Lose the Booze

Where to Find Nonalcoholic Drinks in Seattle

…And we don’t mean soda. Check out our list of five Seattle-area spots offering craft booze-free beverages.

By Amanda Zurita February 28, 2012

Housemade horchata is one of three agua fresca offerings at La Carta de Oaxaca.

There are times when one craves a handcrafted beverage masterpiece, but would prefer to avoid all things alcoholic. Such occasions might include pregnancy, bouts of religiousness, designated driver duty, or having already consumed a few too many. While there are many bars and restaurants in Seattle that will offer to fashion you a mocktail upon request, we’ve rounded up a list of places that have preemptively included fresh and creative booze-free beverages alongside their more spirited menu offerings.

La Carta de Oaxaca
Prefer to pass on one of La Carta’s 30-something tequila selections? No problem. The crowd-drawing Mexican restaurant has you covered with rotating agua frescas (literally, fresh waters) that include housemade horchata, hibiscus, and tamarind flavors. The horchata is the restaurant’s most popular, and our favorite as well. The staff begin preparing the creamy drink the night before it hits your table—rice is soaked in water overnight then blended with cinnamon and vanilla in the morning before just the right amount of sugar, walnuts, and cantaloupe are added. The result is a light but satisfying nutty drink with the perfect balance of melon and cinnamon flavors.

There are at least two craft mocktails on the menu at every Tom Douglas restaurant, but our favorite is the ginger mint spritzer at Douglas’s modern Mediterranean eatery. Made with fresh lemon and mint muddled into their house-made ginger syrup and soda, the refreshing concoction is topped with candied ginger and is so popular it’s available year-round.

Willows Inn
Lummi Island’s farm-to-table restaurant destination and bed-and-breakfast has an inspired substitute for food and wine pairings: food and juice pairings. Each of the five juices is fresh-pressed and expertly chosen to couple with your plate. Start with cucumber, described as very light and dry, like a sauvignon blanc, and make your way through apple, carrot, and huckleberry juices before finishing the evening with the ice wine–like elderflower juice.

One of the few Seattle spots to offer kombucha on tap, Capitol Hill’s day-to-night destination gets its kegs from farmer’s market staple CommuniTea. Though the fermented brew is legally categorized as an alcoholic beverage, its alcohol content is minimal at best. The green tea–based drink is available in two sizes at Oddfellows and is served straight up and icy cold.

Tamarind Tree
Offering three different non-alcoholic mojitos in addition to two other mocktails and an extensive list of fresh juices, this International District Vietnamese favorite (and its sister restaurant Long Provincial) is a booze avoider’s paradise. Our pick: the Asian Crushed with fresh Asian pears, lime juice, simple syrup, and soda is a fizzy and juicy mixture that’s just the right amount of sweet. Even better? It comes with a spoon for scooping out tasty pieces of pear.

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