Abstaining from alcohol during the month of January has become popular enough to earn its own moniker: Dryuary. And as the trend has gained momentum, restaurants and bars have elevated alcohol-free cocktails from their disrespected status as “mocktails” to sought-after drinks that are expertly crafted with premium ingredients and seasonal flavors.
Typically, drinkers try to go alcohol-free during January to counteract overindulgence during the holidays. The 2020 holiday season was far from typical, but Dryuary is thriving in 2021. In many locales, that means drinks to go, as bars and restaurants remain shuttered. Operators are packaging zero-proof cocktails in mason jars, bottles, kits and even cans to sell off-premise.
Take a look at some of the inspired spiritless cocktails on offer to reach what some are calling the “sober curious” customer.
Quality Crab and Oyster Bah
Three alcohol-free cocktails are served at this casual Chicago restaurant, part of the Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises group. Ginger’s Island combines fresh pineapple, ginger, lime, mint and angostura bitters (pictured), while the Cape May is a virgin Cape Cod, blended of housemade cranberry juice, sage syrup and fresh lemon. The third choice is Cider Sangria, a fruity version of the classic made with cider.
A balance of blackberries and ginger provides a bit of sweet heat to Daniel’s Blackberry Ginger Soda. The high-end New York City restaurant makes its own ginger syrup, then shakes it up with lime, blackberries and simple syrup. The fresh drink is garnished with candied ginger. Other zero-proof cocktails of Daniel’s start with housemade fruit shrubs
New Orleans is another hard-drinking town, but this year, several restaurants are going the no-alcohol route. Compere Lapin is offering up the Strange Page, a mix of grapefruit, aji dulce pepper, raspberry, ginger and gentian. The aji adds spicy notes and the raspberry, vibrant color.
Lincoln Social Rooftop Bar
This Columbus, Ohio spot is crafting a drink called Herbal Activity, a blend of white cranberry juice, rosemary hibiscus simple syrup, ginger syrup and fresh lemon with a bonus of CBD. The ingredients are shaken, and strained over ice, then served with a local lime soda infused with CBD as a sidecar. The glass is garnished with a rosemary sprig and CBD gummy.