New Year, New You, New Us.
By Stef Coyne
We're doing it—it's dry January and it's off to an amazing start thanks to all the non-alcoholic products that have hit the market. 2021 has us planning for the start of something really great in our health, in our happiness and in our self-care. The best place to start is by what we are putting into our bodies and after a holiday season of indulgences and a year of seeking comfort in all things typically reserved for a special occasion, it's time. It's time to reset and plan for a much brighter and healthier year ahead. With that said, we have committed to dry January and it's really not that bad! Not only are we finding new ways to treat ourselves and feel good about it, the bottles these non-alcoholic spirits come in can still be admired on a slightly different type of bar.
We've rounded up some of our favorite mocktails, non-alcohol beers and simple tips and tricks for making it feel like you are having a cocktail while sticking to your commitment of dry January.
Walking through CB2 (their new line of furniture is so swoon worthy btw), we were stopped in our tracks by one of the coolest bottles we have seen. Without even knowing what it was, we headed to check-out simply wanting this beautiful bottle to be displayed on our bar and then we come to find out it's actually non-alcoholic gin! While we're not much of gin drinkers, we remembered our team lead and founder of Olive Well, Lauren Mitrick Wood's favorite cocktail is a gin gimlet and decided to give it a try. We found this recipe for the Monday Gin Gimlet and after straining our mocktail into our newly purchased coupe glass, our inner Daisy Buchanan come out and we were feeling just as fabulous as if we were at a Great Gatsby party but without any of the guilt the next day. A huge thanks the Monday Gin for turning us into a gin lover and allowing us to have a guilt free indulgence.
You can grab your very own Monday Gin here and thank us later, xx.
Speaking of bottles we want on our bar that also contain amazing non-alcoholic spirits, hello Seedlip. With their whimsical, Alice and Wonderland vibes, we simply want to get lost in the story these characters have to tell. Food 52 shared a recipe for their Garden Mary which is the answer to our burning question, what about Football Sunday? We like to kick-off Sunday kick-offs with a spicy bloody, but what happens on the first Sunday of dry January? Seedlip Garden109 to the rescue. Add a little tomato juice, Worcestershire, lemon and cayenne and voila—Football Sunday has been saved.
While the temps are low and the sun is rare this time of year, nothing gets us in the mood for the warm sunny days ahead or a mid-winter break to the beach quite like a margarita - make it spicy if we are ordering! Since lime juice and triple sec over ice doesn't quite do it for us, we went out and found an excellent non-alcoholic tequila, thanks to Ritual. With a rich golden hue, blue agave aroma, mellow spices of black peppercorn, charred oak and mesquite smoke this tastes like the real deal. We're turning up the heat, putting on the Olive Well Summer Playlist and kicking back with our guilt-free margs, Salud.
Not all dry January mocktails require a fancy non-alcoholic spirit, simply put - hold the vodka! Our very own broker, Tori Gwin's favorite NA indulgence is a tart (has to be tart!) cranberry juice and soda. For an elevated mocktail experience she uses a stemless wine glass or etched rocks glass and swears you won't even notice the missing ingredient. Fun fact: cranberry juice has been known to aid in digestion, improve heart heath
and support weight loss. We'll take all the cranberry juice, please and thank you.
Calling all beer drinkers, we have NOT forgotten about you! We get it, not everyone likes mocktails or even regular cocktails when it's not dry January. Sometimes you just want an ice cold beer to quench your thirst and boy are you in luck. We've tried them all (well, almost all) and we think that the most full bodied non-alcoholic beer that actually tastes like a beer award goes to Clausthaler (applause, applause). Heineken 0.0 comes in at a very close second and third place award goes to Becks. You really can't go wrong with any of them, we think they get the job done and are actually quite enjoyable served in a frosty mug because as we've learned, it's all about the glass. An honorable mention must go out to Brooklyn Special Effects. There is a lot of buzz about this non-alcoholic beer from Brooklyn Brewing, one of our favorite breweries but we can't actually speak to it since we haven't tried it yet. If you have, let us know in the comments below!
Here are a few quick and easy ways to elevate your mocktail game that doesn't require much effort at all.
Find an etched glass at your local Goodwill store or grab one of our favorites like these Waterford Tumblers and enjoy the treat of a mocktail in an elegant glass. Look good, feel good, amiright?
Ice, ice, baby. It's all about the ice. If you can invest in the coveted pebble ice machine, we say do it and we're coming over! But if that's too steep of a purchase for ice, we found that these silicon pebble ice trays work just as well.
Garnish goes a long way. Step outside of the box with your typical lemon or lime wedge garnish and get creative. Our favorite garnishes are a blood orange slice (looks so pretty in a stemless wine glass), a sprig of rosemary or even a few Luxardo cherries stacked on a cocktail pick.