More and more, the concept of a “Dry January” is taking root across society. After a period of excess and indulgence through the holidays, January is treated as a chance to reset and focus the body and mind. This comes with the “sober curious” movement and the wide range of people who don’t drink alcohol for various reasons and has created a true renaissance of non-alcoholic and low alcohol cocktails. While the Shirley Temple may have been the mainstay of “dry” drinks for years on end, over the last decade a range of new products and techniques have helped bartenders create engaging and satisfying drinks without alcohol! Check out some of the best offerings you can find locally and give one of these drinks a try the next time you make it out!
Cypress Social provides mocktails that match the feel of the restaurant – fun and just a little bit laid back. By leaning into the different syrups and fruit purees they can make, Cypress Social is providing intensely flavored and citrus forward mocktails that are great with friends.
Something About Berry (strawberry-cherry puree; lemon juice; sparkling water)
The Something About Berry is both sweet and tart, leaning into the strawberry you can see garnishing the glass. The fruity drink is a ray of sunshine in the middle of our winters and evokes brighter days through its lively fruit sweetness. The tartness of the cherry surprises you around the edges of the drink to enliven it further.
Smashin’ Passion (passion fruit puree, lemon juice, Cypress Social mint simple syrup, sparkling water)
Taking the highlights of the Hissy Fit cocktail and reworking them into this equally enjoyable mocktail, the Smashin’ Passion is a tropical option playing up the laid back nature of Cypress Social. Balancing the sweetness of the passionfruit with the tart lemon juice, the mint is the surprise around the edges of the drink. Its a glass of sunshine. This is the mocktail to wake you up if you feel like you are lagging with its hints of heat, spice, and tang.
Blue Jean Baby (Cypress Social blueberry & honey shrub, lemon juice, sparkling water)
Visually stunning, the Blue Jean Baby is truly amazing once you give it a quick stir tableside. The shrub, a kind of sweetened drinking vinegar, adds a layered complexity providing acidity and sweetness but also a rich caramel note from the honey. The shrub is sharp, without a doubt, but it balances against the rest of the drink instead of overwhelming it. This is a perfect example of how a non-alcoholic drink can pack intense flavors into a glass and a truly mature mocktail option.
Rooted in classic cocktails, but always pushing to show a younger and more playful side, the bar program at Raduno provides ample ways to enjoy a great beverage with your pizza without the alcohol this January, or whenever you are wanting a lighter option.
Lavender Limonata (Lemon juice; lavender syrup; sparkling; pea flower extract)
Deceptively light on the palate, the Lavender Limonata is an adult’s lemonade. The floral notes from the lavender are clear to the nose and signal only the first way this differs from other limonata style drinks. It is just sweet enough but also just tart enough to make you immediately want sip after sip. It pairs wonderfully with the food at Raduno and should be an order that graces Raduno’s patio all year long.
Tiki Me Back to Summer(pineapple juice; grapefruit juice; simple syrup)
This is the most straightforward tropical drink you could order. Another example of balancing sweetness against tartness, the simplicity of the ingredients just underscores how well made this drink is. Tiki Me Back to Summer makes you think of everything great about the beach using winter citrus. Nothing too fancy and nothing too complicated, but as simple and understandable as a gust of sea air rolling over you.
For Your Health (Arkansas honey syrup; mint; lemon juice; ginger beer)
For Your Health takes the lemon, honey, and ginger of a winter toddie and tweaks it to a refreshing and reinvigorating drink. Perfect at a Raduno happy hour, the honey’s richness is apparent when the unabashed bite of the ginger beer comes in to cut it off. The mint’s signature nose lingers as you finish your sip leaving you feeling revived.
Brood & Barley
While the mocktails are listed on the lunch menu for Brood & Barley, they are available anytime. Leaning into the expansive soda program at the restaurant and supplemented with house syrups, these drinks show off the versatility of the bar staff by making engaging versions of the alcoholic cocktails as well. If you want to order a drink and have it blend into the rest on the table, Brood & Barley has you covered. These variations on the cocktails are no less satisfying and twice as impressive because of it.
Sweet Potato Lemonade (Sweet potato syrup, lemonde; cinnamon)
This Dave Burnette classic lives on at Brood & Barley with rich and spiced life. The sweet potato syrup packs an amazing amount of flavor which, when paired with the cinnamon tastes like a brisk fall evening. This is baking spices, pies, and a warm fire rolled into a glass as a perfect combination of indulgence without a heavy or syrupy feeling .
Northside/Southside(Topo Chico, lime juice , mint, strawberry & black pepper syrup)
Balancing sweetness and tartness, the mocktail variation on the northside/Southside has a bite and experience all its own. The combination of the strawberry & black pepper in the syrup makes this drink, but the hint of salinity from the Topo Chico and the refreshing mint notes pull together a memorable drink for your next lunch, happy hour, or night out.
Downtown Dr. Brown(lemon juice, basil, Dr. Brown Cel-Ray Soda, The Bitter Truth Celery Bitters)
This refreshingly vegetal drink showcases a secret weapon in Brood & barley’s arsenal – quality sodas. The celery soda provides not only the carbonation and lift to the drink, but also a flavor that is hard for people to identify but easy to recognize. The celery bitters add to the richness fo the drink providing that little bit of extra depth that makes you slow down while drinking to try to figure out all the flavors available. A quick note that the bitters here are made with alcohol so while they are considered non potable, if you need to avoid any hint of alcohol go with one of the other options.
Yellow Rocket’s newest concept is rooted in nostalgia and summer fun. This lets head bartender Merrick Fagan have a lot of fun with the mocktail program that matches the lively and carefree nature of Camp Taco.
Flower Child(strawberry-orange syrup; hibiscus tisane; lime juice; Fee Brothers Grapefruit Bitters, allspice, club soda)
Like a refreshing glass of iced tea, the Flower Child has an underlying bitterness that is satisfying against the tart flavors in the drink. The taught bitterness and striking color is thanks to the hibiscus tisane doing the major lifting for this drink, but the Strawberry-Orange syrup tempers the bitterness so the rest of the flavors all come out. The faint grapefruit nose, thanks to those bitters, and subtle spice means the Flower Child never comes off as one note.
Pompina(pineapple juice, Camp Taco grenadine, lime juice, cinnamon)
An intriguing mocktail that makes you both slow down and speed up at the same time. The initial hit of the pineapple juice smoothly blends into the grenadine’s richness leaving a distinctly tropical impression. The combination of the tangy pineapple juice and the grenadine’s tart sweetness speaks to an easy going good time. This balanced cocktail will help you enjoy any evening at Camp Taco.
Pickle Forward(Camp Taco pickling juice, tonic)
A secret menu order, the pickle juice & tonic concoction is an iconoclastic and timeless option. Using the pickling vinegar from the house made pickled rainbow carrots, hence the color, makes this akin to a shrub. The distinct acidity of the pickling liquid is cut by the sweetness and bitterness of the tonic water creating a balm for the upcoming hot days. This drink will reinvigorate you with its salty & bitter layers but the hints of the rest of the pickling spices make this a secret menu item worth uncovering.