Whether you are looking to stay dry for January or the whole year, here are some great Dry January tips and tricks to make sure you stick to your plan.
Dry January is alive and kicking. We are living in a sober curious age where 66% of millennials are looking to reduce their alcohol consumption this year. And the non-alcoholic beverage market has grown in response, giving individuals who want to abstain from alcohol a lot of different choices.
The Art of The Mocktail
My first Dry January tip is to make your own mocktails for you and your friends and family when hanging out at home.
The biggest piece of advice for making a good mocktail is to treat it like you’re making a cocktail. This basically means to give it the same attention you would a cocktail.
- Measure: I think accurate measuring is even more important for mocktails. With cocktails, there is always the personal preference for adding more or less alcohol but a mocktail’s flavor profile is easier to mess up without the alcohol.
- Shake, stir, pour, and garnish: use the same equipment and garnishes you would use for a cocktail
- Pay attention to aroma and temperature
- Balance flavor profiles (sweet, sour, bitter, umami, salty, astringent, etc.)
If you utilize these tips, you’ll be able to make stellar mocktails that make you feel a part of the party.
Here are some mocktail recipes you can use to make you feel part of the party. They all look like cocktails and taste delicious.
Recipes From Me:
- Orange-Basil Strawberry Mocktail
- Vanilla Earl Grey Blackberry Mocktail
- Sparkling Basil Lemon Mocktail
- Lemon-Dill Cucumber Mocktail
- Rosemary & Mint Lemonade Mocktail
Recipes From Other Bloggers:
- Coconut Lime Italian Cream Soda, Gastronom
- Sparkling Tropical Mocktail Recipe, Gastronom
- Strawberry Mint Lemonade, Snappy Gourmet
- Lime Cranberry Mocktail, My Wife Can Cook
- Sparkling Grapefruit Mocktail (Faux Rosé), The Fit Cookie
Products to Help Make Dry January Tasty
Interesting simple syrup flavors or purees, infused sugars, teas, shrubs, and flavored carbonated water are all excellent products to help take your mocktails to the next level. Here are some specific popular examples:
- Seedlip Non-Alcoholic Spirits are made by distilling botanicals and blending them into a non-alcoholic elixir. It’s all the rage and many consider it to be the catalyst responsible for opening up the non-alcoholic beverage market further.
- Indira Tea is the creation of Tara from Sipsong Spirits (Windsor, California). It’s a non-alcoholic and caffeine-free tea that tastes like her Indira Gin.
- Burly Beverages is based in Sacramento and specializes in craft soda and shrub syrups. Their products are used often in the Sacramento bar scene.
- INNA shrubs are made by an Oakland-based jam company and they have lots of different flavors.
- DRY Sparkling Sodas are slightly sweet and are subtly flavored with botanical flavors, which really shine when added to mocktails.
Dry January in a Social Setting
Mocktail recipes are all good for when you’re hanging out at home but the struggle to remain dry is the hardest in social settings outside the home.
Making Bars Fit Your Dry January Needs
The first choice is to buy mocktails at bars. Many bars have mocktail menus. But don’t worry if they don’t. Most of the time, if you ask the bartender to make you a mocktail, they’ll give it a try.
I do think this is more likely to happen at bars that have printed menus available and especially at ones that have rotating seasonal menus. Dive bars are maybe not the best choice to try and get a mocktail.
Not drinking because you don’t partake, can’t because of medical reasons, or because you are a recovering addict can make you feel like you’re killing your social life.
Most of us have no problem avoiding temptation when by ourselves. But toss in a group of friends and a dimly lit bar scene and it’s hard to feel like you are part of the group.
That’s why sober bars are becoming more and more popular. Sober bars look like bars, sound like bars, and make drinks like bars but there is no alcohol anywhere to be found. They serve coffee, kombucha, and make mocktails all in a bar-like setting.
As of yet, I don’t know of any sober bars in my area (San Francisco-Bay Area, Davis, Sacramento), but I imagine they’ll be popping up soon because of the growing trend of alcohol-free bars.
January 17th Update
Wow, my prediction came true really fast! Bizzy’s, a dry bar that will be operated out of Black Spring Coffee in Oakland, is opening January 18th. Exciting!
Kava Kava Bars
Despite not having any sober bars near me, my area has plenty of Kava Kava Bars.
Kava is native to the South Pacific islands, is a member of the nightshade family, and has been used as a ceremonial drink for thousands of years by Pacific Islanders.
But it has recently become popular here because of its relaxing qualities and ability to reduce stress and anxiety.
I’ve been to MeloMelo Kava Bar in Berkeley and I did feel a relaxing and mellow sensation. Some of this was from the properties of kava itself, but I do believe a portion of that feeling came from being in a social setting that didn’t involve alcohol.
There’s also a kava bar, Root of Happiness, in Davis that I would like to try soon.
Happy Dry January!
I hope all these Dry January Tips and Tricks help any of you committing yourself to stay dry. Although I’m not participating this year, I’ve often had to go dry because of medical conditions, so I know what it’s like to be the odd one out in social settings.
Good luck with all your new health goals!