Skip to content

Here's where to go for a 'mocktail crawl' in New West

Booze is not the only answer to a fun night out — here’s where you can clink a glass of mocktail in the city
Mocktail magic: El Santo staff pouring a Mangonada mocktail in a tajin-rimmed glass Photo Contributed

Being the designated driver at your weekend rager can be a bummer. But what if we said you don’t have to settle with a simple pop while your friends nurse a fancy Cosmopolitan?

A bunch of local restaurants in the city are offering a roster of drinks that provide the same creativity of cocktails minus the booze.

Imagine a Mojito without the white rum, Caesar without the vodka or a gin with zero percent alcohol.

“Not drinking alcohol should not compromise anyone’s experience as a guest,” said Alejandro Diaz, owner of El Santo, a Mexican restaurant in New West that has been experimenting with innovative mocktails at its bar counter.

The restaurant’s motto, he said, is to make everyone — those who prefer alcohol and those who don’t — comfortable.

El Santo is not the only eatery where someone could pass a shot of tequila for a fruity cocktail.

At Piva Modern Italian, you can order a creamsicle that’s all juice and cream without the vodka, and at Match Eatery & Public House, you can perch on a bar stool and confidently ask the bartender to stir up a virgin Mojito or Caesar for you.

Scroll down this list to plan your mocktail crawl in New West.

El Santo

The Mexican fusion restaurant that kickstarts its week with Margarita Mondays also boasts a long list of non-alcoholic drinks that are not just a ho-hum can of soda. Here, you can wash down a plate of tacos with a sweet and creamy rice-based traditional Mexican drink called Horchata, or a virgin Margarita/Mojito.

The eatery also has a trio of zero-proof cocktails such as: Mangonada — a mashup of mango nectar, passionfruit, lime juice, green apple, house-made chamoy (a savoury sauce popular in Mexican cuisine); Cortés, which is made with non-alcoholic rum, grapefruit, lime, orgeat, cumin seed and ginger syrup; or Veracruz, which is a mix of pineapple, orgeat, lemon hibiscus soda and non-alcoholic gin. 

The restaurant also introduced a brand new mocktail called “el pingüino” for a limited time of 15 days to support Canucks Autism Network (CAN) as part of Autism Awareness month (10 per cent of the proceeds go directly to CAN).

Located at 680 Columbia St.

Georgie’s Local Kitchen and Bar

At Georgie’s Local Kitchen and Bar, you can go karaoke singing on Thursdays, and dancing on Fridays and Saturdays — all while making sure you don’t wake up with a throbbing headache the next day.

The local pub offers a range of mocktails including Taylor Doesn’t Drink — a combo of cranberry, pineapple and lime juice topped with soda and a lemon wedge, Apple Mule — a take on the lime juice- and ginger beer-based vodka-infused cocktail Moscow Mule, and cucumber bubbly that uses ginger syrup and Angostura bitters (a popular ingredient that’s used in classic cocktails such as Old Fashioned and Manhattan).

Soon, a non-alcoholic slushy will be part of the menu, the pub confirmed.

Located at 250 Columbia St.

Kelly O’Bryan’s Restaurant and Carlos O’Bryan’s Pub

At this local pub, you can settle down with a board game with your friends while nursing a drink that doesn’t leave your brain foggy. The Irish pub that you probably associate with whisky, St Patrick’s stew and Guinness, is also the spot to order a slushed cranberry, pink grapefruit and lime juice drink called Sea Breeze mocktail or a virgin Chi Chi (made with pineapple and coconut cream).

The restaurant has carved out a section exclusively for mocktails, albeit below a long list of draught beers, shooters and cocktails. The mocktail list includes pineapple- and raspberry-flavoured Aliana Special, and a pineapple, ginger and grenadine mashup called Bora Bora Brew among half a dozen other options.

Located at 800 Columbia St.

Piva Modern Italian

A full-blown Italian meal of arancini, carpaccio and a side of chickpea fritters might seem incomplete without a Paloma Italia (a gin-based cocktail), but a sip of the eatery's lavender and rose syrup mocktail Tuscan Sunset or the spicy ginger-flavoured A Bo Bonia Hug might have you think otherwise.

The restaurant has on its menu a range of mocktail options — from a simple virgin Mojito (berry, lime or mango), or a Mango Temple, a twist to the classic Shirley Temple, or the Sasa, in which the taste of elderflower and pomegranate commingle. Their newest addition is a virgin Creamsicle, a creamy orangey drink without the vodka.

Located at 787 Columbia St.

Moodswing Coffee/Bar

Moodswing Coffee/Bar might swing from being a café to a bar through the week, but it has made up its mind on one thing — having two mocktails always on its menu. Walk into the bar on a weekend, and you can taste their Cold Dip — a light, acidic and sweet house made lime cordial topped with soda, and No Ticket, a “kind of paloma cocktail” made with grapefruit oleo saccharum (a syrup made with citrous peels), lemon juice, and grapefruit bitters.

The cocktail lounge also has a “Fresh & Fleeting” section on their menu that features "fun" dishes and drinks that stay on for a limited time, as per Li, a member of the Moodswing cooperative. They have had a couple of mocktails pop up in this section in the past; a new one called Duo’s Grove was added last week.

“Duo’s Grove is a mocktail twist on a flagship cocktail we have called Peach & Daisy. It’s a really beautiful, soft, lightly sweet and delicately sour, foamy mocktail. It uses our house Sweetened Chamomile + lemon shrub, lacto-fermented gooseberry, lemon juice, vegan foamer and a splash of soda,” said Li.

Located at 655 Front St.

Match Eatery and Public House

Mocktails might not be listed on the menu at Match Eatery and Public House, but the sports bar seems to go by the mantra: ask and you shall receive. Want a Peach Slush without the bourbon in it? Or a Mojito without the rum? Just ask, and the team at the resto-bar will stir one up for you.

Here, you can wash down a plate of sweet chili chicken and Montreal steak spice-dusted pork ribs with a virgin Caesar or watch a game with your buddies while clinking your glass of Shirley Temple into the late of hours of night — knowing well that you wouldn't need a ride back home or fight a morning hangover.

Located at 350 Gifford St.