Dry January: A Toast to Teetotaling!

BY Steph Wilson

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January in Denver: a frostbitten wonderland where the holidays have wrapped up, leaving behind a trail of empty bottles and festive excess. Welcome to Dry January, that month-long sobriety saga where the bottles cork up and the bar taps get a break. After a December that’s usually more “merry” than “moderate,” many of us are swapping our cocktails for mocktails.

Think of Dry January as a post-holiday detox—A month where one’s liver gets a vacation after the December debaucheries. It’s the trend that’s taking the nation by storm, with a whopping 41% of Americans considering giving it a whirl this year, though, let’s be honest, only a brave 16% crossed the finish line without a drop of alcohol. But hey, it’s the thought that counts, right?

Why, you ask, would anyone in their right mind brave the Denver winter sans the warm embrace of a whisky or the cheerful clink of a wine glass? The answer lies not in what you lose, but in what you gain: think weight loss, sleep that rivals a bear’s hibernation, mood, and energy levels skyrocketing, and a healthier diet that doesn’t include liquid bread (yes, we’re looking at you, beer).

Opting out of alcohol doesn’t mean you’re sentenced to a month of hermit-like existence. Denver’s mixologists have risen to the challenge, creating a spirit-free trail of mocktails that promise all the flair without the flare-up the next morning. The trend, born in the UK in 2012, has crossed the pond, and Denver’s dining scene is all in. Here’s where you can enjoy a night out, minus the alcohol, but with all the flavor:

Fruition: Here, the Apricot Dream is a hot concoction of dreams—valerian tea and Turkish apricot doing a tango with maple and lemon. Or try the Peck of Peppered Pineapples, where pineapple and passion fruit meets serrano and lime, all dressed up with a tajin rim.

The Greenwich: Their “Sans Booze” menu is a sober delight. Big Apple Energy mixes rhubarb, apple cider, and ginger beer, while Autumn on the Hudson is a cranberry and cinnamon concoction that’s like fall in a glass—but cooler because of snow.

Honey Elixir Bar: This spot takes mocktails to mystical levels. La Nana is an alchemy of banana, spices, and crystal essence (yes, really), while Not Your Average is a euphoric blend of adaptogens and flowers—it’s pretty much a meditation session in a glass.

Root Down: If you love the cocktails at this Edible Beats mainstay as much as we do (obsessed with the Beet Down), you’ll love the non-alcoholic options with the same fervor. The non-alcoholic SPORTea is an energizer bunny in a cup, with a mix of Brazilian mate, Siberian ginseng, and ginger.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Steph Wilson

Steph Wilson is a writer, editor, and creative maximalist in Denver. She makes magazines for a living and throws color around the world like confetti for fun.

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