Skip to main content

5 Mocktails for When You Need Something a Little Different

January is a time when some people take a week or a month off from drinking to let their liver relax a little.

After the holiday season when there are parties, office gatherings, and family get-togethers, if makes sense. To make it through any of the above, usually a good glass of whiskey is needed. A good glass of whiskey, though, quickly becomes two. Then there’s a beer or three, then a glass of champagne for the toast, and pretty soon you’re throwing up in the bathroom that only your boss can use and telling yourself, “It’s rally time, boys,” before getting back out there, grabbing the cheapest bottle of wine by the neck, and downing it as you attempt to show the intern how to do the Stanky Leg. It is for those times—or, really for the days after those times—that mocktails can come to the rescue.

More flavorful than drinks like water, and healthier than sugary drinks like soda, the drinks below are the perfect thing for drinking when you’re not drinking.

(Created by Ray Sakover for Slowly Shirley, NYC, pictured)

  • 3/4 oz lemon
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric juice
  • 1/4 oz honey
  • 1 oz date-demerara syrup
  • 2-3/8 oz Moroccan syrup

Method: Build in a Collins glass over pebble ice. Garnish with a date wrapped in lemon twist and cinnamon/ mint palm tree.

Salted Rosemary Paloma
(Created by Naren Young for Dante, NYC) 

  • 2 oz grapefruit juice
  • ½ oz salted rosemary syrup*
  • Top with Perrier

Method: Build on ice in a highball glass. Garnish with a grapefruit slice and citrus salt rim.

*Salted Rosemary Syrup

  • 70 oz water
  • 30 oz sugar
  • 3 rosemary sprigs
  • 5 oz maldon salt

Method: Bring to a low boil. Turn off immediately and allow to cool. Strain and store in the fridge. Lasts 2 months

(Created by John McCarthy for Greydon House, Nantucket) 

  • 1 oz cucumber
  • 1 oz lime
  • Top sparkling water

Method: build in highball glass over cube ice. Garnish with a cucumber slice, slap a mint sprig and insert.

Mangu Chao
(Created for and available at Chao Chao, NYC)

  • 3 oz mango kaffir shrub*
  • Club soda

Method: Pour shrub into highball glass filled with ice. Top with club soda. Garnish with salt rim and lime wheel.

*Mango kaffir shrub

  • 2 cups mango
  • 1 cup Kaffir lime leaves
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup mirin
  • 1 1/2 cups rice vinegar 

Method: Bring to a simmer then strain.

Mexican B.B. Gun
(Created by James Horn for Añejo, Tribeca) 

  • 1 oz house-made grenadine
  • 1 oz fresh lime
  • top with soda water

Method: Build in highball glass over ice. Garnish with lime wedge.

(Photo credit: Nick Voderman)

Editors' Recommendations