With the sobercurious movement gaining significant ground, more and more people are (when it comes to drinks) opting for the teetotaller-friendly alternative — whether in the name of virtuous health or simply to drink a little less. So, if you too find yourself on this bandwagon, or somehow at the mercy of Dry July, and it’s a delicious, alcohol-free drink you’re seeking, we have rounded up the best non-alcoholic cocktails in Auckland. So good, in fact, that you’ll never miss the real thing.
Passionstar Martini from Soul Bar & Bistro
Leave it to this grand old dame to concoct what might just be the drink of Dry July — a sober flip on this most loved cocktail. Soul’s Passionstar Martini marries London Dry, passionfruit and pineapple with whites and bubbles for a sweet and delicious sip that calls you back for another round.
Lyre’s Enzoni from Hotel Ponsonby
While we’d much rather be living out our European Summer mood board, drinking one too many of these in the motherland, Ada’s version is sans-alcohol, which feels surprisingly more uplifting than one would think. For those unfamiliar, the Enzoni is a distant cousin of the Negroni and the Gin Sour, with the vermouth component removed and replaced with fresh muddled grapes — delightfully summery, we think.
Café Martini from The Sugar Club
When craving an espresso martini and a simple coffee won’t do, we’d suggest a heavy hand from The Sugar Club‘s talented mixologists. Café Martini is this bastion’s take; using Lyre’s Coffee Originale in place of Kahlua, with Lyre’s White Cane and an additional espresso shot to help you summon the necessary strength.
Virgin Yuzu & Passionfruit Margarita from Masu
When cutting back the alcohol, there are fewer things we find ourselves sad to part with than a classic margarita, and slightly less so their spiced counterpart. Refreshingly tart and vibrantly hued, the Virgin Yuzu & Passionfruit Margarita from Nic Watts’s Masu presents as a tantalising twist on a classic cocktail. Boasting a blend of Lyre’s Agave Reserva Spirit and Lyre’s Orange Sec, the mocktail is elevated with the addition of passionfruit, yuzu, chamomile and vanilla, resulting in a sip that’s both sophisticated and satisfying.
Aperol Spritz from Andiamo
Effervescent and effusive, the Aperol Spritz has become the quintessential sip of summer we still crave, even now. With its incomparable hue and distinctive blend of bitter orange, rhubarb and herbs, Andiamo‘s non-alcoholic take on this Italian aperitif is the perfect choice for those seeking a refreshing and sophisticated libation (or observant children hoping to imitate their parents).
Amaretto Sour from Depot
Al Brown’s Depot has made a virtuous take on this crowd favourite. Employing Lyre’s Amaretti, for a spirit that could almost be mistaken for its alcoholic counterpart, and the necessary lemon juice and sugar syrup, aquafaba (read: chickpea brine) is used here as a foamy egg white substitute, making it a mixture for all.
Very Cranberry from Captain’s Bar
In the heart of Park Hyatt, the chic and always cosy Captain’s Bar has long catered to our libations. Very Cranberry introduces the beloved Seedlip Grove 42, contrasting with sweet cranberry juice and fragrant orange and thyme syrup.
Peach Me from Sìso
While some non-alcoholic cocktails earn a reputation for being far too sweet, Sìso finds the perfect balance. Their hero, Peach Me, marries yellow peach and white peach for a naturally light and slightly summery drink, and the addition of soda keeps the finish fresh and crisp. A welcome addition to any long lunch.
Sbagliato Royale from Brolly
At this intimate little spot at Viaduct Harbour (seriously, with four tables, it is easy to miss), we’ve discovered some of the best beverages in the City. From the same minds as Parasol & Swing, the menu at Brolly is unpretentious and accommodating. The royales have a little bubble; all can be served sans alcohol. Spagliato sees the rich notes of shakerato cordial and fruit soda’s welcoming fizz collide in a guilt-free drink that always draws you back for seconds.
Ohana from Talulah
When nothing but island vibes will do, resident tiki bar Talulah always comes through. Here, the poolside-inspired cocktails have been given a teetotalling twist, with the Ohana being a seriously drinkable drop. Almost similar to a Mai Tai, the Ohana is a delightful blend of orange, cranberry, lime, orgeat, soda and sugar, served atop a bed of ice and all the necessary tropical garnishes.
Kawakawa & Seedlip Grove from Amano
Sure, we go to Amano for the food but let it be known (if you didn’t already) that their bar always provides. Harnessing Seedlip’s frighteningly close range of non-alcoholic gins, the mocktail menu here is something to be revered. Our favourite draws on the native flavours of kawakawa and the tartness of lemon and finds a fun layer of foam from egg white (which can be omitted for any vegans in the room).
Tommy’s Nagarita from Ahi
At Ahi, the tremendous talents behind the bar have answered a need with the addition of Tommy’s Na-Garita (who Tommy is, we’re not quite sure, but we are endlessly grateful). Employing Lyre’s Agave Spirit, which we’ve been told is as close to tequila as the real thing, this non-alcoholic cocktail has enough lime to make you squirm and a little orange bitters for good measure.