The 14 Best Zero Proof Bars and Bottle Shops from Coast to Coast
New joints are bringing nuance, craftmanship and beauty to nonalcoholic cocktails and spirits.
Photo By: Listen Bar/Shannon Sturgis
Photo By: Hester Droog
Photo By: Boisson
Photo By: Faux Real Interior
Photo By: Listen Bar/Sasha Charoensub
Photo By: Minus Moonshine
Photo By: Sans Bar
Photo By: Sechey
Photo By: Sipple
Photo By: Soft Spirits
Photo By: Spirited Away
Photo By: SuckerPunch/PC AubrieLeGault
Photo By: The Volstead
Photo By: Zero Proof
Photo By: Zilch Market
The Best Zero Proof Bars and Bottle Shops
To say that non-alcoholic beverages are having a moment is an understatement. The demand for zero proof beverages extends well past dry January. Now, the movement is trending towards dedicated alcohol-free bars and non-alcoholic bottle shops that prove there’s never been a more exciting time to curb back alcohol consumption.
Billy and Christy Wynne’s zero proof bar and coffee shop features a menu with several categories, including classic cordials and aperitifs, spirit flights and beer and wine. There’s also a seasonal craft cocktail menu, featuring clever flavor combinations and inventive descriptions. To wit, the Three of Cups, made with vegan butter fat-washed Bonbuz, lavender-cardamom syrup, orange blossom and golden wheat reduction, aptly calls to mind "3 rocking chairs on a porch at sunset." Awake is a Public Benefit Corporation, required by Colorado law to uphold its mission to create space for peace, joy, and justice-making. To that end, the Wynnes source products locally whenever possible, offer discounts to diversify their customer base and contribute 1% of all sales and 10% of profits to mental-health focused charities.
New York, New York
Like many people in the pandemic, the co-founder of this no ABV spirit store, Nick Bodkins, revaluated his drinking habits and looked for ways to moderate consumption. Since opening Boisson’s first brick-and-mortar location in Cobble Hill in February 2021, Bodkins has opened four others, underscoring the demand for sober options. The stores intend to create a one-stop-shop luxury shopping experience with high end products, a signature in-store scent and hand-wrapped purchases. Boisson curates its selection with the intention to inspire shoppers to discover entirely new products. The top selling category? Dealcoholized wines, which includes top brands such as Leitz, Thomson & Scott, Surely and Sovi.
Los Gatos, California
Yvonne Khananis opened Faux Real in February 2022 as an oasis of zero proof beverages. A life-long food lover and passionate cook, Khananis ran Reverence Catering, Gourmet Mommies, Inc and Grocer & Goddess, a gourmet grab-and-go market where she first started carrying non-alcoholic beverages. The demand for zero proof drinks was immediate, so she snapped up the retail space next door to open Faux Real. The sunlight-filled shop exudes a California cool vibe, and products are arranged on shelves much like a typical liquor store. Each product must pass a rigorous taste test, and from there, every shelf is assembled to inspire shoppers to create their own mixed drinks. Top products include Lyre’s non-alcoholic spirits and liquor alternatives from Ritual. Next in the works is a Faux Real coffee-table book of cocktail recipes featuring zero-proof ingredients from the shop.
Brooklyn, New York
Listen Bar first launched as a pop-up in Williamsburg in October 2018 before transitioning to a fully virtual model that offers private parties and alcohol-free cocktail courses. Unlike other bars, founder Lorelei Bandrovschi started Listen Bar on a dare. After abstaining from alcohol for a month, she was surprised by how much she enjoyed it and vowed to create a space for non-drinkers without sacrificing fun. This philosophy is reflected in the bar’s motto "good ass times," which has inspired events from dominatrix lessons to live tattoos.
Brooklyn, New York
When Aqxyl Storms tried dry January in 2021, they were surprised that it was hard to buy excellent non-alcoholic craft beverages in Brooklyn. In June 2021, Storms, along with their business partner Melissa Irisarri, opened Minus Moonshine, a non-alcoholic bottle shop with a friendly, chill vibe and knowledgeable staff. To foster community among non-drinkers, Storms hosts monthly events like sober/sober-curious singles mixers and sober queer friends’ soirees. The store’s inventory includes spirits, premade cocktails, mixers, syrups, shrubs, handmade alcohol-free bitters and even locally made sorrel. You’ll find designated sections for botanicals, aperitifs and functional spirits, as well as a wine table and areas called "beer island" and "beer mountain." While Storms is reticent to pick a favorite, they’re a fan of AVEC mixers, Studio Null Wines and Flyers CBD canned cocktails.
When Chris Marshall was working as a substance abuse counselor in Austin, in 2017, he noticed that there weren’t any options for folks who wanted to abstain from alcohol but still have a good time. Hence why he created Sans Bar, which serves stellar spirit-free wines, beers and cocktails and invites spirited connection. From the zero-proof cocktail menu, regulars rave about Tenneyson, a nuanced ginger-based botanical, and Amethyst, a distilled botanical that’s an excellent stand-in for gin, vodka or tequila. Marshall put them together in the fan-favorite drink Slow Burn, where the ginger and botanicals are off-set with black tea and Liber & Co. fiery ginger syrup to heady effect.
Charleston, South Carolina
In February 2022, Sechey founder Emily Heintz opened the brick-and-mortar bottle shop, which embodies a "glam apothecary" vibe. Sechey sources products globally. Think: alcohol-free wine imported from small European vineyards, the top Aperol alternative and award-winning craft beers. And to land on store shelves, products must pass the staff’s high taste-test standards or be recommended by a customer. One of the first products on the shelves, Sovi, a canned dry Tempranillo rosé from Northern California, continues to be a best-seller; an agave tequila made with ashwagandha is a close second. Want to sip before you commit? Sechey’s brand-new tasting room will open this spring with a menu of cocktails and flights.
Danny Frounfelkner, who co-founded this non-alcoholic bottle shop with his wife, Helenita, brings two decades-worth of sommelier and beverage director experience to stocking the shelves. They select beverages based both on flavor and quality ingredients, focusing on products that don’t rely on sugar as a replacement for alcohol. The bright space invites easy browsing, where products are organized by function such as beer, aperitifs, wine or ready-to-drink cocktails (think: hemp-infused CBD cocktails like locally made Mixer Elixir CBD Ranch Water). Be sure to seek out the "vibes" room at the back. Every Saturday, the Frounfelkners pour tastes, and a few select products have their own song pairings, too.
Los Angeles, California
Jillian Barkley started Soft Spirits as a hobby Instagram page to share favorite nonalcoholic options; in October 2021, she opened the bottle shop in Silver Lake. Its tightly edited selection of products features an array of traditional liquor replacements like zero-proof tequilas and rums, as well as newer spirit alternatives that don’t mimic the flavor of existing liquors. In that same vein, the wine selection includes both dealcoholized wine (wines made with alcohol that later have the alcohol removed) and wine alternatives, which are a great option for people who may be allergic to even trace amounts of alcohol. Not sure where to start? Seek out the best-selling Three Spirit, a flavorful and functional adaptogenic spirit.
New York, New York
Douglas Watters opened this non-alcoholic bottle shop in the fall of 2020 with a mission to "rewrite revelry." In the shop, libations are lined up on dark wood floor-to-ceiling shelves by category, including spirit alternatives, distilled botanicals, functional spirits (made with adaptogens, nootropics and the like), aperitivi and digestivi, wine proxies and shrubs. Plus, there’s a fridge stocked with ready-to-drink cocktails, wines, sparkling teas and beers. If you’re looking to stock your home bar, check out the assortment of bitters and mixers. Watters’ personal favorites change often, but lately he’s into Busty Lush beers, Acid League wine proxies and Prima Pavé’s sparkling, dealcoholized Italian wines.
The West Coast pop-up opened in Portland in 2020, but even when the pandemic hit, its dedication to craft zero proof drinks never waned. Owner Andy McMillan offered cocktail kits with local beverage producers including Smith Tea, Camellia Grove Kombucha and botanical spirits from Wilderton. Fast forward to February 2022, and Sucker Punch has quickly become a destination for non-alcoholic cocktails. The space is anchored by a horseshoe-shaped mahogany bar, where bartenders shake, stir and mix signature cocktails. McMillan’s favorite, the Straight from the Fire, is a rich, complex creation that begs to be savored. House roasted corn tea mingles with Lyre’s Italian Orange, a trio of smoky components, including sarsaparilla, smoked maple syrup and smoked salt, all pulled together with fresh sage and orange peel.
The Volstead by Unity
Robert and Arielle Ashford opened Philly’s first zero proof bar in March 2022. The couple, who are both in recovery from substance use, wanted to create a space where all types of people could enjoy a traditional social environment with great spirit-free cocktails and food. The first-floor bar maintains a moody jazz bar vibe, while the second floor hosts a vegan restaurant. The bar menu features well-made classics like an Old Fashioned featuring Lyre's American Malt whiskey, All the Bitter Aromatic Bitters and Fee Brothers Aztec Chocolate Bitters, garnished with a flamed orange peel. You can also choose from six flavors of non-alcoholic kombucha on tap as well as wines, such as Surely Cabernet, and beer, such as Athletic Brewing’s Free Wave hazy IPA. The couple also owns Unity Recovery, a community center; Unity Yoga, a vinyasa and meditation recovery yoga studio; Unity Taqueria, a quick-service Tex-Mex restaurant; and coffee shop Unity Java.
The Zero Proof
E-commerce site with national shipping
You don’t have to live in a major city to access to a one-stop shop for spirit-free libations. The Zero Proof, an e-commerce site and blog with Atlanta roots, sells select wine and spirit brands like Kin, Lyre's and Spiritless alongside imported non-alcoholic spirits such as Gnista and ISH. Co-owner Sean Goldsmith was inspired to start The Zero Proof after his own sober-curious journey. He saw a gap in the market to educate consumers looking to moderate consumption, and launched a blog with product reviews, travel guides and interviews with industry leaders. Top sellers include Gnista Barreled Oak, which Goldsmith describes as bourbon-esque, but funkier and more complex, Spiritless Kentucky 74 and Lyre's American Malt. For a spot-on Negroni rendition, he recommends mixing equal parts GinISH, Lyre's Aperitif Rosso and Wilfred's, a bittersweet aperitif redolent of rosemary, rhubarb and clove.
Zilch Market & Bar
Savannah Rainey and Lissa Eubanks became friends while working at an Atlanta restaurant, where they bonded over their journeys to stop drinking alcohol and the lack of well-crafted non-alcoholic beverages. Taking matters into their own hands, they launched Zilch Market & Bar, a zero-proof bottle shop and pop-up cocktail bar. The operative word for Zilch is inclusion, which the pair aims to capture with a fun, laid-back and safe space for people to socialize without feeling pressured to drink alcohol. The menu features clever riffs, such as the Bee's Knees, made with Monday gin, lemon, local honey and lavender foam, or a Smoked Manhattan, crafted with smoked chai concentrate, Spiritless whiskey, Lyre's sweet Vermouth and All the Bitters Angostura Bitters. A signature stunner called Butterfly Kisses features Free Spirits tequila, elderflower soda, ginger beer, and butterfly flower tea ice spheres. The menu is rounded out with non-alcoholic beers, wines and wine flights. Like what you’re drinking? Head to their bottle shop too.