Over the last several years, “Dry January” has become an increasingly popular trend for folks wanting to start the year with a 31-day break from alcohol. Aside from the many health benefits, some simply see this as a test of willpower.
In January 2023, I did a 30-day booze break of my own. After a few days, it’s surprising how simple grabbing a LaCroix or N/A beer can become, in lieu of the real thing. Granted, having a ribeye at Steakhouse 316 is not quite the same without a glass of Burgundy, but it is possible.
Back in mid-September, I decided to take another 30-day alcohol break so that I could be sharp in closing out the business year. After four weeks, my productivity at work, patience with my kids and sleep quality were so improved that I kept it rolling. One month became two months, and the list of pros vs. cons was very lopsided. I’m not swearing off alcohol altogether, (I did enjoy some Elijah Craig 18-Year Bourbon over Thanksgiving with my brothers-in-law) but this most recent hiatus has shown me a lot in regard to the physical and mental health benefits of keeping things in check.
Everyone has their own journey, and the purpose of this story is to show some alternatives, so here we go!
Untitled Art N/A Italian Pilsner is a crisp and refreshing brew that won’t have you feeling like you just slammed a Kombucha. An Italian Pilsner is a hoppier version of your standard Pilsner. My buddies and I love this brew! According to Untitled Art’s website, they use membrane filtration technology which allows them to brew fully-fermented beer and gently remove the alcohol, without losing the aromas and flavors of your favorite styles. All flavor, no alcohol!
While they are a Wisconsin brewery, they are available at most of the larger liquor stores in the area.
My runner-up for the non-alcoholic beer category would probably be Colorado’s very own, Coors Edge. No frills and easy on the wallet.
Cover your eyes, Brett Zimmerman! Luminara Red Blend is the first ever exquisitely crafted “alcohol removed” wine made from fruit grown in the prized Napa Valley region. I first tried this wine while dining at the Flagstaff House, and was genuinely impressed that there truly was oak on the palette, and it didn’t simply taste like over-priced grape juice.
Whether enjoying with a meal or if you simply don’t want to drink a cold N/A beer, the Luminara Red Blend is a great substitute.
Japango shared with us one of their most popular mocktails, the Temperate Tori. The Temperate Tori is their N/A take on a Jungle Bird, a "boozy" classic tiki cocktail, which makes it fun and exciting to create as it is quite representative of the original. Made with Lyre's Non-Alcoholic Cane Syrup, Lyre's Non-Alcoholic Italian Bitter Liqueur, pineapple, fresh lime and rosemary-hibiscus cordial, the Temperate Tori is the perfect, refreshing mocktail to sip on.
1 oz. N/A Rum
.5 oz. N/A Italian Aperitif
.75 oz. pineapple juice
.75 oz. fresh lime
.25 oz. rosemary-hibiscus cordial
For the cordial:
Steep dried hibiscus flowers, or hibiscus tea, and a sprig of rosemary in a cup of boiling water for 5 minutes. Strain and mix in 1 cup of sugar. Let cool.
Shake and serve on the rocks with a mint sprig and lemon wheel garnish.