Dry January is upon us.
For some mindful drinkers, it's just another month without alcohol. But, for a growing part of the drinking population, Dry January is a monthlong challenge to abstain from booze.
Booze giant Diageo says 25% of Americans are going to participate in Dry January this year. In the UK, where Dry January started, a record 6.5 million adults are swearing off booze for the month.
As Dry January is growing in popularity, we're also seeing tons of new offerings for non-alcoholic products like beer, wine and spirits. And without a guide to help you sift through all of the different brands and their offerings, you may end up with some bland - or worse, bad - drinks for your Dry January challenge.
With that in mind, The Zero Proof created this easy-to-use guide to share some of our favorite non-alc products.
Whether you're exploring booze-free options just for the month of January, or this is your thing all year long, here's everything you should be drinking for Dry January 2021...If You Like Beer:
You're in luck. Non-Alcoholic beer is the largest sector in non-alc. It's been around the longest, and it's growing like crazy. To give you an idea of how big things could get, Heineken predicts 10% of its revenue will come from non-alcoholic beer in the coming years.
Heineken 0.0 - This is the best, mainstream non-alcoholic beer out there. It tastes very close to regular Heineken and you can find it in most grocery stores and liquor stores. If you want an easy option for NA beer for your fridge, this is it.
Athletic Brewing - Athletic Brewing makes our favorite non-alcoholic beer, period. They have a proprietary brewing method that produces an amazing beer flavor without the alcohol. We love the Upside Dawn Golden Ale and the Run Wild IPA. Athletic is also doing some very cool single-hop releases you can try if you're quick to purchase (they always sell out).
Partake IPA - The Partake IPA doesn't have as much body as Athletic Brewing. But it packs some serious flavor for only having 10 calories per can. You get some classic hops and it's very crisp. Check it out here.If You like Red Wine:
The non-alcoholic red wine category still has room for improvement, and to be honest, we haven't found one we fully endorse (if we're missing anything delicious out there, please change our minds!). But if you're jonesing for a non-alcoholic red wine for Dry January 2021, here are a few options to help you for the time being.
Brooklyn Sorrel - A black-owned business that churns out a unique and historic drink from the Caribbean. This Sorrel is sweet, spicy and complex. It pairs well with cheeses and game. Grab a few from their site.
Jörg Geiger Inspiration 10 or Cuvee 7 - These products are of the highest craftsmanship and we fully endorse grabbing a bottle or two from their importer, DelMosa.If You Like White Wine or Rosé:
Perlant from Eric Bordelet - This sommelier-made cider is unique, semi-sweet and delicious. It's tough to find, but there were a few bottles here last we checked. Perlant is also one of the favorite non-alc options for the Michelin-starred Trois Mec restaurant in Los Angeles.
Proteau Rivington Spritz - Proteau's second offering, the Rivington Spritz, isn't technically a non-alc wine. It's a sparkling botanical drink. You get some interesting bitter notes from gentian root and rhubarb, floral notes and a slight sweetness from strawberry. It's a complex drink that's quite adult.
Petite Rosé from Wolffer - This is a non-alcoholic offering from New York state's most popular rosé producer, which will be enough for most folks reading this. And they come in cute, 12 oz. bottles.Some Bubbles for Toasting:
Just because you're not drinking booze, doesn't mean you don't want some champagne!
Jörg Geiger Birnenschaumwein - A wonderful sparkling option made from specially grown pears. Dry with exquisite bubbles. Simply put, one of the best sparkling options out there. Grab a bottle here.
Töst - Töst is affordable, surprisingly well-balanced and not too sweet. It's also easy to find (Whole Foods and Fresh Market carry them) or you can shop online here.
Noughty AF - Noughty is a new entrant to the US, non-alcoholic sparkling market. It's made from 100% organic Chardonnay grapes and has the classic bready notes you'd expect from a sparkling. Of the three, this is the closest to the real thing.
Oddbird - We love this non-alcoholic sparkling wine from Sweden. But it's unfortunately not yet available in the U.S. But we keep writing about it with the hope that it will speed things along. You can read our review of Oddbird here.If You Like Margaritas:
Ritual Zero Proof Tequila Alternative - This non-alcoholic tequila was made for mixing margaritas. You get some serious spice and wood notes. Just use it 1:1 in your favorite margarita recipe. You can pick up a bottle here.If You like Single Malt Scotch:
This is a tough one. And any real single malt drinkers would likely take offense to us even offering up alternatives to the real thing. But there are a few drinks that may scratch the itch for Dry January...
For Bitter For Worse Smokey No. 56 - FBFW's Smokey No. 56 is a non-alcoholic whiskey cocktail in a bottle. It's bitter and smokey with hints of fig and maple syrup. You simply crack the bottle and pour over ice for a tasty non-alc cocktail. You can try a bottle here.
Three Spirit Nightcap - This non-alcoholic spirit is spicy, woody and herbaceous. Nightcap also has adaptogenic herbs like valerian root and ashwagandha that help you destress and unwind.
Gnista Barreled Oak - Sweden's Gnista is one of our favorite non-alcoholic spirits, period. It's bitter, complex and full of flavor. With each sip, you'll get smoke, spice and a pleasant bitterness... you'll also get some salted chocolate. Barreled Oak packs enough to punch to enjoy on its own with ice and mixed in other non-alcoholic cocktails. Unfortunately Gnista isn't available stateside yet. But it should arrive to The Zero Proof's Bottle Shop in early 2021.If You Like Gin:
You're in luck. There are a handful of excellent gin alternatives available on the market. We'd suggest checking out:
Monday Gin - This non-alcoholic gin is distilled in California. In addition to one of the most beautiful bottles, it also makes one of the best G&Ts. You can get a bottle here.
Ritual Zero Proof Gin Alternative - Ritual's Gin Alternative is mellower than Monday, with some pleasant citrus, mint and herbal notes. It's also got a nice, spicy kick. Check it out here.
Lyre's Dry London Spirit - Lyre's is an Australian brand with an impressive stable of non-alcoholic spirits (13 in all). And its Dry London Spirit (aka gin) is one of the company's most popular. This spirit has strong notes of citrus, juniper and pepper. And goes swimmingly with some Fever Tree Tonic. You can pick up a bottle here.
For any of these gins, use 1:1 as a gin replacement and mix with Fever Tree Tonic for a refreshing G&T.If You Need a Dry January Bloody Mary:
Even when you're off the sauce, you still want a delicious Bloody Mary at brunch. And we've made and tasted a bunch of these non-alcoholic staples.
We'd recommend using Seedlip Garden 108 as a base. It adds some nice vegetal and herbal notes that go perfectly with your favorite Bloody Mary mix.
And while we're on the topic, for mixes, may we recommend Charleston Mix or Sister's Sauce (which we also enjoy on its own for an even easier non-alc Bloody).If You're Bitter:
Negroni drinkers rejoice! A handful of non-alcoholic companies are expertly incorporating bitter flavors into their drinks, so you can enjoy a top-notch non-alc negroni or spritz.
Curious Elixirs No. 1 - If you want to keep things simple, Curious Elixir's No. 1 is a ready-to-drink, non-alc negroni in a bottle. It's bitter. It's herbal. And it will appease any negroni drinker. You can try a bottle here.
Lyre's Negroni Kit - If you fancy yourself a mixologist, Lyre's offers everything you'll need to make an excellent non-alcoholic negroni at home in their Negroni Set. It includes full-sized bottles of Lyre's Dry London Spirit, Apéritif Rosso and Italian Orange (gin, vermouth and Campari).
For Bitter For Worse The Saskatoon - The Saskatoon is bitter, herbaceous and delicious. This non-alcoholic cocktail is made with foraged Douglas fir tips, Saskatoon berries and bitter botanicals. It's like a non-alcoholic Negroni in a bottle (even the color is spot on!). Get some here.
Ghia - Ghia makes one of the tastiest non-alcoholic apéritifs out there. It's super bitter with notes of fig, yuzu and citrus. Just pour over ice and add some tonic water for a delicious, bitter drink. Find Ghia here.
This list is by no means exhaustive, so get out there and explore as many of the exciting, non-alcoholic options as you can this month. If you're new to Dry January, our best wishes to you for the month. And we hope this list serves as a good starting point to finding excellent non-alcoholic options to please your palate.