top of page

Tim and Chris's Drink Picks for a No Hangover Holiday

As many of you know Tim had always enjoyed his cocktails, but when he became sober after his liver transplant, alcohol was no longer an option. Of course, I am so proud of him for being sober. It's an everyday struggle for many, I know, especially during this time of year.


It was a strange coincidence that at the same time Tim got sober, a non-alcoholic beverage trend was emerging. Maybe it was due to the Pandemic, which let's face it, led to more drinking. People needed to dry out! Dry January has become more popular, and bars needed to step up their NA cocktail game.


Also, I think many of us just needed to look at ourselves and ask, "Do we need that next drink? Do we need alcohol at all? Is there another option?


Well, some very creative and entrepreneurial people in the beverage industry anticipated this need and have come up with some delicious options.


Here are a few of our favorites we'd like to share!


COCKTAILS

 As a couple, we still enjoy the ritual of "cocktail hour", a time to relax over a drink and talk about our days.

Instead of the same old soda water and lime, there are so many NA cocktails now, which are fun to try! They are beautiful to look at, finely crafted, and offer a lot of variety.


Tim got hooked when he tried a "Fauxgroni", an NA take on a Negroni, at the Independent pub in Sommerville last winter. It was a Dry January special. He liked it so much that I called the bartender during off hours and got his recipe, which he was very nice to share.

Fauxgroni

Seedlip Gin 1.5 oz, Gifford Apertif .75 oz, Roots Divino 1.0 oz, Orange Swath

Serve over ice


Cheers from Tim!

We bought a large ice cube, ice cube tray, so our drinks will be cold, but not as diluted. Tim likes his drink in a large wine glass.


Since then we have recently discovered another gin substitute that Tim prefers over Seedlip (which is widely available around here) called Clean G. It's made by an English company called Clean Co .  Leave it to the English to make a great N/A gin! Not to mention the beautiful bottle it comes in!


Over Thanksgiving, I was looking for Seedlip Gin at Martinellis in Ipswich but instead found a large display of Clean G right at the front of the store. However, when I went to buy more it was sold out! (Hmmm we aren't the only ones!) There were a few bottles left of their spiced rum substitute Clean R, so I bought that for Tim to make him an NA Cuba Libre, which he gave the" thumbs up". Go to the Clean Co website to find out where you can buy their products locally. They also have some drink recipes to try.


NA Cuba Libre

Regular Coke (Not Diet) 4oz., Clean R Spiced Rum 2 oz, Lime Wedge

Serve over ice


The Entire Line of NA Spirits by Clean Co

Our son Ben is our favorite resource for all cocktails. He runs a popular cocktail bar in Manhattan called HiLot.  Here are some recipes for his newest NA drinks, and a special one that's been on the menu for a while:


No Haze

a soft Tom Collins, Vive la vie boheme

2 oz. Seedlip Spice, .75 oz Hibiscus*, .75 Lemon Juice, Soda


Combine all ingredients in a shaker tin, and cover with ice. Shake briefly, then pour 2 oz of highly carbonated soda water into the tin. Strain into a highball glass filled with ice.


Magic Carpet Ride

a floral spiritless sour, a magic carpet ride

1.75 oz. Everleaf Marine, .5 oz Wilfred's Non-Alcoholic Aperitif, .5 oz Jasmine**, .75 oz. Lemon Juice, .5 oz. Grapefruit Juice


Combine all ingredients in a shaker tin, and cover with ice. Hard shake and strain into a margarita glass filled with ice. Garnish with a lemon wedge.


Tim's Negroni

a non-alcoholic Negroni, for Ben's Dad

1.5 oz. Bite Anapertivo or Gifford Aperitif, 1.5 Roots Divino N/A Sweet Vermouth, Ginger Beer, Bubbles


Combine ingredients in a glass and cover with ice, stir for 15 seconds, top with 1oz of ginger beer and an orange twist


*Hibiscus Syrup

Add one quart of water, 10g of cinnamon, and 15g of dried hibiscus flowers to a pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling, lower to a simmer and add one quart of white granulated sugar. Stir until sugar is dissolved and then strain out solids. Let cool, will keep for one month.


**Jasmine Syrup

Bring one quart of water to a boil in a pot. Reduce to a simmer, and steep 6 of your favorite Jasmine tea bags for 5 minutes, wringing out the bags. After five minutes, remove the bags and add half a quart of white granulated sugar. Stir until sugar is dissolved, let cool, will keep for one month.





Per Tim's request, so that there are no temptations for him, we store our alcohol in a safe. However, that doesn't mean we can't have a pretty bar. Check out our bar cart. The bottles are pretty and it makes cocktail hour festive!


Our Christmas Bar Cart

Online Shopping for NA Cocktail Ingredients and More

I've found that Seedlip NA spirits are the most readily available around the north shore. However, there are some good websites for us online shoppers, where you can buy pretty much anything you need to make these cocktails.


Boisson is a Brooklyn-based company that sells exclusively NA beverages. We order our Clear G and Roots Divino from here. You can order Everleaf Marine, Seedlip Spice, and Wilfreds Non-Alcoholic Apertif here, too. It also looks like they have a decent selection of wines.


Bitters and Bottles is where we ordered our Giffard Apertif Syrup. This is a California company so it took a little longer to get.


BEER


The first NA drink Tim tried was beer. O'Doule's and Kaliber were the only options just a little while ago, but now there are so many more and they are so much better! Tim's favorite is Atheltic Brewing Company's Upside Dawn Golden, a non-alcoholic pilsner with citrus & honey flavors. We've been enjoying this beer for a couple of years now. It's great with pizza and we recently drank it Thanksgiving weekend in the car along with our turkey sandwiches, on our way to visit our son Ben in New York! Athletic Brewing Company makes a couple of good NA IPAs, too, if that is your preference.



Upside Dawn Golden Pilsner

Tim also recommends Guinness's Draught 0.0 Alcohol-Free Stout. He says it's pretty close to the original version, though a little fruitier. Guinness has even captured its famous surge and settle effect with a specially designed can! Now Tim can go into a pub and order a Guinness again, as many Irishmen like to do! Here is an excellent review of the development of 0.0 Guinness, from Tom Hallett, an expert on low-alcohol and alcohol-free beer and lagers.



Guinness Draught 0.0 Alcohol Free Stout


All of these beers can be found at our local liquor stores and bars.


We were sadly disappointed this summer when we visited the beautiful Sierra Nevada Brewery on a family vacation in North Carolina only to find zero NA Beers on the menu! However, I am very excited to enjoy the brewery experience locally with Tim soon, because I've heard that Notch Brewing Company in Salem has created two new NA Beers, a Hazy IPA and a craft Pils.



WINE


After trying a few NA wines, which were just too sweet and thin, we can unfortunately only recommend one. Paul Chisholm, at Chebacco Market in Essex, turned us on to Bodegas Murviedro 'Only You' Alcohol-Free Sparkling White which is made in Spain by an established vineyard and bottled here. They labeled it 'Only You' to appeal to us romantic Americans, I guess!


Without trying it ourselves, we served it to our friends Pat and Judy for brunch and we all loved it, despite its cheesy name! Judy took a picture of the label, so she could buy some for herself!


'Only You' has lovely bubbles, is dry, and a little spicy. It's a great option when you don't want to "day drink" or you want to switch over to a fun NA alternative.



Bodegas Murviedro 'Only You' Alcohol-Free Sparkling White

We would love to find more good NA wine and YOU KNOW serious winemakers are working very hard to make the best.


I came across this review after googling "the best non-alcoholic wines" called, you guessed it, "The Best Non-Alcoholic Wines "on Wirecutter, which gives some basic information about NA wines and wine substitutes as well as what foods they pair well with. I learned a lot from this article, and needless to say, I'm going to try some again after reading this!


Do you have some NA wine recommendations that are "not too sweet"? We'd LOVE to know. Please leave them in the comments below.


CIDER

Martinelli's Gold Medal Sparkling Cider is our go-to special occasion NA drink. Everyone in our family likes it, especially when served with our Christmas morning brunch. We are happy not to have alcohol after celebrating hard on Christmas Eve at our annual family party. When our kids were little, they thought it was a special treat, because we served it in champagne glasses!


It's very refreshing, not too sweet, and has a beautiful golden hue.

Martinelli's Gold Medal Sparkling Cider

The story of this over 150-year-old family-owned company is a very American one. Started by two Swiss/Italian brothers in 1868, who immigrated from Switzerland to California, the Martinellis started making hard cider, switched to NA cider during Prohibition when it became very popular, and grew from there. Martinelli's website offers a fascinating history of the company, and its many beverages, as well as some great drink recipes I'd like to try. Check it out!

You can buy Martinelli's Sparkling Cider at Stop & Shop and other local supermarkets.


 

I love a classic Manhattan or a glass of Pinot Noir at night, but I usually switch to an NA alternative if I want a second drink. I've learned that there are many NA options, and they keep growing!


Just the other day I was at the Cheesecake Factory having lunch with my 91-year-old Mum, who loves this restaurant, and my sisters. It was a festive atmosphere with lots of seniors getting together for a holiday meal. I said, "Who wants wine?" but then I thought, "I wonder if they have some NA drinks on this huge menu?" Of course, they do! We had some delicious and pretty drinks, and you know if the Cheesecake Factory has them, everyone should!


So next time you're out, and don't feel like alcohol, ask your bartender to make you something special without it!


"Hoppy" Holidays!


Tim and Chris


We would LOVE to hear from you about your favorite NA drinks! Please share in the comments below.






613 views10 comments

10 Comments


Guest
Dec 12, 2023

Welcome to the new Cool Team Tim! Very happy you all are supporting the shift to offering fun non alcoholic beverages. Wishing you and your family a healthy and happy holiday!

Like
Christiane Hopkins
Christiane Hopkins
Dec 12, 2023
Replying to

Thanks for reading! Happy Holidays to you and your family, too!

Like

Guest
Dec 12, 2023

Thank you for this! I love the simple syrups mixed with seltzer, iced tea, lemonade or gingerale. I make them often. Favorite flavors are hibiscus, ginger, lemon, mint and sage. Of course the fresh herbs floating inside glass make all the difference. Bottoms up and happy holidays.

Like
Christiane Hopkins
Christiane Hopkins
Dec 12, 2023
Replying to

Thanks for your ideas for using simple syrups. I didn't realize how really "simple" they are to make until I typed up the recipes. :-). Happy Holidays!

Like

Guest
Dec 12, 2023

What a fabulous post!!!! I love it. Great ideas. Thank you!!!

What is you don't like the taste of gin or beer??

😂😎

Like
Christiane Hopkins
Christiane Hopkins
Dec 12, 2023
Replying to

haha! Happy Holidays! Thanks for reading it!

Like

Guest
Dec 11, 2023

Excellent post Chris and Tim! Love these ideas and love the Athletic Brewing Co NA beers--especially the Golden one. Cheers!

Like
Christiane Hopkins
Christiane Hopkins
Dec 12, 2023
Replying to

I know! You wouldn't know they don't have alcohol!

Cheers back to you!

Like

Guest
Dec 11, 2023

That was a very interesting and helpful read. Thank you

Like
Christiane Hopkins
Christiane Hopkins
Dec 12, 2023
Replying to

Thanks for reading!

Happy Holidays!

Like
bottom of page