Free Spirits: Abstemious cocktails that still pack a punch

Recipes for a bountiful Dry January.
Forgo Thyme 7

Free Spirits. // Photo by Kate Frick

January or any month of the year. All spirits have natural flavors, vitamins B3 and B6, and are gluten-free and vegan. We sampled the entire line and are here to offer the high points, alongside a few of our own mixology creations.

The Spirit of Gin

Slightly hot on your tongue with the mouthfeel of gin, kissed with juniper and coriander. Perfect neutral spirit to add to your gimlet or G&T. This would make an exceptional gin martini with a twist and perhaps a dash of rice vinegar as a vermouth substitute. Try it with a sploosh of agave, soda water, and lemon.

The Spirit of Bourbon

Vanilla and apple on the nose, a black tea-like spice with a familiar warming effect that Midwesterners yearn for during frigid winter months. The base is flavourful enough to hold up to a whiskey sour or even a Manhattan. 

The Spirit of Tequila

The agave shines through in a tequila-esque experience, with a little caramel and heat. The citric acid lingers on your tongue and helps excite salivary glands. This tequila alternative is a great substitute anywhere you’d usually employ tequila. We’d recommend it with soda water and a splash of lime.

The Spirit of Milano

This one hits just right. The color matches Campari; the blend of rhubarb, bitter orange, cinnamon, and clove awaken your palate and is a dazzling aperitif. You can easily make a classic negroni with this spirit or add orange juice and ginger ale.

Brunch is typically a boozy affair, but if you’d like to abstain, here’s a lovely brunch cocktail that offers a fresh approach and will leave your palate satisfied, plus while you’re prepping drinks, you can add broiled grapefruit to your brunch menu.

Forgo Thyme 5

Forgo Thyme. // Photo by Steph Castor

Forgo Thyme

  • 1 oz. Free Spirits Gin
  • 1 oz. Free Spirits Milano
  • 2 oz. broiled grapefruit juice**
  • Sprig of thyme to shake, plus one to garnish

Combine all ingredients, shake and strain in your favorite cocktail glass. Add a sprig of thyme for garnish.

(**Cut a grapefruit in half, spread 1 Tbsp. sugar on top, and broil on low until golden brown.)


Socialite. // Photo by Steph Castor


  • 2 oz. Free Spirits Milano
  • 1 oz. Free Spirits Bourbon
  • ¼ oz. Balsamic Vinegar
  • ½ orange, juiced
  • A swath of orange rind for garnish

This riff on a classic boulevardier uses balsamic and orange juice to simulate vermouth. The ratios have been altered from the classic recipe to push the bitter notes forward. This cocktail is best shaken to allow the citrus to open up a bit. Strain and serve in a coupe or rocks, neat.

Novia De Higo

Novia de Higo. // Photo by Steph Castor

Novia de Higo

  • 2 oz. Free Spirits Tequila
  • ½ oz. agave
  • One lemon, juiced
  • ½ oz. fig jam
  • Pinch good salt (like Maldon)

Fig jam and lemon juice brighten up this iteration of a margarita. Add all ingredients and shake. Serve with or without a salted rim and plenty of ice. 

Categories: Food & Drink