January: the month of starting — and hopefully keeping — resolutions. A common resolution is “Dry January," a commitment some people are making to themselves to go alcohol free, all month long.

But that doesn’t mean local drinking establishments are off limits. Some watering holes in the southwest metro are serving alcohol-free drinks that could make one consider a dry February, too.

Drinks can be pretty, delicious and alcohol free

Drinks don’t have to be alcoholic to be pretty and delicious, J. Carver Distillery’s cocktail and events manager, Maureen Mara said.

At J. Carver Distillery in Waconia, alcohol-free cocktails aren’t just for January. “It’s always been important” to have fun drinks for customers that don’t want to drink spirits, Maureen Mara, cocktail and events manager said.

The distillery wants to offer something just as pretty and delicious to those that aren’t drinking alcohol, as it does for those who are, she said. Whether a customer is the designated driver, wants to take a break between cocktails, or doesn't drink alcohol, J. Carver Distillery has something to offer.

The menu has several alcohol free drinks including lemon drop and chocolate espresso martinis, palomas and bloody Marys, among others. The distillery regularly introduces new alcohol-free cocktails but keeps some of the classics around, Mara said.

“We have amazing mocktails that we sell all year round,” Jayne Bauman, distillery manager at Flying Dutchman Spirits in Eden Prairie, said. Even with it being Dry January, the distillery wants people to still come in, listen to music and have a drink, even if it’s not alcoholic, she said.

Families often go to Flying Dutchman Spirits for its live music. Some of these families include adults that aren’t yet 21 years old. Mocktails are an option for them, Bauman said.

It is known for its mai thai and pineapple upside down, she said, adding that bartenders are willing to make just about any cocktail on the menu without alcohol. The distillery is “all for” offering beverages for those who don’t want to or can’t drink alcohol, she said.

The year 2020 may bring an increase in non-alcoholic offerings at Enki Brewing Co., Ryan Hayes, taproom manager said. The brewery has its own sparkling lemonade and a root beer on draft. The root beer is a good option for kids and the sparkling lemonade is nice for people who don’t want to drink soda, he said.

Recently, it started offering bottles of non-alcoholic beer from a vendor, “they’re picking up some steam,” he said. Hayes has noticed an increase in people requesting alcohol-free offerings this month, adding that the non-alcoholic beer sales are up from December. “It tastes great too,” Hayes said.

Lydia Christianson is a digital reporter for Southwest News Media. She graduated with a journalism degree from the University of Minnesota. When not reporting, she enjoys reading in coffee shops, listening to podcasts, and checking out new restaurants.


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