Attempting a Dry January? Here Are 8 Phoenix Spots for Mocktails and Alcohol Alternatives

Bri Valdivia
The mocktail at The Gladly.
Going to a bar or restaurant boasting a big list of fancy cocktails can be a bummer if you're the designated driver, adhering to a resolution, or just not drinking. If it seems like everyone else is happily sipping down Manhattans and sangria while you're stuck stirring an RC Cola, don't fret. We've hunted down mocktails and alcohol alternatives available at various Valley establishments. Here's what we recommend.

The Gladly

2201 East Camelback Road

The Gladly provided an important lesson: Don't be coy about ordering a mocktail. If you hem and haw about "something nice to drink that feels fancy but doesn't have alcohol ..." you'll get a confused look and offer of lemonade. Put on your grown-up voice, firmly ask for a mocktail, and you'll be rewarded with ambrosia. Seriously, The Gladly mocktail tastes just like grown-up Ambrosia Punch. It's lightly effervescent and citrusy with a sweet, sorbet-like finish.

click to enlarge Fresh Fruit Press makes for a refreshing alternative at Yucca Tap Room. - BRI VALDIVIA
Fresh Fruit Press makes for a refreshing alternative at Yucca Tap Room.
Bri Valdivia

Yucca Tap Room

29 West Southern Avenue, Tempe

There is no official mocktail at Yucca, but they do have a full bar and knowledgeable staff. When asked about a mocktail, Yucca suggested the Fresh Fruit Press, which has ingredients that vary based on what's on hand. Typically, the press includes cucumber, lemon, lime, and orange muddled together and topped off with soda water. The result is a light and refreshing mocktail that is super-hydrating.

Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlour

1 West Jefferson Street

Yeah, this downtown cocktail lounge is where you’ll go for extremely inventive drinks, but did you know part of the circus-themed menu at Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlour is dedicated to alcohol-free offerings? There’s the Nada Colada, or an alcohol-free version of the famed Coupette Colada. There’s also the sweet and spicy Miss Nightingale (a sparkling mix of hibiscus, sage, and cinnamon), the refreshing Cucumber Spritzer, and the Storms a Brewin’ for anyone in need of some late-night caffeine.

click to enlarge Shirley Temple Lite for the small appetite and Italian Soda for a robust beverage at Cornish Pasty. - BRI VALDIVIA
Shirley Temple Lite for the small appetite and Italian Soda for a robust beverage at Cornish Pasty.
Bri Valdivia

Cornish Pasty Co.

Multiple Locations

Walking into a pub and asking for a nonalcoholic mixed drink can be intimidating, but the results here are downright adorable. At Cornish, the Shirley Temple Lite and Italian Soda both have a soda base plus your choice of grenadine or cherry juice. The Italian Soda has the addition of heavy cream, which takes the whole affair to a robust new level. Italian Sodas take a little longer to make, but are well worth the wait. You'll feel like you're in a soda shop, but with more heavy metal.

Bar Bianco

609 East Adams Street

Bar Bianco has a full mocktail menu that doesn't settle for ditching the alcohol from classic recipes. Instead, many of its cocktails contain Seedlip nonalcoholic spirits and house-made syrups. The Vinifera Spice is a lightly sweet and citrusy concoction. Mariposa Milk has a strong herbal flavor with a citrus finish. In fact, out of all the options on this list, the Mariposa Milk has a taste that most closely resembles drinking a regular cocktail. Bar Bianco not only provides the pleasing visual component of a cocktail, but also a decent facsimile of the flavor.

click to enlarge The ruby-red Desert Smash. - BLUE CLOVER DISTILLERY
The ruby-red Desert Smash.
Blue Clover Distillery

Blue Clover Distillery

7042 East Indian School Road, Scottsdale

It can be hard not to drink in Scottsdale for many reasons, but Blue Clover Distillery is there for you. The boutique Old Town distillery has the Desert Smash on menu, a mocktail made of POM Wonderful pomegranate juice, plus cranberry and pineapple juice, fresh citrus, and an orange garnish. The result is a ruby red little treat.

Giving Tree Cafe

2024 North Seventh Street, #111

Those hoping for some Vitamin A with their cocktail can hit the patio at Giving Tree Café — the vegan-friendly cafe found along the lower Seventh Street dining corridor. Here, order the Electric Sapphire — which looks just like it sounds. The bright blue drink is a blend of spirulina with coconut water, aloe vera, and a dash of stevia. And it makes a wild, deep-blue scene.

click to enlarge The Lost in Paradisa mocktail. - SUSHI ROKU SCOTTSDALE
The Lost in Paradisa mocktail.
Sushi Roku Scottsdale

Sushi Roku at W Scottsdale

7277 East Camelback Road, Scottsdale

Sushi Roku eventually rolled out an entire mocktail menu. These handcrafted, alcohol-free drinks have names like the Zen Garden and the Coco Loco. But that Lost in Paradise looks the most appealing, with serrano jalapeños, orgeat, lemon, pineapple, passion fruit, and Organics by Red Bull Ginger. While these may still have the sugar, they certainly won't have you hungover.

Editor's note: This story was originally published on February 1, 2019. It was updated on January 6, 2021.