See how Harvest Roots closed out Dry January with their 1st-ever NA cocktail competition

Judges at Harvest Roots' 1st-ever mocktail competition
Judges Carla Jean Whitley, Helene Jones + Sharron Swain anticipating bartender Jose Camacho’s offering. (Jessica Broom / Bham Now)

Harvest Roots Ferments in Avondale closed out Dry January last night by hosting Hiatus, their first-ever non-alcoholic cocktail competition. I was lucky enough to be a judge, so keep reading for all the details.


Scenes from Hiatus at Harvest Roots. (l, Pete Halupka / Harvest Roots; r, Jessica Broom / Bham Now)

Harvest Roots Ferments‘ taproom was bustling last night for Haitus, their first-ever non-alcoholic cocktail competition. Here’s what the event entailed:

5 bartenders + their mocktails

Clockwise from top left: Jose Camacho, Adios Bar (Jessica Broom / Bham Now); Ferrell Carter, Bottega Restaurant; Amanda Thompson, Carrigan’s Public House; Deangelo Elridge, Mayawell Bar; Hannah Smarr, Helen Restaurant (Sharron Swain / Bham Now)

Five bartenders from local restaurants and bars created non-alcoholic cocktails incorporating Harvest Roots’ kombucha. It was a lot of fun hearing from each of them about their masterpieces and all the thought that went into them.

1. Judges’ Pick: “And Mondays We…” by Jose Camacho, Adios Bar

NA cocktail competition
“And Mondays We…” created by Jose Camacho of Adios Bar (Jessica Broom / Bham Now)

One interesting distinction we made as judges was “best” vs. our personal favorite. We were unanimous in rating “And Mondays We…” by Jose Camacho of Adios Bar as the top choice, based on creativity, use of kombucha, balance and flavor. Plus, who can fault this gorgeous presentation?

  • Cosmos kombucha syrup
  • Pineapple honey
  • Monday mezcal
  • Lime juice
  • Saline

It was easy to imagine sitting by a fire sipping this libation that warmed all the way down, thanks to the cayenne and other spices on the outside of the glass.

2. People’s choice: “Return to Sender” by Hannah Smarr, Helen Restaurant

rts e1675194691826 See how Harvest Roots closed out Dry January with their 1st-ever NA cocktail competition
People’s choice award (Jessica Broom / Bham Now)

This was my personal favorite, and apparently, a lot of other people’s, as well. There was a satisfying kick from the cardamom (with some amazing cardamom candy on top that reminded us of peanut brittle) and an overall delicious flavor.

  • Coast kombucha
  • Monday mezcal
  • Raft pineapple tamarind syrup
  • Kombucha pineapple puree
  • Lime juice
  • Cardamom bitters

Eager to continue your Dry January experience?

non-alcoholic options at Harvest Roots
Check out all these tasty non-alcoholic options. (Jessica Broom / Bham Now)

Harvest Roots owners Lindsay Whiteaker and Pete Halupka have curated a wall of their favorite non-alcoholic mixers and more. You’ll find it just to the right of the kombucha cooler on the back wall of the taproom.

Free Spirited Alabama is another great resource for people who are looking for non-alcoholic/zero-proof brands, options + recipes.

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Sharron Swain
Sharron Swain

Writer, Interviewer + Adventurer | Telling stories to make a difference

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