The Five Best Jersey City Spots for Your New Favorite Mocktails
I recently made the decision to stop drinking alcohol. As a culinary-obsessed person who loves an after work wine, a brunch bloody mary, or a late-night cocktail, this was — to say the least — a big shift. I looked forward to my clear head, the extra energy I needed as a new mom, and the overall health benefits, but I feared missing out on a few of my favorite things. Luckily, the booze-free industry is booming, and restaurants and bars are here for it! I went on a little spirit-free exploring in Jersey City and discovered a variety of options for when I’m craving something more than soda water with bitters (still, an all-time favorite). So, whether you’re booze-free, sober-curious, or just want a delicious beverage without the booze, here are the top five spots in Jersey City to discover your new favorite mocktails.
Ani Ramen House
Ani Ramen House is located in downtown Jersey City on Newark Ave. Their signature mocktails are flavor-packed and fun featuring bright fruits and traditional Japanese flavors. My favorite was the Kyoto Grapefruit Fizz, with white grapefruit, lemon and soda, followed closely by the Strawberry Sendai, with cucumber, strawberry, lemon and ginger beer. Pair your drinks with their Spicy Miso Ramen, Fried Tofu Bao Buns, or their chili-charred, sea-salt sprinkled edamame and make a meal of it.
Photo credit (@aniramen)
Frankie Jersey City
Frankie, located on Grove street, is a bright and beautiful spot with the mocktails to match. A diverse menu with everything from Crab and Asparagus Fried Rice to Hand-cut Pappardelle (with pistachio pesto!), they carry Unified Ferments — non-alcoholic beverages produced from single-origin teas. Try both of their offerings, the Snow Chrysanthemum — resembling a juicy orange wine — and the Wen Shan Bao Zhong, a floral and fresh sipper to fulfill your white wine cravings. They also offer CBD-infusion mocktails, which are bright, fresh and exciting on the palate. If you’re feeling adventurous, go for the Flower in the Sun — fresh pineapple juice, thyme, egg white and lime! For more vegital cravings, order the Nico’s Song, featuring fresh beet and orange juice, ginger and seltzer, or the Lady Stardust, with fresh carrot juice, ginger and lime.
Photo credit (@unifiedferments)
Photo credit (@frankieeatsjc)
Matthews Food and Drink
Matthews Food and Drink is a neighborhood spot on Grove street, serving up seasonal American fare, craft cocktails and mocktails. They offer two signature mocktails, the Mango and Dreams — if you’re craving something on the sweeter side — and the Spirit Spritz, for your classic bitter and fizzy fix. Both mocktails use Lyre’s Italian Orange, an aperitivo style zero-proof spirit you’ll want to buy for your own mocktail making at home. If you’re grabbing food, I highly recommend their BLT, made indulgently delicious by their addition of a pimento spread and garlic aioli!
Photo sourced from Lyres.com
Lokal Eatery and Bar
Lokal Eatery and Bar is a culinary hub in Jersey City located just steps from the Newport PATH. Communal in nature, Lokal showcases locally sourced ingredients transformed into global flavors. Lokal is located along Jersey City’s waterfront, so you can eat and sip with a view of the Manhattan skyline. This is an unofficial mocktail rec, as they don’t list any non-alcohol drinks on the menu. BUT, ask the bartender to whip you up one of their signature cocktails, sans booze, like the Margaret Sames — watermelon and lime juice, ginger syrup and a jalapeño-garam masala rim — and get ready for an unforgettable spirit-free drink.
Photo credit (@lokaljc)
Located on Barrow street, Franklin Social is the neighborhood spot you need in your life for delicious burgers, oysters, and of course, mocktails. When you’re looking for that special, craft-mocktail, this is your spot. My favorite drink here was the Out of our Shells, featuring Caleño Dark and Spicy, cream of coconut, allspice, cinnamon, chamomile, and egg white. Served up in a cocktail glass, you’ll feel fancy and fulfilled sipping on this free-spirited delight. Their menu also features two other mocktails: The Demeter 10 (with Seedlip Spice 94) and the Stroll on the Veranda, a grapefruit-honey-ginger spritz.
Photo credit (@franklinsocial)
Photo sourced from caleñodrinks.com
Photo sourced from seedlipdrinks.com
Where to stock your at-home, booze-free bar
As I mentioned above, with the booming booze-free industry, there are a ton of brands you should check out for your at-home, alcohol-free bar. Consider a visit to Central Avenue Liquors when you’re feeling like a night in and pick up one of the Run Wild IPA from Athletic Brewing Co, one of my absolute favorites. And for the largest selection of wines and spirit-free spirits, shop online at Boisson. I hope you enjoy these Jersey City spots for some of my favorite mocktails and leave a comment on this article or tag us on Instagram @everythingjerseycitydotcom when you visit them (or find any new spots!). Cheers!