For many, the liver takes a beating in the weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. The endless stream of holiday events, the increased time spent bickering with family and the celebratory dinners all give us an excuse to imbibe a bit more than we do any other time of the year. But come January, with its fresh slate of New Year’s resolutions, many people decide it’s time to back off from the booze.
And thus, Dry January has grown in popularity in recent years. In the United Kingdom it has even become a public health campaign spearheaded by a charity called Alcohol Change UK, which says more than 3 million U.K. residents make the vow to give up alcohol for the month of January. While there aren’t specific statistics on how many Americans take part, it seems to be growing in popularity as a healthy way to start the new year. And for good reason.
According to a 2016 study published in the medical journal Health Psychology, those who successfully give up booze for January’s 31 days lost an average of 3.3 to 4.4 pounds. What’s more, those healthy habits continued beyond January, with participants reporting they drank less overall the following year.
But it can be hard to make the swap, especially if a well-crafted cocktail is one of the things you enjoy about dining out. Iced tea, soda pops and water often don’t please the palate the same way. But Petaluma is packed with places that make their own unique twist on booze-less beverages to give you the experience of an artisanal cocktail while still keeping dry.
House-made Ginger Lemonade
This is not your grandmother’s lemonade. The ginger comes in hot enough to make its presence felt on the palate. It is not overly sweet, making it feel like a grown up version of this kid classic.
Where: The Wild Goat, 6 Petaluma Blvd. N.
How much: $3.25
A mixture of passion fruit puree, jalapeno, fresh lime, simple syrup and soda makes this drink an explosion of flavors. The taste will take your taste buds to Hawaii.
Where: Seared, 170 Petaluma Blvd. N.
How much: $5
Also try: The Basil Cucumber Soda ($5) is herbaceously refreshing, while the Mint Fojito ($5) is a rum-less take on a classic.
House-made Vanilla Dreamsicle Soda
The name pretty much says it all — this is a taste of childhood. If you like your drinks sugary, this is the beverage for you. Although a deft balance of flavor keeps it from venturing into sickly sweet.
Where: Central Market, 42 Petaluma Blvd.
How much: $5
Also try: The Shrub Refresher ($6) changes daily but always has a tart taste if sweet isn’t your thing.
Beet Turmeric Tonic
With its bold pink color, it looks like something you might sip on a tropical beach in Tahiti. But its nutritional label reads more like something you’d find at a health food store. The flavor is earthy yet refreshing, and it pairs well with the big Mediterranean flavors for which Pearl is known.
Where: Pearl, 500 1st St.
How much: $4
Also try: The Warm Ginger Cider ($5) is like a cup of Christmas cheer. The daily lemonades ($5) range from familiar to unusual but are always refreshing.