrigan
Honey Elixir Bar
2636 Walnut Street
720-328-5992
honeyelixirbar.com
Along with traditional cocktails, this bar offers low-ABV jun, a fermented beverage made with green tea along with a list of booze-free "potions" and two types of cacao. One staff and guest favorite that's perfect for chilly days is the Mai Chai, a combination of housemade coconut Chai, winter-spiced honey, orgeat and fresh orange and lime juice. “The drink has nuanced depth and nostalgic undertones,” says owner Jocasta Hanson.

Kachina Cantina
1890 Wazee Street
720-460-2728
kachinadenver.com
Kachina Cantina has a non-alcoholic cocktail menu of frescas along with a few N/A beers. The most popular option is the Frambuesa Agua Fresca, with raspberry, cranberry, lime and soda. Other booze-free libations include the Mana Mana, with mango, orange and honey; the Maracuya, with passion fruit and agave; and Guava Mint.

Lady Jane
2021 West 32nd Avenue
720-328-9288
ladyjanedenver.com
Lady Jane's cocktails rotate seasonally and utilize fresh, local produce whenever possible. There are four options when it comes to mocktails at this neighborhood bar, including a Blood Orange Spritz, Coffee Tonic and the Spiced Apple Sour.
click to enlarge
Aguas frescas at Mister Oso.
Kayla Jones
Mister Oso
3163 Larimer Street
720-677-6454
misterosodenver.com
An agua fresca is a traditional, refreshing, non-alcoholic drink that makes a perfect accompaniment to the Latin cuisine at Mister Oso. It's currently available in three varieties: coco horchata, cucumber mint lime and ginger-pear, all of which can be spiked with booze if you're dining out with friends who are imbibing.

Nocturne
1330 27th Street
303-295-3333
nocturnejazz.com
This jazz club in RiNo recently launched non-alcoholic cocktail pairings for its seasonal, three-course Dinner and a Show menu. Right now you can settle in for live music while enjoying bites like the bresaola and goat cheese galette with a Baubles and Bangles mocktail made with honey syrup, grilled apple juice, no-ABV bubbles, soda and rosemary. You can also order N/A drinks à la carte.
click to enlarge
You still sip an espresso martini sans booze at Oak.
Lucy Beaugard
OAK at Fourteenth
1400 Pearl Street, Boulder
303-444-3622
oakatfourteenth.com

OAK at Fourteenth in Boulder has an extensive drink menu that includes some new non-alcoholic options like the the N/aspresso, a booze-free take on the popular espresso martini made with Three Spirit Social Elixir, espresso, chocolate bitters and agave. Craving something fruity? Try the Lights Out, which combines Three Spirit Livener with blackberry, thyme and chocolate bitters, or the Peachy Keen, made with Three Spirit Night Cap, lemon, peach, rosemary and rhubarb bitters.

Poka Lola Social Club
1850 Wazee Street
720-460-2728
pokaloladenver.com

Located inside the Maven Hotel at Dairy Block, Poka Lola has a dedicated menu for all of its non-alcoholic drinks, including N/A versions of classic cocktails. Selections include an Old Fashioned made with Monday’s NA whiskey, the Nogroni and the N.A.perol Spritz. 

Punch Bowl Social
65 Broadway
303-765-2695
punchbowlsocial.com
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. The Strawberry Rhubarb Fizz combines housemade strawberry syrup, rhubarb bitters and sparkling water, and there are also fresh juices on the menu, such as Go Green — a healthy combination of kale, cucumber, celery, apple and lemon.
click to enlarge
Eclectic patterns and colors capture a 1920s feel.
Courtesy of Room for Milly
Room for Milly
1615 Platte Street
720-630-7020
roomformilly.com
Alongside cocktails, sake, wine and beer, this eye-catching bar — which will reopen on January 9 after a short winter break — offers a zero-proof menu “for the clear-eyed and self-possessed," with a trio of drinks like the Cantab, which blends iced jasmine tea, ume plum shrub, pomegranate and mint.

Señor Bear
3301 Tejon Street
720-572-5997
senorbeardenver.com
Señor Bear has launched a special Dry January menu with alcohol-free alternatives to its most popular options, the Passion Fruit Fresca and Coconut Horchata. Other new N/A drinks include the Ooh Là Là, a mint-lime-coconut concoction made with freshly juiced pineapple plus a touch of cinnamon, and the Mandarin y Ginger Soda. It will also offer one booze-free frozen drink; flavors will rotate, but expect to find something tropical, bright and delicious.

Somebody People
1165 South Broadway
720-502-5681
somebodypeople.com

In addition to its vegetable-forward, plant-based food menu, Somebody People has a large wine and cocktail list where you’ll find a handful of artfully curated zero-proof options. Try drinks like the Midnight Vulture, made with Seedlip's Spice, Lyre’s Aperitiff, saba and ginger; or the Last Resort, which is also made with Seedlip's Spice along with orange, cinnamon and vanilla.

The Tatarian
4024 Tennyson Street
303-416-4496
thetatarian.com

The Tatarian is another classy cocktail bar that serves seasonal drinks and bar bites plus a trio of non-alcoholic options. Choose from the Tenéré ’34, with citrus turmeric tea, Giffard Sirop de Aperitif, Small Hand Foods Passion Fruit Syrup and citric acid; Tenéré ’58, made with grapefruit vanilla shrub or grapefruit thyme with soda water; and the Tenéré ’72, which blends Seedlip's Garden 108 with green tea syrup and lime juice.
KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Kristen Kuchar is a Colorado writer covering dining and the beverage industry, including wine, beer, cider and spirits. Her articles have appeared in VinePair, the Beer Connoisseur, Beer Advocate, Craftbeer.com, Zymurgy and more. She has a WSET Level 1 certificate and is a Certified Beer Server by the Cicerone Certification Program.

Latest Stories