— It’s hot, humid, and anyone who can swing it, has skipped town in
favor of the beach, a lake, or any available body of water. And, of course, drinking lots of cold, icy cocktails,
chilled rose, and cold beers. Sometimes, it’s good to take a night
off. That usually means depriving yourself and settling on a coke or
lemonade or fizzy water. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but
everyone’s getting creative with beverages these days, non-alcoholic
drinks included. In fact, some of the drinks on menus are the
mocktails. From the simple to the exotic, sweet to the savory, I scouted some of the most imaginative, booze-free beverages around.
The Standard Grill
848 Washington St., at W. 13th St.
Grill’s a great spot for dining al fresco beneath the city’s new High
Line Park. Apparently, a lot of people thinks so too, because it’s
perpetually packed. Try the grilled rainbow trout or the lamb chops.
If you’re taking the night off from drinking or going for lunch, they
make a wonderful Elderflower Spritz with elderflower syrup, club soda
and lots of lime juice. It’s a little like a virgin mojito, but so
21 E. 12th St., btwn. University Pl. & Fifth Ave.
Vietnamese bahn mi have taken New York by storm and this place is known for its unorthodox fillings like peppercorn catfish and coconut tiger shrimp. One step away from super sour and a good complement is the blood orange lemonade. It’s a deep orange color, and it’s the perfect balance of lemon and orange.
26 E. 17th St., @ Broadway
I love lunch at Dogmatic, especially in the summer. Their artisanal sausage baguettes go perfect with one of their housemade sodas. The coconut flavor is the one to get – fizzy and refreshing but still has a creamy coconut flavor.
Numerous locations in the city
Gray’s papaya drink is a hot dog institution. It’s almost as well known for it’s papaya drink, which tastes like a pina colada sans the alcohol. Therer’s other flavors too, like coconut champagne and banana daiquiri.
1 Central Park West
If you take advantage of Nougatine’s three course prix-fixe menu, make sure to tryone of their housemade sodas. All have sweet and spicy notes, but the chili lime outshines the rest. Just make sure to stir it before drinking, so you a little cayenne pepper kick in every sip. The fizziness helps to make this a perfect palate cleanser.
222 Waverly Pl., at Seventh Ave. S.
West Village falafel shop is renowned for its sabich and hummus
sandwiches, but the smoothies are often overlooked, which is a shame
because they’re unique and excellent. These aren’t your typical strawberry-banana drinks –flavors range from date-lime-banana to pear-mint-lemon. My favorite is the spicy cantaloupe-ginger. The
staff blends chunks of melon with ice and freshly grated ginger–that’s
it. It’s simple, cools down the body instantly, and leaves a slight
bite on the tongue.
225 W. 77th St., btwn. Broadway & Amsterdam Ave.
Vai is best known for its selection of wines, but don’t miss the “mocktails” on the menu, especially the Summer Punch. It’s made with cantaloupe puree, kiwi sorbet, lime juice and kiwi slices. The lime juice is the perfect foil for the cantaloupe and kiwi.
75 Thompson St., btwn. Spring & Broome Sts.
At this homey Japanese restaurant, dishes range from pizza toast to chicken fried rice wrapped in an omelet and smothered with white sauce. To offset all that comfort food, order the fresh-squeezed kiwi juice. It’s bright green and dotted with hundreds of crunchy seeds. No sugar is added, so all you’re getting is the bright and sweet-tart flavor of the kiwi itself.
100 W. Houston St., btwn. Thompson St. & LaGuardia Pl.
This perennial favorite brunch spot has an extensive, fruit-based drink selection. The passion fruit limeade sparkler is one of the most popular. Jane also serves several fruit-infused green teas like peach and watermelon. My favorite is watermelon.
24 E. 12th St., btwn. University Pl. & Fifth Ave.
The Toasted Marshmallow Milkshake tastes exactly like a liquefied toasted marshmallow. This this shake is topped with several, singed marshmallows, best saved until the end of a meal and scooped up with a spoon.
Build a Green Bakery
223 First Ave., btwn. E. 13th & E. 14th Sts.
a huge tank of raspberry lemonade at the counter of this organic bakery
and it’s worth getting a glass. This bright pink lemonade is fresh
squeezed everyday, not too sweet but sweet enough with fresh
raspberries floating on top. Of course, they’re perfect with a coconut
cookie, which balances the tartness of the lemonade.