Whether you drank too much during the holiday season and need a break, or are serious about cutting back on alcohol consumption in 2023, you won’t be disappointed by the mocktails from Chicago bars and restaurants. These delicious, alcohol-free beverages are perfect to help you power through Dry January without sacrificing your taste buds.
Image Credit: Kelly Sandos
Always On Time
at The Violet Hour
1520 N Damen Ave, Chicago, IL 60622
James Beard award-winning craft cocktail bar, The Violet Hour, brings their A game to the N/A game with this herbaceous mocktail. A concoction of rose water, lavender, and rosemary meets zingy grapefruit and a hint of vanilla before getting a bright tonic topper. Make sure you’re Always on Time for this garden party in a glass!
Image Credit: Clayton Hauck
at The Meadowlark
2812 W Palmer St, Chicago, IL 60647
Newly opened craft cocktail lounge, The Meadowlark, serves up mocktails worth leaving the nest for. The Blue-Green Warbler is a botanic beauty featuring zero-proof spirit, Seedlip Garden 108, with essence of rosemary, thyme, and spearmint. The Seedlip is muddled with fresh cucumber slices, lime and mint along with several drops of saline solution to bring out the spirit’s more nuanced notes. Before taking flight to your waiting arms, the cocktail is topped with a floating mint leaf adorned in rose water. Elegant, herbaceous, and complex.
Image Credit: Daisies
2523 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60647
At Daisies, the non-alcoholic Mushroom Sour follows the bar program’s MO, recycling kitchen leftovers to maintain the restaurant’s vegetable-forward mission. This drink was crafted using recycled mushroom stems from the kitchen to create a mushroom syrup that’s used with egg white and lemon to give it a “fancy and foamy” look and smooth mouth feel. The result? A non-alcoholic beverage with a unique sweet / savory / sour flavor profile that looks and feel like a true cocktail.
Image Credit: One Off Hospitality
at Big Star Mariscos
551 N Ogden Ave, Chicago, IL 60642
This refreshing, bubbly mocktail from the brand new seafood-focused iteration of iconic honky-tonk, Big Star, is ripe with complex flavors. The Little Darling hits your palette first with a rush of citrus, pineapple and hibiscus, before whipping your tastebuds with a lash of spicy serano pepper and the unmistakeable bite of Lagunitas Hoppy Soda.
Image Credit: Estelle’s
2013 W North Ave. Chicago, IL 60647
Just in time for “Dry January”, late-night Wicker Park favorite, Estelle’s, has added the NO Fashioned to their cocktail menu. A completely alcohol free Old Fashioned, the drink features Spiritless Kentucky 74 which delivers a high-quality, smooth finish, underpinned by familiar notes of caramel, vanilla, and oak, Stirrings Blood Orange Bitters, Demerara syrup and non-alcoholic ginger bitters.
Image Credit: Lyra
905 W Fulton Market, Chicago, IL 60607
Known for an entire menu and vibe that takes guests on a Mykonian escape, the wildly popular Greek restaurant in Fulton Market takes their n/a beverages just as seriously as the do all the rest of their impressive offerings. One of the most popular for those looking to steer the spirit free route is Halara, featuring Amass Zero Proof, Pomegranate, Lemon, Mint, and Tonic. It’s a must try if you’re into fruity, breezy drinks!
Image Credit: Oda
5657 N Clark St., Chicago IL 60660
For Chicagoans recognizing “Dry January” this winter, Oda Mediterranean Cuisine in Andersonville has two refreshing and tropical inspired non-alcoholic mojitos available like their signature Key Lime Mojito with house made key lime syrup as well as a Passion Fruit Mojito.
Image Credit: Sunda New Asian
110 W Illinois St, Chicago, IL 60654
To honor Dry January, Sunda New Asian has three delicious mocktails to choose from:
Strawberry Fields – muddled fresh strawberries, lemon, lime, orange, fennel syrup
Blackberry Limeade – lime, rosemary syrup, muddled fresh blackberries, club soda
Grass Tiger – lemongrass, lime, orange, ginger beer, fresh spanked mint, club soda, jalapeno
If you’re looking for something refreshing to prepare yourself for the spring, definitely explore these zero-proof beverages at one of the best Japanese restaurants in Chicago!
Image Credit: Hinoki Sushiko
1465 W Willow St, Chicago, IL 60642
The twice-Michelin-recognized Omakase outpost in Pilsen might have an incredible list of Japanese Whisky, Sake, and cocktails, but their selection of spirit free cocktails are just as impressive and are uniquely created every season by an expert bar team led by Zak Sherman. Balanced and playful creations include:
Relaxi Taxi – Oolong Tea Reduction, Clove, Lemon, Mad Tasty Yuzu citrus, CBD Soda, Spicy ginger CBD gummy garnish
Forbidden Sour – Forbidden Forest Tea Reduction, Orange, Cardamom , Fresh lemon juice, Aqua Fava, Burnt orange
Matcha Mule – Matcha Tea Reduction, Fresh Lime Juice, Ginger Beer
Make Your Own at Home
In case you aren’t feeling going out, we’ve also gathered some home mocktail recipes for you this Dry January. These drinks are easy to make and delicious to taste. You’ll find yourself coming back to these drinks even after January, for sure!
Image Credit: Waterloo
Incredibly zesty and refreshingly spicy. A classic recipe with an aromatic twist. Muy buena. Grab a Waterloo Grapefruit and sip differently with this crisp concoction. In a shaker, muddle jalapeños then add lime juice, salt then ice. Shake well and strain over fresh ice in a glass. Top with Waterloo Grapefruit and garnish with grapefruit wedge and jalapeño slice.
If you want to introduce spicy to smokey, add 1 ½ oz mezcal. For a touch of sweetness, add a splash of simple syrup.
Image Credit: Waterloo
Come for the fizz, stay for the refreshment. Stop whatever you’re doing and give your tastebuds a delicious bubble bath. Bring a Waterloo Peach and sip different with this perfectly ripe concoction. To make this mocktail, simply add peach purée in a champagne flute and fill with Waterloo Peach. Give a quick stir.
Featured Image: Unsplash
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