Food

5 Essential Bottles to Stock Your Dry January Bar

Put down the club soda and go for one of these delicious zero-proof drinks instead.

Not drinking? Try fresh fruit Element shrubs made in Arlington. Photograph courtesy of Element Shrub.
Dry January Guide

About Dry January Guide

This article is part of our guide to Dry January around DC. Today’s bartenders are catering to the sober—and the sober-curious—with more sophisticated options than ever. Dry January doesn’t have to mean bland January. Here’s how to (not) drink your way through Washington in style.

Laura Silverman of lifestyle blogs the Sobriety Collective and Booze Free in DC shares some of her favorite nonalcoholic sips, from locally made shrubs to tea that’s brewed like beer.

Element Chai-Pear Shrub

“It’s the holidays in a booze-free bottle,” says Silverman of these Arlington-made fresh-fruit shrubs crafted with organic cider vinegar. From $12 online or in local stores like Glen’s Garden Market. 

Sunomi Turmeric Switchel

A sparkling version of the vinegar-ginger-citrus drink fancied by 17th-century American fieldworkers. Think of it as Colonial Gatorade. $30 for a six-pack online or available for individual purchase at local stores like Yes! Organic.

HopTea the Lemony One

“It’s what happens when you brew tea like craft beer,” says Silverman of drinks from this Colorado-based producer, which forgoes adding sugar or additives in the process.  $35 for a 12-pack online.

Mocktail Club Havana Twist

Silverman likes to lighten up these ready-to-drink, locally produced mocktails—such as this blend of citrus and mint—with seltzer. $16.95 for a four-pack online or area Whole Foods.

Som Cordial Pineapple/Szechuan-Pepper Cordial

Portland-based chef Andy Ricker kicked off the sipping vinegar trend with Pok Pok. This new product, made with cane vinegar and sugar, fruits, spices, and botanicals is another tasty option. Mix it with club soda. $19.99 online.

A version of this article appears in the January 2020 issue of Washingtonian.

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Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.