How to Keep Dry January Going Past January 31st
Pour on with these booze-free alternatives.
So you kicked Dry January’s butt. Now what? Perhaps you’re reading this while sipping on a glass of vino. (Cheers, to you!) Or maybe — just maybe — you have been loving your booze-free commitment so much that, like Anne Hathaway, you are officially swearing off hangovers from here on out. If you fall within the latter, you’re not alone. In fact, the ‘sober curious’ movement is arguably in full swing.
“More and more people are choosing to question their drinking,” says Ruby Warrington, co-founder of Club SODA NYC and author of new book, Sober Curious. “I think this is partly a logical evolution of the wellness revolution as drinking is contradictory to many other feel-good practices people are investing time, money and energy in.”
Warrington has a point, as you have probably witnessed the past month — so why give in now? Consider how good you feel before pouring yourself a double! “It really helps to focus on all of the things you want to experience rather than thinking you are 'denying yourself' by not drinking,” advises Warrington. “Anyone taking an extended break from drinking will experience more energy, optimism and vitality overall — guaranteed.”
But what about socializing? That’s been the doozy, right? No need to be a total party pooper. Sipping on a mocktail, for one, is a lot less obvious than chugging bottled water in the corner. Look for vodka-based cocktails next time you’re cozied up to the bar and ask for it spirit-free, suggests Jordan Moore, beverage director of Donetto and O-Ku in Atlanta, Ga. “Vodka is made to be an odorless and tasteless spirit so any cocktail with vodka in it should be appropriately balanced without the alcohol.”
For those hosting an upcoming soiree, Mingle Mocktails are a must-have. Quench your thirst for a Cosmo, Mojito, Bellini or Moscow Mule (just 120 calories per bottle!) — while looking the part with a cocktail glass in hand. “This will alleviate any discomfort or questions...and make you feel special and inclusive,” says founder and CEO, Laura Taylor.
If someone does ask why you aren’t drinking, have a positive response readily available. “You can say ‘I’m taking a break from booze right now and feel great! I’ve even lost a few pounds!’” says Taylor. “You don’t need to feel obligated to divulge too much information and remember to stay confident in your choice.”
Swapping in alcohol-free wine, beer and spirits (yes, they exist!) are great alternatives for those fixing for the real thing. “Alcohol-free beverages are having a moment in the spotlight, and for that reason, we’ve seen a lot of non-alcoholic spirits hit the market recently,” says Moore. “The most prominent company doing this right now is Seedlip." Their three flavors liken to a citrus vodka, an aromatic distillate similar to gin and a summery floral blend married with garden herbs, he adds.
Another non-alcoholic brand on the market is Kin, an “all bliss, no hangover” concoction made up of adaptogens, nootropics and botanics. (Talk to your healthcare provider if any of the ingredients in Kin concern you.) Wine-os: Check out Fre for alcohol-removed reds, whites and sparkling brut, which contain half the caloric content of traditional wine or soda.
When in doubt, seltzer, kombucha and craft sodas are also great buzz alternatives. Spindrift, Waterloo, La Croix and Brooklyn-based Q top my bubbly-loving list. Try sipping on Sleepytime Tea if you’re looking to “wine down” after a long day.