Dry January is upon us and aside from being amazing for your health, taking a one-month hiatus to embrace a booze-free lifestyle doesn’t have to be a drag.
Check out this selection of exciting, non-alcoholic alternatives including beers, cocktails, and spirits made by some local breweries and distillers.
Partake Brewing’s award-winning line of non-alcoholic beers include a stout and IPA (featured on Dragon’s Den), plus a pale, blonde and red ale. There’s also a Peach Gose, a delightfully sweet beer with a hint of tartness brewed with several malts, sea salts, and coriander.
Distilled in Stratford, Ontario, Sobrii 0-Gin utilizes a traditional blend of botanicals including star anise, allspice, coriander, and juniper berries, with a hit of Canadian Ginseng for a slight bite. This gin finishes clean with a slightly acidic finish, akin to a London-style gin, for a swanky take on Dry January.
Blending teas, juices, bitters, and spices to create ‘gut-friendly’ wine alternatives, this Dundas, Ontario company releases a series of new flavours each month as a one-time purchase or a monthly subscription. Nightshade is a red that meshes the flavours of paprika and sundried tomatoes with olive leaf and earthy rooibos tea.
Established in 2018, this Ontario distillery makes non-alcoholic gin as well as an alcohol-free canned gin & tonic that’s infused with berry flavours, a hint of anise and floral aromas. The palette is crisp and refreshing.
Made from a secret blend of 89 immune-boosting botanicals and adaptogens, the taste of this amaro is both complex and exotic and begins with gentle spice and sarsaparilla, followed by warm vanilla and a tangy bitterness — great with soda or sparkling water. Toronto Chef, Luke Hayes, (L.U.S.T), spent 16 months perfecting and refining the recipe with his mom when the pandemic first hit.
In 2006, while teaching yoga abroad, Zoey Shamai tasted kombucha for the first time and was amazed by the digestive boost she received from the fermented tea. Back in Toronto, she began to brew the drink herself. Shipping to more than 2,500 retailers across the country, Tonica is available in 12 flavours including Blue Lemonade and Ginger Tonica, a lightly-carbonated sweet and sour drink, resembling an old-fashioned ginger beer.
Toronto-based, Temperance Tonics, sells alcohol-free cocktail kits, (and drink recipe books inspired by the Tarot) perfect for Dry January fun. A kit contains eight servings each of The Fool: a bright lemonade with nutty, floral flavours; The Empress: mild floral and red fruit sweetness with a dry finish and aroma of roses; The Chariot: fruity and woody with a deeply dark finish; and Fortitude: sharp and acidic, balanced by fruit flavours and lemon aromatics. The kit comes with garnishes like dehydrated fruit slices, edible flowers and a booklet of instruction.