This Is the Best Drink to Order at the Bar During Dry January

No alcohol. No sugar. This drink is our go-to when it's time to give the booze a break.

Plenty of us might find ourselves indulging in a few extra cocktails or glasses of bubbly during the holiday season. If you’ve decided to embrace a healthier you in the new year, you might want to give Dry January a try.

What Is Dry January?

Dry January is a monthlong abstinence from all things alcohol. It’s an excellent antidote to December’s excesses and is an easy way to cut calories if you’re trying to lose weight and sleep more soundly, along with a host of other benefits.

Sticking to Dry January doesn’t mean putting a hold on your social life—there are tons of fantastic mocktails you can sip on when you hit the bar with friends.

The Drink to Order: Soda Water & Bitters

We love this fresh and simple drink. It’s far more exciting than seltzer and lime, and beats a glass of pop any day of the week. What’s more, with the endless ways you can customize it, this alcohol-free drink still feels a bit like a cocktail. We’ll raise a toast to that!

What Are Bitters?

Bitters are delicious extracts crafted from a wide variety of botanical ingredients. Your bottle of bitters could contain anything from herbs to tree barks, flowers, roots or fruits. Used to season a cocktail, bitters tie together a cocktail’s components by adding, as the name suggests, a slight bitterness to the drink.

What do bitters taste like, you ask? They’re all delightfully aromatic. Some are a touch spicy, while others lean toward being sweet. You may find bitters that are floral or herbal, too.

How to Customize Your Soda & Bitters

There are loads of different types of cocktail bitters out there. Angostura bitters, orange bitters, chocolate bitters, Peychaud’s bitters, celery bitters, grapefruit bitters, floral bitters—the possibilities are endless. Try out the different styles and discover your new favorite. Another effortless way to put your own spin on soda and bitters is to experiment with various garnishes. Ask the bartender for a slice of lime, an orange twist or a sprig of fresh thyme.

You can also ask your bartender to craft a unique soda water-bitters combo just for you. Who knows, you may end up sipping on lovely alcohol-free libation all year long!

Is This Drink a Healthy Choice?

Yes. Sipping on soda water or seltzer as opposed to soft drinks or alcohol helps you hydrate without piling on empty calories. Be sure to check out these healthy carbonated drinks for other nonalcoholic fizzy drink inspiration.

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Camille Berry
Part of the third generation in a family of restaurateurs, Camille was born with a passion for cooking and food. She embarked on a career in hospitality where she excelled as a sommelier and wine director. This hospitality experience has given her a wealth of first-hand knowledge about how to pair all manner of drinks with food—plus some serious kitchen skills. These days, she's hung up her wine key in favor of a pen and covers all aspects of food and drink.