IBS-friendly cocktails to extend Dry January into February and beyond

Non-alcoholic or "spiritfree" cocktails can be just as good as boozy ones (PHOTO: Moritz Mentges)

As New Year’s resolutions are enacted and often abandoned by the end of January, people practicing Dry January may feel left out. Whereas many will try one month without alcohol before resuming consumption of it in February, others will try to continue their dry run as long as possible. For IBS drinkers who have issues consuming alcohol, there is a further incentive to continue Dry January into February and beyond.

If you are looking for some cocktail recipes that are great for the winter – and of course, the gut – look no further! Here are a couple great ideas from some of the best bartenders in the world.

'Tis the Season



  1. Combine equal parts white sugar and cinnamon tea and stir until sugar is dissolved.

  2. Place syrup in a medium saucepan on the stovetop, and add cubed and roasted sweet potato.

  3. Bring to a simmer and allow to simmer for 10 minutes with sweet potato.

  4. Use a fine mesh strainer to fine-strain the sweet potato syrup.

  5. Fill a highball glass with ice.

  6. Add one ounce of the syrup into the glass, then add the spirits.

  7. Stir over ice, then top off with the ginger beer.

Lyre’s American Malt is a great spirit-free take on bourbon, complete with the toasty, vanilla notes indicative of a classic Kentucky bourbon. Those vanilla notes work particularly well with the low-FODMAP sweet potato and cinnamon syrup, which feature some strong baking spice notes. The Seedlip Grove 42 tastes “like an orange grove,” per multiple reviews, allowing it to add a refreshing citrus flavor before the ginger spice of Fever-Tree takes over. This recipe was created by Robert et Fils beverage director David Mor with the IBS Life audience in mind.

Matcha Miruku


  • 0.5 oz rich honey syrup

  • 0.25 oz kinkmokusei syrup

  • 3 oz cashew milk

  • 1.5 oz hot water

  • 0.75 teaspoon matcha powder


  1. Create a rich honey syrup by combining two parts honey to one part hot water, then stirring until the honey is dissolved. Let the syrup cool and be refrigerated for up to 3 weeks.

  2. Create the kinmokusei syrup by combining one tablespoon of dried osmanthus (kinmokusei in Japanese) flowers with 1 cup of boiling water. Steep for 6 minutes and strain. Add an equal amount of sugar and stir until dissolved.

  3. Combine the honey syrup, kinmokusei syrup, cashew milk, and hot water and stir.

  4. Sift the matcha powder into a prewarmed drinking cup.

  5. Gently pour the sweetened cashew milk over the matcha and whisk to combine.

  6. To properly aerate (like a latte), whisk slowly and draw a wave into the liquid to pull up all grains of matcha, then whisk the surface briskly with your wrist until the froth is to your liking.

This recipe is featured in Julia Momose’s The Way of the Cocktail, a book that dives through the history and culture of Japanese cocktails. Momose developed the term “spirit-free” to describe non-alcoholic cocktails that offer the same amount of complexity as those with spirits in them, and this shines through in this cocktail. Whereas her original Matcha Miruku contains a sweet potato shōchū (a Japanese distilled spirit), Momose uses the osmanthus flower syrup to take its place, keeping the richness but adding some floral notes. Low-FODMAP cashew milk and matcha (green tea) make this beverage remarkably close to a latte, which Momose suggests drinking “as a restorative treat in the middle of a long day.”

Dry January may have only lasted one month of the year – like many New Year’s resolutions – but these recipes and many others promise to help your dry spell gain some momentum throughout the year.