As the New Year kicks off, many have decided – as a resolution or just as part of the holiday hangover – to reduce alcohol intake, either completely or somewhat. Dry January, or Dryuary, is becoming part of our lexicon. However! Just because you’ve sworn off alcohol doesn’t mean you need to swear off delicious drinks. Our champion bartenders also craft wonderful non-alcoholic drinks, or mocktails, too. The below are a tasty place to start for those abstaining this month, and, if looking for more, check out the details on a special Seattle event for National Mocktail Week, which is January 13 to 19.
Use Your Illusion
Here’s what I love: a creative N/A drink that also carries a creative and amusing name. Made by the duo of Lindsay Matteson and Brady Sprouse for this Ballard spot, the Use Your Illusion is a refreshing number highlighted by a house-made rosemary shrub created with zingy apple cider vinegar, rosemary and lush clove honey, which is then combined with Q ginger beer and fresh rosemary.
Sam Haas, the bar manager at Capitol Hill’s Poppy, has produced a whole Resolution drink menu for those taking part in Dryuary, where he is aiming at “incorporating herbs and spices in flavor-forward and innovative ways.” The menu has house sodas and multiple mocktails, including the New East. In it, Haas starts by making a tamarind purée syrup, in which tarragon is steeped. Grapefruit juice and coconut water also come aboard this intriguing and inventive treat.
Rising up to the 16th floor of the Charter Hotel downtown, you can take in some of the top bar views in Seattle while sipping a nice non-alcoholic bubbler. It has fresh lime juice, a house honey syrup, rosemary and Q grapefruit soda. Jesse Cyr, assistant general manager and the person behind the Fog Room’s beaut of a bar menu, uses the agave-sweetened Q due to its dryness and its high carbonation level.
The tiki-tastic downtown spot – and 2018 Best New American Bar – can take you on a worldwide journey with its well-made cocktails. And the journey doesn’t skip ports delectable to those who may want to go low- or no-alcohol, as shown in the Hollow Trance, with allspice-and-cardamom Seedlip Spice (Seedlip is a London company that makes award-winning N/A “spirits”), fresh coconut water, cinnamon and citrus.
For those searching for memorable mocktails on the East Side, Peony has a number of original choices using spices and herbs that match well with the restaurant’s Chinese cuisine and Shanghai-in-the-‘20s atmosphere. I think the Ruan Lingyu is a swell example, driven by orange blossom water, fresh lemon and a ginger syrup. But January is a long month – you may want to try all their options.
National Mocktail Week
The first “alcohol-free pop-up bar” from Austin, Texas’ Sans Bar is on a nationwide tour for National Mocktail Week (January 13 to 19), and is stopping in Seattle at The Factory Luxe, 3100 Airport Way S., on Thursday, January 17, from 6 to 9 p.m. You can get tickets here, which let you attend the event and cover appetizers and an alcohol-free cocktail designed by week founder Marnie Rae. There’ll be live music, too!