There have been many libations that have enjoyed the limelight lately: craft beers, natural wines, and locally made gins among them.
However, there’s one category on restaurant drink menus that used to get little love but is fast gaining popularity among health-conscious Vancouverites and folks who won’t (or just don’t want to) drink alcohol: mocktails.
Several local restaurants have a full mocktail menu with expertly crafted selections that go far beyond the usual orange juice and soda. Here’s a nonexhaustive list of where you can find fine zero-proof beverages around town.
The Sandbar Seafood Restaurant
102–1535 Johnston Street, Granville Island
Located on Granville Island, this popular spot has a sizable mocktail list that will satisfy all types of taste buds. Go for the New Fashioned (brewed iced tea, lemon juice, cinnamon, simple syrup) if you’re feeling trendy; stay refreshed with its Seawall Sunset (pineapple juice, orange juice, soda water, and grenadine); or keep it simple with its Spritzer (mint, cucumber, simple syrup, lemon juice, lime juice, and soda water).
151 East Broadway
Pair your fare with one of Fable Diner’s nonalcoholic delights (assuming you’re not sipping on a milkshake, that is). Creative numbers like the Fabled Virgin (Bremner’s blueberry juice, Giffard pomegranate syrup, Cyoni fresh grapefruit juice, bitter envy, and soda) and Don’t Call Me Shirley (Chaser’s fresh orange, lemon, and pineapple juices, Giffard grenadine syrup, Angostura bitters, and ginger ale) are just some of the options.
Notch8 Restaurant and bar
900 West Georgia Street
Whoever said nonalcoholic drinks aren’t good probably doesn’t like desserts, either. Notch8 has some sweet spirit-free cocktails, including a Sparkling Blueberry Limade (fresh lime, blueberry syrup, and soda), Pekoe Refresher (fresh mint, handcrafted limade, and Fairmont’s Lot35 orange pekoe tea), and Mango Colada (fresh pineapple juice, mango purée, and coconut milk).
Hy’s Steakhouse and Cocktail Bar
637 Hornby Street
This classic restaurant has created several nonalcoholic refreshments on a menu named “Prohibition”. Try the Adelaide Sour (Seedlip Garden 108, aquafaba, and fresh lemon juice), Richmond Fizz (pomegranate and pineapple juices, falernum, and ginger beer), and the artisinally crafted Fentimans Botanically Brewed soft drinks (tonic water, rose lemonade, cherry cola, and ginger ale).
1038 Canada Place
This dining establishment has won all kinds of awards for its bar program and its bartenders, so it’s a no-brainer that its mocktail list would be just as winning. Check out spirit-free libations like the Heartwood (cedar, smoked alder, and birch saps), Not Yet (carrot, golden beet, ginger, and lemon), and the Nonhattan (Seedlip distilled nonalcoholic spirit, chai, North African spice, and black walnut).
Blossom Dim Sum and Grill
808 Bute Street
To go with your siu mai, har gao, grilled meat, and sushi at this East meets West eatery, try the Chrysanthemum Honey Cooler (chrysanthemum tea, honey, and water) or the Jasmine Lemonade (jasmine tea, lemon, and ginger).
1017 West Hastings Street
One of the most gorgeous rooms in the city also has some beautiful zero-proof drinks. We love the Lemon Sage with lavender and cucumber as well as the Cranberry Ginger with lemon and orgeat.
Lobby Lounge and Rawbar
1038 Canada Place Way
Grab a seat by the white Fazioli piano with walnut inlay, order some freshly made Ocean Wise sushi, and try a nonalcoholic sipper for a swish and delicious evening. Yuzu juice, pear green tea, basil, kombucha, and soda make up the Tang Dynasty; for something sunny, try the Cast Away: pineapple, coconut water, mint, and ginger honey.
Cactus Club Cafe
When a Bellini just won’t do, try a Hey Hibiscus, with the namesake ingredient, rose, ginger, white peach, lemon, and soda. Or opt for a Soul Revival, which is a mix of ginger beer, lime, mango, turmeric, jalapeño, and Thai basil.