North Texas' vegan scene is growing more with popular lifestyle changes for the love of animals and for the love of health. The area offers a variety of restaurants serving vegan food, but some wonder where to get vegan cocktails.
Although most cocktails are vegan-friendly, there are some things to look for when it comes to choosing beers, ciders, wines or cocktails.
"Most of the time the problem lies in what is mixed in with the spirit," says Jeff Bryant, manager of Sundown at Granada restaurant in Dallas. He says cocktails made with nuts, berries, bitters and other natural items are usually vegan-friendly. But drinkers will want to watch out for animal products infused in the spirit, such as honey, or used in filtering.
Websites, such as Barnivore, can help drinkers determine which alcoholic beverages are vegan-friendly; that site alone has a catalog of more than 20,000 beers, wines and liquors that have each been verified by companies and community members in similar fashion to Wikipedia.
But several places in D-FW also offer beverages to satisfy vegan drinkers. Many may not even realize they are imbibing a vegan-friendly cocktail at their local watering hole, including places such as Sundown at Granada, Origin Kitchen + Bar and LARK on the Park in Dallas.
Have no fear of having a cocktail with friends this weekend, head on out to these wonderful vegan-friendly restaurants and have a drink.
Sundown at Granada
Sundown at Granada on Greenville Avenue is perhaps the most identifiable restaurant in D-FW serving vegan food, cocktails and wines. Owners made headlines in 2014 when they decided to nix genetically modified foods (GMOs).
"We believe it is important to feed our customers food and drinks that are GMO-free, meaning they aren't full of hormones, pesticides and things concocted in a laboratory, but rather are fresh and natural," says bar manager Christian Brown.
Brown also believes it's important to know if a restaurant's practices align with personal ethical beliefs about food. That's why many menu items can be amended to be vegan or gluten-free.
In the way of drinks, Sundown at Granada offers two vegan ciders, Angry Orchard and original Crispin cider, as well as cocktails. The Cucumber Tini is made with house-infused cucumber Tito's Vodka, lime juice and vegan-friendly simple syrup. The Another Day in Paradise is a mix of Deep Eddy Ruby Red vodka, elderflower, strawberries, lemon juice and vegan-friendly simple syrup.
Origin Kitchen + Bar
Located on McKinney Avenue, Origin Kitchen + Bar features three vegan-friendly cocktails as well as vegan menu accommodations.
For vegans, restaurant owner Jessica Aldredge recommends the Rye Orchard (Rittenhouse rye, lemon juice, apple cider and simple syrup), an Old Fashioned (Rittenhouse rye, simple syrup and orange bitters) or the Mexican Martini (jalapeno-infused Mezcal, lemon juice, chartreuse and agave).
Although these cocktails aren't marketed or made to be specifically vegan, they are vegan by nature.
"All of our ingredients are house-made and super fresh and seasonal so vegans can always find something yummy," says Aldredge.
LARK on the Park
Another popular restaurant to visit for vegan options is LARK on the Park, located on the edge of Klyde Warren Park in downtown Dallas. The kitchen is open until midnight Monday through Saturday, and along with food, chefs Melody Bishop and Dennis Kelley serve up a killer vegan cocktail called Kitty Hawk.
Kitty Hawk is made with blackberry-infused Tullamore Dew Irish Whiskey, lemon juice, Aperitivo Cappelletti and Amaro Nonino. While sipping on this sweet nectar, patrons can explore the illustrations that fill the walls of this contemporary, urban restaurant.
Chloe Dinsdale is a senior studying marketing and fashion media at SMU. She is a Colorado native, avid traveler and journalist with interest in the fashion industry, magazine work and digital media experience. Follow her on Twitter @ChloeDinsdale or reach her by email at email@example.com.