Alex Lau

Tasty non-tipples for dry January and beyond.

Sunset Staff  –  Updated May 21, 2021

Reprinted with permission from Good Drinks: Alcohol-Free Recipes for When You’re Not Drinking for Whatever Reason by Julia Bainbridge, © 2020.  Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House.

Shirley Temple might’ve been a star, but she sure didn’t make a very good faux cocktail. “Until recently, alcohol-free cocktails have been treated as afterthoughts,” says Julia Bainbridge, author of the new book Good Drinks: Alcohol-Free Recipes for When You’re Not Drinking for Whatever Reason“A higher level of effort and care anoints them as proper drinks.” 

Bainbridge spent the better part of a year driving across the country, cataloging and chronicling a welcome trend that’s emerged in recent years: talented bartenders applying their exacting methods to the creation of alcohol-free drinks that stand on their own as delicious and inspiring cocktails that aren’t just “virgin” versions of classic drinks. “People don’t drink for all kinds of reasons,” says Bainbridge. “Religion, health issues, substance-use disorders, pregnancy, mindful living. Maybe alcohol simply doesn’t fit into their lives anymore. Maybe they’re just not drinking this week. Or this night. Or this round. (And by the way, the why just doesn’t need to be part of the conversation!) This book is for all of them—and, really, anyone interested in having a culinary experience.” 

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While this is a global revolution, here we’ve selected a few exceptional recipes from the book that Bainbridge gathered from talented bartenders in the West who’ve applied their mixological know-how to drinks that satisfy and delight, albeit without the booze. 

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