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Fern Bar, Sebastopol: The Barlow, a mecca for lovers of hyperlocal food, wine, and beer, finally has a destination-worthy cocktail bar. At recently opened Fern Bar, "spirit-free" beverages are given spotlight treatment on the cocktail list rather than being pushed down to the bottom of the menu. Drink recipes are concocted by Sam Levy, formerly bar manager at the Michelin-starred restaurant at Meadowood, and include craft mocktails featuring Seedlip - a trendy non-alcoholic spirit made in England. There are also house-made shrubs and syrups made with exotic seasonal fruits and spices.
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Mocktail to try at Fernbar, Sebastopol: Gia Baiocchi, operating partner at Fernbar, promises that their craft mocktails are just as mood enhancing as the "real deal," if not more. Try the house favorite Spirited Away, which tastes similar to gin and features kaffir lime, matcha, lemon, lemongrass-galangal syrup, and aquafaba (frothed juice from canned chickpeas, a vegan alternative to egg whites). 6780 Depot St, Ste 120, Sebastopol, 707-861-9603, fernbar.com.
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Stark's Steak & Seafood, Santa Rosa: Stark's is the go-to place for classic cocktails and giant steaks. But your power lunch or happy hour doesn't have to be booze-infused, there's more than sodas and sparkling waters for non-drinkers. "We put the same care into crafting our non-alcoholic mixed drinks as we do into those with alcohol," says co-owner Terri Stark, "in fact, we put all of our cocktails together so that they can easily stand on their own without alcohol.” (Photo by Conner Jay)
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Mocktails to try at Stark's, Santa Rosa: Choose from three house speciality mocktails: Honey Rosemary Spritzer, Cucumber Vanilla Soda, and a Vanilla Mint Julep. Each is crafted using housemade infusions, fresh fruit and herbs to order. The Vanilla Mint Julep resembles its boozy sibling with muddled mint leaves in a tall glass (trust us: none of your friends will ask why you're not drinking). Want something more old-school? Ask the bartender for a virgin version of your favorite cocktail or go for a bitter and soda - the bar offers housemade bitters and unique flavors like candy cap. Railroad Square, 521 Adams St., Santa Rosa, starkrestaurants.com (Photo by Loren Hansen)
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Making the Honey Rosemary Spritzer mocktail at Stark's Steak and Seafood in Santa Rosa. (Photo by Loren Hansen)
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Perch + Plow, Santa Rosa: Since opening in early 2018, Perch + Plow has quickly become a go-to spot for "boozy magic" cocktails. The restaurant's cocktail program also includes four standard mocktails and non-alcoholic creations made on request. "Our take on drinks is about experience not so much what alcohol is in the drink," says general manager Jhaun Perch, who emphasizes the importance of providing interesting drink options to those who are not drinking alcohol, including pregnant women, guests under 21, and anyone trying to lead a healthier life.
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Mocktails to try at Perch + Plow, Santa Rosa: The restaurant's mocktail list features the decadent throwback Orange Julius (orange juice, orange sherbert, and vanilla ice cream) and the mellow and refreshing Basil Lemonade (basil, housemade lemonade, soda). Our pick is the Red Ridinghood, which is made with cherry shrub, housemade limeade, vanilla and soda. Fans of the iconic Shirley Temple will like this drink - regardless of age! 90 Old Courthouse Square, Santa Rosa, 707-541-6896, perchandplow.com.
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Red Ridinghood mocktail at Perch + Plow in Santa Rosa. (Courtesy photo)
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Bravas Bar de Tapas, Healdsburg: Bravas is a Healdsburg favorite for tapas and cocktails. Locals and visitors flock to the restaurant's sunny, dog-friendly patio during happy hour for sangria and G&Ts by the outside bar. There's a lineup of beverages for non-drinkers, including zero-alcohol beer Bitburger Drive, three changing mocktails, and house-brewed spiced iced tea. (Photo by Christopher Chung)
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Mocktails to try at Bravas, Healdsburg: The restaurant has revamped its winter mocktail menu just in time for Dry January. New additions incorporate the bounty of citrus fruits available right now - try the Orange Vanilla Soda with vanilla bean infused syrup, fresh orange and lemon juice, and topped off with soda water. Our favorite is the super refreshing, delightfully-named Spicy Lime Fizzy Lifting Drink. Comprising habanero-infused syrup, lime, lemon and soda water, it's a spicy beverage that won't leave you missing the hard stuff. 420 Center St., Healdsburg, 707-433-7700, starkrestaurants.com. (Photo by Loren Hansen)
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The Orange Vanilla Soda and Lime Fizzy Lifting Drink at Bravas Bar de Tapas in Healdsburg. (Photo by Loren Hansen)
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Duke's Spirited Cocktails, Healdsburg: This popular "see-and-be-seen at" bar in downtown Healdsburg is known for its expansive list of spirits, in-house crafted bitters, blends and infusions, and on-tap craft beverages. Duke's also serves up non-alcoholic drinks and a list of mocktails. "It's important to us to make everyone feel like they are included and that even if you don't drink, you won't miss out on enjoying a fun, creative and satisfying drinking experience," says Laura Sanfilippo, co-owner of the bar. (Photo by Nat and Cody Gantz)
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Mocktails to try at Duke's, Healdsburg: Duke's offers six house-made sodas, allowing guests to craft their own concoction or let the bartender surprise them. They also have three mocktails, including the Hibiscus Sorrel. Sorrel is a tea blend of hibiscus and ginger popular in the Caribbean. The bar team at Duke's make their own sorrel, using dried hibiscus, fresh raw ginger, orange zest and a spice blend of allspice, black pepper, cardamom, clove and cinnamon. It is mixed with lime juice and house-made ginger beer for a refreshing drink that packs a ton of flavor. 111 Plaza St., Healdsburg, 707-431-1060, drinkatdukes.com. (Photo by Erik Castro)
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Maya, Sonoma: Mexican cuisine is not only renowned for its rich spicy and savory dishes, but also decadent tequila and mezcal cocktails that use fresh fruit juices, the most famous being the margarita. And where there are fresh fruit cocktails, there are opportunities for refreshing mocktails. Maya, a Yucatan-style restaurant located in historic downtown Sonoma, offers guests fruit-forward mocktails that will make you not miss alcohol one bit. (Courtesy photo)
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Mocktails to try at Maya, Sonoma: We recommend the Pink Limonada, a twist on the Paloma with fresh lemon and grapefruit juice topped with Squirt. There's also a daily agua fresca (a refreshing juice-based beverage that is a standard at food vendors throughout Mexico) made with seasonal ingredients. Can't make it to Sonoma? Stop by your favorite Mexican restaurant and see what the bartender can shake up. 101 E. Napa St., Sonoma,707-935-3500, mayarestaurant.squarespace.com (Photo by Erik Castro)
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Jamison's Roaring Donkey, Petaluma: This downtown Petaluma bar is best known for its trivia night, raucous live music gigs, and extensive Moscow Mule menu, which features numerous twists on the iconic cocktail. But you don't need to be loosened up by a boozy beverage to take part in the fun. Those giving their liver a break can opt for a non-alcohol drink and Virgin Marys at the weekly Sunday DIY Bloody Mary buffet.
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Mocktails to try at Roaring Donkey, Petaluma: "For people who don't drink, having a few options for mocktails and non-alcoholic drinks allows them to enjoy the experience on the same level as everyone else," says co-owner Brian Tatko. We like their Hibiscus Mistress mocktail, featuring hibiscus and pomegranate syrup, cucumber-infused soda water, and fresh squeezed lime juice. Beer lovers on a booze break can order Lagunitas Hop Water, a zero calories, zero carb, zero sodium, zero alcohol sparkling beverage that tastes "exactly like an IPA beer," according to Tatko. 146 Kentucky St., Petaluma, 707-772-5478, roaring-donkey.com (Courtesy photo)
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