Wondering if people have any recommendations for restaurants or bars that serve great non-alcoholic cocktails, virgin drinks, mocktails, house made sodas, etc.
I'd be happy to hear about anything, from places that have interesting non-alcoholic cocktails explicitly on the menu, to bartenders who will create something interesting on request, to restaurants that happen to have some unusual non-alcoholic drinks on the menu.
I'll start out by giving a few of my favourites:
- Eastern Standard has several "mocktails" on the menu, including the excellent "Stormy Monday", which is lime juice, bitters and ginger beer.
- The bartenders at Grill 23 will make a terrific non-alcoholic mojito on request, giving it the same time and attention as the more expensive but equally labour intensive alcoholic version. So does the B-Side lounge. Many other places, even expensive restaurants such as the otherwise incredible L'Atelier de Joel Robouchon in New York make a terrible non-alcoholic mojito, I think because some bartenders resent the labour involved.
- Oishii Boston will make their "Shisojito" non-alcholic on request, and it's excellent --- soda water, yuzu-flavored honey, and muddled shiso leaf.
- Dali in Cambridge has excellent bottled Ginger Beer and an interesting house-made non-alcoholic sangria.
- Bartenders at Deep Elllum in Allston have made me a terrific non-gin fizz with a real raw egg and orange blossom water.
- Sol Azteca in Brookline and Newton has a terrific homemade lemonade, and will mix a very sour, not watered down, non-alcoholic margarita.
- Avila brews a phenomenal unsweetened lapsang souchong iced tea.
- I think it's from a mix, but the Stockyard in Brighton still makes a surprisingly tasty virgin frozen pina colada.
- L'Espalier has on the menu a blend of an interesting combination of pineapple juice and several herbs, among several other non-alcoholic drinks, none of which I can recall as particularly memorable.
- Boston Public Meat will make a calamansi soda on request, which is terrifically refreshing.
- Of course there are many Asian restaurants, particularly Vietnamese ones, which will make many drinks, such as salty limeade, that are effectively non-alcoholic cocktails, and some Thai places (such as Spice in Harvard Square) that will sometimes have unusual things such as the Thai basil seed drink.
I'd also be particularly interested to hear of any places that make even alcoholic margaritas right --- with fresh limes, hopefully the more bitter Mexican limes, crushed ice, good salt around the rim, no added sugar, and maybe even egg whites to add frothiness.
I might also add that while I like the thought behind the house made sodas at Myers + Chang, I've tried them all and don't like them --- I find them too sweet and flavourless. For the same reason, I think the only thing I've tried and haven't liked at Flour bakery is the raspberry lemonade.