As we near the end of January, many are wrapping up their “Dry January” commitment, a month-long abstaining from alcohol of all kinds. After an extended period of time away from alcohol, you may have noticed some significant improvements, like better sleep, lack of headaches, and less brain fog.
The “sober curious” community has grown significantly in recent years, as people of all walks of life are experiencing the benefits of a life without alcohol. Not to mention, there are many who avoid alcohol for other reasons, like addiction, medical purposes, and more. Thankfully, there are many places in Omaha where the sober and sober curious can safely drink — while still being able to socialize and experience the amazing bars and restaurants in the city.
These bars, restaurants and liquor stores in Omaha are stocked with alcohol-free drinks, including zero-proof cocktails, mocktails, and even alcohol-free beer! Plus, we’ve even included a “sober lounge,” where absolutely every drink on the menu is free from alcohol.
In early 2021, Midtown Omaha couple Andrew and Erica Wassinger launched Sandhills Elixir, a collection of zero-proof spirits made in small batches in Valentine. Each Sandhills Elixir is made with native prairie flavors and restorative waters from the Ogallala Aquifer in the Nebraska Sandhills. These elixirs can be sipped and enjoyed on their own or mixed into a creative cocktail, using one of their many recipes. Shop from a variety of flavors, like ginger lemon, sage, cranberry, elderberry, jalapeño, and more, online or at several places around town!
For those within the sober or sober curious community, Detox Sober Lounge is the place to socialize, as temptations are completely removed! The story of Detox Sober Lounge is personal for founder Alexis Lawson, an Omaha native who struggled with drinking and using drugs off and on since she was a teenager. After years of getting clean only to relapse again, she had an epiphany: one of the things causing her to relapse was going to bars filled with alcohol. Thus, Detox Sober Lounge was born, providing a place where people who have gotten sober (or just don’t like to drink!) can hangout with friends without being tempted to drink alcohol. All the drinks are designed by their staff, from the fruity and sweet Detox Drink to the tart, citrusy Sober Sunrise. Plus, they have a caffeinated coconut banana blend, the Cabana Coffee, a non-alcoholic pineapple whipped cream-based drink called the Pain Killer, a virgin Bloody Mary, and much more!
NOTE: Detox Sober Lounge is moving locations, so be sure to follow them on Facebook and Instagram for the latest updates.
Located in Omaha’s historic Little Bohemia neighborhood, Omaha Dog Bar is a dog-focused bar and eatery for those 21 and over. It has a 10,000-square-foot outdoor bark park with artificial turf, plenty of seating, and fire pits. And on colder (or super hot!) days, retreat to the climate-controlled indoor area with plenty of space to sit with a drink — and for your dog to roam off-leash. The bar has a selection of domestic and local craft beers, wine, hot drinks, cocktails and mocktails. Their creamy Chasing Tail mocktail is made with spiced butter, butter rum syrup, and pineapple syrup, topped with nutmeg. All Bark No Bite has cranberry, orange, coconut water and lime, and the New Leash on Life is made with apple cider, ginger beer, lime juice, vanilla simple syrup, and cinnamon. Pair your mocktail with some food from a local eatery, including Tasty Pizza, Veg.Edible, Culprit Coffee, and Bad Seed Coffee. Keep in mind that Omaha Dog Bar has a number of rules to keep everyone safe and registration you must complete before your visit.
You might not expect to find spirit-free drinks at a place called Spirit World, but they actually have quite the selection! Since 1973, Spirit World has been Omaha’s top destination for great food and spirits. They also have several non-alcoholic beverages, including the above-mentioned Sandhills Elixirs, a non-alcoholic Sparkling Brut from Fre, a non-alcoholic Chardonnay from Ariel, a non-alcoholic Sauvignon Blanc from Giesen, and much more. Their inventory is always changing, so stop by to see what non-alcoholic options are available at Spirit World!
Athletic Brewing Co. may not be a local company, but their reach extends from the East Coast to the West Coast, where their two brewing facilities are located. That’s right — you can find Athletic beer at various bars and restaurants in Omaha, including Omaha Tap House, Wilson & Washburn, Dubliner Pub, Plank Seafood Provisions, Harney Street Tavern, and more (see them all here). But wait a minute — why is a brewery on a list of alcohol-free options? That’s because Athletic Brewing Co. exclusively makes alcohol-free beers, from non-alcoholic goldens and IPAs to darks and sours. And don’t worry — beer lovers don’t have to sacrifice taste if they’re skipping the alcohol, as Athletic beers have received several awards over the years for their taste and innovative practices.
Located in the heart of the Aksarben neighborhood, Herbe Sainte is a local treasure with Cajun influences and a well-stocked bar. The bartenders have designed the cocktail menu to be delightful and exciting, but are experienced enough to be able to create something custom on the fly for their patrons! And that also goes for mocktails. In fact, a few years ago, Herbe Sainte celebrated Mocktail Monday for a few weeks, a more formal highlight of the mocktails they had already been making, like the Wallaby, made with a ginger, pear and blueberry shrub, lemon juice, and simple syrup. And many of those alcohol-free drinks are still available — just ask your bartender!
The Berry & Rye finds its inspiration in pre-Prohibition era drinks but manages to inspire its customers with modern touches and contemporary flavors. Every cocktail on the menu is something special, and the mixologists behind the bar are so dedicated to providing their patrons with something enjoyable, that they will happily make you something else if you aren’t satisfied. In addition to their inspired cocktail menu, The Berry & Rye has several house sodas and mocktails available — just ask the bartender, as they are super easy to customize, depending on the style and flavors you’re going for.
What booze-free drink destination in Omaha should we add to our list? Let us know in the comments below!