Whether you’re the designated driver, are pregnant, have committed to a sober life, or just want to reduce your alcohol consumption, you probably still want to be able to have a fun drink when you go out.
Sure you can order club soda, but that’s boring! So, I made it my mission to scour Columbus for the best non-alcoholic drinks in the city.
What I found was that Columbus has some great places for unique and flavorful zero-proof options that aren’t sugar bombs. You won’t miss the alcohol with these cocktails!
I want to thank the sponsors of this post who hosted me so I could take on the tough job of sampling all of these yummy concoctions! A huge thanks go to Cameron Mitchell Restaurants, The Guild House, Vaso Dublin, Watershed Distillery Kitchen & Bar, Strongwater Food & Spirits, Rusty Bucket, Veritas, and Comune.
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I’ve divided this post into 2 sections to help you more easily find what suits you best:
- The 1st section includes bars and upscale restaurants that feature dedicated non-alcoholic sections or cocktails on their menu.
- The 2nd section features more family-friendly restaurants that offer non-alcoholic options above and beyond Coke and coffee.
When you’re looking at a cocktail menu, you may see different terminology that basically means the same thing. Non-alcoholic, N/A, zero proof, zero ABV, virgin, mocktail, sans, and temperance all mean that your drink won’t contain any alcohol. If you see ‘low ABV’ on a menu, it stands for low alcohol by volume which won’t be totally alcohol-free.
**If you’re impatient, scroll to the bottom for my top 5 non-alcoholic cocktails in Columbus**
The Best Non-Alcoholic Cocktails In Columbus
If you’re in search of the best non-alcoholic cocktails in Columbus, you’re in the right place. Of course, you can sometimes order a virgin cocktail even if it’s not on the menu, but there’s something special when the cocktail list has zero proof options already there. And when those options are as good as their high octane counterparts, it’s even better!
Check out these spots for great non-alcoholic delights that deserve more than a “mocktail” label:
Watershed Distillery Kitchen & Bar
Watershed Distillery Kitchen & Bar definitely wins the award for the coolest cocktail menu design. It’s fun and whimsical but well thought out and full of fantastic options (including 4 non-alcoholic ones)!
Watershed’s non-alcoholic cocktails are crafted with the same attention and thought as their high octane counterparts, so you can enjoy a well-rounded beverage even if you’re not drinking alcohol.
The man in charge of the beverage program (who doesn’t drink even though his job is behind a bar) has recently been in the press sharing his views about healthy living and why he chooses to skip the alcohol.
Watershed is home to one of my favorite non-alcoholic cocktails in Columbus, N/Aked As A Jaybird. This tropical combination consists of Giffard Aperitif, pineapple, orange, lime, and coconut. It tastes like Hawaii in a glass.
The other dedicated zero-proof option is the Senza Gas N/Agroni. It’s a mix of cold brew, aperitif syrup, tonic, lime, and soda.
There are also 2 cocktails on the menu that can be made with or without alcohol. Hotel Chevalier is a combination of Seedlip, pistachio, orgeat, matcha, and rosewater that’s as pretty as it is tasty. Ride or Chai is a delicious mix of apple cider, chai, apple, celery, and soda. It’s apple-y and very tasty.
Pro Tip — If you visit Tuesday through Sunday, you can take a tour through the adjoining Watershed Distillery. Plan to spend about an hour on the tour, then stay for dinner and drinks.
Location and Contact: 1145 Chesapeake Ave, Suite D, Columbus/ FB: WatershedKitchenBar/ IG: @watershedkitchenandbar
Huli Huli Tiki Lounge
I love when a restaurant can seamlessly integrate non-alcoholic versions of its regular cocktails onto the menu and Huli Huli Tiki Lounge in Powell does just that. My favorite is the Baby Asprin, which is a non-alcoholic version of The Painkiller featuring pineapple, orange, and coconut flavors. Or there’s the Untrod Beach, a zero-proof version of the Blue Hawaii. Finally, Huli Huli has the Honolulu Mule, a N/A Moscow Mule.
Location and Contact: 26 West Olentangy Street, Powell/FB: HuliHuliPowell /IG: @hulihulipowell
The Guild House
The Guild House is another winner from Cameron Mitchell Restaurants. Located in the Short North, The Guild House is hip but comfortable — a perfect spot for date night! The interior is gorgeous and the service is impeccable. In addition to awesome food (do yourself a favor and try the Local Wagyu), they offer 2 non-alcoholic cocktails.
The Lemon Tonic is a refreshing, slightly fizzy mix of fresh lemon juice, old city tonic, Fee Bros. gin barrel-aged bitters, and thyme. The Cherry Ginger (my favorite!) is a mix of ginger beer, fresh lemon juice, house-made grenadine, and spiced cherry bitters.
**Both drinks are listed on the brunch menu, but the staff confirmed that they are available at any time.**
Location & Contact: 624 North High Street, Columbus/ FB: GuildHouseColumbus /IG: @theguildhouse
Check out other great Cameron Mitchell Restaurants throughout Central Ohio: FB: CMRColumbus/ IG: @cmrcolumbus
Vaso is a hip rooftop bar in Dublin that not only has a great vibe and igloos in the winter (yes, igloos), but they’ve also got a dedicated list of zero-proof cocktails! To say that I was impressed with their non-alcoholic cocktail program would be an understatement.
In addition to stocking the entire line of Seedlip (a distilled non-alcoholic spirit) they also use ingredients like Dandelion & Burdock, and AC custom tonic (a special blend made just for AC Hotels). The cocktails were fresh and flavorful and were given the same thought and care as their alcoholic counterparts.
My favorite non-alcoholic cocktail at Vaso was called the Vaso G&T, a mix of AC Tonic, bergamot, lavender, juniper, tonka bean, Seedlip Garden, and sparkling Mediterranean tonic. It was unique, beautifully garnished, and had the heft to stand up to any alcohol-containing cocktail.
Rounding out the Vaso zero proof selections are the Bitter Bae, a mix of bitter aperitivo, Seedlip Citrus, and sparkling water, and the Smoked Mule, a combo of mesquite-smoked ginger ale and lime juice.
If you’re looking to skip the booze, but still want a fantastic drink selection, head over to Vaso in the Bridge Park area of Dublin.
Location & Contact: 6540 Riverside Dr, Dublin/ FB: VasoDublin/ IG: @vasodublin
Comune offers fresh, vegetarian cuisine and unique cocktails (including some great non-alcoholic options). These drinks aren’t your ordinary mocktails — they have full, complex flavors and aren’t sugary sweet.
The One Percent is a low ABV cocktail that can be made totally zero proof. It’s a combination of Seedlip Garden, Maccabeo (used in the low ABV version), lemon, and mint. It’s so good you can’t really call it a “mocktail”.
You can also choose a freshly made elixir, which is a combination of house-made syrups and soda water. One of my favorites is the Taproot, a mix of charred beets, lemon, and lavender. It’s not too beet-y and not too sugar-y!
The Comune Tonic, which contains cinchona bark, lemongrass, and grapefruit, is fantastic, and would pair with food really well! If you like a Gin & Tonic, but you don’t love the alcohol, get the Comune Tonic.
Pro Tip — Stay for dessert and order the stroopwafel!
Location & Contact: 677 Parsons Ave, Columbus/ FB: ComuneRestaurant/ IG: @comune_restaurant
Strongwater Food and Spirits
Strongwater Food and Spirits is a restaurant, bar, and event space in the artsy Franklinton area of Columbus. It’s also a fantastic spot if you’re looking for a non-alcoholic cocktail. They’ve got an impressive selection of low and no-proof cocktails including some made with Seedlip.
Carter’s Curfew is a zingy, grapefruit-y mix that includes Seedlip Spice, grapefruit, lemon, and orgeat. I also tried the Seed and Shrub, which is a mix of Seedlip Spice with your choice of Shrub (pumpkin or black cherry). I went with the pumpkin and it was excellent. I appreciated that these non-alcoholic selections were garnished and served just as they would be if they contained alcohol.
Location & Contact: 401 W Town St, Columbus/ FB: StrongwaterColumbus/ IG: @strongwatercolumbus
Veritas was named the best restaurant in Columbus in 2019 by Columbus Monthly and I agree that this place is a gem in the Columbus food scene.
While they don’t have a dedicated non-alcoholic section on their menu, they do offer “temperance cocktails”. So, I had to go check them out to see exactly what you can get.
Just because they don’t have specific cocktails listed on their menu, don’t think these N/A options are an afterthought.
The cocktails I had were fantastic — unique, fresh, and flavorful. My favorite combined flavors of lemon, Orgeat, and rosewater. Garnished with flowers, this cocktail is one of the best I have had.
One of the most unique non-alcoholic cocktails I have ever had was served in a fantastic stemless martini glass! It was a zingy mix of Seedlip Garden with citrus flavors and topped with oil (sounds weird, but it worked)! This one was a perfect accompaniment to the delicious food.
They can also do zero-proof versions of some more traditional cocktails like an Old Fashioned. Their version is made with Seedlip Grove, cinnamon, orange, and Darjeerling Tea.
Location & Contact: 11 West Gay St, Columbus/ FB: Veritas614/ IG: @veritas614
Denmark is a cocktail bar that prides itself on making as much in-house as possible. While their non-alcoholic section isn’t huge they do offer 1 mocktail on the menu, the Strawberry No-Jito. It’s a combination of mint, strawberry preserves, simple syrup, lime, and club soda.
Location & Contact: 463 N High St, 2nd Floor, Columbus/ FB: DenmarkonHigh/ IG: @denmarkonhigh
Lincoln Social is a rooftop bar in the Short North Arts District that has a “Sans” menu featuring non-alcoholic cocktails and drinks. There’s Strawberry Almond Limeade, a combo of strawberries, almond orgeat, and fresh lime or Cucumber Lemonade. Or you can order the Bartender Roulette, a unique bartender chosen non-alcoholic concoction.
Location & Contact: 711 North High Street, 9th Floor, Columbus/ FB: LincolnSocialRooftop/ IG: @lincolnsocial
Family Friendly Columbus Restaurants That Offer N/A Drinks
If you’re not in the mood for a fancy cocktail or you’ve got kids in tow so going to a bar or a nice restaurant is questionable, there are still tons of options for non-alcoholic drinks in Columbus that are more exciting than a Diet Coke.
The Rusty Bucket is a comfortable, family-friendly place to grab dinner with the kids. They’ve got a full menu of beers, wines, and cocktails, but they’ve also got you covered if you want to skip the alcohol.
I loved the Strawberry Cooler. It’s a mix of fresh strawberry puree, orgeat syrup, and sparkling water. It had a fresh, strawberry flavor without being too sweet — a perfect combination!
You can also try the “Create your own Lemonade” combos. The blueberry lemonade (made with fresh blueberries) was my favorite. You can also choose blackberries, raspberries, or strawberries. Made in-house with fresh ingredients, these are a tasty way to skip the alcohol.
Central Ohio Locations and Contact: Bexley, Clintonville, Dublin, Easton Town Center, Gahanna, Hilliard, New Albany, Upper Arlington, Westerville, Worthington/ FB: MyRustyBucket/ IG: @rustybucket
Pins Mechanical is a fun spot to try your hand at pinball and games like foosball, pinball, duckpin, and bocce. Plus they have some non-alcoholic concoctions for when you’d prefer to skip the booze. Try the Lemony Split, a combination of house-made lemon-lime soda with a cherry float.
Non-alcoholic options at Pins Mechanical include Shorty Baller, Juice Box Hero, Optimus Prime, and Lisa Simpson.
Cap City Diner
Cap City Diner is a favorite of many because of its classic comfort food and fun atmosphere.
Plus, they’ve got some decent non-alcoholic choices on their drink menu. Try the Passionfruit Fresca, a refreshing combination of passionfruit puree, fresh mint, fresh lime, and sparkling water.
Other non-alcoholic options at Cap City Diner include Strawberry Basil Lemonade and the Peach Palmer.
Locations and Contact: Dublin, Gahanna, Grandview/ Contact: CapCityDinerDublin/ IG: @capcitydublin
Top 5 Best Non-Alcoholic Cocktails In Columbus
Ok, here it is. My picks for the top 5 best non-alcoholic cocktails in Columbus, Ohio!
It was a tight race and there were lots of worthy beverages that didn’t make the top 5…but that’s the good news! There are tons of great non-alcoholic options in Columbus — you just need to know where to look.
Here are my favorites — you won’t go wrong with these zero proof cocktails:
- N/Aked as a Jaybird, Watershed Kitchen and Bar
- Lemon, Orgeat, and Rosewater Cocktail, Veritas
- Baby Aspirin, Huli Huli Tiki Lounge
- Vaso G&T, Vaso Dublin
- One Percent, Comune
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