New York’s clubs and bars are back to business, but doesn’t mean your best night out is all about drinking to excess. In fact, there’s never been a better time to go out and have a night you’ll actually remember in the morning—sans hangover—because you didn’t have a drop of alcohol the night before. We’re not just suggesting you sip a seltzer all night; you can actually hit up a few alcohol-free bars that are just as trendy as their boozy counterparts, or head to a liquor-free spirits shop for a toxin-free bottle that looks just as good on your bar cart as it tastes in your fave cocktail.
Whether you’re sober-curious, sober or just taking a night off from the sauce, we’ve pulled together your social guide to a non-alcoholic night out in NYC with a little help from our friends at Monument—an online platform for anyone looking to change their relationship with alcohol, with help from specialized therapists and physicians.
hole/coffee shop and you’ll find yourself in an Instagrammable haven. The interior is all the right shades of pastel with a nice mix of curved lines and textured accents; by the way, the drinks are downright delicious too. Whether you prefer to go the non-alcoholic beer or wine route, sip on a fancy seltzer or soda, or grab a cold brew and a pastry, you can’t go wrong. (And if you happen to be in the neighborhood in time for breakfast—which is served until 1 PM most days—you’ll want to order the breakfast tacos or bagel sandwiches whipped up by pop-up shop, The Blue Light Speak Cheesy.)
Bar did start as a five-day pop-up in Williamsburg in 2018 and quickly became the roving party for a booze-free good time. Now, Listen Bar is fully virtual, offering alcohol-free cocktail classes and private events via Zoom. These online experiences are a great option for work happy hours that won’t put undue pressure on your coworkers and who knows, you might even pick up a few go-to mocktail recipes that’ll quickly become your signature beverage.
The Bottle Shops
Printed on the front door of this Lower East Side bottle shop are the words: “No Alcohol Sold Here.” So you’d be forgiven for mistaking this petite, whitewashed space for a gallery or one of those fancy boutiques that sells three-figure candles. Instead, Spirited Away is your downtown destination for zero-proof bottles of wine from Acid League, beer from Athletic Brewing and Lagunitas and spirits from Mockingbird and Aplos. Yup, that makes it the perfect place to stop before heading to a rooftop party or trekking to a Central Park picnic.
The concept behind Boisson is being able to enjoy a good drink while also taking care of your well-being. Which is basically proof that you can have it all. With two locations, one in the West Village and the other in Brooklyn’s Cobble Hill, consider this your one-stop-shop for stocking the chicest non-alcoholic bar cart. And we bet you’ll find at least one bottle you’ve never seen before; from a sparkling non-alcoholic Riesling from Leitz to Lyre’s ready-to-drink G&Ts.
Prefer to mix your own drinks at home? You’re in luck because our buddies at Monument created Delish AF, a downloadable book with 13 cocktail recipes—and you’ll probably be tempted to try them all. Here, we’ve outlined a few of the most popular spirits featured in this booklet so you’ll know exactly which one to buy before your next dinner party.
If you had to skip your annual trip to the Amalfi Coast, this chic aperitif would help you feel as if you were sitting by the pool at Le Sirenuse. With a mix of herbs and botanicals (including the soothing extracts of nervines), trust us when we say Ghia is one flavorful spirit. P.S. They also make premixed spritzes, if DIY isn’t your thing.
Perhaps the most IG-famous on this list, Kin has been the status symbol alcohol alternative since the company’s first adaptogen-infused spirit was introduced in 2018. Now available in two spirit options (including one nightcap-inspired concoction that might even help you snooze better) and two canned cocktails, Kin is poised to become a household name in no time.
If you’re missing the perfectly crafted cocktail, Seedlip’s sophisticated beverage collection is for you. Born from the desire to marry the art of cocktail spirits with the power of nature and alchemy, Seelip’s bespoke, and six-week process includes the separate maceration, distillation, filtration and blending of each individual botanical used to create the beautifully designed beverage with an array of healing benefits.
There’s no mixing, stirring or shaking required with Curious Elixirs, as these craft cocktails are ready-to-drink right out of the bottle (though you might want to add ice). However, they’re far from boring. No. 2 is “the spicy lovechild of the pineapple margarita and the Dark & Stormy” while No.5 is a mix of cherry, chocolate and smoke—and all are infused with adaptogens for an overall calming effect.
fueled hangover it leaves you with? Monday was made for you. It has that mix of juniper, citrus and spices you expect from Hendrick’s or Amass but it’s sugar-free, zero-calories and zero-carbs and is 100% vegan. Just add tonic water.
This sparkling bev (that’s a great prosecco alternative) is great on its own…but also plays well with others. The OG flavor is a crisp, dry mix of white tea, white cranberry, and ginger while the refreshing rosé swaps out the white cranberry for elderberry.Let’s Talk