Zero-Proof Drinks in New Jersey: What Are They and Where Can You Get Them?

Updated On: Mar 11, 2024
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Written by:

Amanda Stevens, B.S.

Zero Proof Drinks in New Jersey
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    What you will learn
    • Zero-proof alcohol is designed to offer similar characteristics as traditional alcohol without any alcoholic content.
    • Like traditional alcohol, zero-proof alcohol is measured in percentage alcohol by volume (ABV).
    • Zero-proof alcohol is legally 0.5% or less ABV.
    • New Jersey nightlife offers a variety of non-alcoholic beers, wines, and cocktails to enjoy a night out.

    Though a lot of social experiences revolve around alcohol, there’s a growing demand for non-alcoholic beverages that offer a more exciting taste than soft drinks. Zero-proof alcohol, which contains zero or close to zero alcoholic content, provides a crafted drink experience – minus the alcohol and adverse effects.

    If you want to enjoy a night on the town in New Jersey, you have plenty of options for bars, restaurants, and nightclubs that serve zero-proof alcohol, non-alcoholic beers, and mocktails that elevate your simple soft drink.

    What Is Zero-Proof Alcohol?

    The content of ethanol in an alcoholic beverage is measured in alcohol proof. This was originally used in England and stays on packaging as a matter of tradition and history, but alcohol is now measured in the precise percentage alcohol by volume (ABV) in the US, which measures the potency of the beverage.[1]

    As the name implies, zero-proof alcohol has zero proof, though it can legally contain 0.5% ABV or lower.[2] These beverages are produced to have similar characteristics as the spirit they mimic, such as gin, whiskey, or beer, but without the ethanol. Though 0.5% is not exactly alcohol-free, it’s much lower than the typical ABV for liquor.

    The idea behind zero-proof alcohol is to provide an inclusive experience in social settings for people who may not want to drink alcohol, including those in recovery. In the past, people who abstained from drinking only had the option of water or soft drinks.

    There are over 120 brands of zero-proof alcohol available in retail locations and venues across the country. Some of these include:

    • Seedlip
    • Curious Elixirs
    • Kin Euphorics
    • Ritual Zero Proof
    • Lyre’s Spirit Co.
    • Heineken 0.0
    • Athletic Brewing Company
    • Monday Distillery
    • Three Spirit Drinks

    Where Can I Get Zero-Proof Drinks in New Jersey?

    Alcohol Free Drinks in New Jersey

    If you want to enjoy some of the New Jersey nightlife, here are some options for zero-proof alcohol in bars, restaurants, and nightclubs.

    Off the Rocks

    Off the Rocks is the Jersey Shore’s first alcohol-free social space. It’s a pop-up bar that’s 0% alcohol for people who want to socialize without the alcohol in the bar scene, taking the stance that “not drinking is the ‘new cool.’” Some of the popular drinks are the Mimosa, which features Gruvi Drysecco and fresh-squeezed orange juice, and the Apple Harvest, a mocktail that uses Ritual rum with apple cider and ginger beer.

    Willow & Whisk

    Willow & Whisk in Wyckoff is an upscale breakfast and lunch BYOB that includes creative faux cocktail in the mix. The goal of the managing partner Anna Bischoff was to create a family-friendly environment with fancy non-alcoholic drinks. The top seller is the lemberry spritzer, which is made with strawberry and blood orange puree and a spritz of seltzer.

    Fox & Falcon

    Fox & Falcon in downtown South Orange has a great team of mixologists who produce artisanal cocktails – both with and without alcohol. The two signature beverages are the Billy Casper, a clever play on the Arnold Palmer, with lemon juice, honey, and hibiscus, and ginger beer, and the Toucan, a blend of vanilla simple syrup, lime juice, and Feder Tree sparkling soda.

    Samba

    Montclair’s Samba, a stylish Brazilian restaurant, is renowned for its mocktails that are so complex and flavorful that people simply can’t believe there’s no alcohol. There are five mocktails on the menu, including coconut lemonade, which is a blend of coconut milk, fresh lemon juice, sugar, and ice with fresh mint and pineapple. You’ll never believe it’s not a pina colada.

    Mercantile 1988

    Mercantile 1988 is New Jersey’s first full zero-proof cocktail bar. With a menu of carefully curated non-alcoholic craft cocktails, Mercantile 1988 offers a mix of mocktails, beers, and mixed drinks that use zero-proof alcohol and fresh ingredients. Best of all, the ingredients come fresh from the local Collingwood farmer’s market for seasonal flavors.

    Is Zero-Proof Alcohol Safe for People in Recovery?

    Zero-proof alcohol is a safe alternative to alcoholic beverages for people who choose not to drink or people who are in recovery following treatment for alcohol use disorder. Still, it’s important to understand the potential risks and triggers that come along with drinking zero-proof alcohol, even though it’s not truly alcohol.

    First, not all zero-proof alcohol is truly zero-proof. While there are plenty of brands that don’t have any trace alcohol in the final product, it’s legal to call a beverage zero-proof as long as it falls below 0.5% ABV. This can’t get anyone intoxicated, but trace amounts of alcohol in these beverages – or substances like mouthwash – can be enough to encourage drinking.[3]

    In addition, some zero-proof alcohol brands use alcohol in the production process. This alcohol doesn’t make it into the final product, but it’s important to consider. These beverages are also intended to mimic the sensory experience of drinking specific spirits, including smells and tastes, that may cause cravings.

    Also, triggers aren’t always alcohol itself. The people, places, and things associated with drinking can be just as triggering as the drink itself, so spending time drinking mocktails or beers at a bar with other people can be enough to make the jump to a real alcoholic drink. Keep your own triggers in mind to make an informed decision and if you feel like your addiction has been triggered and need some additional support consider seeking out a local New Jersey support meeting to get back on track.

    Have a Sober Night of Fun in New Jersey

    New Jersey has some excellent nightlife. Even if you’re in recovery, you can still have a good time with zero-proof alcohol at bars and restaurants. Check out these places the next time you’re out for the night in New Jersey and stay on track with your sobriety.

    Frequently Asked Questions About Zero-Proof Alcohol

    Why Do People Drink Zero-Proof Alcohol?
    Is Zero-Proof Alcohol Really Zero Alcohol?
    How Similar Is Zero-Proof Alcohol to Real Alcohol?
    Sources

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