Happy New Year and Happy Dry January! Now granted, coming from a specialist spirits retailer, you wouldn’t expect the first blog post of 2024 to be centred around booze-free drinks, but stay with us for a second…
We’re pushing our own agendas aside for the month and venturing into the world of the sober curious. The Low and No category has grown into something far more than just a trend, it’s a movement for conscious consumption and mindful drinking and it’s an invitation to be more discerning and cognizant in the way you choose to drink.
Think about it this way, it’s the perfect excuse to dive headfirst into something new and a chance to start drinking BETTER, more SUSTAINABLY and perhaps more CREATIVELY. Non-alcoholic tipples aren’t as boring as you may think!
Let’s get stuck into what you’re here for…the drinks! If you’re unsure on where to start, we’re here to make the process a little smoother. So buckle up, as we curate your new home-bar menu.
SWAP THE NEGRONI FOR A NO-GRONI
Aperitif lovers, here is your alternative for Apero Hour. The Negroni is a tried and tested classic, and a favourite cocktail of ours on Spirits Kiosk. Dry January isn’t about switching wine for water, and you don’t have to sacrifice flavour when you’re in the mood for a tasty tipple. We’ve gone away and done the research and decided to #MakeitaLyres this Dry Jan.
How to Make a Nogroni? – The Lyre’s Non-Alcoholic range was created to capture the essence and flavour profiles of your favourite spirits. For those already familiar with the Negroni and its audacious bitterness, we suggest trying a straightforward substitution in equal parts, to test the waters of your preferred ratio.
What does it taste like? – Lyre’s Non-Alcoholic Italian Orange mimics the flavour profile of a bitter orange aperitif (such as Campari). There’s a persistent, pithy dryness that acts as a fantastic anchor when concocting a No-groni. Rich blood orange and red citrus flavours take the lead, while maraschino cherry brings the cocktail balance.
Lyre’s Non-Alcoholic Dry London Spirit takes the role of a classic gin, so you don’t have to completely give up juniper this January. While citrus notes are complemented by earthy tones, pepperberry adds warmth to the mix to deliver a generously dry finish. Finally, look to Lyre’s Non-Alcoholic Aperitif Rosso for an aromatic substitution for the Vermouth. It’s the caramel, citrus pith and vanilla flavours that will tie your No-groni together. Delicious!
WHAT YOU NEED FOR A NON-ALCOHOLIC DAIQUIRI
Disguise your Daiquiris this Dry January with Lyre’s Non-Alcoholic White Cane Spirit, impossibly crafted to capture the essence and flavour profile of a gently aged White Rum. Daiquiris are a deceptively simple cocktails, but when there’s no alcohol – deception is taken completely out of the picture.
Non-Alcoholic Daiquiri Recipe (A Start Point)
60ml Lyre's Non-Alcoholic White Cane Spirit
20ml Lime Juice
10ml Sugar Syrup
White Rums are normally the go-to-choice for a cocktail designed to be simple and subtle. This is where Lyre’s White Cane Spirit shines; subtle flavours of oak and sugar underpin marzipan, orange, and coconut, but it’s the peppery heat on the finish that keeps us coming back for more. No alcohol, no guilt!
Top Tips for the Perfect Non-Alc Daiquiri - The Daiquiri normally calls for a lighter and more delicately styled ‘rum’, opposed big, booming flavours that could overpower the serve. But just like a regular Daiquiri, it’s all about harmony. You’ll still need to balance ‘booze’ vs dilution, sweet sugar vs caustic citrus – get this right and it’s a rewarding pursuit.
CRAFTING THE PERFECT NON-ALC MARGARITA
Moving onto Mimic Mezcal Margaritas. If you’re looking for a non-alcoholic cocktail recipe with a bit of bite, a smoky margarita is a simple but bold alternative. Choose between a Classic or a Tommy’s Marg (without Triple Sec), either way you’ll need a solid agave-alternative that can stand up to the strength of the citrus.
Margarita Mocktail Recipe
50ml Agave Alternative
35ml Fresh Lime Juice
15ml Agave Syrup
Fluère Smoked Agave is what agave lovers have been asking for – a serious non-alcoholic alternative to their favourite tipple. Expect smoked pear and honey on the nose, backed by apple syrup and vegetal agave. To taste, you’ll find that characteristic, earthy sweetness of the agave marries beautifully with herbal overtones and hints of black pepper.
Upgrading your Mimic Margarita – The rule of thumb with cocktail creation is dilution, as with the Daiquiri, a non-alc marg calls for balance. Another way to take your mocktail to the next level however is by stepping up your garnish game. To compliment the heavier personality of the mimic ‘mezcal’, think chilli and salt. Who said Dry January drinking had to be boring?
DRY G&T OPTIONS FOR GIN FANS
As gin-thusiasts ourselves, there are plenty of non-alcoholic alternatives for gin fans craving a juniper filled G&T without the guilt. Take Salcombe Distillery’s non-alcoholic spirit for example. New London Light ‘First Light’ is served the same way as your favourite tipple, with clear botanical accents throughout. There’s bright orange and herbaceous sage on the nose; to taste, more sage and floral notes emerge with some ginger and cascarilla before a finish of star anise and floral coriander. New London Light is best served with light tonic water and an orange peel. How easy was that?
However, if you’re after something a little more saline and maritime focused, Pentire Adrift is a botanical non-alcoholic spirit made from unique plants, native to the North Cornwall coastline. Expect a grown-up savoury affair with this one, with fragrant herbaceousness and salty notes that balance perfectly with tonic water. It’s crisp, herbaceous and fresh overall. Citrus is coupled with sage, while rock samphire and sea salt round off the finish. Serve as a 50ml measure over ice with a citrus peel.
Pentire Seaward on the other hand is bright, zesty and verdant – perfect for those looking for zingy bottling without the booze. Invigorating and replenishing, bright grapefruit top notes meets sea buckthorn for a green natural tartness.
PINK GIN ALTERNATIVES
Don’t worry, we haven’t forgotten about the flavoured gin lovers trying to battle the FOMO this Dry Jan. If you’re a fan of the ‘First Light’, New London Light ‘Midnight Sun’ serves a new perspective on complex flavour combinations.
Midnight Sun combines hand-picked seaberries, elderberry, kelp and pine for a floral and herbaceous aroma. The berry flavours build to taste, with a backdrop of kelp and samphire. New London Light’s aim is to create innovative flavour concoctions for drinkers who want complex alcohol-free options, packed with originality.
Crafted for Pink Gin drinkers, Everleaf Mountain is a vibrant blend of 12 sustainably sourced botanicals, carefully chosen to capture the flavours of the mountain. There’s a big hit of cherry blossom, with hints of black cherry on the nose. To taste, sweet floral cherry aromatics give way to bold, tart rosehip and savoury myrtle. We’d pair this one with tonic and freshly cut strawberries!
If you’re stuck on the Pink Gin train, Fluère Raspberry is another fantastic alternative. Bursting with botanicals, the non-alcoholic spirit has a complex yet balanced taste, accentuated by the ripe nature of freshly distilled raspberries. Citrus supports the raspberry sweetness, with undertones of pine and floral lavender – serve this one with soda for a crisp and refreshing first sip.
SPRITZES FOR THE SOBER CURIOUS
The Spritz was a notable trend in 2023 with La Dolce Vita inspired serves filling our social feeds to the brim. So, why should you have to miss out when it’s time to pop open the bubbly?
We’re not saying Aperol… but Lyre’s Non-Alcoholic Italian Spritz reflects the flavour profile of a beloved classic aperitif and is a fantastic alternative for those who want to go totally alcohol free. Expect orange sweetness upfront, deliciously fused with complex and astringent flavours of rhubarb. The perfect pairing in our eyes remains to be soda water for a fantastically dry finish!
Crafted for spritz drinkers, Everleaf Forest, combines layers of citrus and spice for a bold, exotic and vibrant aperitif. 14 botanicals have been sustainably sourced to capture the flavours of the forest including, saffron Madagascan vanilla and orange blossom.
So, there we have it! You’re new and improved home-bar menu. If you play your cards right, the FOMO won’t be anywhere near in sight. Considering it doesn’t have to be ‘5PM somewhere in the world’, I think I might start with a Nogroni…