Build a Great Alcohol-free Bar for Success

December 2023 - Health & Wellness

It used to be that at parties, the options for those who did not want to drink were pretty limited and boring: fizzy water, pineapple juice and the standard sodas. These days, with a whole movement around zero-alcohol beverages, there are a lot more choices out there: everything from BC-made alcohol-free wine to 0% craft beer to margarita mocktails in a can. Some of the best are made right here in Canada, and they taste just like the real thing.

So, whether you’re cutting back yourself or you want to be a more inclusive party host, Dry January is the perfect time to discover no- and low-alcohol (NoLo) products, and stock your bar the same way you would your full-proof offering. With some mixes, cocktails, beer, wine and a few experimental bitters and garnishes, you are all set to entertain sans alcohol.

What is ‘Dry January’, ‘Dry February’ and “Sober October’?
This is when people take the whole month to avoid drinking alcohol.

As many of us wind down from a season of indulging, taking a break from alcohol is a great way to support our health and well-being goals.

Better sleep and improved focus, energy and mental health all seem to be good reasons to abstain. Going alcohol-free for a period also allows us to reflect on our relationship with alcohol. Taking a mindful approach to abstaining for the month and paying attention to how your body feels will make for a more curious and compassionate Dry January experience.

Embrace the Month

  • Be clear about your reasons for going dry.
  • Get your friends together and make it a tasting experience with some of the latest releases in zero alcohol wine, craft beer and mocktails.
  • Find the best alternative for your go-to drink so you can still enjoy the flavour you love.
  • Build your bar and experiment with new weekly recipes (and food pairings too).

Get creative and step up your bartending game! Building your very own NoLo bar is the perfect opportunity to explore new flavours and drink combinations without the fear of a wild hangover. Don your bartending apron and get ready to impress as you confidently ask the age-old question: Shaken or stirred? Let’s mix things up and indulge in the art of cocktail making!

Mixes & Sparkling Water
The fizz factor always takes non-alcoholic drinks to the next level. Soda water is the perfect foundation for any beverage, infusing each sip with a touch of pizzazz.
We love: La Croix, Fevertree Tonic Water, Daydream

Syrups, Citrus & Bitters
The perfect cocktail stands out by expertly balancing sweetness and acidity. In addition to traditional spirits, elevate the flavour profiles with the infusion of flavoured sparkling waters, citrus oils and even bitters.
We love: Avec

Non-alcoholic Wine
No need to rely on sparkling juices for special occasions anymore! Crafters have mastered the art of traditional winemaking using locally-grown grapes while completely removing the alcohol. Experience a wide range of flavour profiles, varietals and even bubbly options that perfectly complement every meal and celebration.
We love: Ones Wines, Proxies

Non-alcoholic Beers & Ciders
If you’re a fan of craft beers or ciders, then the current non-alcoholic options are an absolute game-changer. Countless traditional beer and cider enthusiasts have embraced the art of crafting their own brews, tailored to suit every flavour preference.
We love: Lass Chance Ciders, Athletic Brewing

Garnishes and Glassware
Get fancy with it! Second to flavour, any standout cocktail has a memorable garnish and presentation. Impress your guests with a unique garnish and stylish glassware. Don’t be afraid to experiment with new ice molds and kitchen tools. Embrace your inner bartender and make each cocktail uniquely your own.

Article was published in The Good Life magazine.

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