Dry January: The alcohol-free alternatives from bartender legend Joerg Meyer

Without alcohol
Joerg Meyer is one of the best bartenders in the world – with these drinks he makes Dry January tasty

The Floreale Verde is also a kind of Gin Basil Smash. Just without gin. And without alcohol.

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The alcohol-free start to the year is a trend that has persisted for years. But do you have to do without drinks because of that? Barkeeper Joerg Meyer is looking for alternatives.

January is possibly the busiest month of the year. Because it is the month of good intentions. The vicious life, it should be put on hold for at least a few weeks. The body can find some relaxation from the exertions of gluttony and the drinking bouts at Christmas time. A kind of lightning detox, you could say. Alcohol is at the top of the red list for many. You want to stay dry for at least a month. Dry January is the name of the trend that has been going on for years.

“Such a decision is a sign that you believe you have consumed too much alcohol in the past. Otherwise you would not have to give up alcohol,” said alcohol researcher Steven Dooley star. He says that any waiver, even if it is only temporary, is better than no waiver. And: “Alcohol is a poison, and a poison cannot be naturally healthy.”

Discover the world of non-alcoholic drinks

Joerg Meyer is one of the best bartenders in the world. He became famous for the invention of the Gin Basil Smash – a stroke of genius. For a long time he thought nothing of an action like Dry January. Years ago, when the hair on the back of his neck stood up, “a PR campaign for the emerging ‘non-alcoholic gin’ and other debauchery”, he writes in his newsletter Drinking Adventure. And still he could not make friends with pseudo alcohol-free spirits, but with non-alcoholic drinks – and therefore with dry January too. After all, the term now stands a little for a creative moment and instead to make a little more effort with non-alcoholic drinks, namely “The art of hosting sober people” (for example: the art of hosting sober people).

Even if he is not taking part in Dry January himself, he is now using it as an opportunity to explore the world of non-alcoholic drinking, into a world “beyond a fantasy of non-alcoholic spirits”, because there is now a “lot of good and interesting stuff out there outside”. What finds he makes, how they taste and which drinks can be created from them, he shares on the YouTube channel Drinking Adventure. There is, for example, his implementation of an alcohol-free Bellini, the Vibrant Smash or the Floreale Verde.

The Floreale Verde, a creation by Marvin Jacob from the Boilerman Bar Munich, is a bit like the alcohol-free version of Meyer’s flagship gin Basil Smash, only without gin. Here comes the recipe.

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Floreale Verde – non-alcoholic basil smash

• in the shaker
• 2.5 cl fresh lemon juice (lime works too)
• 1.5 cl Monin cane sugar
• a handful of basil (leaves and stems)
• Muddle
• 6 cl Martini Floreale (alcohol-free)
• shake, double strain
• Long drink glass with ice cubes
• about 10 cl cold Thomas Henry soda
• Garnish: basil leaf

Put lemon juice, cane sugar and basil in a shaker, mash with a pestle. Add ice. Shake all ingredients vigorously. Fill a glass with ice cubes, pour the drink (filtered) over it. Add some soda. Ready!


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