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Restaurants and Bars for Teetotalers to Visit This Summer

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It's tough being a teetotaler in D.C. where drinking is a major part of the social scene. Those who are used to having numerous options when they were drinking or who have more sophisticated palates are often stuck with the boring: cranberry juice with lime or a soda.

Big name restaurants elsewhere like The French Laundry and Next have started to cater to those who prefer non-alcoholic drink pairings for their tasting menus. Some chefs and bartenders even enjoy the challenge of creating those pairings that sometimes work even better than wine, cocktails or beer.

Generally speaking, teetotalers will find the most luck at bars that feature a large variety of fruit juices and house made infusions. So while some of these bars may not list non-alcoholic drinks on the menu, it's still possible to request something special from the bar. Here are some of the best places where both drinkers and abstainers can enjoy some great drinks.
—Jamie Liu

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Bourbon Steak Washington DC

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Bourbon Steak includes a selection of sodas that incorporate elements of cocktails in the ingredients. Two of them, Summer is Coming (lime and pineapple) and West Indian limeade (ginger syrup), feature angostura bitters for a slightly warm, herbal kick to them. Or go for the light Realitea with citrus, ginger, and lemongrass.

Del Campo

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With a cocktail menu heavy on fruit juices, Del Campo has some unique non-alcoholic options. Start with the house-made South American chicha fresca soda. JP Caceres' chicha morada is made with purple corn, that's boiled with autumn spices. It's then combined with pineapple, lime juice, and soda for a tiki-like drink. Or go for a smoky limonada, made with grilled lemons and applewood-smoked bacon simple syrup.

Estadio

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Adam Bernbach devised a menu of carefully crafted tonics to complement different gins at Estadio. But you can order one of the herbaceous tonics to enjoy by itself, with flavors like orange thyme, and elderflower citrus.

Farmers Fishers Bakers

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Farmers Fishers Bakers goes old school with a selection of old fashioned soda fountain drinks that are more dessert than cocktail hour. Select from a chocolate or vanilla egg cream, lime rickey of the day, phosphate of the day, or a coffee soda (a Manhattan). You can also get a fruity homemade soda like grapefruit, orange, ginger, hibiscus, vanilla, guava, tamarind, or pineapple.

Firefly

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For former drinkers, Firefly's Jon Harris offers his take on two cocktails, the Manhattan and the Cosmo. The Manhattan features a house-made "rye whisky" and "rouge vermouth" bitters, while the Cosmo features Fee Bros. cranberry bitters, orange flower water, orange, lime and grenadine.

Hank's On The Hill

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Gina Cherversani had quite an extensive non-alcoholic drink menu when she worked at PS7s, which featured non-alcoholic options of her cocktails. But now she's moved on to sodas at her fountain Buffalo & Bergen, as well as on the menu at Hank's on the Hill. There you'll be able to try six different sodas, all of which can be upgraded to creamsicle-style or made into a float. Find flavors like strawberry mint, kiwi sage, and blueberry.

Though there are no non-alcoholic drinks listed on the menu, it's easy to find something fun to drink at Hogo. The bartenders will make drinks like a fizzy mint and lime soda, or something tropical with one of the many citrusy juices and coconut milk at their disposal.

At Ripple, there are four unique non-alcoholic cocktails. They include choices like Feel the Burn with spicy pecan, chocolate bitters and soda, as well as a Myers-Briggs with meyer lemon, mint and cucumber. There is also a housemade tonic with lemongrass and citrus for a taste of summer.

Rogue 24

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For a unique experience for both the alcohol drinker and the teetotaler, Bryan Tetorakis at Rogue 24 offers some special sodas. Try a take on a gin-like drink with evergreen dwarf, cranberry, juniper, and Fevertree ginger. Or go for other unusual sodas like the spiced squash and lemon, or smoked cola with hickory and lime.

Trummer's on Main

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Trummer's On Main is unveiling a new cocktail menu in June, and included is a section devoted to mocktails. Try a watermelon granita, with smoked watermelon, lime and mint, or a herb garden with lime, elderflower, sage and soda. All are priced at $6.

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Bourbon Steak Washington DC

Bourbon Steak includes a selection of sodas that incorporate elements of cocktails in the ingredients. Two of them, Summer is Coming (lime and pineapple) and West Indian limeade (ginger syrup), feature angostura bitters for a slightly warm, herbal kick to them. Or go for the light Realitea with citrus, ginger, and lemongrass.

Del Campo

With a cocktail menu heavy on fruit juices, Del Campo has some unique non-alcoholic options. Start with the house-made South American chicha fresca soda. JP Caceres' chicha morada is made with purple corn, that's boiled with autumn spices. It's then combined with pineapple, lime juice, and soda for a tiki-like drink. Or go for a smoky limonada, made with grilled lemons and applewood-smoked bacon simple syrup.

Estadio

Adam Bernbach devised a menu of carefully crafted tonics to complement different gins at Estadio. But you can order one of the herbaceous tonics to enjoy by itself, with flavors like orange thyme, and elderflower citrus.

Farmers Fishers Bakers

Farmers Fishers Bakers goes old school with a selection of old fashioned soda fountain drinks that are more dessert than cocktail hour. Select from a chocolate or vanilla egg cream, lime rickey of the day, phosphate of the day, or a coffee soda (a Manhattan). You can also get a fruity homemade soda like grapefruit, orange, ginger, hibiscus, vanilla, guava, tamarind, or pineapple.

Firefly

For former drinkers, Firefly's Jon Harris offers his take on two cocktails, the Manhattan and the Cosmo. The Manhattan features a house-made "rye whisky" and "rouge vermouth" bitters, while the Cosmo features Fee Bros. cranberry bitters, orange flower water, orange, lime and grenadine.

Hank's On The Hill

Gina Cherversani had quite an extensive non-alcoholic drink menu when she worked at PS7s, which featured non-alcoholic options of her cocktails. But now she's moved on to sodas at her fountain Buffalo & Bergen, as well as on the menu at Hank's on the Hill. There you'll be able to try six different sodas, all of which can be upgraded to creamsicle-style or made into a float. Find flavors like strawberry mint, kiwi sage, and blueberry.

Hogo

Though there are no non-alcoholic drinks listed on the menu, it's easy to find something fun to drink at Hogo. The bartenders will make drinks like a fizzy mint and lime soda, or something tropical with one of the many citrusy juices and coconut milk at their disposal.

Ripple

At Ripple, there are four unique non-alcoholic cocktails. They include choices like Feel the Burn with spicy pecan, chocolate bitters and soda, as well as a Myers-Briggs with meyer lemon, mint and cucumber. There is also a housemade tonic with lemongrass and citrus for a taste of summer.

Rogue 24

For a unique experience for both the alcohol drinker and the teetotaler, Bryan Tetorakis at Rogue 24 offers some special sodas. Try a take on a gin-like drink with evergreen dwarf, cranberry, juniper, and Fevertree ginger. Or go for other unusual sodas like the spiced squash and lemon, or smoked cola with hickory and lime.

Trummer's on Main

Trummer's On Main is unveiling a new cocktail menu in June, and included is a section devoted to mocktails. Try a watermelon granita, with smoked watermelon, lime and mint, or a herb garden with lime, elderflower, sage and soda. All are priced at $6.

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