The latest trend in cocktails comes with a twist: a lack of liquor. Last year marked the third straight year that Americans consumed less alcohol, according to an IWSR report, and booze-free bars are popping up across the country, including in NYC, to serve consumers who are increasingly choosing health and wellness over bottomless brunch and two-for-one margaritas. Even some bars that do pour liquor are getting in on the trend with extensive non-alcoholic options for those who prefer not to imbibe.
But you won’t find Diet Coke and seltzer on the menu. Designed to cater to a millennial audience that expects a curated experience, these watering holes serve creative, spirits-free drinks with unexpected ingredients that won’t leave you with a headache. At Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s abcV, “restorative tonics” feature a medley of medicinal herb roots and small-batch ingredients like cherry surette, a slightly acidic and sour condiment from Canada, while the Bushwick cafe Ambrosia Elixirs’ drinks are made with ingredients like dandelions, various mushrooms, and “ceremonial cacao.”
To drink without the hangover, here are seven New York City bars serving up booze-free cocktails.