Learn / 12 Best Non-Alcoholic Drinks To Order at the Bar

12 Best Non-Alcoholic Drinks To Order at the Bar

Aplós, August 8th, 2023

In the cool, quiet stillness of dawn, the world awakens, as do our senses. We find solace in the gentle rustle of leaves, the delicate songs of birds, and the fresh, inviting aroma of a new day.

Now, imagine extending that solace, that tranquility, and those clear-headed mornings into the warm embrace of the evening. This is the world of non-alcoholic beverages, where mornings are not marred by the echoes of last night's indulgence, and the toll of a hangover does not strong-arm afternoons.

Instead, this world is filled with the magic of shared moments and the allure of a clear mind. A new societal shift is taking place as more individuals lean into alcohol-free lifestyles, bringing into focus a harmonious balance between our desires and our health and between our shared moments and our personal growth.

Understanding Different Types of Non-Alcoholic Drinks

Non-alcoholic. Zero-proof. Alcohol-free. Mocktails. These terms often float around in our vernacular, sometimes used interchangeably, but each with its own distinct nuances.

Drinks labeled as zero-proof — such as non-alcoholic beers or wines — may contain a nearly negligible amount of alcohol, typically with an Alcohol By Volume (ABV) of less than 0.5 percent.

Alcohol-free beverages, on the other hand, contain absolutely no alcohol. Non-alcoholic cocktails, commonly called mocktails, are alcohol-free concoctions crafted to mimic the taste and complexity of their alcoholic counterparts but without the alcohol-based ingredients — or their intoxicating effects.

And then there are functional spirits like our Aplós Calme and Arise. As carefully composed as nature itself, these alcohol-free elixirs brim with active botanical ingredients to provide the physiological benefits that many seek from alcohol.

Whether to unwind after a long day, invigorate the spirit, elevate the mood, or simply add a touch of effervescence to social gatherings, functional spirits serve a diverse range of desires, all while remaining non-intoxicating and free of alcohol’s negative after-effects.

What Are Common Ingredients in Non-Alcoholic Cocktails?

The world of non-alcoholic beverages thrives on key ingredients such as club soda, bitters, and simple syrup. When combined with a variety of fruit juices such as lemon, lime, or cranberry, these components create concoctions that are as delicious as they are innovative.

Far from lacking, the non-alcoholic spirit realm is rich in flavor profiles, with an emphasis on balance, depth, and sophistication.

How To Order a Non-Alcoholic Drink at the Bar

Underneath the soft glow of ambient lights, surrounded by murmurs of laughter, clinking glassware, and the hum of shared stories, you find yourself at a bar. It’s an age-old gathering spot, a crossroads of social interaction.

Yet, amidst this vibrant landscape of camaraderie, no one should feel a sense of obligation to indulge in alcohol. Neither should anyone feel resigned to a night of plain seltzer water.

Like the dawn that embraces both the chirping birds and the silent butterflies, the world of cocktails has room for everyone. It extends a hand to those who yearn for the complex flavors and sophisticated elegance of cocktails sans the intoxicating effects of alcohol.

The non-alcoholic movement has seeped into these places of shared moments, and bartenders, those artists of spirits and mixers, have adapted their craft to meet this rising tide.

There is no need for grand gestures or apologies to order a non-alcoholic drink at the bar. You are as much a part of the tapestry of the evening as anyone else.

When requesting a non-alcoholic cocktail, simply express your preference: ask for a virgin or alcohol-free version of your cocktail of choice, or simply, "Could you recommend a non-alcoholic drink?"

Best Non-Alcoholic Drinks To Order at the Bar

If you’d prefer to reach the bar with your already prepared and ready to share but are unsure where to start, fear not; we extend our hand to guide you. Allow us to embark on a journey through the enchanting realm of non-alcoholic renditions of revered classics, each as vibrant in flavor and aesthetics as their spirited siblings.

1. Virgin Mojito

Imagine, for a moment, the fresh, citrusy tang of lime juice dancing with the sweet whisper of simple syrup. Picture soda water lending a sparkle to the mix and a crown of verdant mint leaves lending an aromatic flourish.

This is the virgin mojito, a non-alcoholic cocktail that invites you to bask in the spirit of togetherness without the fuzziness of alcohol.

2. Virgin Bloody Mary

Feel the robustness of tomato juice paired with the bright zing of lemon, set alight by a medley of seasonings. Offering the thrill of its alcoholic cousin, the virgin bloody mary provides for your pallet while also promising a morning of serene clarity.

3. Virgin Piña Colada

Let the sweet melody of pineapple juice merge with the creamy lullaby of coconut milk. Garnished with a slice of pineapple, the virgin piña olcada is a tropical getaway in a glass, promising an island escape while firmly keeping you anchored in sobriety.

This drink will be a bit sweeter than its rum-containing counterpart but still as worry-free and delightful as ever.

4. Shirley Temple

Visualize the effervescence of ginger ale, the sweet, rich blush of grenadine, and the playful wink of a maraschino cherry. Despite being a non-alcoholic drink, the Shirley Temple promises an enchanting dance of flavors.

5. Alcohol-Free Italian Spritz

Like an evening in a tranquil Italian piazza, a gentle breeze carrying the smell of the nearby sea, the Italian spritz is a non-alcoholic masterpiece. It's a delicate blend of a bubbly non-alcoholic spirit, a burst of sun-ripened orange juice, and a splash of effervescent club soda. It is a drink that captures the essence of Italian summer evenings, transporting you there without the haze of alcohol.

6. Non-Alcoholic Ginger Beer Fizz

Take the bold, spicy character of ginger beer, intertwine it with the sharp zestiness of lime juice, and send the entire experience effervescing with club soda. This is the ginger beer fizz, a drink that marries simplicity with complexity, offering a ride of flavors while keeping you grounded.

7. Sunrise Mocktail

Witness the hues of a sunrise captured in a glass with this non-alcoholic rendition of the classic tequila sunrise. Juicy orange juice forms the base, with a trickle of grenadine creating a beautiful sunrise effect, garnished with a cherry.

It's a concoction that sings of the vibrancy of the morning, promising the same energy but with a serene mind.

8. Non-Alcoholic Moscow Mule

Meet the fiery yet non-alcoholic ginger beer, paired with the tartness of lime juice and garnished with a lime wedge. This non-alcoholic Moscow mule holds the complexity and the kick of the traditional drink while ensuring that your senses remain crisp and clear, as refreshing as the Siberian winds it's named after.

9. Alcohol-Free Old Fashioned

Step into the nostalgic charm of the old fashioned, now rewritten for the non-alcoholic audience. Non-alcoholic bourbon mingles with simple syrup, garnished with an orange slice and a cherry.

It’s an alcohol-free drink that mirrors the charisma of its inspiration, transporting you back in time yet allowing you to fully appreciate the present moment.

10. Fizzy Fruit Juices

Imagine the glistening colors of fresh citrus fruits, their scent infusing the air. They hold the promise of the sun's warmth, captured in a drink. Blend together the sun-kissed joy of orange juice with the sparkle of soda water for a brunchtime virgin mimosa, or opt for a more nuanced, tart edge with grapefruit juice.

Add another layer of depth by requesting fresh fruit garnish on top of your chosen libation — it’s a fruity, fizzy, refreshing homage to the bounty of nature, untethered from the potential turbulence of alcohol.

11. Gin-Free Tom Collins

A symphony of bright lemon juice, a sweet kiss of sugar, and the effervescence of tonic water comes together to craft this gin-free classic.

You might consider a dash of lemon-lime soda for an additional twist of complexity. It’s the past revisited, the charm of a bygone time revisited, with all the crispness, clarity, and poise but none of the fuzziness.

12. Virgin Margarita

Here lies a drink that brings all the mirth and celebration of the classic Margarita but leaves behind the risks. The vibrant tang of lime juice waltzes with the sweet notes of agave; all brought to a crescendo by a lively topping of soda.

Finished with a salt-rimmed glass and a lime wedge garnish, this virgin margarita is the embodiment of festivity, freeing you to engage in every shared laugh, every magical moment, clear-headed and fully present.

As we sip on these non-alcoholic versions, we relish in the freedom to savor the moment fully, sharing in the laughter, the stories, and the camaraderie while embracing the allure of a clear mind and the promise of a beautiful morning.

DIY Non-Alcoholic Concoctions

You don’t need to wait for the bar to awaken your inner mixologist. The home bar can be as enchanting as any high-end establishment, a space where you can unleash your creativity and craft beverages that resonate with your taste, mood, and ambiance. With a well-stocked pantry of mixers and flavors, the possibilities are as boundless as your imagination.

Introduce Aplós functional spirits into your home bar repertoire, and let the magic unfold. Let the evening unwind slowly and wonderfully with our soothing hemp-infused Calme, or come alive with our invigorating adaptogen-blended Arise for a night of easy conversation and allure.

Blending wellness with luxury through botanical inspiration, our spirits are the foundation upon which you can build your perfect non-alcoholic beverage, designed to instill the same sense of social ease, relaxation, or upliftment you might seek from alcohol, depending on the vibe you are seeking.

Explore our functional cocktail recipes for inspiration, or create your own magical concoctions. Set out your sparkling water, orange twists, cranberry juice, lemon wedges, iced teas — any ingredients beckoning to you and matching your aspirations, moment to moment.

From an Aplós-infused Negroni to an adaptogen-teeming Arise spritzer, there are landscapes of flavor awaiting your exploration.

The Bottom Line

Whether you're a regular imbiber looking for alternatives, someone who has always preferred an alcohol-free lifestyle, or are only recently looking to cut back or stop drinking alcohol, you don’t need to say goodbye to your favorite cocktails completely. Non-alcoholic drinks offer something for everyone, representing a world of flavor and a philosophy of balance, mindfulness, and genuine enjoyment.

With Aplós functional spirits, you can experience wellness, luxury, and sophistication without compromise. It's a testament to the belief that you can engage fully with life, celebrating its beauty and nuance, and still wake up the next day feeling not just well but better.

A toast, then, to this recalibrated way of living. Enjoy the journey, for it is brimming with promise and potential.


Why Is Alcohol Measured by Proof? | Britannica

Alcohol's Effects on the Body | NIH

What are Adaptogens & Types | Cleveland Clinic

A Brief History of the Cocktail That Started It All: The Old-Fashioned | Provi

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