Whether you’re participating in Dry January, looking to drink less or quit alcohol entirely in 2022, there are plenty of options for thoughtful non-alcoholic cocktails at restaurants and bars around Charlotte.
We’ve rounded up a list of the best alcohol-free offerings in Charlotte right now, though the options continue to grow as the low or no alcohol drink trend continues to spread. These drinks are delicious, sophisticated and most are explicitly listed on the menu, making it easier for you to order your alcohol-free beverage just like you would an alcoholic one.
At Counter-, dining isn’t just a meal, it’s a full-sensory experience. Chef Sam Hart wants to make sure the experience is just as sophisticated for non-drinkers, which is why the restaurant offers Spirit Free pairings for its 10-course tasting menu that not only pair with the food but also with the story that accompanies the dinner’s theme. For example, one recent theme was “Covers” and included alcohol-free versions of well-known cocktails like the Salisbury Manhattan (Cheerwine, charred orange, rosemary and house-made bitters).
Haberdish offers two alcohol-free cocktails on its menu, both with complex ingredients and plenty of flavor. If you’re looking for subtle relaxation without the hangover, the California Sober includes locally grown hemp and brown rice syrup, lemon oleo, grapefruit and soda (contains CBD). The Boy’s Club includes a Cheerwine reduction, baking spices, whiskey barrel-smoked black pepper and orange soda.
The Vintage may be a whiskey and cigar bar, but the team behind the bar also makes a point to accommodate non-drinkers with their rotating list of seasonal zero-proof cocktails. The winter menu features a zero-proof daiquiri, zero-proof gimlet and a “No” Fashioned, as well as an array of coffees, sodas and sparkling waters.
Elsewhere has prioritized its non-alcoholic menu since first opening in an effort to provide an inclusive community for all. The bar’s “For the Pilot” menu features a variety of non-alcoholic drinks that change periodically and include the Moscow Midnight, an alcohol-free take on the Moscow Mule, Greyhound Rescue and the So Fun, an NA margarita with a little spice.
Tucked in Eastway Crossing Shopping Center, Tommy’s Pub offers an expansive list of no and low alcohol drinks on its “Dry January & Beyond” menu with over 10 alcohol-reduced and non-alcoholic cocktails, all $6 and under.
Alchemy, a vegetarian-focused restaurant and bar, offers an inclusive menu that accommodates vegetarians, vegans and omnivores, and this inclusivity extends to the drinks menu. The restaurant offers four different alcohol-free cocktails on its winter menu, created by Alchemy mixologist Angelica Belo, including The Onyx, a vegan non-alcoholic cocktail featuring Abstinence Cape Citrus, blackberry, lime juice, simple syrup, aquafaba and activated charcoal. Starting Jan. 30, Alchemy will also host “Sober Sundays” a monthly night of elevated finger foods, non-alcoholic beverages and stand-up comedy.
Though not explicitly mentioned on the menu, The Stanley offers an alcohol-free version of its Stanleyville featuring Ritual Zero Proof Whiskey Alternative, spiced cherry and Angostura bitters.
Stroke, an urban golf club in Plaza Midwood, reserves a dedicated section of its drink menu for “Zero Proof Cocktails” including the One More Time, a margarita-inspired drink with Ritual Zero Proof Tequila Alternative, tres pepper agave syrup, pineapple, lime, Unknown Ginger Ale and spicy salt and the Spice of Life with Ritual Zero Proof Rum, spiced pear syrup, lemon and sparkling water.
Dilworth Tasting Room offers the option to swap the liquor in any of its cocktails with a variety of non-alcoholic spirits it has available including Ritual Zero Proof, Amethyst and Seedlip. For a refreshing cocktail, try the Cucumber Collins, which features Seedlip “Garden 108”, lime juice, elderflower syrup, ginger beer, a pinch of mint and a cucumber garnish.
At Flour Shop, you can enjoy your squid ink linguini or Rock Stone sea scallops with an equally sophisticated house-made cocktail from its non-alcoholic drink menu, such as the Drink O’Lantern, which features carrot juice, honey, ginger cinnamon simple syrup, lemon and club soda, or a non-alcoholic beer like Athletic Brewing’s Run Wild IPA.
At The Cellar at Duckworth’s, you can get the speakeasy vibe, hold the alcohol, with the blackberry lemonade mocktail.
Skiptown, a dog bar and park in South End, offers a dedicated non-alcoholic menu featuring creative drinks such as its Doodle Punch (lime juice, pineapple juice, cranberry pomegranate juice and club soda), Lenny Boy Pear Chai Kombucha or the decadent “All the Way” hot chocolate, which includes whipped cream, peppermint stick and chocolate sauce.
In addition to its wide array of cocktails, beers and wines, Italian restaurant Indaco features a “Spirit Free Cocktails” section on its drink menu including the Juice Me Up (peach, citrus and sprite) and the Pineapple Mule (pineapple, honey and ginger).
Botiwalla at Optimist Hall, an Indian street grill inspired by Irani cafes, offers a variety of non-alcoholic beverages including its Pineapple Tumeric Soda, Lime Ricky, Tamarind Cola and more.
Molly Ruggere is a freelance writer, Certified Life Coach, Alcohol Freedom Coach and Founder of Counterculture Club, a global alcohol-free social community based in Charlotte that offers private and group coaching, monthly membership and events for individuals who want to socialize and form authentic connections without alcohol.