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The new year is upon us and so is Dry January, a month-long pledge to abstain from alcoholic beverages in a bid to limit overindulgence. To assist with the quest of going 30 days without the hard stuff, we’re featuring a number of spirit-free options to aid you in the journey.

The Dry January concept has roots dating back to 1942 but its official start began in 2013, according to the group Alcohol Change UK. The concepts and practices are rather self-explanatory. Participants are expected to abstain from drinking for the entire month and find other ways to relax at the end of a long work week and support others in their sobriety efforts.

Even though I cover spirits, wines, and beer here at Spirit.Ed, I don’t drink as often as one might imagine. I take weeks and even months-long breaks from drinking just to keep my mind and body in sync. So this coverage is coming just in time for someone like me who enjoys covering all aspects of the adult beverage industry. Below, we’re featuring a handful of companies that provide the option of ditching alcohol but not the idea of craft cocktails. Those who don’t imbibe deserve a tasty beverage just like the rest of us.

Keep reading below.

Optimist Botanicals

This is the first alcohol-free spirit I was made aware of back in 2021. Inspired by the varied environments of the West Coast, and Los Angeles in particular, Optimist employs an array of familiar botanicals sans booze that will hold up on its own over the rocks or as the base for a fancy mocktail. The Bright expression mirrors vodka while Fresh is tailored after gin, and Smokey is the company’s take on tequila.

For more information or cocktail recipes, click here.


Dry January Roundup 2023

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This new offering from Molson Coors just launched today (Jan. 10) and we’ve had the pleasure of sampling the ready-to-drink cocktail over the rocks. We really enjoyed the Forbidden Pineapple but the Ripe With Passionfruit and Lost In Mango offerings are just as refreshing. While making mocktails is a lot of fun, Roxie handles the light work so you can enjoy your sips.

For more information, click here.

Dhōs Spirits

We haven’t sampled Dhōs Spirits yet but will definitely be doing so soon. We’re intrigued by the brand’s range featuring Gin-free (self-explanatory), Bittersweet (think bitters), and Orange expressions.

For more information or cocktail recipes, click here.

De Soi

Just as we’ve seen in the vast world of adult beverages, celebrity-endorsed or created products are to be expected in this growing category as well. Katy Perry is one of the minds behind De Soi alongside Morgan McLachlan, offering alcohol-free apéritifs with added adaptogen to help with the stresses of the day without the threat of a nasty hangover. We haven’t tried this one yet but hope to soon.

For more information or cocktail recipes, click here.

Free AF

Free AF is another alcohol-free ready-to-drink mocktail in a can that has four unique takes on classic cocktails like the Cuba Libre, the Aperol Spritz, and the Paloma. We’ve yet to try these out but will be receiving a sample soon. As a note, Free AF is the top-selling alcohol-free beverage brand in New Zealand where it was founded.

*Update: We’ve had them and we love them!!

For more information, click here.

Sierra Nevada Brewing Company Hop Splash

Dry January Roundup 2023

Source: Various / Various

I’ve had a number of alcohol-free beers over the years and I’m a huge fan of the hoppy flavors that Sierra Nevada Brewing Company specializes in. I’ll soon be trying out their Hop Splash booze-free beer, which combines the fresh taste of Citra and Amarillo hops.

For more information, click here.

Karl’s Dry Jan “Gin” Cocktail

Uncle Waithley's Vincy Brew Dry January Gin Cocktail

Karl Franz Williams is a notable mixologist and entrepreneur who owns and operates Harlem’s 67 Orange Street bar and the Anchor Spa in New Haven, Conn. Williams is also the owner of a new ginger beer brand, Uncle Waithley’s Vincy Brew, which makes up part of Karl’s Dry Jan “Gin” Cocktail. We haven’t tried out this drink or the ginger just yet, but the recipe is below. We can’t wait to try it ourselves.

– 1 oz fresh squeezed lemon juice

– 1 oz orange blossom honey syrup

– 4 dashes Hella Bitters Eucalyptus Bitters

– 4 drops Rice Vinegar

– Small sprig of Rosemary

– 3 to 4 ounces Uncle Waithley’s Vincy Brew

– Sage

Directions: Shake all ingredients except Uncle Waithley’s Vincy Brew and Sage. Strain in rocks glass with ice. Finish with Uncle Waithley’s. Garnish with Sage.

Orange Blossom Honey Syrup is a 1:1 blend of honey to water, orange Blossoms water to taste, and orange oil from orange peels. Use the same concept as making simple syrup using one part sugar and one part water as the ratio dictates.

To learn more about Uncle Waithley’s Vincy Brew, click here.

Photo: Getty