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These Sonoma County Bars Make ‘Dry January’ Fun

Hanging out with friends sober doesn’t have to be a bummer.

Going dry can be fun! Here’s a holiday-hangover cure: “Dry January.”

Though it sounds Draconian to daily drinkers, the month-long collective abstinence movement is trending as drinkers put down the whiskey, wine and cocktails and “reset” their alcohol intake after a boozy holiday season. But hanging out with friends after work doesn’t have to be a bummer.

(Find more local bars serving up mocktails and non-alcoholic drinks here.)

In fact, a surge of herbal elixirs, shrubs and alcohol-free botanical spirits are giving sobriety a good name by impressing temporary teetotalers with their complex flavors.

Throughout the month, Fern Bar in Sebastopol (6780 Depot St.), which has made a name for creative low- or no-ABV (alcohol by volume) drinks, is celebrating with an extended list of sober cocktails and libations.

On Jan. 30, they’ll host a hands-on free-spirited cocktail class with instructions for infusing non-alcoholic spirits, shrub and spirit-making and mixing a perfect cocktail.

Sipsong Spirits, a locally-made herbal Indira Gin, has released a tea made with juniper, coriander, cumin, bay leaf, sweet orange, star anise and pink peppercorn (among other botanicals) that mimics the perfumed flavor of gin but has no alcohol.

Mix with tonic for a flavorful alternative. Order at sipsongspirits.com or try it at Duke’s Spirited Cocktails in Healdsburg (111 Plaza St.). Duke’s is also offering up some great boozeless drinks, like Jamaican spiced hibiscus tea with ginger beer or grapefruit soda with lemon and yuzu. Pair with their poutine fries, Korean chicken sliders or daily special “Family Meal.”

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