The N/A-Ha! Moment

We asked top bar pros about their nonalcoholic “A-ha!” moments. Here are the sips that convinced them a drink doesn’t need to be stiff to be stunning.

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Dark purple nonalcoholic cocktail in stemmed glass with flower petal and mint garnish.
Zero-proof drinks can be just as delicious (and beautiful) as boozy beverages. / Darian Shantay

“We had a drink on our first menu at Death & Co. called the King Palm. It was a coconut-y martini. This was the first one I ever tasted where I was like, ‘Oh, wow.’ It had kefir whey, coconut water, pineapple syrup, and cinnamon syrup, and it was stirred. It was just delightful.” —Alex Jump, head bartender at Death & Co., Denver

“When I had my first sip of a Grüvi IPA, I was like, ‘What is this? This is so good!’ I’m all about that Grüvi. It changed the game for me; it gave me so much hope.” —Brandon Anamier, bartender at Number Thirty Eight, Denver

“I think it was probably a year and a half into my sobriety—I went into a nice restaurant and saw nonalcoholic drinks and was ecstatic. I got to drink something fun and exciting and new, and it had all sorts of different flavor complexities to it. I was like, ‘Thank God! I don’t have to drink cranberry and soda water.’” —Ross Martin, co-owner of the National, Telluride

“When I was pregnant, I wanted something that was satisfying, and Seedlip was able to offer that. I had a bloody mary made with Seedlip, and it scratched an itch that I had.” —Lindze Letherman, general manager of Hooch, Aspen

“When I started substituting cacao for coffee and saw that there are alternatives for everything.” —Jocasta Hanson, owner of Honey Elixir Bar, Denver

Also take a look at our feature, “Zero In,” a recipe for a zero-proof drink from Alex Jump, and info on Denver’s first sober bar.

Talk to us! Email your experiences (and thoughts, opinions, and questions—anything, really) to askus@diningout.com

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