So you are the designated driver for the evening or perhaps for the next nine months…there is no need to feel deprived of a refreshing beverage. Many restaurants and bars are starting to include non-alcoholic drink options and some bartenders are even willing to create something special just for you if you ask nicely. You won’t miss the alcohol (or the extra calories) with these mock-tails!
Steuben’s Food Service is a mid-century modern hipster hangout located in the uptown area of Denver. Both the food and drinks are reminiscent of the comforts of home based on popular American regional foods. Indulge in a milkshake or sip on a refreshing Berry Sage Buck made with seasonal berries, sage, lemon, and Gosling’s ginger beer. Also on the non-alcoholic cocktail menu is a Black Cherry Phosphate made with house-made cherry soda or the Panacea made with house-made ginger syrup.
Root Down believes that beverages can enhance a dining experience so they offer healthy non-alcohol mock-tails. Just as in their food, these drinks are seasonally inspired from local producers. The atmosphere in the bar and restaurant is lively, and often crowded. This is not the place to come for a romantic, quiet dinner but a fun brunch or dinner with friends who enjoy some good eats. Try the Cardamom Fizz made with Cardamom-Agave, lime juice, cream & soda.
Cuba Cuba Café & Bar brings a piece of Havana right into the Mile High City. The colorful décor and lively atmosphere is the perfect spot to meet with friends or make some new ones. Just because you can’t test your taste buds with the many rum options, doesn’t mean you can’t immerse yourself into the Caribbean lifestyle for the evening. Mojitos are constantly being muddled and shaken behind their bar so feel free to ask for a virgin Mango Mojito to go with your mariquitas cubana (plantain chips and avocado mash). The mojitos also come in blackberry, strawberry, pineapple, and coconut!
Colt & Gray mixes up some of the best drinks in Denver as some of the best bartenders in the city are working here, and the bar menu does change on occassion. The newly expanded restaurant has more seating in the bar area and is perfect for any occasion that calls for good food and drinks. Try a house-made dry soda made with fresh, seasonal ingredients and presented so beautifully that no one will even know that you are the designated driver. Try the cool Ginger & Mint as the perfect accompaniment to any salad and gourmet burger while you sit at the bar and watch the mixologists at work. Also found on the menu are Bittered Lemon tonic, Blueberry Lemonade, or Grapefruit & Cinnamon flavors.
The Populist becomes a communal dining experience with numerous community tables both inside and out and an ever-changing menu of classic and contemporary dishes.
While the menu doesn’t offer any virgin drinks options, ask the bartender nicely! Specify if you are in the mood for something sweet, fruity, or savory and let them shake or stir up something that will make you forget all about the missing alcohol.