15 Non-Alcoholic Drinks to Get You Through Dry January and Beyond
It's day 3 and you're already tired of seltzer and Diet Coke, aren't you?
Photo by Heami Lee.
Maybe you're giving "Dryuary" a go this year, cutting back on drinking alcohol for the first month of the new year as part of your New Year's resolutions. Maybe you don't imbibe at all, ever, out of personal preference or as part of addiction recovery. Maybe you've got a little human growing in your uterus, or you're on a medication that would have some wild and dangerous side effects if you mix it with alcohol. Any reason you have for avoiding booze warrants non-alcoholic beverage options that more exciting than orange juice or LaCroix. And if you're planning to host a parties anytime soon, don't be the host with the sad soda situation. Your non-imbibing friends deserve better. We pulled together some of our favorite non-alcoholic beverages from the MUNCHIES recipe archives to give you some booze-free inspiration.
We’re pretty big fans of using bitters in non-alcoholic preparation because, even though bitters are made by infusing high-proof alcohol, you’re only going to serve them in eye-dropper-sized splashes. Our favorite use of flavorful, homemade bitters is to squeeze a few drops into a glass of seltzer as an upset stomach remedy.
No, putting your unused coffee from the morning in a jar in the fridge is not how you make cold brew. Put a little effort into making cold brew the right way and you’ll notice a huge improvement.
Stop following this recipe after step 1 and you’ll have created a truly tasty and funky tepache, which is a naturally fermented pineapple juice that is a super popular Mexican beverage a lot like kombucha. (It pairs well with mezcal, but that’s a recipe for another day.)
If kombucha is brewed to contain less than .5 percent alcohol, it is considered a non-alcoholic beverage. It’s hard to know what your ABV is when brewing at home, but you’re unlikely to brew a ‘buch so strong it’ll get you tipsy.
Beet kvass is another naturally fermented drink, one with humble Eastern European origins. Watch Cortney Burns of San Francisco’s acclaimed, now-closed Bar Tartine show us how to brew it at home.
This limeade is so utterly refreshing and reminiscent of summer that if you close your eyes and pretend, you might just be able to hear the Mister Softee jingle echoing down the street.
We’re pretty sure there is no legitimate reason to brew tea by leaving it out in the direct sun all afternoon, but it sure is a fun little craft project, isn’t it? Customize it with whatever herbs and aromatic botanicals tickle your fancy.
We suggest using a medium-dark coffee to brew as the base for this Vietnamese ice coffee, but you can give it a shot with whatever beans you have around.
A classic agua fresca is the definition of a perfect thirst quencher. Sweeten this juuuust a little bit more with agave, and throw some fresh mint or ginger in for kicks.
Again, just stop following this recipe at step 4 for a classic, sweet, cinnamon horchata that you can pour over ice and sip all day.
Depending on why you've chosen to abstain from alcohol, you may also be foregoing any other mind-altering substances, cannabis included. If that’s the case, then omit the weed in this recipe and you’ll still come away with a healthier-than-your-average cup of hot cocoa for the cold winter days ahead.
This mint, spice, and citrus-infused tea is steeped in the traditions of Syrian swimming pool cuisine, but might be the best replacement for your winter hot toddy, too.
This minty peach shrub, from the bartenders at The Garret in the Village, does make for a great cocktail component, but if you top off a bit of it in a highball glass with some seltzer, you’ve got a slightly sweet, slightly tangy drink to sip on any time of day.
Red shiso has a bit of an anise-y flavor, so when steeped in water with honey and extra star anise pods—plus a little rice wine vinegar—you end up with shrub that can easily be diluted with a bit of soda water or seltzer for a spicy, herbal non-alcoholic beverage.
Kombucha, being brewed with tea usually, is already a caffeinated beverage, but what if you swapped the tea for coffee? David Zilber, the fermentation expert from Copenhagen’s Noma, will show you how.