13 DC-Area Bars and Restaurants With Great Nonalcoholic Cocktails

Stick to your Dry January goals with more than a fancy lemonade.

Non-alcoholic espresso martinis are on offer at Michele's. Photograph courtesy of Michele's.

Thankfully, Dry January no longer has to mean sticking to club soda—or abstaining altogether—at the city’s best bars. As these sophisticated offerings illustrate, there’s never been a better time for nonalcoholic cocktails in DC. 



1522 Wisconsin Ave., NW

This Georgetown neo-bistro serves intriguing spirit-free cocktails like the Non 4 New York Sour (featuring beet, hojicha, and tamari) and The Other Side (made from concord grape-plum shrub, orgeat, and NA vermouth). You can also for a nonalcoholic beverage pairing to go with the four-course tasting menu—think de-alcoholized sparkling rosé and Swedish cider with wild sloe berry.


Binge Bar

506 H St., NE

Dry January is sure to be a busy month at DC’s first fully booze-free bar, which opened last year on H Street. The cocktail menu, with options like the Green Apple Mule and Espresso Martini Raspadura, leans on zero-proof spirits made by Bare, and there’s also a lengthy menu of nonalcoholic beer and wine. 


The Green Zone

2226 18th St., NW

Inspired by a region where many don’t drink for religious reasons, this Middle Eastern cocktail bar serves a variety of nonalcoholic drinks along with its boozy Levantine- and Iraqi-inspired creations. Mint lemonade, traditional date and carob-based jallab, and a zero-proof Garibaldi cocktail (Stappi Bitter Red Soda and orange juice) are among your choices here. 



1906 14th St., NW

When chef Ryan Ratino’s modern bistro reopens from a holiday break on January 11, check out the nonalcoholic section of the high-concept Myths & Legends cocktail menu from Sara Chaudhuri, Will Patton, and Bazil Zarinsky. The Citronnade à la Menthe combines a cardamom-lemon cordial with mint and lees, and the Cherry Old Fashioned combines Lyre’s malty NA bourbon with orgeat and bitters. 



501 9th St., NW

José Andrés’s ambitious booze laboratory offers several booze-free creations that rely on NA spirits from Seedlip and Lyre’s. The Ticket to Nowhere, for one, combines the gin-like, botanical Seedlip Garden with ginger, citrus, vanilla, and herbs like cilantro and Thai basil. 



1201 K St., NW

At chef Matt Baker’s hotel brasserie in the Eaton DC, Dry January adherents can sip drinks like the Red With Envy—Ritual zero-proof rum, NA aperitif, cranberry pink peppercorn soda, and rosemary—or the Warm & Fuzzy—Ritual rum, pear shrub, lemon, and soda.



974 Palmer Alley, NW

This stylish Italian restaurant recently added five seasonal  cocktails without alcohol to its beverage program. The Energia mixes green-tea syrup with lemon and soda, and the bright-red Ciliegia, resembling a Campari soda, combines cherry and pomegranate with herbal lemongrass. 



100 District Square, SW

Beverage director Rachid Hdouche captures Levantine flavors in the spirit-free bottled drinks at the Manhattan Lebanese institution’s roomy Wharf outpost, including the Karkadih, a hibiscus and rosehip cordial, and the Levantine Lemonade with mint and fresh lemon juice.



2117 Crystal Dr., Arlington

The newest project from Enrique Limardo’s Seven Reasons Group, this whimsical diner near Amazon’s Crystal City headquarters has a vast menu with options for everyone, including a zero-proof piña colada and an NA lychee martini. 


Morris American Bar

1020 7th St., NW

Find a wealth of nonalcoholic options at this boldly pastel-colored watering hole neighboring the Washington Convention Center. Options include the Pomegranate Faux-jito (made with Seedlip Grove spirit) and the All Bubble Trouble (based on Ritual NA aperitif). Morris also mixes up low-alcohol concoctions featuring locally made Capitoline vermouths and aperitifs. 


Tail Up Goat

1827 Adams Mill Rd., NW

The eclectic Adams Morgan Mediterranean restaurant has always had an impressive drinks program, including nonalcoholic options like the Garibaldini—grapefruit, oleo-saccharum, and bright-red Stappi bitter soda—and the Antibiotic—lapsang souchang-infused verjus, honey, lemon, and ginger beer. You can also opt to pair Tail Up Goat’s tasting menu with a full-on flight of zero-proof cocktails. 


Busboys and Poets

Multiple locations

Andy Shallal’s veteran bookstore/coffee house, which now has eight locations across the DC area, has a “hold the booze” menu nearly as long as its cocktail list. The Self-Care is the Best Care combines prickly pear and pineapple juices with citrus, mint, and soda, while the Purple Haze blends lilac-hued butterfly pea flower tea with lemonade and lavender. 


Matt & Tony’s

1501 Mt Vernon Ave., Alexandria

The all-day Del Ray cafe and bar has a menu section titled “Spirit Free…but not Soulless,” which contains a range of cocktails based on zero-proof Seedlip spirits. The Hibiscus Spritz blends the botanical Seedlip Grove with Dhos NA gin, hibiscus, lemon, and de-alcoholized sparkling rosé.

Ike Allen
Assistant Editor