Coachella, the two weekend long celebration of music and art outside Palm Springs, California, is the only place you can watch David Byrne and Beyoncé play back-to-back and it’s coming up fast. But it’s also become something else in recent years: its own food and drink festival. Now, at most big festivals there is a real push and pull as people find increasingly complicated ways to sneak plastic bottles of bargain basement vodka inside. That will almost certainly happen some at Coachella, but seriously guys, it would be a waste of your time and effort. In fact, some of the best drinks won’t be alcoholic at all. Bar Not Bar is the latest addition to the Coachella food and drink lineup and it’s going to have an entire menu of alcohol-free cocktails that can hold their own with their stiffer, boozier cousins.
Bar Not Bar is the latest innovation from the mind of Nic Adler, Coachella’s culinary director. “I didn’t want a space specifically because it was alcohol free,” says Adler. “I never liked the words ‘sober bar’ or ‘mocktails.’ But what if we made recipes that were complex, that people would savor and enjoy and not feel like they had to slam?” That led him to enlist the help of beverage director Jason Eisner who helped work up a sophisticated menu of drinks you should, under no circumstances, call mocktails.