Keep Your Dry January Going With Mocktails From SER

Javier Candon talks booze-free drinks

SER co-owner Javier Candon. Photo by Rey Lopez

For many, January means a month of recovering from an indulgent holiday season. And sometimes that means abstaining from alcohol.

The concept of a dry January is more popular than ever, but halfway through the month, the choices may seem slim. Can’t take one more tonic water with lime? Javier Candon and the team behind the bar at SER may have the answer.

While the SER co-owner is not celebrating his own “Drynuary” — “I’m in the restaurant industry," he says. "We always need a drink at the end of the day” —  he is familiar with the new trend and has seen a slight uptick in customers asking for their refreshments sans booze.

But even when January is gone, Candon says requests are steady for dry drinks at lunch or for those underage or otherwise unable to imbibe.  Rather than reaching for pre-made mixes, SER’s bartending staff play with housemade bitters and syrups to create more complicated flavors, like ginger-honey syrup with soda and lavender syrup with lemonade.

“We want to work with customers so they have a good drink that works for them,” Candon says. “We have three non-alcoholic drinks that are very popular.”

Tinto De Verano

This popular Spanish mocktail is similar to sangria, but even simpler. The usual drink? A 50-50 mix of red wine and Sprite, or lemon soda. While SER has the traditional, alcoholic version on the menu, they also serve up a virgin option using EminaZerio, an alcohol-free wine made from Tempranillo grapes.

To recreate at home, add ice to a rocks class. Fill with halfway with a non-alcoholic red wine and top with Sprite. Garnish with lemon and orange peel.

The Nightingale

Another option on SER’s menu for those abstaining is a take on a Pisco Sour, minus the Pisco. “Instead we use lime juice, homemade lavender syrup, crushed blueberries, crushed raspberries, mint and non-alcoholic orange bitters,” Candon says.

This complex and fruity mocktail is often a hit with pregnant customers looking to celebrate with something more flavorful than juice or tea, Candon says.

Upgraded Shirley Temple

For kids who want the thrill of having their own cocktail, Candon started doing an upgraded take on a Shirley Temple, served cover crushed ice with cherries and mint.

To recreate at home, fill a rocks glass with crushed ice. Fill halfway with Sprite or ginger ale. Top with 2 ounces grenadine and garnish with maraschino cherries and mint.