A glass of lemonade with a lime slice and cucumber on a sunny table, with a red textured wall behind...

Nylon Nights

The Best Zero-Proof Cocktails In New York City Right Now

They’re no longer just an afterthought (or a seltzer with lime).

by Tim Latterner

Mocktails used to, deservedly, have a pretty bad reputation. They were saccharine at best and just plain orange juice with a lime wedge at worst. Today, bartenders are changing the playbook for teetotalers with “zero-proof cocktails” that can demonstrate the same level of craftsmanship that go into their boozy counterparts — so long as you know where to look.

To assemble this list of the very best mocktails, we selected drinks that balance an interesting recipe with a fun environment (because abstaining from the hard stuff doesn’t mean giving up on good vibes). Our picks also have to be made with care, even if the ingredients are simple. With those criteria in mind, see the best non-alcoholic drinks in New York City right now, whether you’re off the stuff completely or just need a night to dry out.

Eel Bar’s Aperitivo

Eel Bar

Eel Bar is coming out of the gate strong. The team behind Cervo’s opened the bar on June 20, and it’s already persistently packed. The whole ethos seems to be around cutting out the fussy features, and to that end, the best zero-proof option on the menu is the Aperitivo. It’s a simple mix of Martini & Rossi Vibrante — a non-alcoholic answer to Aperol — club soda, and an orange peel. I prefer this to most of the watery Aperol spritzes I’ve ever had.

Superbueno’s La Shamami

Matt Taylor Gross

Superbueno is already on our list of the top (alcoholic) cocktails in New York, and they’ve put the same level of work into their zero-proof menu. The options change frequently, but the La Shamami caught my eye immediately. It’s a blend of Almave Ambar, an agave-based faux spirit; cucumber agua fresca; jasmine; and Mineragua sparkling water. If your drink of choice is tequila or mezcal, go with this option that’s light, a little sweet, and fun.

Orion Bar’s Cosmic Spritzer

Orion Bar

At Orion Bar in Bushwick, chef Irene Yoo is having fun playing with her menu. The colors are bright, there are bendy straws, and one drink comes in a SPAM can. The non-alcoholic options are just as refreshing — they just added the Cosmic Spritzer to the menu, which is a refreshing riff on a highball made from perilla, yuja, ginger, and green plum.

Le Dive’s Citron Pressé

Le Dive is all about being seen with your cocktail, and the Citron Pressé is worth being seen with. The bubbly, lemongrass-infused drink tastes like an elevated lemonade, which pairs well with oysters — and a side of people-watching.

Dante West Village’s Espresso Shakerato


This is the replica everyone wants: an espresso martini that feels like a fun party-girl drink (circa 2022) with no hangover risk. In many ways, this version tastes better than any normal espresso martini because it’s made with fresh espresso that’s also combined with Three Spirits “Nightcap,” Lyre’s Coffee liqueur, and rose water. NB: This has the same amount of caffeine, if not more, with none of the vodka to dull it, so you’ll be bouncing off the walls if you have this at 10 p.m.

American Bar’s Jablonski Spritz

It’s summertime —  just get the spritz. The Jablonski is a zero-proof version of the Aperol Spritz, made with Martini & Rossi Vibrante and French Bloom, a zero-percent rosé. It tastes light and fresh, and comes with a fistful of ice to slosh around the glass just like its spirited counterpart.

Milady’s Window Treatment

Milady’s used to be a dive until it got a glow-up in 2022. Now, the uniquey tangy Window Treatment can be found under the “Low and No Proof” section of the menu, so it’s important to specify that you’re looking for the basil, hibiscus, lime, and tonic concoction to be made without booze.

Bar Belly’s Nojito

Bar Belly doesn’t take itself too seriously, and my favorite drink here is the Nojito. This mojito replica is still cooling with mint and citrus verjus, but with a dash of passionfruit for an even more tropical feel. Get a dozen oysters alongside, and use the dive-y environment as a way to get out of the sun for a few hours.

Sugar Monk’s Ba-lue Bolivar

Sugar Monk has dozens of interesting cocktails on the menu, but their zero-proof ones are perhaps the most impressive. The Ba-lue Bolivar delivers a mix of Seedlip Spice, grape, green apple, and lemon, but to balance out the sweetness, cinnamon and patchouli are also added. The drink ends up tasting like a spiced baked apple or pie in the best of ways.

Mar's Another Tim Drink

I ordered my first one on a trip to Mar’s in Astoria because it has my name in the title. I ordered the next three because they’re delicious. Made from rooibos chai, hibiscus, cranadine, and lime, the flavors end up being smooth and light from the tea but with a little jolt of sour from the lime. It’s like the summertime version of tea, honey, and lemon.