Cheers to That!

7 Restaurants and Bars Serving Cool Mocktails for Dry January

Mocktails, spritzers, and refreshing elixirs!

By Shelby Stewart and Rosemary Akpan

Monkey's Tail is one of the many Houston bars taking part in Dry January.

Image: Lainey Collum

IT’S nearly THE TOP OF THE YEAR, and everyone will be working hard to maintain their fresh resolutions. Working out, eating better, or spending less money are some of the typical goals that float to the top of Americans' lists. But if you’ve decided to make a resolution to cut back or stop drinking alcohol completely, you’re among many who take part in Dry January.

Dry January has become the term for those abstaining from alcohol for the first month of the year. Originally started by Alcohol Change UK,  the initiative was created to help folks get healthier, leave hangovers behind, and even save a little bit of money after a raucous holiday season.

Today, thousands across the country participate in the wellness trend, and it helps some stay alcohol-free for the remainder of the year. If you want to simply cut back or remove alcohol from your diet completely, there are a few restaurants and bars in Houston that can help you stay dedicated to your 2023 resolution.

Coltivare

Try Coltivare's Lord Tennyson’s Tonic this Dry January. 

Image: Mikah Danae

Coltivare is fully embracing Dry January with a curated menu of specialty mocktails using alcohol-free brands that make you forget you’re even cutting alcohol from your diet. All mocktails at Coltivare are priced at $10 and up.

  • Not & Tonic. A traditional gin and tonic is a staple at any bar. Coltivare’s spin is the Not & Tonic, a not so boozy take on the classic gin and tonic, made with ingredients like cut above botanical, tonic, grapefruit, lime, and mint. 
  • Café Disco. Enjoy a party in your mouth with the Café Disco. This groovy drink is made with orange juice, elderflower tonic, cold brew, and honey. We guarantee it will have you boogying all night long.
  • Il Rosmarino. Keep it simple this month with this delicious mocktail. Made with only two ingredients, cranberry rosemary shrub and soda, the Il Rosmarino will be a sure favorite from this Italian restaurant.
  • The Perfect Storm. Wake your taste buds with this drink made using Caleño Dark and Spicy (a non-alcoholic spirit), lime juice, simple syrup, ginger beer, Coca-Cola floater, and lime. This mix is the Perfect Storm you need to help you power through your month of dryness. 
  • Lord Tennyson’s Tonic. If you’re looking for a Black Ginger Cocktail alternative try Coltivare’s Lord Tennyson’s Tonic. The colorful mocktail combines Tennyson Black Ginger, cherry and ginger syrup, lemon juice, orange, and Topo Chico.
  • Soho. For a delightful zero-proof option, Coltivare mixes Caleño Light and Zesty, lime juice, simple syrup, and mint to create Soho. With this drink, no one would guess you’re not sipping on a boozy Southside.

Dish Society

Pink Swear, available at Dish Society.

If you want to enjoy brunch alcohol-free, Dish Society has a collection of fresh press juices and house elixirs that will get you your fix. Drinks are priced at $7.

  • Virgin Mojito. If you love a real Mojito, Dish’s Virgin Mojito is a really close second. The drink mixes fresh lime juice, cane sugar, mint, and club soda together for a drink with a kick to it. 
  • Pinky Swear. Craving for something fruity without the booze? We (pinky) promise this drink is just for you. Using agave, lychee, grapefruit, lime, prickly pear, salt, and strawberry, Dish Society has the perfect elixir for all your dry January goals. 
  • L.O.L. Laugh out loud at the fact that this drink is alcohol-free. Dish Society mixes lavender, orange juice, lemon, and ginger beer to create this unique elixir.

Tobiuo Sushi & Bar

The coveted sushi bar in Katy is adding a few custom drinks to their menu for the month of January. Curated by General Manager Le Chau, these mocktails are fruit-focused refreshers. Drinks are priced at $4 each.

  • Strawberry Basil. If you love a strawberry lemonade, Tobiuo’s Strawberry Basil is a great selection. The drink is made with three simple ingredients, strawberry, lemonade, and basil. 
  • Lavender Lychee. Live on the wild side and order a Lavender Lychee. While lychee is the core ingredient, the mocktail includes pineapple, cherry, and lavender flavors. 
  • Orange Dreamsicle. Creamsicles bring back great childhood memories and are a great way to cool off from Houston heat. Try the Orange Dreamsicle at Tobiuo, made with orange juice, pineapple, and vanilla.
  • Honey Ginger. Natural ingredients like locally sourced honey, lemon juice, and ginger make for a refreshing drink with quite the kick. 

Brennan’s of Houston

The barkeeps at Brennan’s definitely know how to make a cocktail. It takes some real know-how to craft an alcoholic beverage, but even more skill to make a drink that imitates alcohol. Brennan’s has multiple selections for Dry January, but two on the menu truly stand out. 

  • Blackberry Lemon Drop. Instead of vodka, this Virgin Blackberry Lemon Drop incorporates soda, along with fresh lemon juice, and blackberry syrup, that makes for a bittersweet mocktail. 
  • Virgin Mojito. You can never go wrong with a mojito. The fresh blend of muddled mint, fresh lime, syrup and soda makes you forget the rum is missing. 

Monkey’s Tail

The Toronjajaja is the perfect zero-proof drink to try this season. 

If you’re going free-spirited this month, Monkey’s Tail has a selection of mocktails that will fit any vibe. 

  • Penichill’n. If you want something all-new and really unique, Monkey’s Tail has it. The Penichill’n mocktail is made with spiritless Kentucky 74, salted honey, ginger, grapefruit, lemon, and spritz smoky tea. 
  • Toronjajaja. Switch up your go-to mocktails with the Toronjajaja. The free-spirited drink is made with grapefruit, strawberry, lime, firewater and club soda. 
  • Viva Maracuva. Spice things up with this mix. Monkey’s Tail bartenders mix passionfruit, mango, tiki spices, club soda, lime, and salt for a flavor-packed mocktail. Consider taking one for the road. 
  • Jessie’s Topo. Quench your thirst with this refreshing drink from the tropical cocktail-inspired bar. Jessie’s Topo is a combination of the simplest ingredients but with a spicy kick, made using Topo Chico, lime, tajin, and salt. 
  • Housemade Prickly Pear Soda. If you’re not ready to give up soda this New Year, Monkey’s Tail has just the thing for you. Sip on a bubbly mix of cactus fruit, citric acid, lime leaf, and lemongrass. You get to enjoy the best flavors without compromising your Dry January. 

Better Luck​​​​ Tomorrow 

From quick meals to fruity drinks, Better Luck Tomorrow is a place that does it all. Have a sip from a number of their zero-proof drink options.  

  • Fleurly Temple. Enjoy a taste of spring with the Fleurly Temple. This floral-inspired mocktail is made using hibiscus, rose water, orange blossom, cinnamon, and soda. With this drink, your Dry January will have you booze-free until May. 
  • Miami Advice. Who needs trips to the tropics when you have this drink? Enjoy a taste of Miami with four simple ingredients: pineapple, coconut, lime, and strawberry. 
  • Sin & Tonic. If you’re looking for another non-alcoholic spin to the classic Gin and Tonic, try the Better Luck Tomorrow Sin & Tonic. To create this unique mocktail, bartenders mix seedlip grove, yerba, rooibos, grapefruit, agave, and Mediterranean tonic. 
  • Jungle Birdie. A little birdie told us that this drink will have you wanting more. Made with Giffard “aperitif”, pineapple, molasses, cinnamon, and lime – the Jungle Birdie is a certified hoot!

Daily Gather 

Daily Gather's Ginger Strawberry Lemonade is alcohol-free. 

In addition to stunning boozy cocktails, Daily Gather’s menu includes zero-proof alternatives without sacrificing that delicious flavor and great taste.

  • Cucumber Refresher. Refresh your palate with a fresh blend of lime, cucumber, orange, basil, vanilla, and ginger beer. This is the perfect drink to revitalize your senses and help jumpstart the New Year. 
  • Ginger Strawberry Lemonade. Looking to enjoy a classic Strawberry Lemonade but with a kick? Try this mix made using ginger-lemon tonic, agave, and fresh strawberries.
  • Daily “BLT”. This isn’t your average BLT. Daily Gather mixes blueberry, lemon and thyme with sparkling water to create this thirst-quenching mocktail.
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