Come on, Kids. Let’s Grab Drinks.


Josh Friesen, 33, who works in marketing and communication and lives in Portland, Ore., said he was comfortable giving his children, 8 and 4, mocktails at home. “Every now and then I will whip up something that either has Lacroix or kombucha, and I’ll put a little cocktail cherry and make it fancy with a toothpick and a lime wedge,” he said.

But he doesn’t let them order them in restaurants.

“I feel like these places that make these nonalcoholic spirits and these places that serve mocktails, they don’t do it for kids,” he said. “I don’t want my kid co-opting this thing that is meant for an adult not drinking alcohol.”

Jed Bennett, 50, a children’s book marketer who lives in South Orange, N.J., said his teenage children, who are 17 and 15, are constantly asking for nonalcoholic cocktails. “There is a mocktail menu pretty much everywhere we go, whether we are eating dinner in the city, the ’burbs, or we spend summers in Montauk,” he said.

Mr. Bennett said he felt a little conflicted. “Part of me is like, ‘I don’t know if we want to be introducing this world to kids at this age,” he said. “Is it a quicker pivot to actual cocktails when they are older? It rubs me the wrong way a little bit.”

One of his other reservations is the price of these drinks, which can hover in the $20 range in New York City.

“The kids are like, ‘We want a virgin mojito or a virgin piña colada, and the next thing you know I am paying $18 for each,” he said. “What happened to the Shirley Temple for $3.50?”



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