While stiff drinks will keep some people warm during this cold month, others may choose to leave the liquor in the cabinet and the wine in the cellar.
It is “Dry January” once again.
A hashtagable trend to some and a valiant New Year’s resolution to others, the term refers to a 31-day alcohol detox people undergo to improve health, shed a few pounds or save money.
“I did Dry January a couple of years ago and was like ‘wow, I feel fantastic,’ and it just became this goal to pair back the general consumption,” Carolyn Iannone, who owns Love Lane Kitchen, said. “And so many people I talk to are looking to do that as well. I really felt so much better, I slept better and I feel like my whole body worked better because it wasn’t trying to process that alcohol.”
The effort originated across the pond in England about a decade ago and soon emigrated to the United States. Now, all across the North Fork in spots like Love Lane Kitchen, diners can find mocktails to drink socially without consuming alcohol.
While Iannone’s favorite nonalcoholic offering in her restaurant is the Free Wave IPA from California-based alcohol-free brewers Athletic Brewing Company, she serves a variety of mocktails on the ‘free spirits’ portion of the menu. Among the highlights are the Namaste Sober boasting Moroccan hibiscus, fresh lime and tonic and the Pretty Bitter made with pink grapefruit juice, fresh lime and seltzer.
Those in the mood for a classic Italian diner without the wine can head to aMano for the ‘Dry Tea Thyme’ made with house-brewed black tea, white grapefruit juice, organic agave, lemon juice and fresh thyme. Greenport’s Demarchelier Bistro is also serving its signature Fresh Lavender Ginger Lemonade rich with anti-inflammatories and vitamin C.
No place like home
Of course, those who wish to avoid temptation at the bar may wish to fix mocktails at home. At Tulsi Square in Southold, Dr. Stephenie Pisacano offers mixers that compensate those seeking to find alcohol’s anxiety-reducing impacts while hoping to skirt the bloating, hangovers and all the other unwanted side effects.
Fans of a classic Negroni will find delight in the Curious Elixir No.1, while those who fancy themselves mixologists may consider picking up one of two bottles of Kin Euphorics dietary supplements that can behave as mocktail mixers. There’s the Dream Light Nightcap, good for relaxing before going to sleep, and the High Road, which boasts the social benefits of many derive from alcohol.
“This one is socially stimulating, but it also helps relax,” Pisacano said. “When people are out and they feel socially anxious alcohol can make people feel like they can relax and have a good conversation, so it has some of those things that support relaxing neurotransmitters.”
Using the nightcap supplement, Pisacano modified the crowd-pleasing Kin Pomme recipe available on the brand’s website to make her own brand of holiday cheer.
“It has a sweet pomegranate taste to it with a tiny bit of bitterness from the Kin, and then the ginger gave it a little bit more of that warm taste too,” Pisacano said. “My family liked it. I made about 10 for them on Christmas so it was fun.”