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Maybe you treat yourself to a fancy martini after a long weekend of training, or maybe your reward is a beer in the shower; we don’t judge. But here’s a secret many athletes don’t know about alcohol—you don’t need it in your drink to make it feel special. Drinks can be just as fun and rewarding without the hard stuff.
If the word “mocktail” makes you think of the sweet, syrupy kiddie cocktails bars used to serve up as their only booze-free concoction, think again. Non-alcoholic cocktails are a huge trend in bartending these days, as more and more people search for booze-free options that feel just as glam as their high-proof counterparts. There are lots of reasons people opt to stay dry for one night, one month, or beyond—a big workout the next morning, a Dry January challenge, physical and mental health benefits, or simply redefining one’s relationship with alcohol. Whatever your reasons, these four non-alcoholic recipes are a great way to mix it up.
Looking for more guidance on tackling a Dry January challenge? READ: Trying for Dry January? Here’s How to Pull It OffSection divider
Black Tea Old-Fashioned
Try this for a fun alternative to the traditional old-fashioned.
- In a cocktail pitcher or martini shaker, mix together high-quality bottled iced tea (not cloudy, with a hint of amber) and clear apple juice to taste.
- Add a few drops of bitters.*
- Pour into a tumbler glass with giant ice cubes.
- Garnish with an orange or lemon rind and a fresh maraschino cherry.
*While bitters generally do contain alcohol, using a few drops in a non-alcoholic cocktail is still considered a non-alcoholic drink. Alcohol-free bitters are also available – check out the “digestive health” supplements of your health food store, where you might find alcohol-free bitters like those made by Nature’s Health.Section divider
Red Sangria (Sans the Wine)
Having a party? Offer this fruity nonalcoholic mix as a fancier alternative to soda and water.
- In a giant pitcher, mix together two parts cranberry juice and one part white grape juice.
- Add a handful of fresh mint leaves and stir.
- Drop in 1 cup of hearty fruits like cranberries, blueberries, lemons and/or oranges. Reserve extra fruit for garnish.
- Store in refrigerator, covered, for at least two hours to allow flavors to mix.
- To serve, fill a wine glass halfway with ice. Pour sangria over ice. Garnish with fruit to taste.
Ginger Wasabi Limeade
Put a little spice in your glass with this Asian-inspired mocktail.
- Rim a medium Collins glass with wasabi cocktail rim salt, like that from Oregon Coast Wasabi.
- In the bottom of the glass, muddle together one long, thick slice of fresh ginger, one lime slice, and one sugar cube.
- Fill the glass with ice, then pour Minute Made Limeade over the mixture.
- Garnish with a lime slice, pickled ginger, and/or a sprig of thyme.
Spicy Virgin Mary
Who says your recovery drink can’t be fancy? This booze-free bloody mary is perfect for post-ride Sunday brunch.
- Rim a pint glass or mason jar with coarse salt or Tajín.
- Fill glass with ice.
- Add 1-4 shakes of Tabasco hot sauce, to taste.
- Pour a splash of club soda or nonalcoholic beer over ice (this will help to lighten up the drink).
- Fill the remaining glass with V8 juice.
- Garnish with a coarse black pepper and your favorite bloody mary toppings: celery sticks, lemon wedges, pickle spears, olives, pepperoncini, or cucumber slices. (If you need more space, use a wooden skewer to build your masterpiece above the rim of the glass—anything goes!)