In the right hands, a mocktail is magical. It's as carefully composed as a cocktail, a balance of contrasting and complementary flavors, only it's booze-free—and safe for all ages to enjoy.
Kids love a mocktail because they like being treated like adults. Go to M. Wells Steakhouse, J.G. Melon, the Jones or many of the great family restaurants in NYC, and your little sophisticate will want to sip something as delicious and creative as what you're drinking.
Make a round of mocktails a part of a day of family fun. It can be what you do before going to one of the most entertaining Broadway shows for kids, or the best family attractions in NYC or any of the 101 things to do with kids in NYC.
The best mocktails for kids in NYC are so amazing you'll want to order one for yourself.
A little like an orange cream that just came back from a tropical holiday, the Timmy Shimmy at M. Wells Steakhouse is pineapple, orange, vanilla and spice shaken on ice until chilly and foamy. Let your little one watch the mixologist prepare the drink: So much ceremony, so much fun.
There's not much to a Shirley Temple—ginger ale, grenadine, a maraschino cherry–but when those three ingredients are combined at J.G. Mellon the result is pure magic. (It helps that the barkeeps are generous with the cherries.) Chase it with a burger and some cottage fries and you'll see why this Upper East Side neighborhood pub has an international following. Simple pleasures.
The Salty Celery Lemonade sounds like something from a Dory Fantasmagory book, more silly than serious. Yes, there is salt, and celery (juice) and fresh lemon, and when sweetened up and mixed together and topped off with some sparkling water it's a delightful drink that tastes like nothing else. You'll want to try it, and remember that you can get your own—this one is for your kid.
A no-alcohol bar inn Greenpoint, every cocktail at Getaway is a mocktail. That's right: Every drink here is booze-free. While most of the drinks have the bitter or sharp flavors that appeal to adult palates, the Trip to IKEA is good for the kiddos, with lingonberry, lemon, vanilla, elderflower tonic and a little heavy cream for body and flavor.
A sophisticated take on the classic ginger ale, the NoMad's Gingered Ale is fresh ginger, lime, Demerara sugar and sparkling water. Prepared a-la-minute and served with a flourish, this drink will wake up your child's palate.
Just a few short blocks from the Flower District, Il Fiorista serves blossom-accented plates in its restaurant and bouquets in its attached shop, for a memorable meal where the floral theme never feels overdone. The Boccioli in Fiore (the name translates to Flowers in Bloom) is prickly pear, calendula, black sesame and clove topped off with fizzy seltzer.