Find Great Mocktails and Low-ABV Drinks in Denver

BY Steph Wilson

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As Denver basks in the first hints of spring a refreshing wave of mixology beckons the curious and the connoisseur alike. Gone are the days when abstaining from a cocktail meant settling for a soda or a lemonade. Now, anyone can get a low-ABV or zero-proof masterpiece.

In fact, the Mile High City’s cocktail scene shines with innovation for the sober, the sober curious, and those dabbling in the damp lifestyle movement. In Denver bartenders are rising to the occasion, crafting a low-ABV cocktail or mocktail with the care, complexity, and creativity traditionally reserved for their high-octane counterparts. Here are five must-visit spots where you can indulge in a concoction that promises full flavor without the full-proof punch. Go, taste for yourself and understand that less really can be more.

Honey Elixir Bar 

The key ingredient in the Downtown bar’s low-ABV cocktail program is jun, a fermented drink similar to kombucha that uses green tea and honey as the base and carries about 3- to 4-percent alcohol. The jun gets sourced from a local maker who infuses the brews with medicinal herbs and superfoods to create the bar’s intricate elixirs. For example, Ling’s Ecstasy, which packs an uplifting punch with sassafras, ashwagandha, tribulus, damiana, and saw palmetto. There’s also a large zero-proof section of the menu under the banner of Potions and Cacao. 2635 Walnut St. #104, Denver, honeyelixirbar.com

Poka Lola Social Club

green cocktails with clouds
Poka Lola always has craft, zero-proof cocktails on the menu like You’re a Mean One from the holiday season. | Photo by Poka Lola Social Club

Nestled into the lobby of the Maven Hotel, the downtown bar offers an elegant perch perfect for a before or after dinner cocktail. On the low-ABV section of the menu,  three options get highlighted. One is the Amaro Collins, made with a Montenegro-Averna blend, citrus, and soda. Of course if you want to deviate from the regular menu, the bartenders can shake up a mocktail or something low in alcohol tailored to your liking. The Maven Hotel, 1850 Wazee St., Denver, pokaloladenver.com

Rooted Craft Kitchen

Light Libations is the name of the low-ABV menu at this Highland spot, which took over the FnG space last year. Here, thoughtful cocktails deliver layers of balanced, cravable flavors. We’re particularly fond of the Peary St. Sangria, a delicate dance of fruit, white wine, elderflower liqueur, and orange. On the mocktail side, Straw N Peppa playfully muddles strawberry with black pepper, red wine vinegar and soda water. 3940 W. 32nd Ave., Denver, rootedcraftkitchen.com 

Room For Milly 

four green chairs in front of bar with mural
Room For Milly has a beautiful bar. | Photo by David Lauer Photography

Whether drinking a glass of wine, boozy cocktail or zero-proof tipple, this LoHi spot is an absolute dream to be in. Take a seat at the bar and ponder the intricate mural while waiting for a low-ABV spritz such as the Sunnyside (St. Germain, cucumber, lime, mint, and prosecco). Or, score a velvet chair by a low table and order the bottomless truffle popcorn and The Clara, a zero-proof cocktail featuring Seedlip Spice 94 and tonic. 1615 Platte St. Suite 145, Denver, roomformilly.com

EDGE Restaurant & Bar

Many people overlook The Four Seasons Hotel for a casual drink. Don’t, it’s the perfect place to grab a drink before or after any show at the Denver Center of Performing Arts, even if said tipple is low in alcohol. Try the At First Sight, a low-ABV option that fuses Lillet Rose, St. Germain, Haku vodka, and fresh lemon juice to create a complex and floral drink. For a zero -proof mocktail, the Plum Spice Collins hits all the right notes without any of the booze. In the Four Seasons Hotel Denver, 1111 14th St., Denver, edgerestaurantdenver.com

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Steph Wilson

Steph Wilson is a writer, editor, and creative maximalist in Denver. She makes magazines for a living and throws color around the world like confetti for fun.

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