Plenty of people choose Dry January as their only New Year’s Resolution. One in five Americans decided to give up alcohol (or at least try to) for the first month of the year in 2022, and while January isn’t over, yet, that number is expected to be even higher in 2023.
Even if Dry January isn’t your resolution, there are plenty of ways a break from alcohol can support other New Year’s goals. Here’s a look at non-alcoholic alternatives that can help you achieve some of the most popular New Year’s resolutions.
Save More Money
Saving money was far and away the most popular New Year’s resolution for 2023 in a recent YouGov poll. It’s also the easiest to see how ditching booze can help– alcohol is expensive, after all!
The effects of alcohol can lower your inhibitions around spending in general. Non-alcoholic craft cocktails may be almost as expensive as alcoholic ones, but you’re not likely to buy a round for the entire bar on your credit card after you have two or three, or make a late night DoorDash order from the back of a $50 Uber.
An at-home dry bar with just three or four bottles can make dozens of booze-free versions of your favorite cocktails, and cost you about the same as a single night out. With one in five Americans resolving to spend less this year, you’ll have plenty of friends thrilled to drink a non-alc Negroni at your place rather than a bar.
Improve Mental Health
While the most popular resolution among all age groups was to save money, improved mental health is a major priority for Gen Z’s 2023. While certainly no substitute for a good therapist, quitting alcohol generally has a positive effect on mental health.
If you’re feeling stressed (and who isn’t these days?), you might consider some herbal support to help soothe your frayed nerves. Studies have shown that adaptogenic ashwagandha helps your body adjust to stress with regular use, and you can find it in Curious No. 3 and both of Parch’s non-alcoholic agave based cocktails. (If you are pregnant or nursing, ashwagandha may not be an option for you. In general, you should always consult with a doctor before consuming anything with functional ingredients.)
Get in Shape
Motivating yourself to hit the gym when your alarm goes off is hard enough without a hangover. When your head is pounding and all you want is to eat the greasiest diner breakfast before crawling back into bed for the rest of the day, it can feel downright impossible. If you're more of an evening exerciser, you'll want to skip those happy hour martinis so you don't risk injuring yourself or someone else.
For a great pre-workout happy hour, try a non-alcoholic cocktail containing rhodiola. One of the most studied adaptogens, rhodiola has been shown to improve physical stamina and increase focus, without the shakes and crashes of a high caffeine energy drink. You can find rhodiola in the lightly sparkling Negroni flavor of Curious No. 1, as well as Kin Euphorics' High Rhode and ready-to-drink Kin Spritz.
Turmeric is a good post-workout ingredient, as it reduces inflammation for quicker muscle recovery. Kin Euphorics Actual Sunshine has turmeric, as well as a small amount of caffeine from Coffeeberry, making it a well rounded drink that will give you a boost of energy before your workout, and help soothe your muscles after. Curious No. 4 also contains turmeric for a delicious, Amalfi-spritz style treat without the caffeine.
While it’s true that drinking too much it will knock you out, alcohol's reputation as a sleep-aid is completely undeserved. Alcohol-induced sleep tends to be lower quality, less restorative, and usually only lasts about 4 hours, after which it may be difficult to get back to sleep. It’s no surprise that one of the primary benefits Dry January participants report is better sleep.
Valerian root is a much safer and effective option if you struggle with insomnia. A potent soporific (sleep aid), with none of the rebound effects of sleeping pills, over the counter sleep aids, or melatonin supplements, valerian root in the cozy ginger and vanilla flavored Three Spirit Nightcap.
Given the proliferation of “dating without drinking” articles offering advice, it's clear that the whole prospect can be terrifying. While alcohol lowers inhibitions which can help with first date nerves, drinking and dating can also backfire and lead us to say or do things we'll regret the next morning (or worse).
While there’s little research to back up its lovey-dovey reputation, damiana leaf has long been used in folk medicine as an aphrodisiac and to reduce social anxiety. My entirely unscientific personal experience is that damiana makes me feel more relaxed and a bit flirty, without clouding my judgment. You can find damiana in both Curious No. 2, a ginger spiked pineapple Margarita/Dark 'n' Stormy hybrid, and Three Spirit Social Elixir, a spicy, gingery amaro style spirit.
This is the year that you will finally write that novel, start that business, or just recenter what’s most important to you and stop being pulled in a thousand different directions. If getting focused is your resolution, caffeine is your best ally as long as it comes paired with L-theanine.
A naturally occurring amino acid that promotes relaxation without sleepiness, L-theanine has been shown to improve alertness and focus when combined with caffeine. L-theanine smoothes out the energy spikes and drops normally associated with caffeine, which means more time in flow, less time wondering if your resting heart rate should be that high.
For this powerhouse duo, try Aplós Arise, which combines L-theanine with guarana, a South American berry with a concentration of caffeine similar to coffee. Three Spirit has two offerings that combine L-theanine with green tea and guayasa, both sources of caffeine: Livener, a spicy watermelon-pomegranate-Margarita-like cocktail, and Spark, a sparkling rosé alternative.
To achieve your New Year, New You goals, try extending your Dry January into February and beyond… and if you didn’t do Dry January at all, that’s OK, too! Whatever your resolution, quitting or reducing booze can help you reach it in 2023.