Dry January is a tough time for those of us that like our alcohol. But after the craziness that is December, taking it easy in January, and resetting for the new year, is always a good idea.
But BOY, is it tough to stop, especially when you like to reward yourself with a martini after a long day, or pop open a beer while watching the Texas Game.
Lucky for us though, drinking delicious beverages without booze has never been easier. From delicious n/a beers, to spirits completely void of alcohol, there are more options than ever before!
So, to make this Dry January a little easier on you, we've come up with some dupes for classic cocktails that will help you feel like it's just any old month (with the help of our Extra Virgin Olive Oils and Balsamic Vinegars, of course).
Booze Free Cocktails for Dry January
If you've never had a Michelada before, you've been missing out. For the most simple explanation possible, it's like a Bloody Mary with beer instead of liquor. This Mexican beverage typically utilizes a Mexican lager, such as Modelo or Tecate.
But with how incredible N/A beers have gotten in the past few years, Micheladas are completely achievable with 0% alcohol. So here is a great recipe for our Miche-nada, or a booze free Michelada (with a dash of our Jalapeno infused Olive Oil, for good measure).
- 12oz NA Mexican Lager (we recommend Cerveza Atletica)
- 12oz tomato (or clamato) juice
- 1/4 cup lime juice
- 2 lime wedges
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- Dash of Jalapeno infused EVOO (or Garlic for less spice)
- 2 teaspoons hot sauce (we recommend Cholula)
- Tajín for rim (we recommend this salt rimmer to make it simple)
- Run your glass rim through with one lime wedge, then discard, and dip into Tajín.
- Add tomato juice, lime, Worcestershire, olive oil, and hot sauce into a glass over ice. Stir well.
- Top with beer, and add the lime wedge to the rim.
2. Texas Hill Country Balsamic Shrubs
First of all, you may be wondering "what is a shrub?" A shrub, otherwise known as a drinking vinegar, is a syrup made of herbs, vinegar, and oftentimes berries. Many like to use it as a mocktail, and combine it with a sparkling n/a beverage, like tonic or soda water.
We like to make shrubs with our balsamic vinegars! There are so many delicious combinations you can make, but before we give you some suggestions, here is how to make a shrub.
- Firstly, you're going to take all your ingredients (fruit, vinegar, herbs, sugar) and bring them to a boil in a saucepan, all while mashing/muddling the ingredients as much as possible.
- Based on if you prefer a sweeter or tarter shrub, you'll want to add more sugar or vinegar as necessary.
- After the shrub is completely cool, strain the fruit from the liquid. Put in the fridge and wait at least 1 day before using (a shrub can last up to 6 months if frequently opened).
- The next day, mix 2 tablespoons of your shrub with your sparkling beverage of choice. Top with a garnish that compliments your shrub ingredients.
Now that you know how to make a shrub, we can share some of our suggested pairings using our delicious balsamics!
- Pomegranate Balsamic/rosemary/oranges & pomegranate seeds/soda water
- Strawberry Balsamic/basil/Strawberries & cucumbers/soda water
- Pineapple Balsamic/ginger & lemongrass/pineapple & orange/ginger beer
- Cranberry Pear Balsamic/cinnamon & allspice/pears & cranberries/soda water
We have so many delicious infused balsamics to play with when making a shrub! Want to test out a few varieties? Get our Balsamic Favorites Mini Set!
3. Dirty Spicy Virgin Martini with Olive Oil
You may be wondering how on earth a booze free martini is possible. Originally, we thought the same thing. However, so many companies these days are coming out with non-alcoholic liquors that are actually delicious dupes! Seriously, we can't believe it either.
There are ton's of N/A Gins and vodkas to choose from - heck, even Tanqueray and Absolute have booze free options! And, to top it all off, there are n/a Vermouths available, or at least good substitutes, like Lyre's N/A Spirits.
Being Texans, we like our Martinis on the spicy side, our jalapeno stuffed olives, and a wash of our Jalapeno Infused EVOO are a must! If you don't like spicy, substitute those items for our Garlic Infused EVOO and garlic stuffed olives.
- 2.5 oz n/a gin or vodka of your choice
- 1/2 oz vermouth alternative
- 1/2 oz olive brine
- Wash of Jalapeno Infused EVOO
- 3-4 jalapeno stuffed olives
- Add your n/a liquor, vermouth alternative, and olive brine to a mixing glass with ice, and stir until well chilled.
- Take a chilled martini glass, and wash with some of the jalapeno infused EVOO.
- Strain cocktail into glass.
- Garnish with a skewer of your jalapeno stuffed olives.
4. The Faux Margarita
Living in Texas, Margaritas are a staple. It seems nearly impossible to go out for Tex-Mex without ordering one. But luckily we found a great Faux Margarita recipe that will satisfy our needs...temporarily (is anything better than tequila?).
The biggest savior for the recipe? A dash of our Persian Lime Balsamic. Even the smallest hint of tequila makes all the difference. And hey, it's not cheating if we say it's not!
- 1.5 oz lime juice
- 1 oz orange juice
- .5 oz lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons agave nectar
- 2 lime wedges
- 1 teaspoon Persian Lime Balsamic
- sparkling water
- salt or Tajín for rim
- Rub glass rim with a lime, roll glass in salt, or Tajín if you want it to be spicy. Then fill the glass with ice.
- Add lime juice, orange juice, lemon juice, agave nectar, and teaspoon of balsamic to cocktail shaker, and shake thoroughly.
- Pour into glass, top with sparkling water, and put final lime on rim.
5. Healthy "Whiskey" Coke
You may have seen the trend on TikTok, but people are out here claiming they found a way to make a healthy Coca Cola. Although it doesn't taste exactly like a Coke, it's still pretty delicious, and definitely better for you.
But while you're being healthier and cutting back on your booze, you may be jonesing for a whiskey cola.
So, we've substituted the classic balsamic with our Bourbon Balsamic, giving you a nice substitution for this bar staple.
We like to make it fancier by putting it in a coup glass, but it's up to you!
- 1 tablespoon Bourbon Balsamic Vinegar
- Soda water
- 1-2 drops of liquid monk fruit or caramel syrup
- 1 cherry for garnish
- Pour one tablespoon of your balsamic into a chilled coupe glass.
- Top with soda water and 1-2 drops of your liquid monk fruit or caramel syrup to add a bit of sweetness
- Garnish with a cherry, and time to drink!
Enjoy Your Dry January - You've Got This!
Dry January is tough, and kudos to you for giving it a go! Cutting back on things we love is hard, but we hope these mocktail recipes make this month, and future months, a little easier on you.
And remember, a little Infused EVOO and Balsamic goes a LONG way in a mocktail. Jalapeno Infused Olive Oil is great for an extra kick, and a fruity or booze-inspired balsamic adds so much to any beverage (and salad).
Looking for more ways to use your Texas Hill Country Olive Co. products? We've got countless delicious recipes for you to try, like our creamy cacio e pepe or our winter pomegranate salad (if you're sticking to a health kick).
So happy 2023, and we hope this year is full of love, laughter, and a little bit of olive oil.