If you're ready for a detox after too much imbibing this holiday season, Chattanooga has plenty of alcohol-free drink options to help you make it through a dry January. Whether you're looking for a mocktail to enjoy on a night out with friends or a soothing tea to help you relax in place of a glass of wine, we've rounded up the best local (and somewhat local) drinks to help you stay sober without sacrificing your love for tasty beverages.
In the Hamilton Place mall area, Firebirds Wood-Fired Grill offers a unique mocktail in its Charred Pineapple Agua Fresca, made with fresh pineapple seared on the restaurant's signature wood-fired grill, blended and mixed with fresh lime juice and chilled water.
More great agua frescas (a light, nonalcoholic drink popular in Mexico) can be found downtown at State of Confusion, which boasts a range of flavors including strawberry basil, canteloupe mint and lemon.
Rhubarb is an underrated cocktail ingredient, and the same is true for mocktails. Easy Bistro makes good use of the pleasantly tart veggie in its Chuck Taylor mocktail, where it's combined with grapefruit, ginger ale and citrus for a drink that's a little fruity but not too sweet.
Out of Mellow Mushroom's selection of "Magic Mocktails," our pick is the Pineapple Express, which combines sweet pineapple and coconut with earthy golden turmeric and house-made agave sour.
Potions from Nashville-based High Garden Heirloom Herbal and Tea Craft are designed to taste as good as a cocktail, but offer a wellness boost rather than a buzz. The Spellbound potion is intended to create a "calm state of contentment" with kava kava root, a root found in the Pacific Islands that people chew and brew into tea for its chill-but-not-sedated effect. Hemp leaf reinforces that calming effect; passion flower helps turn off repetitive thinking and "brain stress," and wild lettuce eases stress that manifests as muscular tension and inflammation. Pour an ounce of the potion into a pint glass and top it off with sparkling water or kombucha. Find it at highgardentea.com.
If you're looking for a way to relax after a stressful day, there's no need to reach for the rose wine. Instead, brew a cup of Wildflower Tea and Apothecary's Soul Soother tea, featuring a blend of calming nervine herbs including passion flower, lemon balm, damiana, chamomile, lavender and rose (flower).