Dry January has gained popularity over the years, whether it be for health reasons or just a detox from overindulging during the holiday season. This year especially, it’s a chance to reset as we move into a new (and hopefully brighter!) year. Deciding to give up alcohol can be difficult, but more companies are jumping on the spirit-free bandwagon by creating mixers, canned mocktails and more that make it easy to keep the flavor and forgo the booze. Many are adding in good-for-you ingredients, so you can get an extra boost from your libations. Here are some of our favorites.
The Dry Challenge Book
If your interest is peaked in trying a sober month but don’t know where to begin, this is a great primer to get you started. Writer Hilary Sheinbaum participated in a dry month and now she offers tips on ways to actually make it fun. From activities to mocktails, this book will help you ease into a month that may just change your perspective on drinking.
There’s a reason why hard seltzer gained popularity — it’s light and easy to drink with little hassle involved. Suntory knows a thing or two about alcoholic beverages with their Japanese whiskies, so their foray into this realm was a no-brainer. This drink lies somewhere between a hard seltzer and a light beer and it’s easy to mix into cocktails or add a twist of lemon or a few berries. Did we mention it has zero calories and zero sugar?
There will certainly be reasons to toast in January (or whatever sober month you choose), so it’ll be nice to have some bubbly on hand. This non-alcoholic prosecco is made with a blend of wine grapes but is sulfate, gluten and alcohol-free. Plus, it’s only 50 calories so you’ll have less guilt on that front as well. You’ll still get the beautiful floral and tart notes too.
Many people who love cocktails also love the art of crafting them. This book, Zero, which would also serve as a beautiful coffee table addition, has intricate recipes dreamt up by chef Grant Achatz and the culinary team behind the Alinea Group.
Gone are the days where you get served cranberry juice and tonic water and it’s called a mocktail. These days, there are so many amazing spirits to use you may not even realize they are sans alcohol. Try Fluere’s smoked agave for a mock margarita, Lyre’s coffee original for an espresso martini and Seedlip’s Grove 42 for a citrusy cocktail.
A Fun Mocktail Class
Revae Schneider spent years as a mixologist for some of the best bars across Chicago. She turned her cocktail making passion into creating Simplicite Co. where she makes amazing, all-natural syrups like lavender honey and spiced apple for cocktails and mocktails. The best part? You can book amazing virtual classes where she’ll teach you to mix-up impressive mocktails for an occasion like a baby shower or just for fun.
Speaking of cocktail syrups, you’ll want to have a fun one like Revae’s on hand, or make your own. If Old Fashioned cocktails are your thing, Proof makes cocktail syrups that combine the best of the classic cocktail with no need for bitters and oils. Or pop open a can of Avec in fun flavors like yuzu and lime or grapefruit and pomelo and add in a non-alcoholic spirit, or drink as is for an impressive glass.
Any bar needs to have a good stock of tonic and other carbonated mixers. Fever Tree offers a whole line of tonic waters from cucumber to elderflower plus ginger ale and other fun bubbles. Q has a hibiscus ginger beer and better for you Kola too.
Non-alcoholic beer used to be a serious afterthought for any craft producer, but not for Athletic Brewing. They put the same care and attention into the variety beer drinkers appreciate–IPAs, stouts, golden ales — but without the alcohol. They even have a dry January kit to get you started on tasting your way through brews.