The holidays were for overindulging, but now that the new year is here, it’s time to get back to business.
This month has been coined "Dry January" for people choosing to abstain from alcohol for the first 31 days of the year. Being sober-curious is a trend that’s grown greatly over the past few years. In 2019, YouGov.com reported that one in every five people participates in Dry January.
Luckily, many South Florida restaurants and bars offer mocktails — alcohol-free cocktails for drinkers who are skipping booze but still want to keep an active social life.
With the region's best bartenders creating drinks made with herbal and fruit notes, you don't even notice the absence of alcohol. Here are several local spots for mocktails that will keep your thirst quenched without the guilt.
Baleen Kitchen17315 Collins Ave., Sunny Isles Beach
Sip booze-free cocktails beachside at Baleen Kitchen. Try the Anti-Oxidant mojito ($7), made with Sprite, mixed berries, mint, and pomegranate. Go a more flavorful route with the Hot & Humid ($7), a blend of peach nectar, pineapple, jalapeño, cucumber, and clove.
Beach House Pompano270 N. Pompano Beach Blvd., Pompano Beach
Venture to Broward County for a Cocktail Caviar ($10), named for the blueberry boba balls that are topped with nonalcoholic sparkling cider. Or go the more classic route with a watermelon mojito ($10), made with fresh lime juice, watermelon juice, and a splash of club soda.
Beaker & Gray2637 N. Miami Ave., Miami
Get a no-proof beverage fix courtesy of three options at Beaker & Gray in Wynwood. The Manga Salvia ($8) is sweet and refreshing with pineapple, mint, and pomegranate; the Green Gremlin ($8) offers a refreshing blend of cucumber, rosemary, and tonic; and the AA Paloma ($8) is made with grapefruit soda, lime, and agave.
The Deck at Island Gardens888 MacArthur Cswy., Miami
At the Deck at Island Gardens, find nautical-themed mocktails such as the Lighthouse ($10), made with coconut water, strawberries, homemade raspberry syrup, vanilla essence, and lemon juice; and the Land-Oh ($10), containing mango purée, homemade raspberry syrup, lime juice, and mint.
Ember Miami151 NE 41st St., Miami
Enjoy Ember’s special menu that’s so flavorful alcohol isn’t required. Mocktails include Rosemary's Piña ($8), made with cucumber juice, pineapple juice, lime juice, and rosemary syrup and garnished with cucumber and rosemary; the Lavishly Grapefruit ($8), containing grapefruit juice, lemon juice, lavender, and butterfly pea syrup and served with a lemon wheel and lavender flower; and the Clementine My Darlin’ ($8), made with clementine juice, ginger honey syrup, and club soda and garnished with an edible marigold.
Hilton Miami Downtown1601 Biscayne Blvd., Miami
Head to the Hilton Downtown Miami, where cocktail consultant Elliott Clark has created a menu of mocktails. The lineup includes the Paloma Undercover ($11), which is a zero-proof winter variation of a classic Paloma, made with Seedlip Spice 94, grapefruit juice, lime juice, brown sugar syrup, and soda water; and the Tamed Tiki ($11), a tiki-style sipper made with coconut water, ginger beer, and a hint of citrus.
Le Jardinier151 NE 41st St., Miami
Enjoy large-format mocktails fit for sharing at the Design District’s Le Jardinier. Each massive drink serves four to six guests. The Root Day ($50) is made with fresh-pressed carrot juice, elderflower, lime, and ginger beer, or go the seasonal route with a riff on the pumpkin spice latte: the PSL ($50) — cold brew shaken with toasted pumpkin seeds, cinnamon, clove, ginger, nutmeg, and cream that’s served inside a hollowed-ut pumpkin.
Mama Tried207 NE First St., Miami
At Mama Tried, dance the night away while sticking to those new year's resolutions by sipping the Raspberry Beret ($10), a tart drink made with fresh mashed raspberries, fresh lemon juice, club soda, and a garnish of pink peppercorn.
Osaka1300 Brickell Bay Dr., Miami
Brickell newcomer Osaka offers four mocktails. The Only Tonic ($10), made with tonic water, dry shiso, pink pepper, and kumquat ice, is served in a wine glass; the Chicha Jamaica ($11) features a purple corn infusion and hibiscus blossom; the Osaka Fresh ($9) is made with citrus cordial, rocoto, tangerine, coriander, soda, and furikake seasoning; and the Barley & Honey ($12) contains black barley, passionfruit tonic, chancaca honey, and mango granita.
Rocco’s Tacos1313 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale
Rocco’s Tacos & Tequila Bar is embracing the booze-free trend with its take on a nonalcoholic margarita. The strawberry basil margarita mocktail ($6) is as refreshing as a regular margarita, minus the hangover.
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Twisted Roots Kava Brewery2037 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood
Twisted Roots specializes in kava, which comes from the root of the pepper plant Piper methysticum. Popular options include the Kanoa ($9), made with Waka kava, coconut milk, pineapple juice, hibiscus syrup, and li hing mui; and the Menehune ($9), a blend of Waka kava, coconut water, almond milk, orgeat, orange blossom water, Chinese five spice syrup, and a sprinkle of allspice.
Zuma Miami270 Biscayne Blvd. Way, Miami
Skip the sake and order a matcha-based beverage on your next trip to Zuma in downtown Miami. The Japanese restaurant's Zuma Iced Tea ($8.50) is made with matcha green tea, passionfruit, and a hint of lemon.