The winter can be a stressful time for many. Whether it's the constant snow and cold wind pressing up against you, the added stress of holidays or trying to stay connected with old friends, there’s plenty of reason to look for diversions and distractions at the end of the year. Then, there is a movement to do just the opposite.
Whether you're overdone it a little during the holidays or are just looking to give sobriety a spin, Dry January is the social challenge that has participants laying off alcohol the first 31 days of the year.
As interest in being dry and dry-ish throughout the year take hold, similar sober stints like Sober October are becoming just as trendy.
If you’re interested but unsure what to do with your hands if they’re not holding a cocktail glass, fear not! There are plenty of nonalcoholic options to enjoy. “Mocktails” keep all the traditions of adult beverages without the actual “adult” element. Here are some of our favorite recipes that stand strong in the winter month. Throw a scarf on, and get mixing!
This tropical recipe comes courtesy of Hawks Cay Resort in the Florida Keys, a 60-acre destination that boasts villa suites, six restaurants, saltwater lagoons and plenty of on-site activities. Next time you need a vacation, consider sipping on this mocktail—or just booking a stay.
- 1 oz mango puree
- ½ oz lime juice
- Ginger beer
Directions: Combine the mango puree and lime juice in a highball glass, and top it off with ginger beer. Garnish with mint and lime.
This decadent mocktail brings a depth of flavor without any of the nasty stuff, thanks to its use of Bare Zero Proof Whiskey. Double barrel-aged with hints of lightly charred American oak, vanilla, caramel and maple, this gives you the experience of a stiff drink without the stiffness.
- 2 oz Bare Zero Proof Bourbon
- ¾ oz Giffard Aperitif Syrup
- ¾ oz coffee (cooled)
- ½ oz maple syrup
- ¼ oz lemon juice (double strained)
Directions: Add all ingredients together in a shaker tin. Shake until well diluted and chilled. Strain and serve in a coupe glass. Garnish with 5 drops of Fee Brothers Cardamom bitters (or any bitters).
From actress Blake Lively’s flavorful and bubbly Betty Buzz sparkling drink and mixer line comes this tasty treat that won’t leave you with a hangover—just a good time and memories that stick.
- ½ Bottle Betty Buzz Meyer Lemon Club Soda
- Pear slices
- Lemon twist
Directions: Pour Betty Buzz Meyer Lemon Club Soda over ice. Garnish with pears, rosemary and a lemon twist.
This lime and beet mix is the perfect chill blend to cozy up with during a Friday night Netflix marathon. While it might require a bit of effort to prepare—as well as a nice bottle of non-alcoholic spirit—the end result makes it more than worth it, giving a masterclass in what New York’s Thyme Bar stands for: taste, aroma, presentation. Of course, you’ll have to make some “beet syrup” to start:
- ½ oz lime juice
- 1 handful of fresh mint
- 1 oz non-alcoholic gin
- 3 oz blueberry kombucha
- 1 oz beet syrup
- 350 grams of beet blend
- 70% – or 245 grams – beet juice (can also buy in-store; recommend: red radiance)
- 15% – 53 grams – strawberry
- 15% – 53 grams – apple
- 150 grams mineral water
- 355 grams white sugar powder
Directions: Mix the 350 grams of beet blend together with the mineral water, and place into a pot to simmer on medium heat. Once the syrup is almost boiling, add the sugar. Once the sugar is dissolved, remove the syrup from the heat and place into a container. Refrigerate and use for up to two weeks! Mix all remaining ingredients together into a Collins glass, and serve over ice. Garnish with blueberry, raspberry and olive-pickled vegetables. Enjoy!
East of the Sun
Have a New Years’ Resolution to try new things? Perhaps this Japanese-inspired mocktail from Ophelia Lounge in NYC is just the place to start. With ingredients such as yuzu juice and Fever Tree, there might be a little more shopping involved than other drinks on this list, but the final tasty result is more than worth the effort. Just be sure to mix this correctly!
- 3 Shiso leaves
- 1 oz simple syrup
- ¾ oz yuzu juice
- 2 oz water
- 2 oz lime & yuzu Fever-Tree
Process: In a cocktail shaker, muddle the leaves and simple syrup together. Add all the remaining ingredients except for the Fever Tree into the shaker. Add ice, and shake well. Pour all of the contents, including the ice, into a tall wine glass. Top with the Fever Tree. Enjoy!
The harvest has been gathered to take you through the long, cold winter. A good healthy cider is always appreciated following the autumn months, but the Boathouse Restaurant in Maine takes it a step further with this mocktail, featuring both the traditional juice as well as a few kicks for zest. Dust off your old simple mixing syrup recipe—preferably one that’s a little more laid back in the spices—and try out this gem!
- 2 oz apple cider
- 1 oz pomegranate juice
- ½ oz simple syrup
- ½ oz lemon juice
- Soda water as necessary
- Cinnamon stick for garnish
Directions: In a cocktail shaker, mix all ingredients together and shake well. Strain into a wine glass filled with chopped ice and top with enough soda water. Garnish with a cinnamon stick. Enjoy!
While it may seem a little too chilly for mixed drinks, there are plenty of options that still hold a potent punch. This ginger mix from NR in NYC, inspired by other fusion cocktails, offers a good time and a great conversation starter. It’s also a great opportunity to try making your own spiced syrup, a new twist on the simple mix. Try it yourself!
- ⅓ oz ginger
- ⅓ oz lime
- ⅓ oz spiced syrup
- Ginger ale as necessary
Directions: Stir together in a large enough glass and top with ginger ale. Enjoy!
Blood Orange Mocktail
Have you fallen behind on your recent commitment to fruits and vegetables? Maybe this blood orange mix from Marisa Moore can help you get back on the health wagon… or maybe a good mix to serve to your friends. Whichever you prefer, there’s no denying the delicious drink is a perfect alternative to more adult beverages. Try this out for yourself!
- 8 oz. blood orange juice, freshly squeezed
- 1 tbsp honey
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 4 oz. lime sparkling water
- Blood orange slices for garnish
Directions: Squeeze the blood orange juice into a mix, and drain into a cocktail shaker. Add the honey and vanilla extract to the unchilled juice, and shake well. Add ice to cool it down. Pour evenly into two ice-filled glasses. Top with lime sparkling water and a slice of blood orange on top. Enjoy!
Maybe you associate sangria with red wine and Spanish summers, but nobody ever said you can’t enjoy it in the winter with juice instead! This mix of oranges, grapefruits and even tea from Imma Eat That is sure to warm your spirit and give you something nice to drink on the coldest of snowy mornings, even if it does take a while to prepare. Be sure to share the warmth with all your friends!
- 2 oranges, sliced
- 2 grapefruits, sliced
- 1 cup cranberries
- 16 oz pomegranate juice
- 1 cup orange juice
- 2 chai tea bags
- Two cans grapefruit-flavored sparkling water (LaCroix)
- Cinnamon sticks, fresh cranberries for garnish
Directions: Preheat the oven to 400ºF. On a baking sheet, place the sliced oranges, sliced grapefruit and cranberries. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until cranberries burst and caramelize a bit. Boil the pomegranate juice and orange juice together. Once boiling, pour the mixture over the chai tea bags. Steep for 5 minutes. Remove tea bags. Add in caramelized fruit and let sit in the fridge for at least 2 hours or overnight. Fill a glass half full of the sangria mix, and fill the rest of the glass with grapefruit sparkling water. Garnish, and enjoy!
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While it may have “Christmas” in the name, this cranberry-based blend from Mindful Mocktail is terrific to enjoy through all the snowy months. Mix the fruit and leave them in the refrigerator with care, and hope that a delicious drink will soon be there!
- 1 cup cranberry juice
- 1 cup pomegranate juice
- ½ cup dried mixed fruit
- 2 tsp orange zest
- 4 slices orange
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 2 slices Lemon
- 2 whole cloves
- ½ tsp mixed spice
- ¼ tsp grated nutmeg
- Shredded coconut for garnish
Directions: Place all ingredients in a large jug or bowl. Cover and leave overnight in fridge. Using a fine strainer, strain into a clean jug or glass. Serve in a glass with lots of ice, or heated in a mug. Garnish with a cinnamon stick, orange slice and greenery of your choice. Enjoy!
Want to bring the spirit—or non-spirit—of Dry January with you through the rest of the year? Stock your bar cart with one of our favorite non-alcoholic spirits and stay a little more sober all spring, summer, autumn and winter.