Here are some fun non-water things to drink when you’re not drinking.
Head to Lenny Boy for that “meet me at the bar” feeling without the buzz.
Get a flight of their certified organic kombucha, a non-alcoholic fermented tea that’s high in B vitamins and other healthy things. They have it on draught and in bottles, just like beer… but not. Mint Condition, a refreshing blend of spearmint and peppermint leaves, and Elite Beet, a bright pink brew made with beets and ginger, are two of my favorites.
Take a different kind of shot at a juice bar.
Luna’s Living Kitchen, Clean Juice, Juice Bar and Green Brothers Juice Co. all offer healthy shots that won’t fill you with regret the next day the way tequila does. Try the Antidote at Luna’s, an anti-inflammatory blend of turmeric, lemon, ginger, orange and Himalayan pink sea salt, or the Cold Busta at Green Brothers, a spicy mix of lemon, ginger, garlic, jalapeno, beet, oregano and cayenne.
Drink tea, you sophisticated adult.
Okra in Plaza Midwood is more than a yoga studio. They’ve also got a lovely coffee and tea bar with a selection of loose leaf teas sourced from TeaRex. If you’re looking for a more formal tea affair, The Ballantyne hosts high tea complete with mini sandwiches and pastries. (I’m doing high tea this weekend so I will report back.)
Go retro with a throwback soda concoction.
Get a hand-stirred phosphate, cream soda or float at Pike’s Soda Shop. Or hold out for the launch of Hart’s Soda Shop’s traveling Soda Bus this weekend. They’ll have homemade sodas and floats popping up at events all over town. See our write up here.
Cheat on beer with a nitro cold brew.
This coffee, usually served in a pint glass, looks and drinks like a stout beer (minus alcohol, plus caffeine). You’ll find it on tap at Central Coffee, which was the first shop in town to install a nitrogen-powered system that results in a smooth, beer-like pour complete with foam. Free Range Brewing also has a nitro tap serving Pure Intentions Coffee. And keep an eye on Hex Coffee, a pop-up shop bringing nitro cold brew (as well as pour over coffee) to different locations around town.
Try something different, like a bubble tea.
I LOVE BUBBLE TEA. It’s not for everyone (mostly a texture-related issue, I’m told) but this tea filled with gummy tapioca balls that you suck up through an oversized straw is my jam. You can find it all over the place but Pho Hoa on Central gets consistently high marks from gummy ball lovers.
Or just go all in and get a milkshake. Life is short.
One of my favorite yoga teachers doesn’t drink alcohol so when my teacher training class went to Cowfish to celebrate our graduation, she got a giant milkshake and a plate of onion rings. When everyone stared at her indulgent meal she said, “What? You all celebrate with alcohol. This is my celebration.” I like her way better.