The Dry Season

You won't miss the booze in Drinks Editor Jim Meehan's mocktail
The Mellow Yellow | Photos: Lizzie Munro/Tasting Table
Jim Meehan's Mellow Yellow Mocktail

Whether you're a fan of fasts, cleanses, resolutions or not, the relative quiet that settles post holidays represents a great opportunity to reset and recharge your body after a fortnight (or two) of feasting. For those of you attempting Drynuary or just giving your liver a break for a few days, I've created this healthy mocktail, which I've named the Mellow Yellow (see the recipe), using a number of ingredients you'll find in your favorite cocktails and a few others you should be taking when you wake up in the morning.

For those of you who bristled when I called this a mocktail: You can call it whatever you'd like. The inspiration is a juice I buy every morning from Portland Juice Co. called Tantra: It's essentially a blend of all the ingredients in the mocktail (lemon juice, raw honey syrup, ginger juice, turmeric, cayenne) minus the milk thistle tincture and saffron—and it's crisp, tart and refreshing.

I call mine a mocktail, and Tantra a juice, because of the concentration of flavors and airy texture mine achieves through different proportions and shaking versus building. Think of it as comparing a shot of espresso to regular brewed coffee: same ingredients, different beverage.

And as for the health benefits those ingredients pack, there are plenty. Freshly squeezed lemon juice is loaded with vitamins, and fresh extracted ginger juice aids digestion. Let's keep going: Raw honey boosts your immunity, dried turmeric root (or fresh if you can get your hands on it) is an anti-inflammatory, cayenne supports detox, saffron is an antioxidant and milk thistle's your liver's best friend.

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Keep in mind that harnessing the health properties of these ingredients depends on the state you acquire them in: Less commercial processing typically means more natural benefits.

Word of warning before you guzzle this down: I started sweating after the first sip, so you may want to cue up some Donovan before allowing Mellow Yellow to soothe your weary system.

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