Mocktail Recipes for All the Poor Schmoes Doing Drynuary

on 26/01/15 at 11:00 am

Booze News

imagesBlog by: Troy Patterson is Slate‘s writer at large and writes the Gentleman Scholar column.

I gather that some of you are taking the first month of the year off from drinking, and I think that’s cute. This practice—known by the cumbersome portmanteau Drynuary—has gained sufficient popularity to rate as a kind of ritual, and that popularity is symptomatic of a food culture in which consumption and morality are growing ever more intimately intertwined. You are what you eat. Or what you don’t drink, in this case, of course, as if a secular Lent and lifestyle cleanse might bring one closer to whatever the late-capitalist equivalent of spiritual perfection is.

Hey, your body, your rules. Far be it from me to suggest that, if the goal of Drynuary is to repent for the excesses of the holiday season, well, maybe you should have paced your eggnog intake better in the first place. Nor is it my place to observe that—if y’all really want to prove your talents for self-restraint, or to assure yourselves that you are not lushes, by reducing your annual drink intake by eight percent—well, you might do better by reserving half of one beer from each six-pack you purchase for use as shampoo.

It is, however, my place to alleviate tedium. The dullness of sitting buzzless among your unsober friends I can nothing do about, but all those club sodas-with-lime must be feeling pretty dreary right now. Thus, here are three simple suggestions for drinks that, though not adult beverages, are agreeably grown up.

Ginger ale. Invented in the 1800s, possibly by one Dr. Thomas Cantrell, ginger ale is without parallel in its ability to calm the stomach while exciting the tongue. To take your ginger ale game up a notch, seek out a brand that abjures high-fructose corn syrup in favor of cane sugar or some such. To take your game up two notches, add a quarter ounce or more of lemon juice to your glass. For a three-notch night, toss in a few dashes of aromatic bitters, such as Angostura.

DISCLAIMER: Angostura is 44.7 percent alcohol, and to consume it will be to violate the letter of your self-imposed law, if not the spirit. I mean, we are talking a trace amount of hooch here, and though I wouldn’t hesitate to serve a ginger ale so doctored to a pregnant woman or a child, I would on principle avoid serving one to a chip-carrying recovering alcoholic, instead seeking out a bitters relying not on alcohol but on glycerin.

READ MORE