Have you heard of or participated in Dry January before? Many have heard the term but are unclear of its origins and what it means. In recent years, there has been an increasingly popular trend to partake in “Dry January.”
Essentially, it means to refrain from consuming alcoholic beverages for the first month of the year.
There are many reasons why an individual may choose to abstain from alcohol. One popular reason is to *reset* after the holiday season that is typically pretty booze-heavy because of gatherings and holiday parties (although this past year has been ANYTHING but typical).
I like participating because I find it lots of fun! It’s a wonderful way to get creative with zero proof drinks and really explore different flavor profiles. I wanted to share a couple of my favorite zero proof alternatives because even if you aren’t participating in Dry January, you never know when you’ll want a fancy drink in the middle of a workday, amirite?
It’s also great to have options on hand if you know of someone who is sober or can’t have alcohol for whatever reason – fancy and nuanced beverages for all!
Best Zero Proof Alternatives for Dry January and Beyond
This bourbon-alternative carries generous aromas of honey, sweet spice, and charred cedar oak. Has hints of vanilla and toasted nuts with herbal notes, which makes it a formidable zero proof substitute for your traditional bourbon!
If you're a fan of the gin and its aromatic blend of juniper, botanicals, citrus, and spices, you will LOVE MONDAY Zero Alcohol Gin! It provides you with that same flavor profile, plus the benefit of having no alcohol. It's great served neat or mixed with your favorite ginger beer or tonic.
Before COVID-19, I remember many of the bars and restaurants I would frequent in DC would offer a zero-proof cocktail or two using Seedlip zero proof spirits as their base. I loved trying them out, and 9 times out of ten, I couldn't tell the difference between the zero proof and its alcoholic version! These would make a wonderful addition to any at-home bar!
I'm someone who really loves the taste of margaritas. The smokiness of the tequila, the tart freshness of the lime, and the salty rim really do it for me.
My only issue with traditional margaritas is that I can only enjoy one or two before I start feeling a bit tipsy. This is great in most instances, but I really love that I now have the option of having a whole dang pitcher and still be able to check off some things on my to-do list during a weekday!
Curious Elixirs are ready-made, zero-proof cocktails! They even have a Curious Cocktail club, where you get monthly shipments of an assortment of their offerings! Perfect for those who enjoy cocktails but don't like making them.
Tinley's Tonics is a non-alcoholic, cannabis-infused mixed beverage. This is a great option for those that want to cut down on drinking but still want to mellow out with the help of cannabis. They come in a variety of different flavors, too!
Mayra Mejia (She/Her) is a fat-positive, queer Salvadoran-American editor, writer, activist, and content creator. Passionate about fostering strong and inclusive body positive spaces, she founded PLUSH DMV, a DC-based fat-positive community.