The Guide to Non-Alcoholic Cocktails and Shops in LA
All of the fun, none of the booze
Los Angeles has always been a free-spirited city, and now it's literally an option at bars and restaurants serving spirit-free, non-alcoholic cocktails.
Once an afterthought on drink menus - if they were offered at all - No-ABV cocktails are created with the same sophistication and top-notch ingredients as spirit-based drinks. It's a burgeoning trend for many in the bar industry who have embraced a healthy, sober lifestyle that goes well beyond Dry January, the traditional post-holiday break from imbibing.
And just as they have with alcohol brands, celebs have jumped on the NA bandwagon, including Katy Perry (De Soi) and Bella Hadid (Kin Euphorics).
Whether you're sober-curious, participating in Dry January, or don't drink at all for whatever reason, read on for bars with No-ABV cocktails and shops dedicated to NA products.
Located in Chinatown, the pharmacy-themed Apotheke features four spirit-free Wellness Tonics that would not look out of place at a juice bar or spa. The Anti-Anxiety is made with Seedlip Garden, bell pepper, juniper berry, fennel, sea salt, rainbow peppercorn, ginger, lime and club soda.
Other tonics include the Golden Health (almond milk, turmeric, lavender, cardamom, grass-fed whey, black pepper, ginger, honey, coconut oil), Anti-Oxidant (açaí, blueberry, blackberry, maqui berry, tart cherry, baobab, lime, cilantro) and Mental Vitality (beet, basil, APO Brainstorm Tea, ginger, lime, club soda).
At Chef Ray Garcia's Asterid, Chris Chernock - previously the beverage director at Garcia's Broken Spanish - features a No-ABV section on the cocktail menu aptly named Dry January: Coconut Milk Punch (Lyre’s Cane Spirit, lemon, pineapple, black tea, baking spices), Dry Shake (NA Persimmon Vermouth, winter citrus, pomegranate, bubbles) and the Spritz (NA Aperitif, sparkling hops, orange, mint). There's also French Bloom "Le Blanc" 0.0% sparkling wine (available by the glass or bottle) and Brooklyn Brewery's Special Effects Pilsner.
Awarded the 2022 Michelin Guide California Exceptional Cocktails for his stellar bar program at Manzke, Shawn Lickliter features NA drinks downstairs at Bicyclette.
Selections include Pomegranate (grapefruit, bay leaf, soda), Strawberry (Fresno chile, lime, coconut, sea salt), Blackberry (blackberry, date, toasted barley, lemon, soda) and Passion Fruit with grapefruit, red bell pepper, basil and soda.
Lead bartender Abigail Smith created several No-ABV cocktails for the latest menu at Big Bar in Los Feliz. The Pocket Full of Horses is a NA Old Fashioned-style drink made with Spiritless Kentucky 74, Palo Santo, Melati, Three Spirits Social Elixir and Super Chai.
Other options include the Apothecary (Three Spirits Livener, Lemon, Serrano Chili, Q Tonic, Charred Rosemary), Tropic Thunder (Seedlip Grove, Pineapple, Lime, Ginger, Mint, Q Soda) and the Supernova, a No-ABV riff on the Bossa Nova with Lyre's Aperitif Dry, Turkish Apricot, Cardamom, Lemon and Italian Parsley.
Death & Co.
Renowned Arts District bar Death & Co. offers several non-alcoholic cocktails on its seasonal menu - the No Ordinary Love is made with LA-based Optimist Botanicals “Smokey,” Don’s Mix and Strawberry Shrub. There's also the Jamboree! (Seedlip Grove, Giffard Aperitif, Watermelon, Lime, Cayenne Pepper) Rainbow Boa (Seedlip Spice, Ritual Zero-Proof Rum, Passion Fruit, Lime, Orgeat) and the Carlsbad Club with Monday Zero-Alcohol Gin, Lyre’s Aperitif Dry, Raspberry, Lemon, Rose Water and Egg White.
To pair with its plant-based Mexican cuisine, Gracias Madre offers a trio of No-ABV cocktails: the Mojito-inspired Nojito (hoja santa syrup, lime, bubbles), the Colonche-style Nolonche (hibiscus, prickly pear) and the Nolada, a Piña Colada riff with coconut, pineapple, lime and nutmeg.
At Michelin-starred Kato, Austin Hennelly goes well beyond featuring No-ABV cocktails to pair with Chef Jon Yao's exceptional tasting menu; he also offers a spirit-free flight of nine drinks.
Highlights of a recent flight include the Garden Tonic (also available à la carte) with bitter melon, white peony tea, Korean cucumber and lime cordial, served bubbly; White Sangria (alcohol-free Pinot Gris & Pinot Blanc with winter citrus & kombu) and Five Spice Shandy (alcohol-free amber ale with teach cordial, pineapple, ginger).
Along with the Garden Tonic, à la carte NA options include the Amazake Swizzle (masala chai, coconut, almond, lime, chinotto float), Calpico Cobber (sugar cube melon, shio koji, lime, 2021 Navarro Vineyards Gewürztraminer), and the Shisho Mule with Amass Riverine Botanical Spirit, lime, mint, Thai basil and ginger, served on the rocks.
The Maybourne Bar
Beverage Director Chris Amirault was inspired by the elements for his latest menu at The Maybourne Bar. The extensive list includes a trio of No-ABV cocktails - the Hendri-X & Tonic is a highball with Cucumber Zero Gin and East Imperial Tonic. More NA options include the Hundred Acre Wood (lapsang souchong, honey, lime, pineapple, coconut cream) and the Melanie with Ghia Aperitif, pomelo, black cardamom and soda.
Umbrella Hospitality launched their No-ABV cocktail program on New Year's Day 2023. Available at Melrose Umbrella Co, The Corner Door and Ella Beverly Hills, the program will be curated year-round and currently features four drinks.
The Hungarian Horntail Old Fashioned is made with Three Spirit Nightcap, Pathfinder, Jasmine Green Tea, All the Bitters and "Fire." Other NA drinks include the Portland Pick Me Up (Pathfinder, Espresso, Blueberry-Cinnamon-Thyme), Don't Think Twice (Lyre's Italian Orange, Satsuma Tangerine Shrub, Lime, Bubbles) and Hotel, Motel (Apricot Black Tea, Pineapple, Lyre's Italian Orange, Lime, All the Bitters).
One of the OGs of the LA bar scene, Naomi Schimek features a trio of NA cocktails at Soulmate to pair with Chef Rudy Lopez's Spanish-Mediterranean cuisine: Catch a Wave (Passion Fruit, Mango or Guava), Honey, I'm Home! (Lemongrass, Mint, Rose, Cardamom, Saffron, Fennel) and the Pillow Talk (Lapsang Souchong, Pineapple, Vanilla, Lemon).
Named for "earth" in Italian, Terra is a rooftop restaurant and lounge located on the third floor of Eataly in Century City. The No-ABV options include the bright and refreshing Prickly Pear Mule (prickly pear, housemade ginger syrup, fresh lime juice, soda), which would be perfect with one of Terra's wood-fired dishes.
The Cucumber Mint Shrub is made with cucumber, mint, lime and soda; and the Strawberry Grove Spritz features Seedlip Grove 42, housemade strawberry syrup, fresh lemon juice and soda.
New York-based Boisson quickly established an LA presence with three store openings in 2022: Brentwood, Studio City and Beverly Hills. With their "Glass Half-Full" ethos, Boisson hosts frequent in-store tastings, such as Lautus Wines, CleanCo and Caleño.
The New Bar
The self-described "alcohol-free discovery platform," The New Bar in Venice hosts a busy calendar of events like the Wine & Cheese Pairing Class, featuring NA wines and fine cheeses curated by Hilary KInzler.
Jillian Barkley opened Soft Spirits, LA's first non-alcoholic bottle shop, in October 2021. Located on the same Silver Lake block as All Day Baby and Dayglow Coffee, Soft Spirits posts monthly staff picks on its Instagram feed along with in-store tastings, which recently included LA-based Optimist Botanicals, Australia's NON wines and Surely Wines from California.