Non-alcoholic drinks from the Barn in Evanston. Photo provided.

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Launched in 2012 in the United Kingdom, dry January has found its way to the United States to encourage people to be “sober curious” for all 31 days of the month.

Dr. Sarah Warren, founder and president of ARC Professional Group and the Oasis Center for Wellbeing in Evanston, said that the New Year offers a moment for people to reevaluate their relationship with alcohol.

“Dry January lets you run an experiment to see what it is like not to drink,” she said. “It is a good time to ask yourself how you are using alcohol at this point of your life, if you are drinking more, what drinking is doing to you and what it is like for you not to drink.”

It also may allow people to decide if they need to seek help and what role alcohol may play in your life.

Dr. Sarah Warren. (Photo provided)

“It [alcohol] can sometimes feel very reliable for people, so they may turn to it as a substitute for human relationships,” she said. 

Evanstonians are in luck as many bars and restaurants in the community are offering non-alcoholic drinks in January and the rest of the year. The RoundTable spoke with two Evanston establishments – the Wine Goddess and the Barn Steakhouse – about their non-alcoholic options.

Diana Hamann, owner of Wine Goddess, said that although they haven’t found a tasty non-alcoholic wine, they offer non-alcoholic cocktails and beer. Even though the business has alcohol in its name, Hamann said they knew they had to expand to non-alcoholic options.

“As dry January got bigger and bigger, we realized if we wanted to make any money in January we had to go where the audience was going, so that’s why we beefed up our non-alcoholic collection in the last couple of years.”

While Wine Goddess had to pull their indoor service for January, the response to their non-alcoholic drinks has still been very positive, Hamann says.

Some non-alcoholic drinks include CBD, such as the Jeng Moscow Mule and Marz Juniper Fizz. Drinks without CBD are Untitled Chocolate Milk Stout, Elderflower Champagne, Citrus Spritzer and Grapefruit and Pomelo Mixer.

Amy Morton, owner of the Barn Steakhouse, has been participating in dry January for five years.

Morton wants to make sure customers aren’t sacrificing anything by participating in dry January.

“People are so grateful to have something served in a beautiful glass that doesn’t have alcohol in it, we get a kick out of it,” Morton said.

Like Wine Goddess, the Barn offers non-alcoholic drinks year round. Morton has noticed that by doing so, they are providing inclusive options to customers who have shared their gratefulness.

“Across the board if somebody is a non-drinker, you don’t want to be singled out,” she said.

“It’s nice to order something off the menu that doesn’t scream, ‘I am not drinking.’”

Cardamom Elixir, Patsy Mink and Blackened Lemonade are just a few of the non-alcoholic drinks the Barn offers. Morton said that the names of the drinks matter, so when people are ordering they feel included in the bar scene.

The Barn provided the recipes for some of their mocktails for Evanstonians to enjoy at home: 

Cardamom Elixir:

1.5 oz grapefruit juice

.5 oz fresh lime juice

.5 oz simple syrup

3 dashes cardamom bitters

Shake with ice. Strain into a chilled coupe.Top with tonic and garnish with lime wheel.

Patsy Mink

2 oz hibiscus

.75 oz fresh lemon juice

.75 oz fresh lime juice

2 dashes orange bitters

Shake with ice. Strain into a tall funky glass full of ice. Top with soda water and garnish with an orange slice.

Patsy was the first woman of color elected to the U.S. Congress as the representative from Hawaii and was a great supporter of native Hawaiians and women’s rights. She also was the first Asian-American woman to run for president in 1972.

Love Grows Where My Rosemary Goes

1.5 oz rosemary lavender simple syrup

1 oz fresh lemon juice

2 dashes rhubarb bitters

Shake with ice. Top with a splash of tonic and garnish with lemon swizzle zest.

Apple of My Eye

1.5 oz Klug Apple Cider

.25 oz spiced simple syrup

2 dashes walnut bitters

Stir in mixing glass with ice. Garnish with orange swath and a cherry.

Sam Stroozas

Sam Stroozas is a reporter and the social media manager at the Evanston RoundTable. She covers small businesses, social justice and human interest stories. Contact her at sam@evanstonroundtable.com and...

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