Kersten Rettig: Great Ways to Weekend Without Alcohol

It wasn’t that long ago that ordering an alcohol-free drink in a bar or restaurant meant you got water, soda, or tea; maybe someone had apple juice on the menu. Fortunately, today there are plenty of flavorful alcohol-free drinks available at restaurants, at bars, and in package stores.

Dry January is a viral campaign started in the United Kingdom in 2013 and is now very much a part of our vernacular. For whatever reason you chose to abstain from alcohol in January or any time, it’s good to know that there are great options on menus this month and throughout the year. Dry Jan doesn’t have to be a sacrifice, it can be a fun creative challenge for you to combine flavors and products to make your own kid-friendly drinks.

Here are five of the most compelling alcohol-free drinks on some of Dallas’ top restaurant menus now:

Nobu’s Oaxacan Punch PHOTO: Courtesy

Nobu – The elegant Japanese restaurant goes multicultural with the Oaxacan Punch, a tropical, cocktail made with the non-alcoholic spirit Seedlip Spice 94, passionfruit puree, lime juice, cucumber slices, shichimi, ginger beer, and Lapsang Souchong Tea infused agave syrup, which creates a smokey flavor to mimic the taste of Mezcal.  

UnaVida – The new West Village healthy Mexican restaurant offers “The Whole” Meyer Lemonade made with a whole lemon blended with house-made simple syrup, cucumber, mint, and lime agua fresca.

Henry’s Majestic – The new and improved restaurant is now located in west Dallas and has a variety of non-alcoholic drinks on the menu, including Who’s Gonna Know?, made with Ritual tequila alternative, citrus, orange essence, pineapple soda.

Birdie’s Eastside – The new spot on Mockingbird east of Central Expressway offers several alcohol-free options including the superfoody GingerMint made with pomegranate sparkler and blood orange lemonade.

If you want to add some alcohol-free ingredients to your home bar, start with El Guapo Bitters, an alcohol-free line of bitters, shrubs, and syrups that can be mixed with sodas and juices for flavorful drinks. Spiritless is a line of alcohol-free spirits that offer canned, pre-made mocktails such as margaritas and old fashioneds as well as bottled non-alcohol spirits inspired by the flavors in bourbon and tequila. Betty Buzz sodas, available at Central Market, are refreshing on their own or mixed with other juice or non-alcohol spirits and then there is La Croix, the calorie-free sparkling water that comes in really creative, enjoyable flavors.

Whatever your reason for abstaining from alcohol, cheers to you and have a happy, healthy New Year!

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Kersten Rettig

Kersten Rettig is the only DFW Food/Travel writer with luxury hospitality leadership experience and a former restaurant owner, employee, and chief marketing officer. Kersten's worked on the inside and has the insight and experience to tell the stories to the outside. She's a Park Cities resident, mom, wife and a decent cook. Follow her on Instagram @KerstenEats.

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