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The Diabolo Menthe non-alcoholic cocktail at Demarchelier. (Photo courtesy of Demarchelier)

Dry January — those paired words seem to impart resigned shrugs and expectations of sad, second-rate syrup-and-seltzer combos. But it does not have to be that way! In January or any other month that you don’t wish to, or don’t ever, imbibe alcoholic concoctions. Demarchelier Restaurant is seeing to it on the East End.

Emily Demarchelier grew up in a food-focused family who have summered on Shelter Island for decades (since Emily was a babe and the editor-in-chief of this publication used to babysit for her — no lie!). Her parents, Catherine and Eric, opened the original Demarchelier bistro in 1978 on 62nd Street and Lexington Avenue, moving to its last Manhattan locale14 years later, closing for good on Dec. 28, 2019.

Demarchelier’s Dry January menu. (Image courtesy of Demarchelier Restaurant)

Well, not entirely for good. Demarchelier’s Greenport outpost was opened by the second-gen entrepreneur in November 2020, and has been feeding traditional, authentic French bistro fare since.

Recently, Demarchelier passed her new Dry January menu our way and we were not just a little bit surprised to see such a robust collection of a half-dozen thoughtfully curated and created non-alcoholic true cocktails (we’re not going to even call them mocktails) to sip on.

We caught up with Demarchelier to talk about her inspiration for the menu. Here’s what she had to say:

Northforker: Most places do one or two, maybe three, non-alcoholic options at most on their drink lists. Why did you decide to do such an abundant non-alcoholic cocktail list?

Emily Demarchelier: I decided to do a beefy list because I wanted to have options for everyone. The cocktail list is this long — why not have a mocktail list that’s just as long? Also I came up with so many I couldn’t choose. 

At Demarchelier, mocktails for Dry January feel distinctively like well-composed cocktails. (Photo courtesy of Demarchelier Restaurant)

NF: Will you have this all year, or is it special for Dry Jan? 

ED: I have always had non-alcoholic options, but I noticed last Dry January people were asking for more. So I wanted to fulfill that demand. My plan is to keep the best sellers and add them to the virgin options we already offer. 

NF: What is key to making a good non-alcoholic drink that actually feels/tastes like… a drink?

ED: I did some research on this because I didn’t know anything about it. What I found is that a good mocktail should have a bite and have you wanting another sip. This is why I included apple cider vinegar in a few. Plus it has great health benefits. All the mocktails on the list have health benefits, in fact. The non-alcohol sparkling wine has elderberry extract which boosts immunity, the tisane tonic is calming, and the pineapple ginger zinger is anti-inflammatory. If you’re a drinker doing Dry January you want something more interesting and beneficial than just plain water.

NF: How important is garnish to you? 

ED: Garnish is very important. It’s the cherry on top. It’s the lipstick with the gorgeous outfit. It makes the look complete. 

NF: Have non-alcoholic wines and spirits improved? 

ED: Absolutely. It is a huge growing market and companies are doing great things to included everyone.

NF: What’s your favorite mocktail from the new list?

ED: Love the tisane tonic. The chamomile is subtle and you wouldn’t even know it’s a virgin drink.

Demarchelier is located at 471 Main St., Greenport, 631-593-1650.