Voting starts January 17 in Edible Memphis’s Instagram stories.
Let’s make “Dry January” #SpiritedAF.
We know that bars and restaurants experience a post-holidays dip in business. So we want to give our readers and community a reason to continue supporting their favorite cocktail spots—even while participating in Dry January or sticking to a New Year’s resolution to drink less.
Enter the Edible Memphis ChampionSip: Mocktails, brought to you by Spirited A.F., a movement inspired to infuse A.F.—“alcohol free”—on menus, on shelves, and at the table.
Voting for each individual matchup will take place exclusively on an Edible Memphis Instagram Story poll over an assigned 24-hour period.
- January 12: Live bracket drawing by Edible Memphis
- January 17-24: Sippin’ on Sixteen
- January 25-28: Icy Eight
- January 29-30: Pour of Four (Semi-finals)
- January 31: ChampionSipper (Finals)
There are three ways to win: Overall Bracket Winner, Most Tagged Mocktail, and Judges’ Choice.
Readers are encouraged to tag photos of mocktails on Instagram throughout the month to be entered to win a $100 gift card to the participating restaurant/bar of their choice.
New to the competition: Readers who sample all sixteen mocktails will be invited to cast a vote as an official judge.
See below for descriptions of the participating restaurants and their signature mocktails. All hours subject to change due to COVID-19. Please call before visiting.
Photos by Elly Hazelrig.
Art Bar at Crosstown Arts is a full-service bar on the second floor of Crosstown Concourse. It features a menu of artful, cutting-edge cocktails in a funky space with vintage decor. Manager Dee Mitchell is very interested in medicinal ingredients in mocktails and cocktails and believes the Flannelette will leave you feeling better than before you drank it.
The Flannelette is made with turmeric and cumin gomme syrup, fresh lime juice, jalapeño tincture, and soda water and garnished with dried Gomphrena globosa and forget-me-not flowers. The gomme syrup gives a silky texture that adds body to this mocktail for a more satisfying sip. Its earthy flavors from the turmeric and cumin, which are then balanced with heat and citrus, make it a complex delight.
1350 Concourse Avenue #280
Tuesday – Sunday 5 p.m. to 1 a.m., Closed Monday
Bardog Tavern is downtown’s beloved neighborhood bar and restaurant with a late-night kitchen and two-story hangout for regulars and newcomers alike. While known for its breakfast shots, boozy brunch, and expansive draft beer selection, its mocktail will make you rethink your usual order.
The Re-Salud-tion is made with cranberry winter syrup, ginger beer, and orange juice and garnished with swath orange peel and cranberry. The winter syrup is key; in addition to cranberry, you’ll find notes of orange, ginger, allspice, clove, cinnamon, honey, and thyme.
73 Monroe Avenue
Monday – Friday 8 a.m. to 3 a.m., Saturday – Sunday 11 a.m. to 3 a.m.
Bari Ristorante e Enoteca is the city’s only Southeastern Italian restaurant and wine bar. Chef/Owner Jason Severs’s renditions of antipasto, meats and seafood, handmade pastas, and over 50 Italian cheeses convey a true taste of this Italian region. Bari recently relocated down the block to Cooper and Peabody, and the new space features an expanded bar area and patio.
The Tuscan Sun is made with housemade hibiscus black tea, fresh squeezed blood orange juice, oak wood tonic, and a rosemary syrup. It’s a refreshing and earthy mocktail that’s not too sweet and not too sour. The tonic gives the drink a nice, lite fizz—perfect for a relaxing drink.
Longtime bartender, Hunter Coleman, says many bartenders—as part of the health and wellness movement—are taking the mocktail seriously with high quality ingredients so that all customers can indulge in alluring beverages without the adverse effects of alcohol. “The addition of creative mocktails on a menu is an enticing and enjoyable option for everyone,” he adds.
524 Cooper Street
Tuesday – Saturday 5 to 9 p.m., Closed Sunday and Monday
I’ll Have What She’s Having
BarWare is a moody living room on Front Street in downtown Memphis. Its cozy and elegant decor creates an unpretentious refuge for excellent beverages, refined small plates, live music, and good times.
The I’ll Have What She’s Having mixes fresh grapefruit juice, muddled Luxardo cherries, rosemary simple syrup, ginger beer, and egg white with a rosemary and cherry garnish.
Owner Libby Wunderlich says, “Our bartenders enjoy the challenge of creating something just as good, if not better, than something with alcohol content.” Herbal infusions, fresh produce, dry ingredients, and even smoke and fat provide a lot of the inspiration behind their cocktail menu, and it’s also where a lot of mocktails can be found. She adds, “There’s something incredibly satisfying about making a guest who chooses not to imbibe feel more than included by trying something new (that’s far from a Coke or nonalcoholic beer). Alcohol shouldn’t draw a line in the sand.” Bar Ware is known to comp a mocktail to designated drivers for taking one for the team, so get your team together for this one.
276 South Front Street
Tuesday – Saturday 4 p.m. until, Closed Sunday and Monday
But Why is the Rum Gone?
The Cove is one of the oldest and most coveted spots in the Broad Avenue Arts District. This retro, nautical-themed bar and restaurant specializes in fresh shucked oysters, classic handcrafted cocktails, and dive bar favorites.
But Why is the Rum Gone? is a play on a classic tiki-style cocktail with a clear-headed kick of its own. It combines grapefruit, cinnamon ginger shrub, orgeat, lime, and nonalcoholic bitters and is finished with a rosemary garnish.
Bartender Nick Lumpkin says, “It’s good to have nonalcoholic options so that if someone doesn’t want to drink, no matter the reason, they can have something in their hand that eliminates the awkward ‘Why aren’t you drinking’ conversation and makes them feel like they belong.”
2559 Broad Avenue
Open daily 4 p.m. until
Thyme to Squash It
dory is a small, chef-run restaurant in East Memphis with a focus on sourcing ingredients as close to home as possible. Owners David and Amanda Krog are outspoken proponents of the zero-proof movement and have included mocktails on the menu from day one. “At dory, it’s important to us that, no matter the reason you aren’t consuming alcohol today, we want you to have the same experience as anyone else would,” says Amanda.
The Thyme to Squash It is fermented butternut squash, smoked thyme syrup, and Meyer lemon infused with CO₂. Amanda says, “Thyme is a favorite in our kitchen, and we love to serve beverages that are geared toward our no-food-waste program. When we have fruit or vegetable scraps that can be juiced, iced, or turned into a syrup, we take the opportunity because no one at dory takes lightly putting food that was nurtured and cared for by our local farmers in the trash.”
Stop by the bar and enjoy this drink with half off bar snacks Tuesday through Thursday from 4 to 6 p.m.
716 West Brookhaven Circle
Tuesday – Saturday (Dining room by reservation only 5 to 8 p.m., Bar 4 to 9 p.m.), Closed Sunday and Monday
From food truck to restaurant to mezcaleria, El Mero Taco continues to thrill us, and has certainly upped the cool factor in Cordova. Jacob Dries, who owns the restaurant with his wife, Clarissa, says, “Our bar’s central focus is to showcase agave spirits through craft cocktails. We are Memphis’s first mezcaleria! We felt the need to add a unique nonalcoholic cocktail that mimics the flavors of tequila and mezcal so that no one is left out.”
The Burning Passion consists of passion fruit, smoked habanero, Ritual Tequila Alternative, and Topo Chico. Ritual Tequila Alternative is the highest rated nonalcoholic spirit in the world, with a Platinum score of 98 points out of 100 from the Beverage Testing Institute. It’s calorie free, alcohol free, and has flavors of earthy blue agave, Mexican lime, and tropical guava, with a smoky mesquite finish.
8100 Macon Station, Suite 102
Tuesday – Thursday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Closed Sunday and Monday
Good Fortune Company has introduced handmade noodles and dumplings and a lively bar to the South Main Arts District. Owner Sarah Cai says, “We are passionate about providing an experience for everyone who walks through our doors. Our menu is designed to accommodate a variety of diets and lifestyle choices, and our beverage program is no different.” She believes zero-proof cocktails are yet another medium for her talented mixologists to showcase fun flavors and techniques.
The Cloud 9 is a take on a classic fizz, inspired by the spiced flavors of rum. It’s loaded with aromatics and boosted with toasted coconut and marshmallow to create depth of flavor and a luxurious texture. The mocktail itself is refreshing, spiced, and purple in color from the use of butterfly pea flowers. Sarah says, “It’s an island refreshment where you can truly keep your head in the clouds.”
361 South Main Street
Wednesday and Thursday 4 to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday 4 to 11 p.m., Sunday 4 to 10 p.m., Closed Monday and Tuesday
The Gray Canary restaurant, by Chefs Andy Hudman and Michael Ticer, includes a wood-fire kitchen, raw bar, and craft cocktails. Located on Front Street, its spacious bar and ever-evolving menu feature one-of-a-kind approaches to shared plates and sips. Its growing monthly cocktail pairing dinner invites locals to partake in coursed pairings that challenge and “wow” the palate.
Killer Tofu mixes beet juice, ginger syrup, fresh lemon juice, and Topo Chico. Molly Hatch, general manager, says it was a collaboration with her bar staff. “They’re very talented on their own, but even more so when working together,” she says. Molly has always loved beets, but didn’t want to name the drink something too on-the-nose or clichéd. “I dug deep and decided on ‘Killer Tofu’ by The Beets from the ’90s cartoon Doug,” she says.
301 South Front Street
Wednesday – Saturday 4 to 10 p.m., Sunday 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., Closed Monday and Tuesday
Serving Southern-influenced Italian fare, Hog & Hominy is a just-reopened restaurant and bar in the Andrew Ticer and Michael Hudman family of restaurants. After a rebuild from the ground up after a 2020 fire, the bar is bigger and better than ever. Hog & Hominy has always been about playful and creative cocktails that are as tasty as they are thoughtful.
The Pink Phink features hibiscus, juniper, rosemary tonic, citrus, and egg white. This drink is based with a hibiscus and juniper tea accented with rosemary tonic and citrus. The rosemary tonic is a housemade syrup that has some baking spice notes, some herbal tonic notes, and a nice pop of rosemary. “We use egg white to give the drink a rich, velvety texture and a nice, fluffy foam on top of the drink. It’s floral, herbaceous, and has a touch of bitter citrus,” says Assistant Manager Will Davenport
Hog & Hominy wanted to create a mocktail that embodied the same dedication they put into their cocktail menus. Both Will and General Manger Evan Potts are sober and have spent years developing cocktail menus and bar programs in the city. “Despite the fact that neither of us drink, we both still have a profound love of cocktails, spirits, and all things bar related. We wanted to make a mocktail that was specifically designed to drink like a cocktail. Oftentimes mocktails don’t get the same thought as cocktails, and we wanted to do our part to help change that,” Will says. “There is a growing community of people like Evan and I who are moving away from alcohol but are still very much a part of the culture of food and drink. We think this mocktail exemplifies the fact that you don’t need alcohol to make an incredibly flavorful cocktail.”
707 West Brookhaven Circle
Tuesday – Thursday 4 to 10 p.m., Friday – Saturday 4 to 11 p.m., Closed Sunday and Monday
Shrub Me the Right Way
Knifebird is a cozy Cooper-Young wine bar serving a selection of charcuterie boards and snacks. Owner Kate Ashby says she’s been participating in Dry January for about seven years. “I love getting to the end of the holiday season with a sober month to look forward to and really enjoy the challenge of taking the time off from imbibing to focus on health and wellness,” she says.
Shrub Me the Right Way is a mixture of spiced cranberry shrub, Sanbitter, ginger syrup, rooibos tea, and honey apple cinnamon syrup. It’s served on a big rock with a winter herb garnish. This is just one of the mocktails that Knifebird will be offering in January, so plan to stay awhile.
2155 Central Avenue
Monday – Saturday 4 p.m. until, Closed Sunday
The Liquor Store on Broad Avenue is the diner of dreams, converting a former liquor store into a contemporary eatery with a retro-meets-tropical bar of whimsical dishes and drinks.
Bar Manager Taylor Carlile wants everyone to feel included in the fun, regardless of what their reasons for remaining sober may be. “Well thought-out and expertly crafted mocktails serve as an enjoyable alternative to fulfill the purpose of not leaving anyone out, looking phenomenal in pictures, and, most importantly, tasting great,” he says.
The Hanoian Mornin’ combines Wiseacre Cold Brew coffee, fresh orange juice, agave syrup, cinnamon powdered sugar, pickle juice, egg, mint sprig, expressed lemon peel, Luxardo cherries, and grated nutmeg. It is balanced, sweet, creamy, and slightly tangy, with the focus on the coffee. “It pays an homage to ca phe trung (Vietnamese egg coffee), while also playing to the strengths and charms of The Liquor Store (our espresso martinis, using our good friends at Wiseacre’s Cold Brew, have become quite the hit) and our tropical vacation breakfast vibes,” says Taylor.
2655 Broad Avenue
Daily 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
A well balanced menu of air, land, and ocean meets storied and new age cocktails at the Pontotoc Lounge in the South Main Arts District.
Booyaka! Booyaka! blends lapsang souchong tea, pineapple juice, lime juice, and allspice syrup. It’s served with a Hawaiian black lava salt rim.
Bar Manager Dan Ciaccia says, “In Memphis we want all the smoke. I wanted to create a drink that was refreshing and crushable, yet smoky and complex at the same time.” Lapsang souchong is a black tea from the Fujian province of China that is smoked over pinewood. It adds a deep character to the drink that is balanced by the acidity from the pineapple and lime. The allspice-infused syrup was added to round out the flavors and give the drink a classic tiki vibe.
314 South Main Street
Thursday 5 to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday 5 p.m. to 1 a.m., Sunday 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Closed Monday – Wednesday
Slider Inn (downtown only)
Sliders, fresh Maine Lobster rolls, cold craft beer, Jameson slushies, and pet-friendly patios all make up Slider Inn’s appeal—and its downtown location offers more of everything.
The Refresher features muddled cucumber, lime juice, club soda, and simple syrup. General Manager Chelle Morgan says, “The new year is the perfect time to refresh and reload your body with something tasty. Taking a break from alcohol? No problem. We have you taken care of.”
363 Mulberry Street
Wednesday and Thursday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. to 1 a.m., Sunday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Closed Monday and Tuesday
South of Beale (SOB) (both locations)
South of Beale, or SOB as it’s affectionately known, has two locations—one (you guessed it) south of Beale on Main Street and another out east near Poplar and Mendenhall. Expect bold and adventurous flavors on the food and cocktail menus.
The Mockaritaville is a combination of Seedlip Spice 94, raspberry shrub, lime juice, and agave. This is a playful, nonalcoholic take on a margarita. Non-traditional flavors make this mocktail more layered and refreshing than a typical margarita.
Owner Ed Cabigao says, “Inclusion is very important, and something as simple as offering a mocktail on the menu shows that we know and understand that not everyone wants to have a drink, but they also don’t want to feel excluded.” He agrees that “Dry January” is a perfect time to highlight and promote this inclusion of the guest experience.
5040 Sanderlin Road and 345 South Main Street
Sunday – Thursday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
SugaShack is a live-music venue and eatery at the east end of Beale Street—a modern “soul food lounge.” You’ll be treated like family upon arrival for a plate of sizzling hot, made-to-order fried catfish fillets and chicken with all the Southern sides imaginable. Its back bar welcomes a consistent well drink selection as well as specials like this month’s mocktail.
The Sugar Mama is a combination of Finest Call Sour Apple Martini Mix, pineapple juice, lemonade, and Sprite.
Manager Darius “Phatmak” Clayton says participating in the ChampionSip is all about the spirit of inclusion. “Nonalcoholic beverage drinkers enjoy drinking delicious handmade cocktails and may feel left out when they aren’t drinking with family and friends,” he says. “We at SugaShack aim to create a warm vibe where anyone can find comfort.”
392 Beale Street
Thursday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. to midnight, Sunday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Closed Monday – Wednesday