Dry-ish January Cocktail Recipes

A few ideas for mixing up some craft cocktails with less—or no—alcohol if you want to cut back without missing out on the fun

by | Jan 1, 2023

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Our Winning Spirit-Free Cocktail

At Coastal Virginia Magazine’s most recent CoVa Cocktail Party held at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) in Virginia Beach, some of the area’s best mixologists competed for Judges’ and People’s Choice awards with their original cocktail creations.

In addition to cocktails featuring Herradura Ultra Anejo Tequila, each mixologist designed a non-alcoholic “mocktail.” The winner of the Spirit-Free Cocktail award was Nick Matamoros of the soon-to-open Cork & Bull Chophouse in Chesapeake (from the same folks who brought you Vintage Tavern, Decoy’s Seafood, Amedeo’s Ristorante and River Stone Chophouse) for his refreshing Lavender Sunset. Check out the recipe included above and make your own.


cova cocktail

Lavender Sunset
Recipe By Nick Matamoros

Pour into a glass with ice and stir:
❖ 1.5 oz. DHOS spirit-free gin
❖ 1 oz. Monin lavender syrup
❖ 4 oz. Kalo hemp infused lemon lavender seltzer water

Pour into a metal cocktail shaker (or Blender Bottle-style protein drink mixer cup with a wire ball to help aerate the egg whites) and shake vigorously before placing foam on top of the mixture in the glass:
❖ 1 oz. egg whites
❖ 2 oz. Monin lemongrass syrup

Garnish as desired.

sly clydeHard Cider Low-ABV Cocktails

Looking for an alternative drink with a low alcohol by volume (ABV) level to supplement your beer, wine and cocktail repertoire? Here are a few recipes from Jennie Dorsey, a Certified Pommelier and the Cider Education Outreach Manager for the American Cider Association, who was among the presenters at a recent “sip and learn” event at Sly Clyde cidery in Hampton.

—Barrett Baker

Earl of Orange
Build over ice:
❖ 2 oz. cooled Earl Grey tea
❖ 1 oz. zero proof triple sec
❖ 1 oz. fresh orange juice

Top with your favorite barrel-aged cider
Garnish with orange and thyme

To Land or Not to Land
Combine all except cider in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake cold:
❖ 3 oz. chamomile tea
❖ 1 oz. honey water
❖ 1 oz. fresh grapefruit juice

Pour in glass and top with hopped cider
Garnish with apple slices

The Haven
Combine in a tall glass:

❖ 1 oz. ginger syrup
❖ 4 dashes Angostura bitters

Stir slowly top with a spiced, Lambic, or sour cider
Garnish with fresh or dried fig

Grapefruit & Sage Cidermosa
Fill glass ¾ with your favorite dry, sparkling, acid-forward cider. Combine in a shaker, shake and strain on top of cider:
❖ 2 oz. fresh grapefruit juice
❖ 1 oz. sage-infused simple syrup
❖ 3 dashes of bitters

Garnish with grapefruit and sage

Red Berry Rose Cider Refresher
Combine in a shaker, shake, and strain over ice:
❖ Fresh juice from ½ lemon
❖ 1 tsp. strawberry jam

Fill glass with rosé cider
Garnish with strawberry and a lemon twist

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