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Drinks for Dry January

What to order if you’re sidestepping alcohol this month—and even if you’re not

Here’s good news for anyone in the midst of a dry January: Jeremy Le Blanche, Queensyard’s head mixologist, is taking a break from booze too. His reset has led to some thirst-quenching mocktails that await you at his beautiful bar in Queensyard on Level 4.

Mocktails are trending these days, and not just among abstainers. In fact, le Blanche conceived his drinks for an influencer dinner hosted by Seedlip, a non-alcoholic spirits distiller, and held at the restaurant. His personal spin? A bit of savory, to balance the sweetness. “We want to serve our guests a work of art, a many-layered flavor experience,” Le Blanche says.

The “Salty Garden,” for instance, is a creation of Seedlip’s Garden 108, mango-habanero sauce, and a 19th-century oxymel, which is made by sous viding celery in champagne vinegar and honey for two hours, before straining. Served on the rocks and with a salty rim, the drink gives off a margarita vibe. Another favorite: The “94* on the Water,” named for the 1970’s Deep Purple song, “Smoke on the Water.” For this one—targeted at whiskey drinkers—Le Blanche smokes Seedlip 94 then adds salted caramel syrup, lemon juice and salt.

If you find yourself at a bar with less interesting options, Le Blanche has two words: virgin mojito. “It’s made with fresh mint, fresh lime juice, a touch of sugar and sparkling water, so it’s refreshing,” he explains. “And since it’s tall, you can take your time drinking it.”

And because you can’t go out every night, here’s a recipe from TAK Room for stay-at-home mocktail fans, made with Swoon, a zero sugar simple syrup. Cheers.

TAK Room’s Strawberry Cinnamon Fix

Tristar strawberries
Freshly grated cinnamon
1.5 oz. Swoon
1.5 oz. Lemon juice


Instructions
  1. Muddle strawberries in a glass; top with crushed ice.
  2. In a separate glass, combine lemon juice and Swoon. Pour mixture into the first glass.
  3. Grate cinnamon on top.
  4. Garnish with strawberry slices.
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