The unofficial tradition of “Dryuary” (aka “Drynuary,” “Dry January,” or other variants) is purported to have started in 2006, and the conceit is simple in concept: As one year gets filed away, people take advantage of the symbolic new beginning to reset—or maybe just pause—drinking habits that may have slipped into overdrive during the holiday season. As we try to put a train wreck year of “quarantinis” and boredom-driven problem drinking in the rearview mirror, a little time booze-free may be less novelty than survival skill. Cutting out Zoom happy hours, to-go cocktails and all those nightcaps sounds like a great idea on paper, though, the reality of a seltzer-soaked month is kind of … well, boring. But it doesn’t have to be! We hit up some local mixologists for zero-proof mocktail recipes that will transform your quarantine kitchen into a high-end, booze-free bar.
Owners Julia Petrin and Catherine Manabat pride themselves on creating well-crafted, “spirit-free” and low-proof options for guests year round. Tasty, guilt-free drinks, such as Some Like It Hot and The Harvey, are part of the bar’s core beverage program.
Some Like It Hot
2 oz. saffron almond milk tea*
1/2 oz. burdock syrup*
2 oz. steaming water
Garnish with grated cinnamon
*To make almond milk, soak one cup of almonds in water for six hours, strain and then blend with four cups water and strain with nut bag.
*To make saffron almond milk tea, mix 1 1/2 cups of milk, one cup of water, 15 saffron threads, three cardamom pods smashed, 1/2 tablespoon of nettle and 1 1/2 tablespoons of regular honey. Bring to a boil and then immediately drop to a simmer for five minutes. Strain through nut bag.
*To mark burdock syrup, mix one cup of sugar, one cup of water, and 1/2 tablespoon of dried burdock root. Bring to a boil, steep for 15 minutes and then strain.
2 dashes Fee’s Brothers Old Fashioned bitters
1/2 oz. lime
3/4 oz. cranberry and rosemary gomme syrup
1 oz. pineapple
3 1/2 oz. seltzer
39 E. 13th St., Over-the-Rhine, (513) 394-7559, homemakersbar.com
Carlo & Johnny
A riff on a classic Bay Breeze, Keegan Corocan, beverage director at Jeff Ruby Culinary Entertainment, puts the Pan Am Breeze “on the sweeter end of the spectrum, but combines some fresh flavors that straddle winter and spring.”
The Pan Am Breeze
2 oz. cranberry/sage simple syrup*
2 oz. pineapple juice
Splash of soda water
Garnish with slice of lime
In a shaker filled with ice, add the cranberry/sage simple syrup and pineapple juice. Shake and strain over fresh ice in a rocks glass. Lightly twist a fresh lime wheel over the mix and add as garnish.
*To make simple syrup, mix 1 1/2 cups of water, 1 cup of sugar and 2 cups of cranberries (frozen or fresh). Cook over medium-low heat and stir occasionally until the cranberries are soft/beginning to break down (you’ll have to put the mixture through a fine mesh strainer once it’s cool to remove seeds/skins). Pour into a container, add fresh thyme (quite a few sprigs), and let sit overnight. Strain once more to remove thyme.
9769 Montgomery Rd., Montgomery, (513) 936-8600, jeffruby.com/carlo-johnny
The Raspberry Fizz and Lime Rickey are part of Adesso’s 2021 “Dryuary” mocktail menu. Owner Chuck Pfahler calls the Lime Rickey “super easy.” It’s built off the Gin Rickey recipe, which is the official cocktail of Washington D.C., where it was created. (He adds that with recent goings-on in D.C., it might be best to go ahead and pour some gin.)
1 oz. lemon
2 oz. raspberry syrup*
1/2 oz. egg white
Put all ingredients in a cocktail shaker and add ice. Shake and strain back into the other half of the shaker, leaving bits of ice behind. (This is important because ice bits will help emulsify egg whites.) Dump ice and shake again with no ice. Strain into an ice-filled Collins and top with club soda. Garnish with dehydrated lime.
*To make raspberry syrup, take equal parts raspberry, sugar and water. Cook on low until sugar is dissolved, then steep for 20 minutes and strain.
2 oz. lime
1 oz. simple sugar
Shake lime and simple sugar into an ice-filled Collins and top with club soda. Garnish with dehydrated lime.
125 E. Main St., Mason, (513) 445-2889, adessoisnow.com
Ashley Sfererra, assistant general manager of Louvino’s Over-the-Rhine location, says the Louisville Sunset is a “nod to our roots in Kentucky.”
2 oz. pineapple juice
2 oz. peach purée
1/2 oz. Demerara syrup
3/4 oz. cranberry juice
Combine pineapple juice, peach purée, and demerara syrup in a wine glass with ice.
*Demerara syrup can be purchased or made with equal parts demerara sugar and boiling water.
1142 Main St., Over-the-Rhine, (513) 813-3350, louvino.com/otr