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Non-alcoholic 'mocktails' in NYC: The what, the where, the how

Chances are you or someone you know are currently doing a "dry January" -- the annual non-alcoholic cleanse to reboot after the holidays.

However gimmicky, the month-long purge is not without its benefits: A recent experiment by New Scientist staffers led by Rajiv Jalan at the Institute for Liver and Digestive Health at University College London Medical School found that among those who abstained from alcohol for five weeks, liver fat fell by an average of 15% and blood glucose levels fell on average 16% -- factors that can help prevent liver damage and Type 2 diabetes, respectively.

Participants also saw a drop in total blood cholesterol, lost weight and slept better.

There's never been a better time for teetotalers, either, as non-alcoholic cocktails, or "mocktails," have been a growing trend in New York City's restaurant and bar scene, from health-centric juice bars like Rouge Tomate to mixologists game to experiment.

"Both soft cocktails and aperitifs are pretty popular right now," said Chris Lowder, bar manager at the NoMad Bar, who's also seen a huge push in tea and bitters and sodas this month. "Whether you're in the mood to drink or not, a [soft cocktail] can be really satisfying."

Going dry? here's where to imbibe in your next booze-free drink:

NoMad Bar's basil-fennel soda

The NoMad Hotel-attached bar has inherited a tradition
Photo Credit: Meredith Deliso

The NoMad Hotel-attached bar has inherited a tradition of "soft cocktails," which bar director Leo Robitschek brought over from Eleven Madison Park. Four are currently on the menu, including the popular basil-fennel soda, an elevated lemonade made with fresh lime, lemon, soda and a housemade basil fennel syrup. $8.

WHERE: 10 W. 28th St.

CONTACT: 212-796-1500, Thenomadhotel.com

The NoMad Bar's basil-fennel soda.
Photo Credit: Meredith Deliso

The NoMad Bar's basil-fennel soda.

Carmine's Frankie "Blue Eyes"

Though made with kids at your table in
Photo Credit: Carmine's

Though made with kids at your table in mind, Carmine's mocktails are popular among adults too. Currently on the menu is the Frankie "Blue Eyes," a blueberry-lime soda. $5.50.

WHERE: Multiple locations

CONTACT: Carmines.com

Carmine's Little Miss Fruit Punch

Another Carmine's mocktail, the Little Miss Fruit Punch,
Photo Credit: Carmine's

Another Carmine's mocktail, the Little Miss Fruit Punch, comprised of orange and pineapple juice, raspberry and soda.

Saxon + Parole's Bowery Punch and Bell Pepper Lemonade

You have your pick of non-alcoholic cocktails at
Photo Credit: Lizzie Starr

You have your pick of non-alcoholic cocktails at Saxon + Parole, which has an award-winning cocktail program. Drinks feature house-made shrub, celery bitters and fresh fruits and veggies. Highlights include the bell pepper lemonade, made with fresh red bell pepper, lemon juice, chili tincture and Perrier, and the Bowery Punch, comprised of freshly pressed pineapple and orange juices, ginger syrup, lime and nutmeg. $8.

WHERE: 316 Bowery

CONTACT: 212-254-0350, Saxonandparole.com

Saxon + Parole's cucumber and thyme fizz

Another of Saxon + Parole's non-alcoholic offerings, the
Photo Credit: Lizzie Starr

Another of Saxon + Parole's non-alcoholic offerings, the cucumber and thyme fizz.

Public's Orchard Spritz

Saxon + Parole's sister restaurant Public is also
Photo Credit: Lizzie Starr

Saxon + Parole's sister restaurant Public is also a fan of the non-alcoholic cocktail, serving up the Orchard Spritzer (pear puree, agave, lemon and club soda), Cucumber and Thyme Fizz (fresh cucumber, lime, thyme and club soda) which is also served at Saxon + Parole, and Andy Ricker's Pok Pok Pineapple Drinking Vinegar, topped with soda. $7.

WHERE: 210 Elizabeth St.

CONTACT: 212-343-7011, Public-nyc.com

Ocean Grill

Under
Photo Credit: Google

Under "refreshers" on its beverage menu, the Upper West Side seafood restaurant Ocean Grill offers two special non-alcoholic sips: The Lemon n' Pear, made with pear puree, fresh lemon juice, simple syrup and garnished with tarragon, and the Upper West Cider, comprised of apple cider, lemon juice, peppercorn syrup and soda water, garnished with a dehydrated apple ring. $5.

WHERE: 384 Columbus Ave.

CONTACT: 212-579-2300, Oceangrill.com

Rouge Tomate's Hemingway's Garden mocktail recipe

Rouge Tomate is at the forefront of the
Photo Credit: Cody Rasmussen

Rouge Tomate is at the forefront of the city's non-alcoholic cocktail scene. Unfortunately, the sustainable health food restaurant is currently closed as it moves to a new Chelsea location, so there won't be any mocktails from the juice bar until the fall. But beverage director Pascaline Lepeltier shared a recipe for one of its seasonal combinations for you to make at home.


Hemingway's Garden

1 1/2 oz. kale juice
1 oz. pineapple juice
1 oz. cucumber juice
1/4 oz. lemon juice
1/4 oz. agave syrup
5 cilantro leaves

To make the juices (kale, pineapple, cucumber): blend each and strain. For the kale juice, add one cup of water before blending. In a mixing glass, muddle the cilantro. Add all other ingredients. Shake with ice. Strain and pour in a chilled large water glass half filled with fresh ice.

Optional Pineapple Foam: Fill a pastry syphon with pineapple juice. Charge it with 2 chargers. Use a spoon to make sure the white foam does not interfere with the green juice.

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