A spirited and a spirit-free cocktail suggestion for the new year

Dry January is officially on but I thought it would be fun to take a quick look back at the cocktail we made to ring in 2020 earlier this week.

Because we had dinner plans — more on those in a bit! — we wanted something relatively low-alcohol but festive and bright. Enter the new America’s Test Kitchen “How to Cocktail” book. The drink we settled on turned out to be a festive mix of muddled berries, vodka, rich simple syrup and a fresh blackberry garnish. 

There’s lots of other recipes I want to try in this book, too, including a celery gimlet and some delicious-looking, refined versions of the classics. 

I won’t be trying any of them until well into February; this is our second year in a row of giving alcohol a break for a month. I’m here to tell you it’s a lot easier in year two.

What’s also helping this year is Seedlip, a spirit-free distilled spirit that I ordered mostly out of curiosity. It comes in three flavors, and we went with the whiskey-like Spice 94. 

Last night I whipped up a low-calorie yet super tasty sprit-free drink that I know will be a staple throughout the month.

Read on for a recap of our NYE dinner and a handful of openings.

Bubbles & Berries cocktail 

1 oz demarara simple syrup
1/2 oz of lemon juice
6 blueberries or blackberries, or both
1 1/2 oz St. Germain
1 oz of vodka
top with Champagne

Add simple syrup, lemon juice and blueberries to the mixing glass and muddle. Add St. Germain, vodka and ice. Shake. Double strain drink into a coupe glass, top with champagne and garnish with berries.

Adapted from “How to Cocktail” by America’s Test Kitchen

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