Dry January? No thanks. We’re doing this instead

FeaturedFood & Drink

Written by:


In 2015 Public Health England launched Dry January, a public health campaign to convince people to cut back on drinking. Since then, Dry January has spread to other countries, urging people to give up drinking for the month of January, presumably after overindulging in December. While we don’t pass judgement on anyone who wants to participate, we can’t help but wonder, is it really necessary?

Our approach is to drink sensibly all year round. Moderation is the key, not binging nor abstaining. And we’re not alone in thinking this way. According to the IWSR 78% of no- and low-alcohol consumers also drink full-strength alcohol and only 18% refrain from drinking alcohol altogether.

So, what does moderation look like? That’s up to everyone to decide for themselves, but we are happy to share our thoughts. It’s all about making smart decisions and focusing on enjoyment, not inebriation. There are no cumbersome rules, beyond the usual “don’t drink and drive.” We urge you to eat, drink, and by all means enjoy yourself, because drinking should be fun!

Since we won’t be abstaining from drinking in January, we thought we’d share our own initiative. We hope you’ll join us in finding ways to find pleasure in a glass (or can), no matter how much or little alcohol your drink contains. Look for the Responsible Day Drinking logo throughout the year for stories that highlight some of our favorite ways to imbibe. Cheers!

Related: To chill or not to chill: Do red wines need to cool off?

The Alcohol Professor Responsible Day Drinking Manifesto

 We believe that a drink or two during the day can be a thoroughly enjoyable experience and that balance is everything. We discourage drinking to excess and support anyone who chooses to stay sober for any reason or no reason at all. We especially appreciate those designated drivers keeping us safe.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that staying hydrated is a good thing, that fizzy drinks, session beers, and NA cocktails or mocktails are go-to day drinking options, that keeping cool means indulging in cool climate low alcohol wines and that eating something with your tipple is always smart.

Get Fizzy With It

Sparkling wines and bubbly cocktails and highballs (light on the booze) are generally refreshing, lighter and lower in alcohol, all of which makes them perfect for indulging in during the day.

Go Low Or No ABV

Mocktails, low ABV drinks and session beers are all designed for prolonging enjoyment, not instant intoxication. This is a good thing.

Related: Why the OG coffee liqueur Kahlúa still rocks

Eat Something

Pairing food and drink is not just delicious, but smart. Beer, wine, or cocktail pairings with a meal should be scaled appropriately and savored.

Keep Your Cool

Cool climate wines are often lower in alcohol and great for pairing with food. Also, while we aren’t going to nag you about wearing sunscreen, if you are imbibing outdoors, wearing a hat is another good way to prevent dehydration that comes from exposure.

 Stay Hydrated

Alcohol can dehydrate you and is a diuretic. Your mother was right, have a glass of water for every alcoholic drink you consume.

Be Smart

If karaoke has taught us one thing, it’s that no one sings better when they are sloshed. If you have over-indulged, don’t drive, or do anything else that puts you or others at risk of harm.  Don’t do anything that you would regret or be unable to explain to your mother.

Not sure how much alcohol affects you? Check out the “Virtual Bar” blood alcohol content calculator from Responsibility.org. It allows you to customize your drinking experiences by anticipating how alcohol will affect you, before you start drinking. And keep reading the Alcohol Professor! We will be tagging stories with #responsibledaydrinking.

This article originally appeared on AlcoholProfessor.com and was syndicated by MediaFeed.org.


More from MediaFeed:

Like MediaFeed’s content? Be sure to follow us.

11 delicious booze-free spirits for your ‘Dry January’


It’s been a tough year, and a lot of us have coped by turning to the bottle a bit more than usual. In fact, this study found that Americans reported drinking about 14% more since the pandemic started, with women reporting an increase of 17%.

Among those women, instances of heavy drinking (defined as four or more drinks over a period of a couple of hours) had increased by 41%.

And according to Nielsen market data, alcohol sales outside of bars and restaurants has increased by 24%, with sales of spirits with higher alcohol content increasing even more at 27% over the previous year.



CabecaDeMarmore / istockphoto


If you’re looking for ways to cut back on your drinking in the new year, alcohol-free spirits can be a great way to do that. They bring to your evening cocktail hour all of the ritual and none of the regret.

And if you need another reason to give them a try, “Dry January” is upon us. What’s “Dry January” you ask? It started as a campaign in the UK in 2013 as a way to encourage people to be mindful about their alcohol consumption and took off from there. In 2019, nearly a quarter of American adults reported interest in participating.

If you’re considering getting in on the sober fun in 2023, now’s the perfect time to give some of these concoctions a try. You won’t get the buzz, but you’ll still be able to enjoy winding down with a tasty beverage at the end of the day. When it comes to drinking less, that can be an important factor for a lot of people to help break or curb the habit.

I sampled more than 25 booze-free spirits and selected my 11 favorites, which I’ve reviewed here. I’ve also included some of the recipes I found particularly yummy.


cagkansayin / istockphoto


I sampled each spirit neat to start, noting its flavor profile and jotting down any particular mixers I thought would go especially well with them. Then I reviewed company websites and recommended recipes, mixing up several for each spirit to see what really shined.

Here are the results…


ahirao_photo / istockphoto


I really like gin, particularly those that are on the herbaceous side, like Hendrick’s or a favorite local distillery, Sourland Mountain.

Monday’s gin isn’t that, but it is very aromatic, reminiscent of a classic London dry gin (think Tanqueray or Bombay Sapphire). Where Monday lost me was in the bite it had infused in this product in an effort to replicate the warmth that real booze imparts. The flavor profile was there, but the bite was distracting, both neat and in a classic G&T.

The company’s recipe for La Llama Verde fixed that, though! For me, its combination of jalapenos, fresh avocados and lime were the perfect accompaniment to Monday’s bite.

Sadly, Monday hasn’t included this recipe on their website, but it was in a card that came with the bottle, so I’m sharing it here:

1.5 oz Monday Gin

0.5 oz Simple syrup

2-3 jalapeños, seeded

1-2 slices fresh avocado

1 lime

In a blender, combine finely chopped jalapeno, juice from a fresh lime, slices of ripe avocado and pulse smooth (15-30 seconds). Pour contents into a mixing glass, then add Monday gin, simple syrup, squeeze of fresh lemon and ice. Stir until cold and strain over ice into your favorite short glass. Top with quality soda water.




This company offers up more than just an alcohol-free substitute to help you drink less. Kin products are billed as a dietary supplement and contain adaptogens, nootropics and botanics aimed at giving you a blissful feeling. According to Kin’s website and literature “Kin Euphorics deliver a menu of mood-defining drinks designed to elevate the spirit and relax the body, for a pleasure you won’t regret.”

I have to say I didn’t feel any mood defining from the High Rode, but I did really enjoy the flavor. With hibiscus and bitter orange at the fore, it was both refreshing and complex. My favorite serve was mixed with Fever-Tree Indian tonic and lime.

Keep in mind with Kin that they suggest limiting your intake to 4 oz. over any 24-hour period. You’ll also need to refrigerate this one after opening and drink it within 14 days.


Kin Euphorics for Humankind


As I said earlier, I’m a big fan of gin, but if you aren’t you probably won’t care that this was my favorite spirit in the whole bunch.

Ceder’s is made in Sweden and the brand offers four different varieties of alcohol-free gins. This is the only one of the four I tried, but I was delighted. It’s very cucumber forward, with hints of chamomile and your standard gin botanicals, such as juniper.

What was different about Ceder’s Crisp was the smoothness. Ceder’s didn’t try to give their product a boozy burn like some of the other spirits I tried, and it really made it more enjoyable.

It’s perfect paired simply with a good quality tonic and lime, or you can try some of the great recipes on the company’s website. My preferred serve for this spirit was a classic salty dog.





Boy, oh boy, did this one surprise me. Crafted to resemble a classic Italian vermouth, Lyre’s Aperitif Rosso just nails the flavors and body. Suddenly I had a non-alcoholic mixer I could pair with all the other alcohol-free spirits I was sampling.

I liked this so much I even used it as a mixer with real booze (mixed with Fino sherry and a dash of orange bitters, it became a really fantastic Adonis).

You’ll find my favorite use of Lyre’s Aperitif Rosso and the recipe on the next slide.




Lyre’s has a large line of products representing pretty much everything you’d need in a well-stocked household bar. You’d be able to make hundreds of alcohol-free cocktails by purchasing just their products, which of course includes a Bourbon whiskey alternative.

While this has some of that bite I didn’t really care for in one of the gin alternatives I tried, it worked better with the richer, rounder vanilla and toasty flavors of the American Malt.

But when I mixed a classic Manhattan using the Aperitif Rosso, that’s when the magic happened. It was delicious. Here’s the recipe.





Pre-mixed, booze-free cocktails in single-serve bottles? Yes, please!

Curious takes a different approach to alcohol-free spirts than the rest of the bevvies I reviewed, offering up four really tasty, pre-mixed cocktails that can be enjoyed straight from the bottle, poured into a glass or even mixed with other ingredients (and there’s a fifth one in the works!).

Curious No. 1 is a Negroni-inspired mixture including bitter pomegranate.

Curious No. 2 is the “spicy lovechild” of a pineapple margarita and a classic Dark & Stormy.

Curious No. 3 blends lemon, cucumber, alpine herbs and ashwagandha for a very uplifting combination of flavors. This one was my favorite.

Curious No. 4 is a refreshing mix of blood orange, green mandarin, turmeric, American ginseng and holy basil.


Curious Elixirs


I have to be honest. I did not like this one neat at all. The acidity that hit the back of my throat was reminiscent of acid reflux, but I was willing to give it a go with a mixer and I’m glad I did.

Aplós is a cloudy, citrus-forward mixture that looks like you’ve just poured a glass of Pernod mixed with water. It’s flavor profile definitely leans toward a bitter (think Campari), with a tight, crisp finish. I tried a couple of the recipes on the company’s website — the “Easy Transition” and “An Unhurried Afternoon” but the mix I found most pleasing was 2 oz of Aplós over ice with the juice of half a small lemon and topped with Fever Tree’s elderflower tonic.

What sets Aplós apart is it truly does have a calming effect that allowed me to focus on some tedious work I needed to attend to. It’s actually a really nice way to wind down after a long day. And it has zero calories and zero sugar.

That said, at a recommended 2-ounce pour per cocktail, this 16.9-ounce bottle at $48 is on the pricier side of all the spirits reviewed here.




High Sub bills its products as “botanic drinks with effects you can feel” and this particular formula is intended to “better mood and help you feel joyous.”

Made with ingredients including mimosa silk tree, cacao, rosea, damiana, holy basil and ginger, it is extremely herbaceous (think an Italian amaro without the bite). I didn’t feel particularly joyous, but I did feel slightly buzzy — this isn’t something you’d want to drink if you have work to do. Also, I found the flavors very refreshing.

While there are certainly effects, what really sets High Sub’s products apart on this list is its concentration and packaging. It is not intended to be consumed neat. Their 4-ounce dropper bottles can be used to make up to 30 drinks. I found it most pleasant mixed with soda and a wedge of lemon or lime.





Reducing the amount of alcohol you consume is good for you in many ways. It can reduce puffiness and improve your appearance, elevate your mental health, improve your long-term health outlook and increase your energy levels.

If you feel you have a drinking problem and think you may need help, there are many options available. A good place to start may be a call to the hotline run by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. They can put you in touch with organizations and health care services in your area.

This article was produced and syndicated by MediaFeed.org.


nd3000 / istockphoto



AlxeyPnferov / istockphoto


Featured Image Credit: CabecaDeMarmore / istockphoto.