Happy hour without the hangover: Area mixologists are churning out custom-crafted nonalcoholic libations using savory, unexpected ingredients.
Nancy’s Hustle’s Salt Bae is made with salted cucumbers, mint, grenadine, citrus and soda.
Of the four mocktails on Coltivare’s seasonal Zero Proof menu, we prefer the margarita-esque Melo Fresca by bar manager Sarah Crowl: fresh cantaloupe shrub, coconut water, lime and O.J., served on crushed ice with a course salt rim. 3320 White Oak Drive, 713.637.4095, agricolehospitality.com
Crafted with crushed ice and shaped like a snow cone, La Perla—one of three drinks on Coppa Osteria’s nonalcoholic menu—is made with coconut water, coconut syrup, fresh-squeezed lime juice and topped with toasted coconut. 5210 Morningside Drive, 713.522.3535, coppaosteriahouston.com
With choices like a guava Bellini, passion fruit mojito and lychee martini, the mocktail menu at Maison Pucha only sounds boozy. Just try the Beso Frances Picante, which combines fresh guava juice with lime, basil, simple syrup and espelette pepper for lip-tingling refreshment. 1001 Studewood St., Ste. A, 713.637.4976, maisonpucha.com
At EaDo’s Nancy’s Hustle, bar manager Kristine Nguyen used infusions, syrups, smoked ingredients and sometimes kombucha to design her alcohol-free Sobriedades menu. Try the Tropical, which blends lemon grass matcha, coconut, ginger and citrus. 2704 Polk St., Ste. A, 346.571.7931, nancyshustle.com
Mocktails at Weights + Measures range from a simple Topo Chico Three Ways, to bar manager Shan Liu’s superlative Coconutty, a creamy coconut-pineapple-lime creation served in a Champagne flute and garnished with a lemon twirl. 2808 Caroline St., 713.654.1970, weights-measures.com
Photography by: marie-louise friedland