Thomson & Scott
- Dry January is almost upon us, and people around the world are gearing up for a booze-free month.
- The non-alcoholic beverage market is booming, with sales up 7% to become a $11 billion market in 2022.
- Here are some of our favorite booze-free options to enjoy all month long, and beyond.
As 2023 fast approaches, it’s time to store the six-packs and ditch the cocktails — Dry January is almost here.
Whether it’s your first experience with a sober month or a long-held annual tradition, abstaining from alcohol for 31 days not only tests your willpower, but also can improve your health, save money, and help revamp your relationship with booze.
And thanks to an explosion of the “sober curious” market in recent years — sales of non-alcoholic drinks increased 7% in 2022 to become an $11 billion market — there are now a variety of booze-free drinks to choose from, including imitations of the real deal or unique concoctions.
As I prepare for my fourth Dry January, here are some of the drinks I plan to stock this year:
Athletic Brewing controls 45% of the non-alcoholic craft beer market.
The non-alcoholic beer market grew by 20% in 2022, an uptick largely driven by industry leader Athletic Brewing, which currently holds 55% of the market share, according to Nielsen data. In November, Keurig Dr Pepper invested $50 million in the market leading brand, which is dominating sales for good reason — it’s one of the first non-alcoholic beers that actually tastes like beer.
When Insider’s Avery Hartmans spent a month this year abstaining from alcohol and drinking Athletic Brewing beers, she was impressed with Free Wave, which “tasted pretty close to a normal IPA” with “a foamy head, a nice golden color, and that telltale hoppy aroma.”
Athletic Brewing CEO Bill Shufelt told Hartmans the company’s core consumer is a growing number of “flex sober” drinkers — individuals who still occasionally drink socially, but are increasingly choosing alcohol-free substitutes for a healthier lifestyle.
All in all, a great option for beer lovers jonesing for a hoppy non-alcoholic brew this January. A six-pack costs around $13.99, on average.
Lagunitas Hoppy Refresher
Spiked seltzer enthusiasts, this one’s for you. Lagunitas describes its non-alcoholic Hoppy Refresher as “a zippy and zingy highly carbonated dry-hopped sparkling water” that includes “a pinch of brewer’s yeast to biotransformate the hops.”
The company offers bubblegum, lime, lemon, tangerine, and pine flavors and is expected to expand options in the coming months.
In addition to containing zero alcohol, it also has zero calories, zero carbohydrates, and zero gluten, making it a health-conscious option as well. The fizzy beverage has become a fan favorite on social media, with several TikTok posts dedicated to the drink. A four-pack retails for $5.99.
Psychedelic Water is currently available in two flavors: hibiscus lime and blackberry yuzu.
If you’re going for more of a “Cali sober” approach this Dry January, Psychedelic Water can give you a bit of an alternative buzz, sans alcohol. The kava-based seltzer exploded in popularity this year, going viral on TikTok for its relaxing effects.
Despite the name, the drink does not include LSD or psilocybin. Instead it’s made with kava root — along with damiana leaves and green-tea extract — to help reduce anxiety, boost energy, and help with relaxation, all at once.
Insider’s Hannah Towey tested the drink earlier this year, and found it was a “great way to decompress from stress or relieve social anxiety, with the added benefit of avoiding a hangover.” And with flavors like prickly pear, hibiscus lime, and oolong and orange blossom, they’re also enjoyable to drink. A four-pack goes for $24.
Cann Social Tonic
If you live in a state that’s legalized marijuana, Cann Social Tonic — a sparking beverage infused with low doses of THC and CBD — can be a nice alternative to alcohol. The company describes its Social Tonic as “drinkable, delicious cannabis that’s as bubbly, refreshing, and sociable as your favorite cocktail, but hold the booze — and the hangover.”
Its classic cans have a blend of 2mg of THC and 4mg of CBD, intended to create “a relaxing-yet-sociable buzz,” and it comes in fun flavors like grapefruit rosemary, lemon lavender, yuzu elderflower, and blood orange cardamom. Cann retails for $24 per six-pack.
St. Agrestis Phony Negroni
For the moments when you just really want a cocktail, there are now plenty of prepared mocktails to help you kick the craving and avoid having to get too crafty in the kitchen.
One solid option is St. Agrestis’s Phony Negroni, which in addition to having an incredible name, was described in the New York Times as “so well balanced and delicious that it bowled us over” with a taste that is “startlingly close to an alcoholic Negroni.” You can get a 12-pack on the St. Agrestis website for $60.
Sounds like it would make Stanley Tucci proud.
GT’s Synergy Kombucha
GT’s Living Foods
Made with real fruit juices and purees, GT’s Kombucha is a fresh and tasty alternative to booze. Each kombucha is fermented for 30 days with kiwi juice, and contains 9 billion living probiotics that help with “improved digestion, sustained energy, and holistic physical and mental wellbeing,” according to the brand.
You can find GT at most grocery and health food stores, and an individual bottle typically retails for between $4 and $5.
It’s worth nothing, however, that as a result of the fermentation process, kombucha does contain small trace amounts of alcohol. Though it is not classified as an alcoholic beverage, strict Dry January followers and pregnant individuals may opt to stay away.
Noughty Alcohol-Free Sparkling Rosé
Thomson & Scott
For those who still want to “rosé all day,” Thomson & Scott’s Noughty Rosé can help you maintain that pink lifestyle sans booze. The top-rated, non-alcoholic wine is made with organic Spanish grapes that are “fermented in stainless steel before being dealcoholized through vacuum distillation,” according to the company.
“Aromas are recovered and, after a short maceration, the wine is lightly carbonated and bottled,” Thomson & Scott said. It retails for $22.
Personally, I’ve realized much of the appeal of cracking open a beer or sipping a glass of rosé at the end of a long day is actually just the bubbles. If, like me, you’re looking for a bit of chilled effervescence, you can’t go wrong with a simple, yet classic, seltzer or soda. Plus, it’s cheap — a 12-pack typically costs around $5.
If you’re feeling crafty you can even mix flavors and add a bit of fresh fruit to create your own mocktail. I’m not that imaginative, so my go-to is typically a LaCroix (tangerine flavor is my favorite).