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Going to a bar or restaurant boasting a big list of fancy cocktails can be a bummer if you’re the designated driver, adhering to a resolution, or just not drinking. If it seems like everyone else is happily sipping down Manhattans and sangria while you’re stuck stirring an RC Cola, don’t fret. We’ve hunted down mocktails and alcohol alternatives available at various Valley establishments. Here’s what we recommend.
2201 East Camelback Road
The Gladly provided an important lesson: Don’t be coy about ordering a mocktail. If you hem and haw about “something nice to drink that feels fancy but doesn’t have alcohol …” you’ll get a confused look and offer of lemonade. Put on your grown-up voice, firmly ask for a mocktail, and you’ll be rewarded with ambrosia. Seriously, The Gladly mocktail tastes just like grown-up Ambrosia Punch. It’s lightly effervescent and citrusy with a sweet, sorbet-like finish.
Fresh Fruit Press makes for a refreshing alternative at Yucca Tap Room.
Yucca Tap Room
29 West Southern Avenue, Tempe
There is no official mocktail at Yucca, but they do have a full bar and knowledgeable staff. When asked about a mocktail, Yucca suggested the Fresh Fruit Press, which has ingredients that vary based on what’s on hand. Typically, the press includes cucumber, lemon, lime, and orange muddled together and topped off with soda water. The result is a light and refreshing mocktail that is super-hydrating.
Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlour
1 West Jefferson Street
Yeah, this downtown cocktail lounge is where you’ll go for extremely inventive drinks, but did you know part of the circus-themed menu at Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlour is dedicated to alcohol-free offerings? There’s the Nada Colada, or an alcohol-free version of the famed Coupette Colada. There’s also the sweet and spicy Miss Nightingale (a sparkling mix of hibiscus, sage, and cinnamon), the refreshing Cucumber Spritzer, and the Storms a Brewin’ for anyone in need of some late-night caffeine.
Shirley Temple Lite for the small appetite and Italian Soda for a robust beverage at Cornish Pasty.
Cornish Pasty Co.
Walking into a pub and asking for a nonalcoholic mixed drink can be intimidating, but the results here are downright adorable. At Cornish, the Shirley Temple Lite and Italian Soda both have a soda base plus your choice of grenadine or cherry juice. The Italian Soda has the addition of heavy cream, which takes the whole affair to a robust new level. Italian Sodas take a little longer to make, but are well worth the wait. You’ll feel like you’re in a soda shop, but with more heavy metal.
609 East Adams Street
Bar Bianco has a full mocktail menu that doesn’t settle for ditching the alcohol from classic recipes. Instead, many of its cocktails contain Seedlip nonalcoholic spirits and house-made syrups. The Vinifera Spice is a lightly sweet and citrusy concoction. Mariposa Milk has a strong herbal flavor with a citrus finish. In fact, out of all the options on this list, the Mariposa Milk has a taste that most closely resembles drinking a regular cocktail. Bar Bianco not only provides the pleasing visual component of a cocktail, but also a decent facsimile of the flavor.
The ruby-red Desert Smash.
Blue Clover Distillery
Blue Clover Distillery
7042 East Indian School Road, Scottsdale
It can be hard not to drink in Scottsdale for many reasons, but Blue Clover Distillery is there for you. The boutique Old Town distillery has the Desert Smash on menu, a mocktail made of POM Wonderful pomegranate juice, plus cranberry and pineapple juice, fresh citrus, and an orange garnish. The result is a ruby red little treat.
Giving Tree Cafe
2024 North Seventh Street, #111
Those hoping for some Vitamin A with their cocktail can hit the patio at Giving Tree Café — the vegan-friendly cafe found along the lower Seventh Street dining corridor. Here, order the Electric Sapphire — which looks just like it sounds. The bright blue drink is a blend of spirulina with coconut water, aloe vera, and a dash of stevia. And it makes a wild, deep-blue scene.
The Lost in Paradisa mocktail.
Sushi Roku Scottsdale
Sushi Roku at W Scottsdale
7277 East Camelback Road, Scottsdale
Sushi Roku eventually rolled out an entire mocktail menu. These handcrafted, alcohol-free drinks have names like the Zen Garden and the Coco Loco. But that Lost in Paradise looks the most appealing, with serrano jalapeños, orgeat, lemon, pineapple, passion fruit, and Organics by Red Bull Ginger. While these may still have the sugar, they certainly won’t have you hungover.
Editor’s note: This story was originally published on February 1, 2019. It was updated on January 6, 2021.
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