Zero Proof Event and Happy Hours

Dumpstaphunk, Cha Wa, and more at Sober Fest, plus happy hour without the booze

The zero proof cocktail movement continues to gain momentum in New Orleans with an entirely sober music festival coming this month and even more bars and restaurants offering thoughtful, booze free drinks on their menus. 

First, the festival. Sober Fest, organized by Bridge House/Grace House, is a free (but ticketed) event featuring live music by Dumpstaphunk, Cha Wa, the Trombone Shorty Academy and Camile Baudoin of The Radiators. Food and non-alcoholic beverages will be available for purchase, with proceeds benefitting Bridge House/Grace House’s free, long-term treatment programs for substance use disorder. There will also be a games and activities tent for the kids. The event is at Mardi Gras World on Nov. 12 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Get additional details and tickets at Be sure to say hi if you see me at the fest.

In addition to the event, as well as the alcohol free spaces Dream House Lounge and The Sober Bar Babe, which I wrote about in July, local bars, restaurants and liquor stores are starting to flesh out their drink menus and stock shelves with an array of non-alcoholic beers, wines and zero proof cocktails. While there are still many places where you have to ask for NA choices, I’m pleasantly surprised repeatedly to discover well-curated and well-crafted choices at haunts including Avo, Kindred, Velveteen Lounge and, most recently, The Rabbit’s Foot. Both Velveteen and now Rabbit’s Foot also have a selection of zero proof options included in happy hour — for the win. Meanwhile, after Tales of the Cocktail, I spied Lyre’s brand zero proof spirits and prosecco at Martin Wine Cellar. Lyre’s as well as Seedlip both had a (much discussed) presence at Tales, which I theorize has in part spurred many of the local establishments to begin carrying these products and creating zero proof cocktails for their drink menus. Cheers to that!

Finally, under the heading of shameless plugs, the book I edited, “CRAFT: The Eat Fit Guide to Zero Proof Cocktails,” published this week. To quote myself from the description I wrote for the back cover of the book, “Craft,” features “more than 50 recipes, guides to barware, bitters, glassware and everything else you need to craft a fully sensorial cocktail, this book is an essential — and beautiful — resource for every home mixologist’s library.” Proceeds from the book’s sales go to Ochsner’s Eat Fit programming (not me, I provided my services for free, as did the author, Eat Fit founder and dietician Molly Kimball; photographer and Eat Fit Monroe dietician Hope Frugé; and beverage industry pro and drink recipe developer Ethan Skaggs), so you can feel good about supporting worthwhile health initiatives, as well as just feel good, because you are lowering your alcohol intake. (That said, any of the drinks can be spiked if you are feeling frisky.) Get it at or from your favorite online or local bookseller. Learn more about the book (and how the Blueberry Fall cocktail from the book got its name) on Kimball’s latest podcast FUELED podcast episode, “Behind the Scenes of Craft, the Eat Fit Guide to Zero Proof Cocktails.”

As a person who has been alcohol free for over two years now, I couldn’t be more excited about the bevy of places making their beverage menus more inclusive. The above is literally just a taste of what’s becoming available around New Orleans.

Have you had a fabulous zero proof cocktail lately? Or are you having trouble wrapping your head around the concept of drinks that look and taste like a cocktail but don’t have any booze? Email me at to discuss!

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