Toast to a healthier you at Orlando’s hottest zero-proof bars and restaurants, including sultry speakeasy The BANDBOX (pictured).
Kickstart a healthy new year by celebrating Dry January — a full month without alcohol — with enticing zero-proof hotspots in Orlando. Whether you’re sober-curious, celebrating a milestone anniversary, or simply looking to explore some of Orlando’s must-visit bars and eateries, you won’t want to miss these alluring nightspots where alternative liquors and master mixologists reign supreme.
Discover: Orlando Nightlife
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What Is Dry January?
After a holiday season of feasting and toasting with family and friends, Dry January has become a popular “reset” button for those looking to kickstart their wellness resolutions and pursue healthier habits in the coming year. It’s also a great way to get onboard with a growing trend: a push for more health-conscious and alcohol-free nightlife options.
“At The BANDBOX, we’re not trying to turn anyone into a sober drinker,” says Kevin Zepf, who owns the popular 10-person speakeasy in Orlando’s Ivanhoe Village Main Street district. “Our goal is to provide you with an alternative option and in many cases a healthier non-alcoholic option than you would get at a regular bar or restaurant.”
He lists the pandemic, younger health-conscious generations, and studies on the harmful effects of alcohol as just a few reasons why many people are seeking out alternative nightlife options. “We're the only non-alcoholic speakeasy in Florida, we don’t serve alcohol, and that takes the pressure off our guests knowing that everyone isn’t drinking and there isn’t any pressure to drink. We’re also one of the few spots in Orlando serving CBD cocktails and beverages.”
We’ll drink to that, and you can too — here are some of our favorite alcohol-free spots to imbibe, guilt-free.
Zero-Proof Hotspots in Orlando
Part of the spirited Ivanhoe Village Main Street district near downtown Orlando, The BANDBOX is a prohibition-era speakeasy with an unusual twist: every drink is alcohol-free. In lieu of giggle water, The BANDBOX boasts non-alcoholic craft cocktails, wine, beer and CBD beverages. The speakeasy also boasts an onsite bottle shop, making it easy for you to take your favorite non-alcoholic spirits and prepackaged items home after your visit.
“We decided to not offer mocktails since you can get those in just about any bar or restaurant in town,” says owner Zepf. Rather, The BANDBOX boasts well-rounded craft cocktails made with a combination of alternative spirits (NA gin, rum, tequila, etc.), a distilled spirit (not meant to mimic any alcoholic spirit), non-alcoholic bitters, fresh juices, and syrups. Several cocktails also feature CBD for a well-rounded flavor with the added health benefits of hemp extract.
Per Zepf, “Ultimately the goal of the non-alcoholic craft cocktail is not to recreate the same feeling [of an alcoholic beverage], but rather to be a delicious, sophisticated alternative to its alcoholic counterpart.”
“The BANDBOX concept direction originally started as an Art Deco-inspired boutique art/photo gallery with vintage goods and collectibles,” shares Zepf, who has a background in theatre and creative design. “Since our business license falls under retail, we decided to research the non-alcoholic drink industry to see what options were available in the market.
“Orlando is such an untapped market when it comes to the world of NA and as the cards unfolded for us, it became the perfect time to bring an experience like this to the [Theme Park Capital of the World] where experiences and entertainment are paramount.”
Thus, Orlando’s first spirit-free speakeasy was born. “[It’s] kind of a funny oxymoron, but it definitely captures the vibe we were going for both with the decor and the overall experience. We’ve been listed as one of the top speakeasies in all of Orlando, which is no small feat, but the intimacy of our space for date night or a girls night out is second to none in Orlando.”
Discover: Sought-After Orlando Speakeasies
Zepf recommends it as a “bookend experience,” perfect for pregaming or wrapping up a night out in Orlando. If you can’t snag last-minute reservations, you can always grab to-go drinks or pick something up in the bottle shop, and explore the surrounding area on foot.
ette hotel Orlando
Just minutes from Walt Disney World® Resort, the luxurious ette hotel Orlando is a fully alcohol-free property with two fantastic dining concepts from Chef Akira Back of MICHELIN Guide Fame. Both feature jaw-dropping mocktails from expert mixologist Jarl de Vries, all enhanced with fresh botanical ingredients, aromatic mists, spritzes and more for full sensory immersion.
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Take Into the Woods for example, a forest-hued concoction available only at Salt & the Cellar by Akira Back. The earthy blend features fresh green herbs, ginger, cucumber and lime, topped with cookie crumble and presented tableside atop a bed of forest aromatic mist. It’s one of eight breathtaking libations at the innovative Mediterranean Asian restaurant. Other standouts include Taurus in Retrograde, a blend of rooibos tea, sarsaparilla shrub, Layres American Malt, house-made bitters and amarena cherry nectar, and The Abyss, a color-shifting drink crafted with Marco Polo blue shrub, Seedlip™ Grove 42, yuzu citrus, butterfly pea simple syrup, and Perle Blue de Chavin 0% Champagne.
You’ll find even more sensory pleasure in store upstairs at LIPA Rooftop by Akira Back, an electrifying sushi and small plates lounge with three additional cocktails. Soak up the rooftop views, vibe to a live DJ and relax with whimsical cocktails served in or atop pristine porcelain busts. All are playful, expertly crafted options, from the coconut, citrus and mint Dream Girl to the twisting, guava-infused Eye Candy.
And while you certainly don’t need alcohol to have a great time, ette hotel Orlando does offer complimentary “Bottle Club” service to those in your group seeking something stronger. Friends and family can simply bring their favorite wine, liquor or other libation and enjoy it throughout the property, all with no corkage fee or added service charge.
In Orlando’s eclectic SODO Main Street District, near downtown Orlando, SODO Kava is the perfect place to unwind in a no-pressure, alcohol-free zone. Along with fresh botanical teas, kava, coffee, Vitalitea beverages on tap, and prepacked drinks, the laid-back spot offers a variety of delicious mocktails crafted with your choice of kava or botanical tea. Current favorites include the Cacao Mama (organic raw cacao, plant milk, agave, lavender), Island Palmer (half botanical tea, half kombucha), and Hades Hex (pomegranate, passionfruit, mango, apple, lime). They also offer fun shots and wellness boosters, perfect for keeping the party going all night long.
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SODO Kava also hosts regular specials and events throughout the year, including trivia, happy hour, live DJ sets, and parties for some of your favorite holidays and seasonal celebrations. You can also find them about 40 minutes from our main tourism districts in Longwood.
More Places to Celebrate Dry January
Many of Orlando’s top restaurants and resorts boast delicious mocktails and zero-proof cocktails, including several MICHELIN Guide restaurants throughout our vibrant neighborhoods and tourism districts. Discover some of our top beverage picks or choose your own non-alcoholic adventure during your next visit. Cheers!
Discover: 25 Marvelous Mocktails
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