By Sonu Purhar
Patio season is whenever the sun is shining (or the heater is turned on) and there’s nothing like refreshing drinks outdoors! Don’t get us wrong, there’s nothing we enjoy better than a well-made cocktail or ice-cold beer, but sometimes our bods need a break from the booze. Enter the mocktail, which is seeing a resurgence as bars across the Metro Vancouver wise up to the fact that sodas and coffee aren’t the most fun non-alcoholic alternatives. So put down that water and join us as we sample tasty concoctions across the region, all of which are served by eateries dishing up tasty cuisine to boot. Cheers!
Piva Modern Italian
787 Columbia Street, New Westminster
Piva’s roots date back to 1917, when Giuseppe Piva emigrated from northern Italy to British Columbia and dove into a life of farming. The elegant eatery honours his passion for local ingredients and traditional Italian cuisine crafted using modern techniques – and the mouthwatering menu includes several non-alcoholic brews. We prefer the Tuscan Sunset, a delicate blend of lavender and rose syrup, lemon and soda that leaves us supremely satisfied – even sans booze.
3995 Main Street, Vancouver
The Acorn’s acclaimed vegan and vegetarian menu boasts bold flavours and exquisite plating – even hardcore carnivores will leave satisfied. Similarly, the restaurant’s cocktail list creatively incorporates herbs and fruits with non-alcoholic options just as complex and thoughtfully crafted as their boozy counterparts. We like the New Dawn, a zippy marriage of grapefruit juice and zest with cinnamon syrup and soda.
Multiple locations in Vancouver, Burnaby, Coquitlam, Richmond, Surrey, Langley and Vancouver’s North Shore
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Cactus Club serves a solid meal with menu options running the gamut from burgers and salads to exotic bowls and wraps. The cocktail list features a nice mix of classics and feisty seasonal options (Frosé, anyone?), as well as a couple of spirit-free concoctions that are flavourful enough to hide the lack of booze. Try the Hey Hibiscus, perfect for patio worshippers with floral notes from hibiscus and rose layered with a fruity kick contributed by ginger, white peach and lemon.
Milltown Bar + Grill
101-9191 Bentley Street, Richmond
Situated on Richmond Island, this lively bar boasts two waterfront patios with expansive views of the Coast Mountains, Fraser River and airport runway. As you watch planes take off, indulge in simple yet well-made West Coast fare paired with martinis, beer, wine and a selection of virgin cocktails that allow non-imbibers to join in the fun. Whether your taste preferences run to mojitos, Caesars, piña coladas or margaritas, you’ll find a tasty non-alcoholic alternative to suit.
Little White House & Co.
9090 Glover Road, Fort Langley
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Whimsical, airy and boasting exquisite décor, this beautiful heritage home features a breezy café and outdoor patio looking out to the back garden. Afternoon tea is the main draw here with an impressive display of sweets and savouries, but don’t feel the need to stick to hot beverages. The café serves a thirst-quenching lavender lemonade that achieves an impressive balance between tart and sweet. Best enjoyed on a sunny day!
H Tasting Lounge
1601 Bayshore Drive
Inspired by glamorous Hollywood, The Westin Bayshore’s H Tasting Lounge serves exquisitely presented cocktails and small plates that are locally sourced and globally inspired. Spirit-free showstoppers include The Peaceful Garden, an enchanting combination of Jasmine Pearl Tealeaves Tea, elderflower, citrus and rose. For a slightly punchier flavour, try the easy-sipping Rolling Uphill, which is infused with Tealeaves Mountain Berry Tea, coconut, lime and soda.
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