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4 Booze-Free Cocktails to Get You Through Dry January
Whether you’re participating in Dry January, drinking less in solidarity with a pregnant loved one, or your lifestyle simply doesn’t include drinking alcohol, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to get excited about a delicious cocktail.
That said, breaking the habit — especially if you’re only doing it for the 31 days of Dry January — can be challenging. If you’re worried about how you’ll last the month, stop. It’s normal. We’re so used to happy hour being a default way to spend time with friends, co-workers, and even for dates, but taking a step back from bar culture, even just for a few weeks, could actually expand your horizons and maybe spark interest in a new hobby.
According to Hilary Sheinbaum, three-time Dry January participant and head of partnerships and marketing at Liquor Lab in New York City, “Try suggesting that your friend group participate in activities that don’t involve booze. Depending on where you live, there are tons of fun things to do that don’t involve imbibing: bowling, going to concerts, rock climbing, visiting museums, exercising, or taking on a new hobby like cooking or creating your own NA drink recipes! At Liquor Lab, we have an NA Brunch classjust for that!”
“If you’re at a bar, opt for soda water and lime, soda, a juice or an NA drink instead of beer, wine, or a cocktail,” Sheinbaum advises. “In recent years, restaurants and venues are catering more and more to Dry January participants, even creating mocktail menus specifically for the special month!”
Whether you plan to boycott the bar out of principle, you’re hosting friends who are skipping the booze, or you simply want to test your hand at alcohol-free mixology, there’s no reason that foregoing booze means you have to live without fun flavors. That’s why we’ve rounded up some of the delicious mocktail recipes from Natalie’s Juice Co. and Freddie Sarkis, Liquor Lab’s chief cocktail officer, to help guide your Dry January imbibing.
- 1 oz pineapple juice
- 3/4 oz cinnamon maple syrup*
- 1/2 oz lemon juice
- 1/2 oz apple cider vinegar
- 1 oz lemon tonic
- Crushed ice
- Pineapple for garnish
- Combine ingredients in a Collins glass over crushed ice and swizzle until thoroughly mixed.
- Garnish with cinnamon stick and pineapple wheel.
*Cinnamon Maple Syrup
- In saucepan, crack 4 cinnamon sticks and toast on high heat for 30 seconds.
- Add 750 mL water and allow to come to a boil.
- Remove from heat and allow to rest for 5 minutes.
- Stir in 500 mL sugar and 500 mL maple syrup. Allow to steep for 20 more minutes.
- Strain and bottle.
Blood Orange Almond Honey Spritzer
- 3 oz Natalie’s Blood Orange Juice
- 1 oz almond simple syrup*
- 2-3 oz club soda
- 1 lemon slice
- Honey, for drizzling
- Fill an 8 oz glass with ice.
- Add juice and simple syrup. Stir well.
- Add club soda.
- Top with a slice of lemon. Drizzle with honey.
*Almond Simple Syrup
- Combine 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of water in a small saucepan.
- Bring to a boil and stir until sugar is dissolved.
- Add 1 tsp almond extract.
- Lower heat and simmer for 3 minutes.
- Remove from heat. Let mixture cool to room temperature. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Grapefruit Thyme Spritzer
- 1/2 cup Natalie’s Grapefruit Juice
- 1 oz thyme simple syrup*
- 1/2 cup club soda
- Splash of aromatic bitters
- Sprig or two fresh thyme, for garnish
- Fill a glass with ice.
- Pour in the juice and thyme simple syrup, mix.
- Top with club soda and a splash of bitters.
- Garnish with a couple sprigs of fresh thyme.
*Thyme Simple Syrup
- In a small pot, bring 1 cup sugar, 1 cup water, and 3 to 4 sprigs of thyme to boil, 3 minutes.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool completely. (Thyme can be left in or removed.)
- Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
Pink Peppercorn Lemonade
- 1 oz pink peppercorn simple syrup*
- ½ cup Natalie’s Pink Lemonade
- ½ cup club soda
- Lemon slices and pink peppercorns for garnish
- In a glass filled with ice, add 3-4 tbsp of pink peppercorn simple syrup.
- Add equal parts Natalie’s Pink Lemonade and club soda.
- Stir and garnish with a slice of lemon and a few whole peppercorns.
*Pink Peppercorn Simple Syrup
- In a small pot, combine 1 cup sugar, 1 cup water, and 1 tbsp pink peppercorns.
- Bring to a boil for 2 minutes on high. Remove from heat and allow the simple syrup to cool completely.
- Pour the syrup through a fine metal sleeve to remove the peppercorns.
- Store in an airtight container for up to two weeks in the fridge.