Dry January can be a welcomed reprieve after the many booze-filled dinners, parties, and gatherings of the holiday months. The start of the year is the perfect time to reset, but giving up booze for the month doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy the flavors of your favorite drinks. Over the years, we’ve seen the non-alcoholic beverage space grow tremendously. Long gone are the days of boring mocktails. Today, non-alcoholic drinking is as much about complex ingredients and balanced flavors as the craft cocktail scene.
Whether you’re looking to go alcohol-free for an evening out or swearing off the stuff for an entire month, here are some mindful no- and low-alcohol swaps for your favorite cocktails.
If you like Palomas, then try grapefruit soda + lime + sea salt.
Citrusy tequila cocktails like Palomas and Margaritas have year-round appeal. The simplicity of the Paloma in particular makes it easy to replicate, sans liquor. To make a booze-free version, start by adding grapefruit sparkling water like Fever-Tree Pink Grapefruit or LaCroix Pamplemousse to a Collins glass with a squeeze of lime and a pinch of sea salt.
If you like Gin & Tonics, then try tonic water + citrus juice + herbs.
The botanical flavors of gin are hard to replicate, but this G&T (minus the G) offers a nice balance between fresh herbs and quinine bitterness. To achieve the most authentic flavor, opt for a robust quinine-forward tonic like Fentimans Tonic Water. Mix the tonic with a handful of crushed ice, squeezed citrus, and plenty of fresh herbs like basil, rosemary, and thyme in a highball glass for a drink that is just as refreshing and herbal as a true G&T.
If you like sparkling rosé, then try a sparkling verjus.
The highly acidic juice of unripe wine grapes known as verjus is often used for flavoring cocktails. However, it can also be a nice substitute for wine drinkers during dry January. Wölffer Estate’s Petite Rosé Verjus provides the perfect alternative to sparkling rosé, as it offers light and crisp effervescence with the sweet and savory flavors of the Pinot Meunier grapes it’s made from.
If you like hard seltzer, try bitters + soda
It’s no secret that U.S. drinkers can’t get enough of hard seltzer. The crushable, lightly flavored beverages are the perfect porch pounders. If you find yourself missing your favorite 12-pack this January, the simple combination of bitters and soda makes a great alternative. As light and refreshing as your favorite White Claw with just a minuscule amount of alcohol from the bitters, this drink is easy to make all month long.
If you like red blends, try tart cherry juice
Though it might sound strange, tart cherry juice’s drying mouthfeel mimics the tannic yet juicy appeal of many red blends on today’s market. Plus, similar to how your favorite red can cause drowsiness, the nutritionist-approved juice is said to be a natural sleep aid.