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Maepole released a non-alcoholic beverage option in late September called sparkling hop water, made using real hops and no sugar. It’s pictured here on October 4, 2020. (©Sofia Gratas, sofigratas@gmail.com)

A drink doesn’t have to contain alcohol to be delicious and enjoyable. From seasonal lemonades to bubble tea, Athens has plenty of options for those who choose not to drink alcohol. Here’s our recommended list of popular bars and new additions to the drink scene for people who prefer non-alcoholic options.

Bubble Cafe

Located on College Avenue after a venue change this summer, Bubble Cafe serves dozens of tea options if you’re looking for a sweet alternative. It serves boba tea and has many options with and without milk. Bubble Cafe also offers fruit slushes. Options include honeydew green tea, coconut milk tea and strawberry black tea.

Figment Fermentation

With a new storefront on Baxter Street, Figment sells various flavors of kombucha, like ginger lemongrass, raspberry and rosé. Kombucha is a low-sugar beverage made of fermented tea, and it has benefits for gut health. Some variations may contain trace levels of alcohol due to the fermentation process. Figment Fermentation can also be found at the Athens Farmers Market.

Heirloom Cafe

Along with different coffee and espresso-based beverages, Heirloom Cafe offers Boylan’s sodas and a house-made lavender lemonade. The restaurant recently expanded its patio to serve more guests as the interior of the restaurant remains closed.

Maepole

The healthy casual restaurant Maepole recently announced a partnership with Figment Fermentation to create a sparkling hop water, which is described as a cross between a “La Croix and a Tropicália.” Along with this non-alcoholic option, Maepole also serves beverages such as hibiscus limeade, sparkling water and flavored kombucha.

Normal Bar

If you still want to experience the bar scene of Athens but would rather opt for a mocktail, Normal Bar has options for you. The Normaltown staple serves up non-alcoholic signature drinks on its regular menu. The bar plans to show all University of Georgia football games on a television set up on its patio.

Sips Espresso Cafe

Like the name suggests, Sips has plenty of espresso-based choices, but it also has an expansive tea and specialty drink menu. Seasonal lemonades are available, and options include turmeric lemonade, frozen mango limeade and frozen watermelon lemonade. A to-go window on the side of the building offers less contact while ordering.

The National

Operating for take-out and patio service, The National has quite a few non-alcoholic options. The restaurant makes its own limeade, lemonade and ginger beer. It also offers mixers like a pomegranate-ginger cooler and orange-creamsicle shrub syrup that can be enjoyed with soda water instead of liquor.

Walker’s Coffee & Pub

The downtown staple serves as a coffee shop by day and a bar by night. Walker’s early hours make them a great place to stop by before work or class for any kind of coffee or tea. At night, non-alcoholic beverages are still available.

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