Why I’m So Into the Nonalcoholic Tea Cocktails at This New York City Korean Spot

The last time I looked for haven from New York City’s current rainy stretch inside NARO, 2019 Food & Wine Best New Chef Junghyun Park and Ellia Park’s fine-dining Korean area in Rockefeller Center, I ducked into the dimly lit, horseshoe-shaped bar to snack on a couple of plates from the a la carte menu. Although NARO is primarily a prix fixe facility, the bar provides a more casual taste of what Park does so well at his other NYC restaurants, Atoboy and Atomix.

I debated buying a glass of gleaming Chenin Blanc or Champagne to choose juicy fried chicken morsels set down on crispy rice cakes coated in gochugaru and chili crisp, however ultimately couldn’t tear my eyes away from the thoughtfully crafted nonalcoholic drink program. The menu includes the Woosoo Cooler, a refreshing green-tea-based drink that pairs surprisingly well with mouthwatering and sweet meals (like the Pop Rocks popsicle, which is a must-order) alike.
Why Aren't More Restaurants Making Nonalcoholic Cocktails With Tea?
As somebody who securely thinks in the power and potential that tea has to bring flower, fruity, earthy, or vegetal notes to your combined beverages, it’s not exactly surprising that I went for the Woosoo Cooler. At home, I’ll typically include a splash of gin to some iced Darjeeling tea, or a bit of mezcal to pack smoky notes into an otherwise delicate coupe of Jasmine tea. I learned that the beverage also calls for Korean pear juice, which loads a bit of level of acidity and sweetness, and for a bit of effervescence, the bar group adds Wild Mountain Green tea, a sparkling tea with a surprisingly nutty flavor that I ‘d happily drink on its own.

Beyond the Woosoo Cooler, the nonalcoholic beverage program at NARO includes a tart, appetizing shrub made with yuzu juice and irritable pear, which I plan to purchase the next time I’m in the mood for something to pair with the razor clams. “But a new roster of techniques and likewise NA spirit producers are coming to the forefront to fill this need and we ought to continue seeing more exciting nonalcoholic drinks pop up across the city, specifically at NARO.”

As somebody who likes a stiff drink but loves unpacking what enters into making a perfectly well balanced, booze-free cocktail even more, NARO’s nonalcoholic drinks list is one I plan to make my way through– with many more orders of rice cakes.

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