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Dry January: How to stock your at-home bar

Lyre's for Dry January

More and more people are dipping their toes in the non-alcoholic spirits trend – some for a good start to the year with Dry January; some for health reasons; others because they enjoy the unique offerings that come of it. According to Lyre’s South Africa’s brand ambassador, Joe Mthimkhulu (aka Barman Joe) the sober curious movement is driven by an increased need to moderate alcohol consumption, but also by the curiosity about interesting experiences for those who enjoy alcohol and those who don’t alike. “There have always been people who choose not to drink or who want low alcoholic drinks but with the surge in popularity of non-alcoholic offerings there are so many options available that you can have a drink that tastes just as good as its alcoholic counterpart,” he says.

Must-haves for your at-home bar this Dry January

Non-alcoholic spirits

Your bar won’t be complete without a couple of non-alcoholic spirits. Lyre’s is a premium quality non-alcoholic spirit brand with five flavour variants. They also have various recipe suggestions and inspiration on their website and social media channels.

Mahala Botanical’s alcohol-free portfolio has been extended recently, with the addition of Mahala Botanical Amber – a brand-new, dark, alcohol-free spirit. It is not only free from alcohol, but also from sugar, gluten and artificial flavours and colourings. It’s the perfect drink to mix with ginger ale or beer or to use as an alcohol-free base for cocktails like the Old Fashioned.

Mahala non-alcoholic cocktails dry january

All-in-one bar set

These are the basics for any bar and include an ice bucket, shaker, tool holder with a mixing spoon, strainer, tot pourer and a silver tray.

Dry January Glassware

Be sure to include at least the entry level glasses to your bar. Start off with margarita glasses, large, stemmed or stemless wine glasses, martini glasses, high-ball glasses and old-fashioned glasses.

Sunday Society Graham Beck Picnic

Muddler and pitcher

Many cocktail recipes call for muddling fruit like berries and citrus or even leaves like basil and mint. If you plan on mixing a larger batch of a specific drink, a pitcher is a must and if you’d like to look like a professional mixologist, be sure to add a long stick for mixing.

Mixers, fruit and herbs

Sparkling water and soda water often form the backbone of a non-alcoholic cocktail, so be sure to always have that in stock. Also add a few not-so-basic mixers like aloe-vera juice, pomegranate juice, lemon juice and tonic waters for those special non-alcoholic tipples.

Bitters for flavour

Most bitters are not alcohol-free, so be sure to get glycerine-based bitters for your bar. These will add a spicy kick to your cocktail mixes and you will merely need a drop or two.

Whatever your reasons for a Dry January, your January drinks can still be stylish and tasteful if you stock your bar with the right things. To a happy, healthy new year! 

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