Dry January is picking up steam. So many friends have mentioned they're totally cutting the booze this month, and even those of us who are still imbibing from time to time may be opting for a more moderate approach. People have all kinds of reasons for not drinking this month (if at all), and sobriety today has been rebranded from "having a problem" to being one choice in support of a healthy lifestyle. And lots of bars and restaurants are taking note, offering up innovative, not-too-sweet drink menus with zero alcohol, since sipping water with lemon gets realllly boring.
Herbal infusions, vinegar-based shrubs, bitters, fresh fruit and vegetable juices - all of these make a mocktail feel worthy of cheersing with your favorite people, no hangover included.
Since I'm definitely welcoming some cozy non-alcoholic nights this January - but don't want to give up the relaxing vibes at the end of a workday - Adam and I have been experimenting with some booze-free drinks that trick us into feeling like we're drinking.
Lesson 1: A stemmed glass and pretty garnish go a long way.
Lesson 2: The simple act of taking time to measure your ingredients and prepare it with care is what makes your mocktail feel like an occasion.
Read on for my favorite drinks to mix up if I'm not drinking alcohol.
top image: Culinary Hill
A little tart, a little sweet, and a lot of fizziness to make this mocktail feel super festive.
When I don't feel like making a full-on mocktail but still want something special, I get out a big wine glass and fill with sparkling water, then add citrus slices, fresh mint, berries, apple -- whatever is colorful and adds flavor without adding any sugar. Pretty and delish.
*these gorgeous versions above are from Culinary Hill
Green juice, a couple splashes of bubbly kombucha, and some super fragrant mint for the win.
I stumbled upon this brand when researching this post last month, and ordered my first bottle immediately. In a nutshell, it's a non-alcoholic drink that you can sip on the rocks or make a cocktail with mixers. The "europhics" part comes from its "balancing adaptogens, replenishing nootropics, and nourishing botanics that lift the mind and relax the body to open the spirit to the people around you." I'm not sure that I felt any dramatic results, but it was definitely a major step up from sipping lemon water on a Saturday night.
The spicy kick makes me feel like I'm drinking a margarita. Almost.
Fresh grapefruit juice and lavender syrup are two of my favorite ingredients. This drink feels perfect for a baby shower or festive girls' brunch.
I buy these by the case -- all the health benefits of apple cider vinegar with just enough honey to make it a pleasure to drink. I love to pour this into a wine glass at the end of a long workday and sip on the couch.
This recipe uses mint and orange flower water to make a glass of Earl Grey absolutely party-worthy.
Half-Baked Harvest's recipe calls for an optional splash of vodka so you can make this a mocktail or something stronger, depending on your mood. This one would be a perfect way to make Valentine's feel celebratory without the booze.