You're So Close To Being Done With Dry January

Like, so close. Here's a few ideas to freshen up your finish line repertoire.

January 23, 2017 ● 2 min read

There are stages to Dry January. Smug confidence is the name of the game for week one; you are resplendent in your life choices and you proudly tote around absurdly large water bottles everywhere you go. Your new gym friends who will surely drop off as steeply as you do in February tell you they like, don't even drink that much anyway, you know? This will be easy. Your skin feels dewy — which might be the lack of alcohol, or just the fug of the subway air during rainy season.

Week two mirrors your post-holiday work slump, as the glow of vacation leaves you; your reserve was somehow stronger when you could still feel the butter and sugar coursing guiltily through your veins. Now you're just tired, and cranky, and starting to eye that craft beer your cousin gifted you before this whole charade. You grit your teeth at outings, stock your fridge with fancy tonic (probably too expensive but at least feels like a treat to your tired soul), and close your eyes as your comrades-in-dry-arms drop like flies. 

Week three arrives and now you are calmly making a wish list. Maybe you became a Supertaster during this little experiment, you think, confident that you will now be able to identify the unique strains of piney hops in an IPA, the subtlety in that trendy pét-nat. You will return to your aperitifs, to your post-dinner digestif, you'll finally have the stones to slap the bar and ask the bartender for an off-menu concoction — Sazerac! Jack Rose! — like someone who knows what they want from life. 

That's still a week out, of course. If you're bored out of your skull with whatever got you this far, here are three stellar options from bartenders who dabble in the best of both beverage worlds. Bonus: they're good whether you're trying to prove something to yourself or not.

[This is] the non-alcoholic version of the Blue Bark Rickey on [Rob Roy's] menu. The soothing effect of turmeric is lovely combined with the floral notes of elderflower and the earthiness of blueberries. It works year round. — Anu Apte, Rob Roy, Seattle

Muddle blueberries in syrup, then add the rest; shake and fine strain into a glass filled with ice. Top with soda water.

My go-to: a delicious, bitter, tart, and refreshing Aperitif style highball! — Josh Harris, The Bon Vivants, San Francisco

This is one of my favorite [non-alcoholic] drinks because it has all the notes you look for in a proper alcoholic drink. High - middle - low. It's a little spicy/bitter, sweet and acidic. And in the end, well balanced. And it has a bit heavier mouth feel than most non-alcoholic drinks. — Todd Maul, Café ArtScience, Cambridge

You got this. Your skin does look dewier, we swear. 

Illustrations by May Parsey