It’s that time of year again when people are trying to live a little healthier and make better decisions. All of the imbibings that go on around the holidays can leave one with what feels like a month-long hangover. And that’s just from the booze – don’t forget all of those holiday cookies. January is certainly a great time to do a bit of detoxing, which is what makes Dry January so popular. A poll conducted by The Morning Consult around this time in 2021 found that 13 percent of Americans would be participating in Dry January.
If you plan on participating, you could find yourself feeling better than you have in a while. Quitting booze even for just a bit is something your body will thank you for, especially considering that alcohol does things like strip your liver of antioxidants and boost cholesterol levels, increasing the chances of cardiovascular disease, according to The National Library of Medicine. The NLM also shows that having just one drink a day is associated with an increased risk of obesity, something African Americans are already at a heightened risk for, according to The Minority Health Report. There are plenty of reasons to participate in Dry January, but you still want to sip on something. So we’ve compiled a list of tasty mocktails that will make you (almost) not miss booze.
Something Refreshing: Virgin Mojito
When you remove the rum from this tropical cocktail, it’s still delicious – maybe even more so. A virgin mojito is made with just some simple muddled fresh mint leaves, lime juice, club soda, and your preferred sweetener like honey, agave, or simple syrup. If you stick to a sweetener like Stevia or one of our healthy options listed here, this can be a low-calorie, low-sugar drink that’s bubbly and hydrating thanks to the club soda.
Six to eight ounces of sparkling water
A dozen mint leaves
Half a juiced lime
Two tablespoons of honey or agave
Something Hearty: Virgin Bloody Mary
Virgin Bloody Marys are great mocktails for those looking for something that feels like both a drink and a snack, but that remains low in sugar (that’s why it made our list of Diabetic-friendly drinks). Tomato juice is loaded with vitamins and the spices in this drink give a little kick to your senses, a bit like booze would. Plus, you can dress them up with snack skewers by adding olives, pickles, bacon, cheese – you name it.
(For a pitcher)
48 ounces of tomato juice
A dozen dashes of your preferred hot sauce
One dash of Worcestershire sauce
Two teaspoons of horseradish
A dash of celery salt
Your preferred snack add-ons (celery stalks, olives, cheese…)
Something Wintery: A Virgin Cider Appletini
If you’re still feeling the winter spirit but also love to drink something out of a fancy martini glass, this is the perfect mocktail. A sort of hybrid of an appletini and a cider, you make the base with your favorite apple cider and add in a couple dashes of bitters, cinnamon or cinnamon sticks, and an apple slice on the rim of the glass for style. Serve it in a martini glass and nobody will be the wiser that you’re skipping the booze.
One cup of apple cider
A few dashes of bitters
Two cinnamon sticks
Two tablespoons of simple syrup
Ice (to be used in the shaker before straining)
Something Fancy: A Virgin French 75
If you’re at a special occasion and it’s time to make a toast, you want something bubbly in a champagne flute. A Virgin French 75 is just right. Start with about six ounces of tonic water, add in three ounces of lemon juice (freshly squeezed is best), add four dashes of a citrus bitters, toss it in a shaker with some ice and strain the liquid into a champagne glass. It’s refreshing, light, and still invigorating thanks to the citrus.
Juice of one lemon
A few dashes of your preferred citrus bitters
Six ounces of tonic water
Something Fruity: Virgin Sangria
The beauty of sangria is that you can go with white sangria for a daytime or summer drink or red sangria for something a little more evening appropriate. There are several ways to make a virgin sangria, but most will call for a mixture of juices. Try one with equal parts grape juice and cranberry juice, half as much orange juice, a full juiced lemon, and either sparkling water or Sprite. Don’t forget to add tons of fresh fruit like grapes, apple slices and orange slices and let the mixture sit so the flavors can mingle.
Two cups of cranberry juice
Two cups of grape juice
One cup of orange juice
One juiced lemon
Four cups of your preferred sparkling water or lemon-lime soda
As much fresh fruit as you want
Something Nostalgic: A Mock Mule
If you typically love a Moscow Mule, you can still sip on something from that cool copper mug without drinking alcohol. Simply mix together ginger beer, simple syrup, fresh mint, lime juice and either club soda or Sprite. If you want a summer variety, you can add a splash of orange juice or for something wintery, add a splash of cranberry juice.
1 cup of ginger beer
About a half of a lime, juiced
One-fourth cup of simple syrup
Half a cup of your preferred lemon-lime soda
A few sprigs of fresh mint
Something Tropical: The Innocent Singapore Sling
This colorful drink is something you might sip poolside on vacation with a bit of gin, but this version is free of booze while loaded with flavors. It consists of several types of juice, tonic water, mint and fresh lime – it’s like a twist on a Long Island Iced Tea.
10 ounces of tonic water
One fresh lime, juiced
One cup of pomegranate juice
Half a cup of pineapple juice
Half a cup of orange mango juice
A handful of mint sprigs
Something Caffeinated: A PG-13 Irish Coffee
If you’re still altering your state of mind with a little caffeine during Dry January and want something warm and sweet, this is the perfect beverage. It could easily be a dessert, too, thanks to the whipped cream and maple syrup in this recipe. You can use your favorite coffee for it and any brand of non-alcoholic malt spirit you like.
Four ounces of brewed coffee
Two and a half ounces of a non-alcoholic malt spirit
Half a tablespoon of maple syrup
Whipped cream on top