What’s the biggest trend in the world of cocktails? No alcohol. Whether it’s because you’re taking part in Dry January, wanting to cut back occasionally, or abstaining from booze for good, there are plenty of smart reasons why zero-proof drinks are growing in popularity. Now, and more than ever, some of the most beloved restaurants and bars near Mondrian Park Avenue are making it easier to drink and have a terrific time in Manhattan – no alcohol necessary.
Acclaimed chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten celebrates Latin American and Hispanic flavors at this lively and bustling eatery tucked away in Flatiron’s ABC Carpet & Home. The food menu offerings are categorized by texture (light and bright, golden and crispy) and format (masa and tortillas, rice) to make ordering a snap. And since the kitchen is renowned for making all their sodas and juices fresh from scratch, you know the mocktails are going to be solid. We recommend the virgin Piña Colada and Jala Basil as excellent and refreshing companions to the flavor-forward cuisine.
Photo: ABC Carpet & Home
Intersect by Lexus
Just a few months old, this sweeping 16,500-square-foot cafe, restaurant, and cultural hub in the Meatpacking District is proof that some of the best collaborations are the most unexpected ones. A partnership between the Japanese luxury car company and Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group, the food is, in true Meyer fashion, dependably delicious (and gratuity free, to boot). But the cocktails are no slouch, either. The Manhattan-ish, for example, is a clever riff on the classic whiskey-based New York libation, but credits its depth and richness to black cardamom tea, cherry, honey, and bitters.
Photo: Intersect by Lexus
Don’t be fooled by appearances. Though this West Village staple – it’s been around for more than 100 years – may look more like a simple, no-frills Italian cafe with its original tin ceiling, vintage banquettes, and subway-tiled bar, it’s widely recognized for having one of the most exceptional bar programs in the world. The original Negronis (like the Chocolate Negroni and the Unlikely Negroni, which is laced with banana) are the bar’s claim to fame, but there are a bevy of nonalcoholic creations to quench your thirst. Like a traditional vodka-tinged mule, the Passionfruit Mule features ginger beer and fresh lime, but adds tart passionfruit and flaky Maldon salt for an extra zippy bite.
Photo: Dante NYC
This positively pretty East Village spot (imagine verdant plants in copper pots, emerald green seating, and crisp white walls) by Ravi DeRossi and musician and animal rights activist Moby has always been ahead of the trend. For starters, the kitchen specializes in elevated, plant-based cooking (like sundried tomato tarts, beet ceviche, and creamy fondue pots). And all of the house libations are thoughtfully low-alcohol, so you can enjoy several without getting sloppy or smashed. It should come as no surprise, then, that there’s delicious zero-proof concoctions available too. (Right now, the spicy and effervescent Ginger Mockingbird and the herby-fruity Basil Swift are on deck.)
True, there’s no shortage of rooftop bars and lounges in New York, but Skylark quite literally soars above the competition by perching itself on the 30th floor of a sky-high building in Times Square South, offering up breathtaking views of the city’s most iconic sites (including the Empire State Building and Hudson River), and whipping up an extensive range of world-class cocktails and bites – the General Tsao’s Crispy Cauliflower and the Mac & Cheese Cupcakes are a must. (There’s a recommended business and upscale casual dress code, so come in looking sharp.) To keep your spirits soaring without a buzz, sip on a Maple Cranberry Fizz or a Harvest Mocktail.
Photo: The Skylark
Featured Photo: ABC Carpet & Home
- Story by Katie Chang