Sip Sober: 7 Exceptional Spots to Savor Non-Alcoholic Craft Cocktails in LA
Sip Sober: 7 Exceptional Spots to Savor Non-Alcoholic Craft Cocktails in LA - Explore the Growing Trend of Zero-Proof Cocktails
As more people embrace sobriety and wellness trends, the world of zero-proof cocktails has exploded. Once an afterthought, non-alcoholic drinks are now commanding center stage at many of LA's trendiest bars and restaurants. Skilled mixologists are blending premium ingredients like teas, shrubs, botanicals, and artisanal syrups to craft complex elixirs that rival even the booziest vintage cocktails. Those avoiding or limiting alcohol no longer have to settle for a boring soda or juice. They can indulge in a lavish menu of guilt-free concoctions.
This movement emerges from our growing understanding of alcohol's impacts on health, productivity, and quality of life. A 2021 Nielsen study found that nearly half of drinkers are curbing their alcohol intake and interest in non-alcoholic options jumped 39% between 2019 and 2021. Millennials are leading the charge, with 67% trying to cut down on drinking. The explosion of cannabis legalization and CBD-infused drinks provides more social lubricants beyond alcohol.
While the elaborate theater and aromas of a well-crafted negroni or old fashioned remain alluring, the joy of flavor combinations and craft supersedes inebriation for many imbibers today. Skilled bartenders at many of LA's top restaurants and bars now devote real estate on their menus to equally nuanced non-alcoholic options.
At Gracias Madre in West Hollywood, bar manager Matthew Raiford concocts farm-fresh organic juices and smoothies, then infuses them tableside with botanical simple syrups, herbs, spices, and CBD drops for those who want an extra chill. Customize the relaxation or energy boost to your needs in the moment.
Further south in artsy Venice, The Springs specializes in homemade shrubs, switchels, and tonics incorporating foraged and locally-sourced ingredients from citrus fruits to fresh ginger. Their kombucha taps pour fizzy fermented teas. While The Springs also serves natural wines and beer, the spirit-free options get equal spotlight.
What else is in this post?
- Sip Sober: 7 Exceptional Spots to Savor Non-Alcoholic Craft Cocktails in LA - Explore the Growing Trend of Zero-Proof Cocktails
- Sip Sober: 7 Exceptional Spots to Savor Non-Alcoholic Craft Cocktails in LA - Discover LA's Top Bars Specializing in Mocktails
- Sip Sober: 7 Exceptional Spots to Savor Non-Alcoholic Craft Cocktails in LA - Indulge in Elegant Tea-Infused Creations at Everson Royce Bar
- Sip Sober: 7 Exceptional Spots to Savor Non-Alcoholic Craft Cocktails in LA - Savor Botanical Mixes with Farm-Fresh Ingredients at Gracias Madre
- Sip Sober: 7 Exceptional Spots to Savor Non-Alcoholic Craft Cocktails in LA - Try On-Tap Kombucha Cocktails at Cafe Gratitude
- Sip Sober: 7 Exceptional Spots to Savor Non-Alcoholic Craft Cocktails in LA - Enjoy Gourmet "Spiritless" Drinks at The Botanical Club
Sip Sober: 7 Exceptional Spots to Savor Non-Alcoholic Craft Cocktails in LA - Discover LA's Top Bars Specializing in Mocktails
Los Angeles bursts with an array of bars where mixologists craft spirit-free cocktails as artful as any old fashioned or negroni. These sanctuaries welcome those abstaining from alcohol or just seeking a break from boozy beverages. Custom creations energize with fresh fruits and herbs or relax with floral teas and bitters. The theater of tableside service adds to the experience.
At the forefront, Everson Royce Bar in the arts district of downtown LA built its menu around non-alcoholic drinks from its inception. Talented bar staff like Josh Curtis concoct teas smoked beneath glass cloches for a theatrical unveiling. Infusions like pineapple cold brew tea with turmeric and ginger provide exotic complexity. Their selections outnumber alcoholic options two to one.
Patrons seeking solace from life’s stresses find tranquil sanctuary sipping thoughtfully composed mocktails in Everson Royce’s intimate dark wood and leather booths. As mixologist Curtis explained to LA Magazine, “zero proof” need not mean boring or unsophisticated. Everson Royce delights drinkers with flavors, not intoxication.
Café Gratitude, the plant-based restaurant chain with several LA outposts, also obsesses over non-alcoholic creations. Their beverage director Matthew Raiford blends house-made almond mylks and nutrient-dense juices with superfood ingredients like moringa, activated charcoal, and maca root. For a special twist, guests may add cannabis CBD, adaptogenic mushrooms, or probiotics.
West Hollywood hotspot Gracias Madre takes the mocktail experience over the top with tableside service. Let the bartender customize your drink by selecting fresh-pressed juice bases then supplementing with herbs, spices, and organic syrups. They'll explain each ingredient's nutritional benefits while assembling your personalized zero-proof cocktail.
For a relaxed night nibbling plant-based Mexican sharing plates on Gracias Madre's patio with friends, hand-crafted mocktails enhance the vibe exponentially. The theater engages guests, while options like aqua frescas with muddled fruit and flower waters provide virtuous refreshment. Elevated juices and smoothies get an extra health halo.
Sip Sober: 7 Exceptional Spots to Savor Non-Alcoholic Craft Cocktails in LA - Indulge in Elegant Tea-Infused Creations at Everson Royce Bar
Among LA’s impressive array of venues crafting spirit-free potions, Everson Royce Bar stands out for its obsession with tea. Their bar first built its identity around zero-proof cocktails before most mixologists acknowledged this craft. Everson Royce recognized that imbibing captivating flavors, not inebriation, represents the heart of the cocktail experience. Tea's depth, nuance, and stimulation heighten non-alcoholic drinks.
Talented Everson Royce mixologists like Josh Curtis alchemize premium teas into transcendent mocktails. They smoke black, green, and herbal teas at the table using borosilicate glass cloches for an elegant reveal. Tea infusions get combined with bitters, fruits, botanicals, and artisanal syrups into complex, plant-based potions. The contemplated combinations and aromas relax or invigorate.
Patrons indulging in Everson Royce’s tea-based mocktails praise the creations as nuanced and provocative as any boozy cocktail from top mixologists. Food and travel writer Krista Simmons declared it “the best mocktail she’s ever had” in LA Magazine. Amanda Kludt, Editor-in-Chief of Eater, described the smoking cloche service as “quite theatrical.”
The magician-like ritual of smoking tea tableside adds a decadent dimension. As the server lifts the cloche with a flourish, aromas envelop you. They explain each ingredient and its properties as they assemble your drink. Whether your infusion highlights bergamot, jasmine, peppermint, chamomile or yerba mate, the presentation imprints the memory.
The Everson Royce bar experience provides a refined oasis from life’s chaos. Dark leather banquettes, intimate lighting, and textured tiles and wood transport you. Exacting bartenders devoted to their craft deliver only positive energy. They mix new concoctions based on your mood, from soothing lavender-infused teas to bright citrus and ginger revitalizers.
Patrons seeking to moderate alcohol consumption without sacrificing sophistication find their ideal retreat. "Spirit-free” needn’t equate to boring or unsophisticated at Everson Royce Bar. Their passionate team obsesses over flavors, not inebriation. Everson Royce's highest purpose remains mastering combinations that captivate visitors’ palates and moods. Their tea-based mocktails achieve that mission with room for creativity.
Sip Sober: 7 Exceptional Spots to Savor Non-Alcoholic Craft Cocktails in LA - Savor Botanical Mixes with Farm-Fresh Ingredients at Gracias Madre
Gracias Madre stands apart for its dedication to farm-fresh ingredients and botanical mixes in its spirit-free offerings. At their West Hollywood location, bar manager Matthew Raiford obsesses over sourcing organic, seasonal produce from local farms to create the healthiest elixirs. He then combines these with botanical syrups, herbs, spices, and superfoods for beverages that nourish your body and spirit.
“We aim to provide an experience that excites the senses and enlivens the palate with goodness,” says Raiford. “Our juices and smoothies elevate staples like carrots, kale, chard, and ginger into vibrant potions. We add botanical dimension with elements like activated charcoal, ashwagandha, moringa, and maca root. Our mission is virtuous refreshment.”
With a Mexican restaurant as their culinary core, Gracias Madre ingeniously utilizes Latin ingredients like chia seeds, avocados, and hot peppers for a magnitude of nutritional benefits. Their drinks menu highlights traditional options like horchata, Jamaica (hibiscus), and tamarind agua frescas. But the showstoppers are the custom mocktails.
“We forage plants from the restaurant’s garden to incorporate things like rosemary, thyme, basil, and edible flowers into our syrups,” says Rainer. “Guests get excited about sample tastes of our ingredients and learning their health properties. Then they build a custom mocktail or two to sip with their meal.”
Patrons seeking to cut back on alcohol intake find an ideal experience in Gracias Madre’s light-filled patio or rustically modern interior. The flavors impress your palate, while the lack of alcohol enhances the energizing or relaxing effects. Diners describe a “high” matching the best buzz from wine or cocktails, but without fuzziness or headaches. Plus, they avoid hundreds of empty booze calories. Gracias Madre empowers healthy hedonism.
“The theater of tableside service personalizes things,” adds Raiford. “We get to demo our fresh ingredient options and explain how each boosts people’s bodies and spirits. Guests learn something while indulging their palates. We love facilitating that win-win.”
Sip Sober: 7 Exceptional Spots to Savor Non-Alcoholic Craft Cocktails in LA - Try On-Tap Kombucha Cocktails at Cafe Gratitude
For those seeking a fizzy fix without alcohol or excess sugar, the kombucha cocktails on tap at Cafe Gratitude make spirits soar. This trailblazing plant-based restaurant chain obsesses over serving the healthiest fare with the most vibrant flavors. Their devotion extends to drink menus spotlighting hand-crafted mocktails. On-tap kombucha forms the base of many concoctions.
The restaurants produce their own kombucha daily, infusing organic black and green teas with cultures of bacteria and yeast known as a SCOBY. Bottled kombucha retails in markets, though Cafe Gratitude enjoys it freshest direct from the tap. Bartenders combine the tangy, bubbly brew with superfoods like ginger, turmeric, and moringa for added nutrition and exotic flavors.
Patrons praise the fizzy mouthfeel reminiscent of beer or champagne, yet the drink leaves them mentally sharp. "With alcohol, I'd typically feel fuzzy-headed after a couple drinks," shares customer Kara L. "The kombucha cocktails provide a similar celebratory experience without the mental fog or calories. I feel energized yet relaxed."
For an extra functional kick, you may choose to complement your kombucha with mix-ins like activated charcoal, CBD oil, adaptogenic mushrooms, or probiotics. Cafe Gratitude's bartenders explain how each supplement supports health and customize the drink to your needs.
Beyond the theater of tableside service, on-tap kombucha makes economic and ecological sense. No single-use bottles to recycle and trucks to ship them. The restaurants simply replenish their SCOBY cultures to generate more fresh kombucha as needed. Served from the tap also prevents oxidization that degrades bottled kombucha's nutrients over time.
Sip Sober: 7 Exceptional Spots to Savor Non-Alcoholic Craft Cocktails in LA - Enjoy Gourmet "Spiritless" Drinks at The Botanical Club
The Botanical Club in Silver Lake excels at crafting gourmet “spiritless” potions highlighting herbs, teas, shrubs and botanicals. This sanctuary of sobriety curates the most thoughtfully composed mocktails in LA. Owners Dave and Beau Campau obsess over sourcing hyper-local, sustainable ingredients to excite imbibers’ palates and minds.
The Botanical Club emerged to celebrate the craft of non-alcoholic potions and provide a social space for the growing sober-curious community. “We got tired of the limitation at most bars that booze-free just meant O’Doul’s or cranberry juice,” the owners explained. “We reimagined what a bar could offer through the lens of health and sustainability.”
The menu traverses global influences from Southeast Asia to Latin America to the Middle East, accented with California sensibility. Exotic ingredients like butterfly pea flower, ghee, jackfruit, makrut lime leaf, and fenugreek shine. Housemade shrubs feature hyper-local citrus, berries, and savory elements. Bitters and tinctures intrigued like smoked paprika and ashwagandha root.
Healing herbs and plants like moringa, ginger, turmeric, and maca root get blended into functional potions. The Botanical Club also collaborated with local Cerro Gordo Brewing on custom non-alcoholic IPAs, stouts, and lagers tapping the flavors of beer without downsides. No alcohol or chemicals grace any recipe.
Patrons praise The Botanical Club’s creations for their layers, balance, and unexpected combinations. “I don’t even miss the booze!” exclaimed regular Rob L. “The flavors and experience here match the best cocktail lounges. I leave feeling mentally clear and energized, not sloppy and sluggish."
Jessica S. concurred, “My palate gets so excited discovering new mocktail combinations here. I’m hyper-aware of how I feel during and after. No more headaches or next-day regrets. The Botanical Club makes socializing over nuanced flavors uplifting.”
The bar’s interior design provides an oasis matching its artistry. Textured green walls evoke nature. Leather chairs and wood surfaces feel upscale, while abundant plants purify the air. Candles emit calming aromas, and a nectar wall with honeycomb frames the spirits-free offerings. You immediately relax yet feel mentally stimulated.
Owners Dave and Beau Campau see The Botanical Club as filling a cultural need as more people rethink alcohol. As Beau told LA Weekly, “We imagine a paradigm where bars don’t default to booze as social lubricant. We facilitate bonding through shared elixirs blending nutrition and joy."