Food & Drink

The Best Zero-Proof Cocktails in Salt Lake

Where to find Salt Lake’s Best non-alcoholic cocktails. Many Salt Lake restaurants and bars offer an extensive menu of non-alcoholic cocktails, and customers are delighted with the additional options.


Welcome to the land of inclusive cocktails — made to be enjoyed by everyone. Whether you’re sober, curious, pregnant, a designated driver, or simply a non-drinker, Utah bars and restaurants are making sure that no one needs to miss the cocktail culture experience when they’re out with friends or coworkers for an evening by offering non-alcoholic drink options that will satisfy everyone.

“We want to prioritize inclusivity in the bar scene and create a space where drinkers and non-drinkers alike feel welcome,” says Jennifer Hannon, co-owner of BackDoor, a bar in downtown Salt Lake City. “We want to normalize a space where those that want the environment but not the alcohol, can enjoy a drink. Our mocktail menu has been developed with everyone in mind — diabetics looking for a low-sugar option, folks in recovery, those with religious beliefs that support non drinking, health restrictions, or just want a sober evening.” 

Bar Manager Joey Langlinais at Pizza Volta in SugarHouse attributes the success of zero-proof cocktails to a changing relationship to going out. “I think, in general, people are ready for more versatility from a bar, which is exciting.”

Zero-Proof Drinks with Flavor

Once called mocktails — which seemed to mock the best of mixology by merely removing the alcohol and leaving the sugar and mixers behind — today’s non-alcoholic cocktails, often dubbed zero-proof on menus around Utah, bring all the skills of the state’s best bartenders to the table. 

“My staff are as excited about making alcoholic cocktails as they are spiritless ones,” explains Amy Leininger, owner of The Ruin in downtown Salt Lake. “We aim to educate and encourage our staff to engage in the creation of these drinks.” 

Those behind the bar are crafting full menus of non-alcoholic choices and regularly updating them to reflect the seasons and changing tastes of clientele. Zero proof drinks are also a way for bartenders to flex their creative muscles and incorporate locally grown ingredients as well as highlight housemade shrubs, syrups and more.

Eastside cocktail with Seedlip Spice, muddled cucumber, and kaffir lime syrup at Laurel Brasserie & Bar.

Curated and Bespoke Cocktails

At Laurel Brasserie & Bar in The Grand America, Beverage Director Mark Moulton is proud to serve five non-alcoholic drinks that “create a bespoke experience for the guest.” Their most popular zero-proof drink is the Eastside, featuring Seedlip Spice non-alcoholic spirit, with muddled cucumber and kaffir lime syrup, and lime juice that’s garnished with a cucumber ribbon. 

Another standout is the strawberry mint shrub made with red wine vinegar, sugar, mint, strawberries and sparkling water. “It’s garnished with mint in a stemless wine glass, creating a drink that is beautiful and refreshing — a true crowd favorite,” Moulton continues.

The Almond Mom from BackDoor.

BackDoor is excited that their most popular zero-proof cocktail is also a beautiful, low sugar option called the Almond Mom, which highlights passionfruit juice, lime juice, ginger beer and ice. 

At Pizza Volta, Langlinais uses fresh ingredients supplied by Charlie’s Produce. “They have the most beautiful mint and ginger. The ginger is cold pressed and used to make our ginger beer, and the mint is used in the lavender lemonade. I make a refreshing lemongrass tonic as well,” he says.

The Astrid at Pizza Volta.

Like their incredibly inventive pizza creations, the “Like a Virgin” non-alcoholic menu at Pizza Volta also showcases outside-the-box pours like a juicy mocktail called the Bad & Boochie with local Han’s Kombucha that Langlinais confirms is by far the most popular choice on the menu.

When Leininger began exploring her own sober curiosity and the offerings for non-alcoholic beverages at The Ruin, she came across WB’s Non-Alcoholic Bottle Shop in Ogden that stocked a wealth of options — including non-alcoholic wines, spiritless vodka, rum, tequila, whiskeys and aperitifs.

“We’ve seen such a great response and request for non-alcoholic drinks we’ve decided to add new spring cocktails that can be made spiritless with a simple swap of product,” Leininger says. The move is in response to the exceptional reception they’ve gotten over zero-proof favorites such as Anime Girl, a tiki drink featuring Dromme, coconut, orgeat and citrus which is “as delicious to drink as it is to look at!”

At one of downtown Salt Lake’s newest bars, Van Ryder in the Le Meridien hotel, Director of Libations and Service, Elyse Evan, has seen the popularity of their zero proof cocktail and non-alcoholic beer sales increase the longer they have been open and the weather warms. “As people have been hearing about it, it has only gained in popularity,” she explains.

In addition to using a lot of locally sourced products in their house made syrups, she says, “We are also using a Verjus Rouge that is locally made that really brings out a lot of the flavor in our Zero Sbagliato.” But their most popular drink is the Ski Lift. It features Amethyst blueberry-ginger-mint non alcoholic liquor, yuzu, and the bar’s inhouse cardamom syrup. “It’s garnished with mint and an orange swath to really add a brightness to the cocktail,” she continues.  

“I would estimate around 15% of sales go toward our zero-proof program,” Evan continues. “Our zero-proof beer selection really holds its own at 25-30% of our total beer sales!” 

Although zero-proof drinks haven’t taken over the bar tab by any means, Salt Lake restaurants and bars consulted see their sales at around 10% of overall orders, and customers are delighted with the additional options. 

Thanks to large brands such as Budweiser and Heineken who are putting their marketing dollars behind zero-proof drinks, guests are changing their expectations about what Utah bars and restaurants can serve and the experience they can have regardless of what’s in their glass. 

“This trend of low ABV/no ABV is an amazing new style of drinking that we are excited to take to the next level,” concludes Evan. Her spring and summer menu will delight with lots of bright flavors that are really refreshing. “We really want to push the envelope on flavor and have fun with this menu!”

Here’s to drinks we can all raise a glass to!

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