Column: Cheers! Mocktails get spotlight in January


Commentary by Mark LaFay

As January kicks in, a growing number of Americans are embracing “Dry January,” a month-long break from alcohol, yours truly included. Going alcohol-free for a month might seem challenging, but it comes with tangible benefits. Many find they sleep better, feel more focused and have increased energy levels. The break serves as a reset, promoting mindfulness and well-being.

For beer drinkers out there, you’re in luck now that craft brewers have gotten better at producing alcohol-free beer that doesn’t taste like garbage. There are also several new alcohol-free wine brands popping up. Alcohol-free wine used to simply be wine with the alcohol (and flavor) stripped out. Now, there are wines being produced with concoctions of tea, juice, herbs, spices and other ingredients to create an alcohol-free experience that a wine drinker might appreciate!

Around our house during this time, mocktails tend to take center stage. These nonalcoholic concoctions provide a way to enjoy a drink without compromising on taste or creativity. We tend to keep busy, and so we do not often opt for fancy mocktails. We often settle for the quick Spindrift dressed up with Luxardo cherries and a twist of orange zest, or something similar. From time to time, we do like to get a little fancy with our beverages.

Here is a simple mocktail recipe to try:

Sparkling Citrus Mint Mocktail


•1 cup fresh orange juice

•1/2 cup fresh grapefruit juice

•1/4 cup fresh lime juice

•2 tablespoons simple syrup (adjust to taste)

•Club soda or sparkling water

•Fresh mint leaves for garnish

•Ice cubes


•Mix orange juice, grapefruit juice, lime juice and simple syrup in a shaker.

•Pour the mixture over ice in glasses.

•Top up with club soda or sparkling water.

•Garnish with fresh mint leaves and a slice of citrus.

These mocktails offer a flavorful way to embrace Dry January, proving that skipping alcohol doesn’t mean sacrificing taste. Whether it’s a citrusy blend or a fruity mix, mocktails encourage exploring new flavors while sticking to an alcohol-free month.

Here’s to the New Year and the fresh start.