We’re over two weeks into Dry January: The holiday hangovers have long worn off, the 2020 election looms ever closer, and your resolve is fading. Check out these Seattle mocktail spots before you do something rash, like drink an O’Doul’s.
The cocktail list at this Fremont speakeasy—which is actually more like a nice jazz bar disguised as a dive—is overwhelming. The mocktail list is decidedly less-so: a nice “Not Toddy;” a housemade ginger ale complete with Angostura bitters; a sober-classic bitters and soda. But for $7 and a little faith, your bartender will mix up the mocktail of your dreams. Yes, it’s secretly an option at most cocktail bars, but Backdoor has institutionalized it. And, for that, we thank them.
Nobody said anything about cutting out weed. Swing by the Seattle-based CBD soda maker’s Belltown “Experience Center” for some genuinely interesting sounding mocktails, mixed with the company’s ginger, lime, and cola bases (which you can also grab in can and growler form). Lime pairs with lemon and butterfly pea flower simple syrup; cola with cold brew and cinnamon. Drink names are all in lowercase: a reminder that you’re about to be extremely chill.
This cool vegan bar, co-owned by KEXP DJ John Richards and three other Seattle music industry veterans, occasionally lets you contribute to the day's soundtrack with a pick from a wall of records. You’ll probably make a better choice sober. The menu’s got a few non-alcoholic mainstays, made with various Som-brand vinegar cordials born of the trend toward craftier alcohol-free drinks; look out for some new no-proof options in honor of the month’s festivities. Bartenders here will also mix up whatever you like (if they approve of the album you picked).
If you’ve got Instagram, you’ve probably seen Seedlip, a non-alcoholic spirit (with excruciatingly aesthetic packaging) that claims to be the first in the world. You’ve probably also wondered what the hell a non-alcoholic spirit is. In Northgate, of all places, you can find out. The Watershed Pub serves two Seedlip-based mocktails: one with Spice 94, “a complex blend of aromatic Jamaican allspice berry and cardamom distillates,” the other with Garden 108, which combines “traditional garden herb distillates” with peas and hay. Does being desperate to know what that tastes like count as sober curious?
This Capitol Hill French-Northwest restaurant, named for the humble sea urchin, has a strong selection of drinks “sans alcool” that are Dry January weak without being feeble. Take “Le Squirt," a combo of lemon, pink peppercorn, cinnamon, and grapefruit that’s more complex, but not totally divorced from the yellow soda can its name suggests. Here's the best part: Despite the fact that this restaurant is lightyears fancier than most of the bars, pubs, and chain coffee purveyors on this list, its mocktails are actually a reasonable mocktail price.
This isn’t some joke about how lattes technically count as mocktails in Seattle. Unless...? While you think on that, rejoice: Our benevolent caffeine overlords, from the Capitol Hill Mixology Bar on high, have graced us with several mocktail creations. The Emerald City Mule, as is appropriate for a place buzzing with tourists, includes both apple and cold brew; if that’s a little too on-the-nose, the tea-based Citrus Mint Tonic is so shaken and muddled you’ll forget it’s a fake.
This award-winning Belltown bar always has a couple of clever non-alcoholic options on its biannually rotating menu, so you’ll never get too jealous of all the boozers whose tiki mugs are literally on fire—you’ll have to Google your drink’s ingredients just as often as they will. In a Dry January partnership with non-alcoholic spirit brand Seedlip, Navy Strength is temporarily bolstering its mocktail menu with four additional spirit-based concoctions, including co-owner Chris Elford's "Hollow Trance," which matches Seedlip Spice 94 with cinnamon, citrus, and fresh coconut water. Cheers to your health.