We are nearing the end of dry January and, I’ll be honest, it hasn’t been as hard as I thought it’d be. I only just this week started feelings cravings for wine and even those have been easy to ignore. While I’ll definitely pour myself a glass come Monday, I credit my ease of this experience to the growing popularity and availability of non-alcoholic spirits. These botanicals have really deepened the flavor of my drinks and gotten me as close to an alcoholic cocktail as possible.

For my dry January I bought all three of the Seedlip botanicals and absolutely loved them. I’ll be honest, these were my choice because they’re what my local liquor store had in stock. But there are so many brands, flavors, and types of non-alcoholic beers, liquors, and wines available now – it’s an exciting time to experiment with cutting back without feeling like you’re giving something up. I love the shop No & Low, it’s a non-alcoholic bottle shop with a huge variety.

This drink was inspired by a bunch of pears I had that were going bad and my craving for a marg. Now, I’ll be honest, if you are a margarita die hard then this is probably not going to be the non-alcoholic drink for you. A couple alternative options: use a non-alcoholic tequila that will more closely mimic the flavors or, if you partake, just use the pear puree to make a genuine alcoholic marg – it’s really good either way! Also do not ignore the basil sugar rim – in my opinion this just takes the cocktail over the edge. I even sprinkle a little in the drink for added basil flavor.

Non-Alocholic Spicy Pear Margarita

A drink that works just as well with alcohol as without – this marg was my absolute favorite dry January experiment. If you're not dry just sub the non-alcoholic liquor with tequila and the sweet and sour mix for triple sec.
Servings 1 cocktail

Ingredients
  

For Cocktail

  • 1.5 ounces pear puree (recipe below) aka one shot glass
  • 3 ounces sweet and sour mix aka two shot glasses
  • 3 ounces Seedlip Grove or non-alcoholic tequila aka two shot glasses
  • 4 ounces club soda optional

For Pear Puree

  • 2 ripe pears peeled, cored, and chopped into large chunks
  • 1/2 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1 large jalapeno chopped with seeds removed – use the full jalapeno for a very spicy marg and half for a little less heat
  • 1 tbsp lime juice

For Basil Sugar Rim

  • 1/2 cup white granulated sugar
  • 3 large fresh basil leaves you can add more if you want an extra intense flavor

Instructions
 

For Cocktail

  • Add all ingredients except club soda to a shaker filled with ice and shake until well combined
  • Use lime juice to lightly line the rim of a cocktail glass and then roll the rim in the basil sugar – the juice will help the sugar stick
  • Pour cocktail into a glass rimmed with the basil sugar and filled with fresh ice
  • Top with club soda if you like but this is optional

For Pear Puree

  • Add add ingredients to a small sauce pot and cook over medium heat until it reaches a soft boil, pears start to break down, and sugar is completely dissolved
  • Pour into a food processor or blender and pulse until a smooth puree is formed

For Basil Sugar

  • Add bail and sugar to a food processor and pulse until combined
  • Spread the sugar on a small plate to make it easier to rim the glass