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Jun 30, 2008 09:23 AM

Best Non-Alcoholic Cocktails/Virgin Drinks/Mocktails/etc.

Wondering if people have any recommendations for restaurants or bars that serve great non-alcoholic cocktails, virgin drinks, mocktails, house made sodas, etc.

I'd be happy to hear about anything, from places that have interesting non-alcoholic cocktails explicitly on the menu, to bartenders who will create something interesting on request, to restaurants that happen to have some unusual non-alcoholic drinks on the menu.

I'll start out by giving a few of my favourites:

- Eastern Standard has several "mocktails" on the menu, including the excellent "Stormy Monday", which is lime juice, bitters and ginger beer.

- The bartenders at Grill 23 will make a terrific non-alcoholic mojito on request, giving it the same time and attention as the more expensive but equally labour intensive alcoholic version. So does the B-Side lounge. Many other places, even expensive restaurants such as the otherwise incredible L'Atelier de Joel Robouchon in New York make a terrible non-alcoholic mojito, I think because some bartenders resent the labour involved.

- Oishii Boston will make their "Shisojito" non-alcholic on request, and it's excellent --- soda water, yuzu-flavored honey, and muddled shiso leaf.

- Dali in Cambridge has excellent bottled Ginger Beer and an interesting house-made non-alcoholic sangria.

- Bartenders at Deep Elllum in Allston have made me a terrific non-gin fizz with a real raw egg and orange blossom water.

- Sol Azteca in Brookline and Newton has a terrific homemade lemonade, and will mix a very sour, not watered down, non-alcoholic margarita.

- Avila brews a phenomenal unsweetened lapsang souchong iced tea.

- I think it's from a mix, but the Stockyard in Brighton still makes a surprisingly tasty virgin frozen pina colada.

- L'Espalier has on the menu a blend of an interesting combination of pineapple juice and several herbs, among several other non-alcoholic drinks, none of which I can recall as particularly memorable.

- Boston Public Meat will make a calamansi soda on request, which is terrifically refreshing.

- Of course there are many Asian restaurants, particularly Vietnamese ones, which will make many drinks, such as salty limeade, that are effectively non-alcoholic cocktails, and some Thai places (such as Spice in Harvard Square) that will sometimes have unusual things such as the Thai basil seed drink.

I'd also be particularly interested to hear of any places that make even alcoholic margaritas right --- with fresh limes, hopefully the more bitter Mexican limes, crushed ice, good salt around the rim, no added sugar, and maybe even egg whites to add frothiness.

I might also add that while I like the thought behind the house made sodas at Myers + Chang, I've tried them all and don't like them --- I find them too sweet and flavourless. For the same reason, I think the only thing I've tried and haven't liked at Flour bakery is the raspberry lemonade.

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  1. 28 Degrees makes some fantastic non-alcoholic cocktails. Had their 'Fresh Fruit Aide' a couple weeks ago, it was terrific. Basically tasted like a ginger/lime mojito sans liquor.

    1. Boston Public Meat isn't making soda or anything these days.

      I have never ordered one (I had a taste of my niece's) but 9 Park makes a nice limeaid type drink. They use mint simple syrup and lime juice. Since it is two of the ingredients in a Palmayra it is somewhat similar in taste although served over ice.

      1. I tend toward the high-test myself, but a tee-totaler friend really enjoyed her mocktails at ESK. The guys at Highland Kitchen usually make a non-alcoholic special or can adjust any of their standards to be virgin.

        1. Baraka Cafe (Pearl Street, Central Sq) doesn't serve alcohol. But they make a great rose lemonade. Cash only.

          I also really like the aqua de melon at Taquiera Mexicana in Union Sq. Somerville.

          1. Blue Ginger has a homemade ginger ale that's pretty good.