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Now that seasonal holiday cocktails and NYE toasts are behind us, it’s time to face our New Year’s resolutions. Some of us will be hitting the gym, others will be focusing on self-care, but many elect to take part in the infamous “Dry January,” its name stemming from the commitment to cutting out alcohol for the entire month of January.

For those of us who look forward to happy hour after a long work week, it may sound daunting, but don’t toss the idea aside so fast. Committing to Dry January doesn’t mean sipping Shirley Temples and staying in when you’d rather be spending a night out with friends. The recent rise of mindful drinking and low-ABV cocktails creates new opportunities for Dry January to be anything but dull, and perhaps – dare we say – even enjoyable.

Crafting killer low- and no-ABV cocktails from the comfort of your own home bar or bar cart is simple and ANGOSTURA aromatic bitters can help to elevate and add complexity to the flavors you incorporate. We recommend starting by stocking your bar cart with seltzers, Seedlip (a non-alcoholic spirit) and fragrant flavors, such as basil and ginger. You can also try swapping out the higher-proof spirits in your favorite classic cocktail recipes. A quick online search of those cocktails followed by “low- or no-ABV” should help you pin down an alternative that you can enjoy all month long. To make your life easier, we’ve collected some must-try Low- and No-ABV recipes here: Raise a Glass with Low- and No-ABV Cocktails.

If you’d rather spend your nights on the town, we’ve also curated a list of a few innovative bars in the some of our favorite cities in the U.S. and Canada that have risen to the challenge of creating memorable cocktails without the traditionally higher alcohol volume. Check them out below:

  1. Existing Conditions – New York

No-ABV cocktail selections aren’t an afterthought for this inventive NYC bar. As a matter of fact, they can be easily found at the top of their cocktail menu. For some added fun, each option is followed by a punchy description. We’d recommend ordering the “Millions of Peaches” or a “Bougie Snapple” – you can also opt for the “Doyenne” to feel like you’re, “sipping on pear juice while walking through a Greek grandmother’s herb garden.”

  1. Cindy’s – Chicago

Known for its stunning rooftop views of Chicago’s stunning skyline, this trendy spot not only recognizes, but celebrates Dry January by providing $8 spirit-free cocktails, “made with intention and for all.” The use of less common but flavorful ingredients like activated charcoal and cold brew ensure a sophisticated flavor profile that cocktail-lovers are sure to appreciate.

  1. PrettyUgly Bar – Toronto

This cozy Canadian option offers a handful of no-ABV delights featuring flavor twists such as ginger, Seedlip spice and worm salt. They call their spirit-free cocktails “placebos” because the complexity in taste and texture promises to have you feeling like you’re sipping the real thing. One of their expert bartenders, Veronica Saye, won our Toronto Swizzle Royale bartender competition in 2018, so we can personally vouch for this one.

  1. Tiki Rock – Boston

Boston-based tiki lovers rejoice! Dry January doesn’t mean the party has to end, especially if you’re headed to Tiki Rock for a no-ABV twist on a handful of tropical favorites. Try the “Your Tai” for a sweet sip that rivals even the best tiki classics and does so without the traditional high-proof spirits you’d expect to find in a tiki cocktail.

  1. The Interval – San Fransisco

This librarylike cocktail bar knows that Dry January is more than just a fad, which is why they offer a handful of options for when “our livers have put in requests for PTO.” Whether you’re in the mood for something sweet (“A Hug from a Robin”) or sour (“Strawberry Meyer Lemon Shrub”), this no/low-ABV cocktail menu covers all the bases to ensure you never feel like you’re missing out.

Are you taking on the Dry January challenge? If you find a bar with spirit-free cocktails that deserve our undivided attention, direct message us on Instagram, @angosturahouse to let us know!