A Drink for Dry January

Somehow, it is now 2022. Regardless of how fast these last two years have gone, it’s time to set those New Year’s resolutions and for some of us, that means sobering up. Dry January has gone from a personal project to a national movement. As awareness about alcoholism rises along with the importance of detoxing and being more health conscious, this month is a great time to refocus, rebalance and take a break from one of my favorite vices: alcohol. 

I’ve been doing a lot of exploring in the nonalcoholic world, and it’s an exciting place! We have more options than ever when we want to feel indulgent without actually being indulgent. 

I wrote a few months back about Seedlip, a distillery in LA that makes nonalcoholic spirits. I find their citrus option very versatile, bright, funky and tart. It brings a lot of flavor to any mocktail, which I love in a spirit. So this is where I started.

Next, I got some Fre Sparkling Brut, which is an alcohol-removed wine from California. What’s the difference between alcohol-removed wine and grape juice you ask? Well, Fre makes their alcohol-removed wine by starting with wine, then removing the alcohol using a spinning cone column. This means that Fre products are made from fermented grapes, which gives them a flavor profile true to wine. 

I call for a dehydrated lemon wheel to garnish this mocktail. If you don’t have a dehydrator, it’s a simple process to dehydrate citrus in the oven, it just requires a day of being at home to monitor the oven. (You can do this with any citrus.) 

Preheat your oven to the lowest possible setting and thinly slice your citrus into wheels about ¼ (or less if you can) inch thick. Place wheels on a non-stick baking sheet or on parchment paper on a baking sheet. Put your wheels in the oven and flip every one to two hours (settings at 170 degrees can be left to sit for two hours before flipping; higher temperatures should be monitored more frequently.) Every time you flip, inspect your citrus and remove wheels which have dehydrated faster than others. This usually takes me up to six hours at 170 degrees. 

Sparkling Mocktail

  • 1 ounce Seedlip Citrus
  • ½ ounce simple syrup 
  • ¼ ounce lemon juice
  • Add all ingredients to a shaker with ice, shake and strain into a coupe
  • Top with 2 ½ ounces of Fre Sparkling Brut 
  • Garnish with floating dehydrated lemon wheel 

This is a light, subtle cocktail. The combination of the Seedlip and Fre products makes a nice, piney flavor, so adding the simple syrup mellows tartness while the lemon enhances the citrus flavors. In the end it goes down easy – and there’s nothing wrong with that because it’s completely alcohol free! 

Best of luck in your sobriety, whether it’s just for a day, a month or a lifetime!


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