The best non-alcoholic drinks to serve this dry July

If the motivation to close out the month booze-free is waning, it’s because you’re going about it the wrong way.

We get it. Taking a month off the booze can be a chore. But making it through Dry July doesn’t have to mean a month spent turning down social events, chasing meals with sparkling water, or – heaven forbid – secretly pretending light beer doesn’t count. It does.

But we all know the impact alcohol has on our health, and despite Australians’ love of a night on the tiles, some 20 per cent of us abstained from alcohol last year – up nine per cent from a decade ago.

The good news is you’ve already made it half way through the month. The better news is non-alcoholic drinks can actually be good.

Who knew? Well, bar manager Carlo Russo from Sydney restaurant Nour, for starters.

To show there’s more to sobriety than sugary syrups and sympathy votes, we partnered with Nour to create GQ’s very own non-alcoholic signature drink of choice, the ‘GQ Spice and Soda’ – as well as two other booze-free beverages worth a sip.

The Huba


– 190ml pineapple juice

– 20ml coconut syrup

– 15ml lime juice

– Small handful of basil leaves

– 2 cardamom pods

– Crushed and cubed iceGarnish

– Fresh basil leaves

– Dried coconut


1. Muddle the cardamom pods at the base of the shaker, using a pestle or something similar.

2. Add the pineapple juice, coconut syrup, lime juice and basil leaves.

3.  Shake with ice and strain into a tall glass over ice.

4. Garnish with basil leaves and the dried coconut.

Mixologist’s Tip: This drink is beautiful and frothy when freshly made, but if you let it sit for too long the layers will separate. Best to take that ’gram shot right away.

GQ Spice & Soda


– Spiced syrup

– 2 litres apple juice

– 1 tablespoon black pepper

– 1 tablespoon cardamom

– ½ tablespoon cloves

– 3 cinnamon quills

– 30g sliced ginger


– Fresh mint

– Cinnamon quill

– Lemon wedge

– Soda water


1. To make the spice reduction, put the core ingredients into a small saucepan and place on the stove.

2.  Bring it to the boil and keep at boiling point for 45 minutes until it reduces to a syrup consistency. Strain the syrup into a bottle. Allow to cool.

3. To make the cocktail, put 45ml of your spiced apple reduction in a glass over ice. Top with soda water and garnish with fresh mint, one cinnamon quill and a lemon wedge.

Top Tip: Mix the spice reduction with warm water and a slice of lemon to enjoy this drink hot.

Non alcoholic drinks

Virgin Nana


– 60ml fresh watermelon juice• 60ml hibiscus and rose petal  tea (or similar fruit tea)

– 15ml fresh lemon juice

– 15ml of elderflower syrup

– 10ml Jallab (a Middle Eastern fruit syrup made from date, carob, dates, grape molasses and rose water)

– Fresh mint leaves

– Crushed and cubed ice


– Fresh cucumber, mint and watermelon


1. Pour all ingredients into a shaker.

2. Shake with ice and double strain into a glass over ice.

3. Garnish with a cucumber slice, fresh mint leaves and a triangle of fresh watermelon.

Top Tip: Omit the watermelon for a more masculine look.

[Via GQ]

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