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October 09, 2018

Sober October: Give up drinking before the holidays, try these mocktails instead

Take a break from the booze before the hectic winter months

Food & Drink Drinks
Mocktail from Royal Boucherie Courtesy of/PUNCH MEDIA

A Instagram-worthy mocktail from Royal Boucherie.

You've probably heard of Dry January, when many take a month-long break from alcohol after a hectic holiday season, but what about Sober October?

It's a chance to embrace a healthier lifestyle before November and December, months that typically involve overeating and overdoing it with the booze.

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Going sober in October actually started in the UK as a fundraiser for MacMillan Cancer Support, but anyone can take the challenge to give up alcohol before the holiday season.

According to Forbes, benefits of Sober October include improved sleep, energy and mood during a time of year that can be both stressful and chaotic.

There are many reasons why giving up alcohol can be challenging; one is finding something to drink instead when out at happy hour or other social engagements.

While you can order a water with lemon, a coffee or a soda, for the times you want something more there are mocktails, delicious nonalcoholic drinks.

Below are five local restaurants that offer creative booze-free drinks that are totally worth going out for this month.

Royal Boucherie

Bravo's "Top Chef" winner Nick Elmi has a creative cocktail list at his new American-French restaurant in Old City, but there is also a rotating selection of "Temperance Cocktails" from lead bartender Zeke Rudy. 

Currently, the booze-free mocktails include the Easy East Side ($5) with lime, mint and cucumber; the Ginger Howard ($5) with ginger, lemon and tea; and the Lavender Bow Tie ($6) with flowers, grapefruit and soda. The purple-colored concoction has been called "an Instagrammer's dream."

52 S. Second St., Philadelphia, PA 19106
(267) 606-6313


This romantic French bistro on East Passyunk Avenue is offering a special for Sober October. For $8, enjoy Something to Put These Flames Out, made with cardamom, lime, cinnamon, ginger and club soda. It's topped with grated nutmeg and mint.

The elevated soft drink has all the style of a sophisticated cocktail, minus the alcohol.

1623 E. Passyunk Ave., Philadelphia PA 19148
(267) 639-3203

Red Owl Tavern

Near Independence Hall, you'll find Red Owl Tavern. On the drinks menu, lead bartender Kyle Darrow likes to offer at least one mocktail.

Currently, the faux-cocktail is Kyle's Silk Road ($12) made with Seedlip Spice, a nonalcoholic distilled spirit. Also in the drink is five-spice syrup, lime and ginger.

433 Chestnut St., Philadelphia, PA 19106
(215) 923-2267

Rex 1516

This Southern restaurant on South Street likes to boast it has one of the best hurricane drinks outside New Orleans, but there are nonalcoholic drinks, too.

There are three unique sodas available currently. Try the strawberry, coriander syrup and lemon; the cucumber, syrup, ginger, lime and fresh mint; or the black pepper, cardamom syrup and lime. 

All sodas are available for $6. 

1516 South St., Philadelphia, PA 19146
(267) 319-1366

White Dog Cafe

White Dog Cafe, which has locations on the Main Line and University City, is known for its dog-themed decorations and organic, local and sustainable food.

The brunch menu features favorites like the Kennett Square mushroom soup, avocado BLT and Lancaster County three-egg omelet with bacon and goat cheese. Also on the menu are a seasonal selection of mocktails – in addition to the usual boozy brunch drinks.

One creative concoction that's on the University City location's menu now is the James Dear, made with cucumber, lemongrass, cilantro, jalapeño, lime and soda. Another, the Razzy Reff, is made with ice tea, lemonade, raspberry, honey, lime and mint. 

3420 Sansom St., Philadelphia, PA 19104
(215) 386-9224

379 E. Lancaster Ave., Haverford, PA 19041
(610) 896-4556

200 W. Lancaster Ave., Wayne, PA 19087
(610) 225-3700

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