© Martha Pollay

Mixologists are perfecting the art of booze-free drinking.

Elyse Inamine
August 29, 2016

There once was a time when juice was only considered a chaser to vodka, and soda an overly sweet alternative to the good stuff (a.k.a. booze).

Thankfully, for those of us still recovering from the weekend, that’s not the case anymore. Instead, chefs and bartenders are raising the bar for the mocktail. You’ll see what we mean when you stop by these forward-thinking restaurants:

Posana, Asheville, North Carolina

Peter Pollay, the chef and owner of Posana, has been tinkering with his own sodas and syrups for the past three years, so naturally he’s using the fruits of that labor in mocktails. Kefir soda and a bit of egg white adds foamy effervescence to the Kefir Fizz, and the Beet Tonic Spritzer whirs beet, lemon and ginger with simple syrup for an earthy pick-me-up.

Semilla, New York City

As the vegetables come and go with the seasons at José Ramírez-Ruiz and Pam Yung’s produce-focused chef’s counter, so do the juices and sodas. Late summer’s bounty of tomatoes and berries means the bar is stocked with a tomato drinking vinegar and fizzy Opal basil-infused soda.

Love & Salt, Los Angeles

Consulting bartender Vincenzo Marianella developed Off the Funking Chain, which combines ginger beer with jalapeño, passion fruit, grapefruit and lime. He's currently testing a savory blueberry jam, peppered with cloves and onions, for a future mocktail.

Loyal Nine, Cambridge, Massachussetts

Co-owner Daniel Myers makes all soda in-house, including the Cascara Fizz made with leftover coffee bean skins that are steeped in water, then sweetened with raw honey and carbonated.

Steubens, Denver, Colorado

This retro dinner has long been considered home to the city’s best mocktails, This summer, the team crushes fresh grapefruits with strawberries and a bit of mint and makes its own black cherry syrup for a lime-spiked seltzer.

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