No- and low-alcohol cocktails have started cropping up at the bottom of drink menus -- and bartenders say they're surprisingly good sellers. But while these drinks may be a little easier on the wallet (and the liver), they're not short of creativity. (And yes, a bartender will usually mix in a shot of whiskey, vodka, tequila or your spirit of choice for a few extra bucks.) We tried some of the light stuff on bar menus around town; here are five of our favorites.
Root Down's Hummingbird Served over ice in a tall Collins glass, the Hummingbird at Root Down is a low-alcohol drink, but it's not low in flavor. Prosecco, St. Germain, sparkling water and a grapefruit zest garnish combine for a refreshing cocktail -- and you'll still be able to drive home after drinking one. Rio Grande's Skinny Margarita Famous for its three-margarita cutoff, Rio Grande Mexican Grill has introduced a low-alcohol version. Served on the rocks, the marg mixes soda water and fresh orange juice with Patron Silver and Cointreau to sober up the Cinco de Mayo classic. The Kitchen's Sweater Vest The Kitchen changes up its cocktail menu every few months but you can count on finding the Sweater Vest through the winter at the Boulder bar. A mix of cream and club sodas, orange juice and non-alcoholic bitters, the Vest is shaken, not stirred, and served with an orange rind. Available from open to close, it's a great "booze-break," says bar manager Kyla Ostler. Linger's Sangria Rojo It may not seem possible with vino rojo, Orange Curaçao and brandy as ingredients, but Linger swears this sangria is low-alcohol. The boozy base is thinned with lemon and orange juice, and served over ice in a wine glass with an orange slice garnish.
Another teetotaling option is the Berry Sage Buck atSteuben's
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. A two-tone drink (red on top, milky white on bottom), it's a mix of Gosling's Stormy ginger beer, muddled seasonal berries and lemon with a sage leaf on top.