Whether you’re quitting alcohol as a temporary post-Holidays health kick, or making a more long-term commitment, going dry is often a tricky endeavor. However, the increased rates of sobriety have seen the quality, not to mention quantity, of non-alcoholic options increase, too, meaning that your favorite cocktail recipes needn’t be off the menu.
Historically, mocktails were sugary-sweet afterthoughts, often catered to the underage, rather than adults who abstain from drinkers. Nowadays, however, virtually all hotels, bars and restaurants cater to the ever-growing number of non-drinkers with a decidedly grown-up selection of alcohol-free drinks, from cocktails to wines and beer.
So, without further ado, here are our favorite mocktail recipes that might just have you converted to a booze-free life beyond Dry January.
Pentire Fireside Collins (pictured above)
Made using a series of hand-selected botanicals native to the Cornish coast, Pentire’s selection of non-alcoholic spirits has surged in popularity among those looking for a healthier lifestyle, as well as the sober-curious.
While many sober people aren’t actually looking for a carbon copy of a spirit, if (like me) you’re looking for something to replace your favorite boozy tipple, Pentire’s use of botanicals make Adrift a virtually undetectable trade in a G&T. Its fresh, citrussy notes are also great in a cocktail. The brand has plenty of signature serves (as well as a few seriously good pre-mixed options), but the Fireside Collins is one of our favorites.
– 1¾ oz Pentire Adrift
– ¾ oz charred lemon syrup
– Soda to taste
– 2 charred lemon wheels to garnish
To make charred lemon syrup
– 2¾ lbs caster sugar
– 28oz water
– 3 unwaxed charred lemons, zest and juice
– 4 tsp of citric acid
Bring the water to a simmer before taking off the heat and adding the sugar. Stir until it has all dissolved and add the citric acid. Zest the lemons before cutting in half and placing them face down on medium heat over the grill until they are lightly caramelized.
Juice the lemons into the sugar water. Stir well and then cover and allow to cool before fine straining into a sealable container. Refrigerate and use within two weeks.
To make the Fireside Collins
Fill a highball glass with ice cubes, measure in the Pentire, charred lemon syrup and top up with soda. Stir and garnish with the thin wheels of charred lemon.
Launched back in 2015 in London’s Selfridges department store, Seedlip was one of the original brands pushing non-alcoholic spirits to luxurious heights. The range now includes three spirits, each of which features a selection of carefully selected, natural ingredients.
The distinctive flavors of each – Grove 42 is citrussy, Spice 94 aromatic and Garden 108 floral – lend themselves perfectly as a base to a wide array of your favorite classic cocktail recipes, without the woozy head the next morning. For cosmo lovers, the CosNoPolitan is an easy winner.
– 2 oz Seedlip Grove 42
– 1 oz Cranberry juice
– ½ oz lime juice
– ½ oz simple syrup
Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a coupe glass and garnish with a twirl of orange peel
Having opened in September last year, Oslo’s Sommerro easily became one of 2022’s coolest hotel openings. Clearly in tune with the growing trend of sober socializers, the hotel’s bar manager Loukia Blouti has crafted a range of zero-proof cocktails that will be on the menu through January and beyond in the belief that a good bar shouldn’t just about alcohol.
Combining hibiscus tea and fiery ginger beer with an alcohol-free gin (the recipe doesn’t specify a brand, but we recommend a lighter number to let the other ingredients shine), the Untouchable cocktail is a fresh, zingy number that promises to be perfectly refreshing all year round.
– 1½ oz spirit-free gin
– ½ oz berries and hibiscus tea syrup
– Squeeze of fresh lime
– Splash of ginger beer
To make the tea syrup
Gently heat equal amounts of sugar and water and let your tea steep for 10 minutes. Allow to cool.
To make the Untouchable
Build the first three ingredients in a tall glass full with ice and top up with ginger beer. Garnish with a sprig of mint and some red-berry jam.
Lyre’s Negroni Spagliato
“A Negroni. Sbagliato – with prosecco in it.” Even if you missed out on the viral video that prompted a whole generation to adopt a new drink of choice, don’t let going alcohol-free further dampen the party. Italian for ‘mistake’ the Negroni Sbagliato (AKA the preferred drink of House of the Dragon star, Emma D’Arcy) is a twist on the classic negroni recipe, with gin replaced by prosecco.
Thanks to Lyre’s full zero-alcohol range, which includes a sparkling wine, Rosso vermouth, and Campari-style aperitif, missing your favorite cocktail is a thing of the past.
– 1 oz Lyre’s Italian Orange
– 1 oz Lyre’s Aperitif Rosso
– 3 oz Lyre’s Classico Grande
– Orange slice
All ingredients to a short glass and stir with ice. Garnish with a slice of orange.
Dry Le Sud
For many, Dry January isn’t necessarily about cutting out alcohol altogether, more a resolution to drink a bit less. If you consider yourself in this group, a low ABV cocktail might make an excellent cocktail – try losing the hard spirits and just using a fortified wine or an aperitif liqueur instead.
The Dry Le Sud, for example, simply mixes fragrant Noilly Prat Extra Dry vermouth with chilled sparkling water and grapes for a fun yet wonderfully simple low-alcohol cocktail.
– 2½ parts Noilly Prat Extra Dry
– Chilled Perrier sparkling water
– Frozen green grapes
Stack circular ice cubs spheres all the way to the top of the glass. Pour Noilly Prat Extra Dry over ice spheres, top with chilled Perrier and garnish with frozen grapes.
Golden Hour by New London Light
The team at Salcombe Distilling Co. knows a thing or two about making great spirits, with its Start Point gin having garnered many an award. Last year, its founders harnessed this obvious gin-making prowess to make a non-alcoholic alternative that was every bit as delicious as the real thing. And so, New London Light was born.
At the end of 2021, two new aperitif-style drinks joined the collection. Like the original First Light, Aegean Sky and Midnight Sun are both made in-house at Salcombe Distilling Co.’s waterside distillery in Devon, England, and take inspiration from the coastline in their unique flavor profiles. Aegean Sky evokes memories of sun-drenched Mediterranean shores with its distinct citrus notes, while Midnight Sky looks north to Nordic lands through wild coastal berries, fresh pine and kelp. Naturally, such bold flavors are all but shouting out to be mixed into a non-alcoholic cocktail.
– 1¾ oz New London Light ‘Aegean Sky’
– ¾ New London Light ‘First Light’
– 1/8 oz Orgeat syrup
– 1/8 oz Lemon juice
– Orange peel
Add the ‘Aegean Sky’, ‘First Light’, orgeat syrup and lemon juice to a cocktail shaker with ice and shake hard for 15 seconds. Double strain into a chilled Nick and Nora glass before garnishing with orange peel.
Iced Rose Matcha Martini by Festivál Café
For many, social events are where going dry becomes especially tricky. However, the ever-growing rise in sober partygoers has led to the hottest bars taking note, with mocktails now a staple on most menus.
Festivál Café, for example, has an impressive selection of thoughtfully created non-alcoholic cocktails on its extensive menu, including the Iced Rose Matcha Martini, which pair everyone’s favorite dairy alternative with green tea powder and rose syrup. Hailed as NYC’s first farm-to-table bar, Festivál is committed to only using fresh, local and seasonal ingredients, making its mocktails both good for the planet and good for our health. Win win.
– Ceremonial grade matcha
– 6 oz oat milk
– 1 oz Barefoot farms Rose Geranium Syrup
– Sea salt
Add the matcha, oat milk and Rose Geranium Syrup to a cocktail tin with ice and shake. Roll the edge of a coupe glass into sea salt to create a rim. Double strain the cocktail into the salt-rimmed coupe.
Aro-Thyme by Monday Gin
Just like the classic London Dry, Monday uses a careful blend of juniper, natural botanicals, citrus and spices to create its alcohol-free gin. Thanks to its closeness to the real thing, Monday Gin is a great substitute in virtually any gin cocktail, from a martini (try Versin for non-alcoholic vermouth) to a Tom Collins.
The most popular gin serve, however, is of course the G&T. For a more exciting take on the classic, Monday recommends using an aromatic tonic and garnishing with fragrant thyme, as well as blackberry and lemon. It might only be January, but we can already picture sipping this on a long summer’s day.
– 2oz MONDAY Gin
– Aromatic Tonic
Add MONDAY Gin to a short glass over ice and top with Fever Tree Aromatic Tonic. Squeeze a bit of fresh lemon wedge before garnishing with thyme and a ripe blackberry or two.