It’s that time of the year again where, bloated and broke and tired, we come crawling back from the holidays into real life. For some, Dry January is the solution. It’s a reset after months of indulging, and a chance to start the year fresh.
The custom has become more popular in recent years. There’s also a growing population of sober and sober-curious people. As a result, the Tampa Bay area has slowly accumulated more creative options sans alcohol. We’ve rounded up a list of great drinks across the region to try this Dry January and beyond.
A note: The spots on this roundup are distinct from kava bars and other places peddling drinks containing kava, kratom and Delta-8 — substances that, while nonalcoholic, still can cause some mild-altering effects. Those beverages are often enjoyed by people who have stopped drinking, but we won’t be diving into them in this piece.
Sometimes you want to drink something sophisticated in a cool glass, especially if everyone else at the table is putting their beverages together for an Instagram shot.
A few terms to look out for on drink menus: “Zero-proof,” “NA” or “spirit free” means that alcohol is not involved. “Shrubs,” aka drinking vinegars, are concentrated, flavorful liquids made with sugars, aromatics and vinegars — but no booze. You may also see Seedlip listed as an ingredient. Branded as “the world’s first distilled non-alcoholic spirit,” this is used as the base for many mocktails.
Willa’s has an impressive zero-proof selection, including an EspressNo Martini and a Phony Negroni. 1700 W Fig St., Tampa.
Hooch & Hive serves a house-made organic salted grapefruit soda that goes perfectly with its sliders and snacks. 1001 W Cass St., Tampa.
Rooster & The Till sells the Blackbird, a sparking symphony of blackberry, lemon and sage. The Positano limeade features black cherry and agave. 6500 N Florida Ave., Tampa.
Velvet Gypsy’s mocktails are named after precious gems. Try the Emerald, which mixes flavors of jalapeno, pineapple and ginger. 5210 N Florida Ave., Tampa.
Counter Culture has two zero-proof mocktails, including the Sophia, made with an aromatic blend of Seedlip Spice, ginger beer and blueberry rosemary shrub. 2909 W Bay to Bay Blvd., Suite 100, Tampa.
Lucid Zero Proof Lounge, opening this month, is a completely alcohol-free bar and restaurant. Listen to jazz and blues performers while sipping on drinks like the Apple Pie Old Fashioned and Peachy Keen Bellini. 3102 Lithia Pinecrest Road, Valrico.
In Between Days is known for its sumptuous cocktails and small plates. Their menus change frequently, and nondrinkers will be pleased with ingredients like matcha and candied ginger. 2340 First Ave. S, St. Petersburg.
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The Saint, a sinful speakeasy known for its cinematic drinks, has some pretty stunning mocktails, too. For a not-too-sweet sip, order the Sister Mary Clarence, made with muddled jalapeno and cucumber, lime juice, lemon juice, agave and club soda. 49 24th St. N, St. Petersburg.
Good Intentions, a vegan establishment, also is mindful of folks who aren’t drinking. Try the Mind Reader (a concoction of strawberry pineapple shrub, lemon, hibiscus bitters and club soda) or the electric blue Frankie Goes to Dollywood (made with pineapple, orgeat, Monin blue curacao, lime and club soda). 1900 First Ave. S, St. Petersburg.
Wild Child offers the refreshing “found weekend” mocktail, which blends watermelon juice with lime, agave and mint. 2710 Central Ave., St. Petersburg.
Karaoke bar and eatery LaLa St. Pete has a multitude of mocktails, including the Revitalizer, made with sugar-free Red Bull and a blend of pineapple, cranberry and lime juice. 2324 Central Ave., St. Petersburg.
Craft Street Kitchen offers craft ginger beer soda, plus basil and mint-infused lemonade. 3153 Curlew Road, Oldsmar. (There’s also a location in Trinity at 3216 Little Road.)
Shaker and Peel makes a tropical punch using Seedlip. It also offers a strawberry-basil refresher and lavender lemonade. 3159 Curlew Road, Oldsmar.
Prohibition Dunedin has half a dozen mocktails on its cocktail menu, including the Fake Out Punch (a mix of pomegranate and simple syrup shaken with fruit juices). 1600 Main St., Dunedin.
Smokey Bones has a robust zero-proof selection, with standouts including the blackberry faux-rita (featuring Monin Blackberry Puree) and the passion fruit no-jito. 2693 Gulf-to-Bay Blvd., Clearwater.
Gigglewaters sells a few mocktails, including the Fyre Fest, featuring blood orange, grapefruit, pineapple, honey and fresh basil with a sugar rim. 737 Main St., Safety Harbor.
Some breweries serve nonalcoholic beer, ginger beer or soda, or nitro cold brew coffee. An increasingly present product is Liquid Death, canned sparkling and still water that comes in tallboy cans. Flavors include mango chainsaw and severed lime, and the logo on the can promises to “murder your thirst.”
Kombucha, a fermented tea drink, is another popular option to look for. The bubbly, tangy flavors may remind you of drinking a sour beer, and the brewing process supposedly leads to numerous health benefits, including boosted gut health. While a serving can contain about 0.5% alcohol due to the brewing process, kombucha is technically considered nonalcoholic since that number is under 1.2%.
Mother Kombucha and St. Pete Ferments both sell bottled booches that are perfect to bring to parties. In St. Petersburg alone, the following breweries all boast a local kombucha or two on tap: Green Bench Brewing, Grand Central Brewing, Pinellas Ale Works and Cage Brewing.
There are also kombucha-dedicated taprooms in town where you can sample a flight or fill up a growler.
Beech Kombucha, located at 3100 Freemont Ter. S in St. Petersburg, brews kombucha using whole fruit and roots, rotating its menu monthly with fresh flavors that reflect the season.
Flower Crown Kombucha, located at 1607 N Franklin St. in Tampa, also brews on site and sells its varieties on tap and in cans. Flavors range from key lime to mojito to pink passion fruit.
Did we miss your favorite mocktail? Have more ideas for ways to celebrate Dry January? Email email@example.com.