The winter can be a stressful time for many. Whether it's the constant snow and cold wind pressing up against you, the added stress of holidays or trying to stay connected with old friends, there’s plenty of reason to look for diversions and distractions at the end of the year. Then, there is a movement to do just the opposite.
Whether you're overdone it a little during the holidays or are just looking to give sobriety a spin, Dry January is the social challenge that has participants laying off alcohol the first 31 days of the year.
If you're interested but not sure what to do with your hands if they're not holding a cocktail glass, fear not! There’s plenty of non-alcoholic options to enjoy. “Mocktails” keep all the traditions of adult beverages without the actual “adult” element. Here are some of our favorite recipe that stand strong in the winter month. Throw a scarf on, and get mixing!
This lime and beet mix is the perfect chill blend to cozy up with during a Friday night Netflix marathon. While it might require a bit of effort to prepare—as well as a nice bottle of non-alcoholic spirit—the end result makes it more than worth it, giving a masterclass in what New York’s Thyme Bar stands for: taste, aroma, presentation. Of course, you’ll have to make some “beet syrup” to start:
Directions: Mix the 350 grams of beet blend together with the mineral water, and place into a pot to simmer on medium heat. Once the syrup is almost boiling, add the sugar. Once the sugar is dissolved, remove the syrup from the heat and place into a container. Refrigerate and use for up to two weeks! Mix all remaining ingredients together into a Collins glass, and serve over ice. Garnish with blueberry, raspberry and olive-pickled vegetables. Enjoy!
Have a New Years’ Resolution to try new things? Perhaps this Japanese-inspired mocktail from Ophelia Lounge in NYC is just the place to start. With ingredients such as yuzu juice and Fever Tree, there might be a little more shopping involved than other drinks on this list, but the final tasty result is more than worth the effort. Just be sure to mix this correctly!
Process: In a cocktail shaker, muddle the leaves and simple syrup together. Add all the remaining ingredients except for the Fever Tree into the shaker. Add ice, and shake well. Pour all of the contents, including the ice, into a tall wine glass. Top with the Fever Tree. Enjoy!
The harvest has been gathered to take you through the long, cold winter. A good healthy cider is always appreciated following the autumn months, but the Boathouse Restaurant in Maine takes it a step further with this mocktail, featuring both the traditional juice as well as a few kicks for zest. Dust off your old simple mixing syrup recipe—preferably one that’s a little more laid back in the spices—and try out this gem!
Directions: In a cocktail shaker, mix all ingredients together and shake well. Strain into a wine glass filled with chopped ice and top with enough soda water. Garnish with a cinnamon stick. Enjoy!
While it may seem a little too chilly for mixed drinks, there are plenty of options that still hold a potent punch. This ginger mix from NR in NYC, inspired by other fusion cocktails, offers a good time and a great conversation starter. It’s also a great opportunity to try making your own spiced syrup, a new twist on the simple mix. Try it yourself!
Directions: Stir together in a large enough glass and top with ginger ale. Enjoy!
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Have you fallen behind on your recent commitment to fruits and vegetables? Maybe this blood orange mix from Marisa Moore can help you get back on the health wagon… or maybe a good mix to serve to your friends. Whichever you prefer, there’s no denying the delicious drink is a perfect alternative to more adult beverages. Try this out for yourself!
Directions: Squeeze the blood orange juice into a mix, and drain into a cocktail shaker. Add the honey and vanilla extract to the unchilled juice, and shake well. Add ice to cool it down. Pour evenly into two ice-filled glasses. Top with lime sparkling water and a slice of blood orange on top. Enjoy!
Maybe you associate sangria with red wine and Spanish summers, but nobody ever said you can’t enjoy it in the winter with juice instead! This mix of oranges, grapefruits and even tea from Imma Eat That is sure to warm your spirit and give you something nice to drink on the coldest of snowy mornings, even if it does take a while to prepare. Be sure to share the warmth with all your friends!
Directions: Preheat the oven to 400ºF. On a baking sheet, place the sliced oranges, sliced grapefruit and cranberries. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until cranberries burst and caramelize a bit. Boil the pomegranate juice and orange juice together. Once boiling, pour the mixture over the chai tea bags. Steep for 5 minutes. Remove tea bags. Add in caramelized fruit and let sit in the fridge for at least 2 hours or overnight. Fill a glass half full of the sangria mix, and fill the rest of the glass with grapefruit sparkling water. Garnish, and enjoy!
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While it may have “Christmas” in the name, this cranberry-based blend from Mindful Mocktail is terrific to enjoy through all the snowy months. Mix the fruit and leave them in the refrigerator with care, and hope that a delicious drink will soon be there!
Directions: Place all ingredients in a large jug or bowl. Cover and leave overnight in fridge. Using a fine strainer, strain into a clean jug or glass. Serve in a glass with lots of ice, or heated in a mug. Garnish with a cinnamon stick, orange slice and greenery of your choice. Enjoy!
Photography by: Courtesy of Thyme Bar; Courtesy of Boathouse Restaurant; Courtesy of NR