By Eric Twardzik
Little Donkey

Whether you’re committed to a dry January, are hoping to start the new year on a healthier note, or have your own reasons not to imbibe, your beverage options don’t have to end at soda and seltzer. Thanks to the mocktails offered at these venues, you can enjoy layered flavors and unique presentations sans intoxicating side effects.

A mocktail option isn’t always featured on the “Bookmark” menu at swanky Fenway lounge The Hawthorne, but staff are more than happy to whip up one of their zero-proof specialties at any time. Ask for a Sophisticated Lady made with cranberry, lime, and cucumber; a refreshing Archer featuring pineapple, lime, ginger, and mint; or a Carrie Swizzle, featuring cane syrup, lime juice, grapefruit juice, cinnamon, and mint leaves (it looks and tastes like a favorite tiki libation minus the rum).

Shore Leave

Shore Leave, the South End’s resident tiki bar, offers a trio of ambitious drinks made without a touch of rum (or any other spirit, for that matter). On Dry Land is an adaption of the Shore Leave house cocktail, only this iteration replaces the rum and madeira with tiki bitters and water while retaining the Angostura, molasses, and passionfruit. The horchata-inspired Fire Tamer swizzles a house-made ginger syrup with oat orgeat, coconut milk, and a rum barrel-aged maple syrup, while the Decepticon yields tropical flavors of pineapple, vanilla, cinnamon, and tiki bitters.

Non-imbibers at Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonnette’s eclectic Central Square restaurant Little Donkey won’t go thirsty thanks to the “Fancy Sodas” menu. These carbonated, spirit-free beverages include the spicy Just Dew It made with honeydew, serrano peppers, pineapple, and lime; and the punchy One in Two created with iced tea, lemon, spicy ginger shrub, and ginger beer.


Downtown supper club Yvonne’s serves some of the city’s best-looking drinks—with and without alcohol. The “Zero Proof” section of its cocktail menu features the Acqua Fresca with watermelon, lime, and soda in a highball glass garnished with basil; and the Strawberry Fields, served in an impressive hurricane glass filled with crushed ice, strawberry, coconut, green tea, and lime, plus an orchid garnish.

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