Jan 3, 2022
9 places to check out if you’re ‘celebrating’ Dry January
Dry January doesn't have to be boring: A roundup of bars offering mocktails, shops selling non-alcoholic spirits and booze-free beer
Dry January is upon us. If you’re like us, you’re drying out your liver after a weeks-long booze-fueled holiday binge.
The benefits can be bountiful—from saving a few bucks to improving your mental and physical health—however it doesn’t have to be boring. In fact, the “sober curious” trend continues to grow with mocktail (ugh) shops selling spirits that taste similar to the real thing and bars selling alcohol-free cocktails that might be better than the hard stuff. They’re certainly better for you, in any event.
We rounded up a few places across Brooklyn where you can indulge with something more exciting than a seltzer (though, to be honest, we do love a seltzer). This is far from a comprehensive list—just about every cocktail bar and restaurant will come with some kind of mocktail offering. Here are a few of our favorites.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, January is the busiest month for the spirit-free bottle shop with two locations in Brooklyn (Williamsburg and Cobble Hill). Beyond the first month of the year, the shop has enjoyed increasing popular since its 2020 as more people ditch alcohol.
“Unlike most retail businesses, our busiest month is January, but we actually serve customers all year long who are looking to take a night or a few nights or a month off of alcohol,” cofounder and CEO Nick Bodkins tells Brooklyn Magazine. “There are so many reasons people choose not to drink, many are around health and wellness, so we stay pretty busy year round.”
The shop sells a variety of products, including alcohol-free mixers, beer, spirits and pre-made mocktails. Bodkins told us that the most popular items are sparking wines from Lietz, Thomson & Scott, Sovi, spirits from Lyre’s, Amass, Optimist, and Pentire, and beers from Athletic Brewing Company, Bravus Brewing Company, Bitburger, and Clausthaler.
He forecasts ready-t0-drink mocktails will explode in popularity this year. “This is so huge for the summer when people are in the park and at the beach,” he said.
The Prospect Heights cocktail bar has two mocktails on its menu, including one named after itself. The Sweet Polly mixes house-made grenadine and club soda. There’s also the Goodbye to Berlin that has grapefruit juice, lemon, cinnamon, honey and soda.
Located in Gowanus, the sleek cocktail bar has two choices on its menu. There’s the Where’s My Mocktail, which mixes a virgin version of Pimm’s, a British gin-based liqueur, with ginger, mint and spritz of water. There’s also a Red Hook Rising, which has grapefruit juice, blackcurrant and soda water. Each cost $7.
Sunday in Brooklyn
The buzzy brunch spot is closed for remodeling until January 18. However, when it reopens there’s a mocktail selection on its menu (with each costing $14, so your wallet can still feel like its off the wagon). One notable drink is the Hot Beet Cocoa that has non-alcoholic tequila, beet (duh) and spiced almond hot chocolate. A non-alcoholic sangria and mai tai is also available.
The Williamsburg bar has two options on its menu, each priced at $8. The SPF Zero mixes toasted coconut, ginger, lime and soda. The Stinger has charred pineapple, lemon and soda water.
The popular brewery has been aggressive in expanding its non-alcoholic beer lineup. There’s a new selection called Special Effects, which it says “tastes like real beer without the buzz.” The best bet is get a $24.99 12-pack variety case, which has non-alcoholic versions of its pilsner, a hazy IPA, a hoppy amber and a regular IPA. It’s also sold by the can at its Williamsburg taproom.
The cozy Franklin Avenue bar offers craft cocktails, beer, wine and a backyard patio. January is the perfect month to avail yourself of their signature mocktail menu, which includes the Win Win Win (with a Seedlip Garden base, cilantro and poblano pepper) or the Three Deep Breaths (cranberry, rosemary and lime).
This South Williamsburg cocktail bar with its “snug surrounds” and whitewashed brick walls offers up a virgin hibiscus limeade ($7) and a yerba mate soda ($5).
One of the more reliable dining establishments on the border of Windsor Terrace and South Slope, Krupa Grocery offers a congenial atmosphere and an increasingly experimental mocktail menu that includes a you-wouldn’t-guess-it-was-booze-free amaretto sour, a virgin margarita and a hole-in-one Arnold Palmer (come back in February and get it spiked with bourbon).
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Arts & Leisure
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