Giving Dry A Try: Tips for Sailing Through Dry January

Hello Dry January! We asked Sarah Kate, Canada’s sober sommelier, alcohol-free drinks expert and editor of SomeGoodCleanFun to give us some tips to get through the month.  Oh and she also creates some delicious spirit-free cocktail recipes and alcohol-free product reviews, check her out at @somegoodcleanfun.

According to a recent poll almost 40% of North Americans are going to be trying “Dry January” this year, so if you’re contemplating taking a break from drinks in the new year you’re definitely not alone. There are lots of reasons to give dry a try, whether you drink a lot or only a little. Research has shown that even a month off imbibing has lasting health impacts throughout the year – plus non-alcoholic drink innovation is increasing at an astronomical rate, which makes it easier and more palatable to sustain a long winter stretch without the booze.

As a non-drinker, there are lots of strategies to help you surf the urge without having to white knuckle it through social situations or even moments relaxing at home.

The most important aspect of thriving during Dry January is having something else ‘grown up’ to drink. This helps you feel included, and less like the lone person not drinking plus it keeps something in your hand to reinforce the physical aspect of enjoying a drink. Keep cans of non-alcoholic beer or bottles of non-alcoholic wine chilled in your fridge. If you’re going out to a party bring drinks along so you have something to fall back on. Invest in some fun barware and learn how to mix spirit-free cocktails. Invest in Dry January like it’s a project and you’ll be more likely to succeed.

Although there is still a bit of a stigma around non-alcoholic drinks, innovation and demand has pushed the boundaries of what’s possible in this space and the curious consumer will find hundreds of new options that are a far cry from grandad’s O’Douls six-pack.

Premium craft beer like Athletic Brewing, Libra and Harmon’s can now be found in grocery stores across the country, and if you’re not a beer fan, Gruvi Red Blend is a juicy and bodacious canned non-alcoholic red wine available at Loblaws.

When it comes to wine, online retailers like, and carry dozens of brands of alcoholic-free wines for the uninitiated to try. If you like Sauvignon Blanc, you’ll love the low-sugar alcohol-free Brochet Zero from a winery in France. If you like Spanish reds, you’ll love the Edenvale non-alcoholic Tempranillo Cabernet Sauvignon from Spain.

Before you buy anything, you can always read my reviews at to find something that appeals to you, because now there is literally something for everyone.

And if you’re interested in making mocktails with real zero-proof bourbon, gin or tequila, there are tons of options for both products and recipes. Playing around with alcohol-free cocktails is fun, messy, rewarding and oh so tasty!

If you are going out for an evening, be the social coordinator and find a destination for you and your family or friends to go that you know will have a good mocktail menu. Most restaurants don’t use non-alcoholic spirits or offer quality non-alcoholic beer options (most do not even have non-alcoholic wine on the menu yet) but there are more and more restaurants that do, so a little research is required to find those gems.

Finding the joy in Dry January is ultimately about shifting your mindset. For a lot of women, reaching for a glass of wine at 5pm after a long day in order to ‘survive’ dinner hour and bedtime routines with kids becomes a habit that is really hard to break. So be kind to yourself, and prompt yourself daily to remember the positive aspects of reducing alcohol – such as: glowing skin, better sleep, waking up without a foggy head, higher motivation and energy. And the list goes on and on.

Dry January isn’t about missing out on something you can’t have, rather it’s about gaining something new, and finding time, space and joy where it didn’t exist before. So let’s cheers to that (with our glass of non-alcoholic sparkling wine!) and let the new year, and new you, begin!

For more non-alcoholic lifestyle content, visit 

About Sarah Kate Based out of Toronto, Sarah Kate launched Some Good Clean Fun in April 2021 after noticing a lack of expertise, reviews and information about non-alcoholic drinks in Canada. The online publication has thousands of page views a month, and a team of contributors amplifying non-alcoholic drinks and their role in health and wellness.

Sarah Kate is a public speaker and on-air expert and has been featured on shows such as CTV’s The Social, CTV’s Morning Live, Global News Toronto and more. Both the Globe and Mail and Toronto Life recently featured Sarah Kate as a sober sommelier changing the conversation about what to drink when you’re sober curious or not-drinking.

In June 2023, Sarah Kate was invited to participate as a global judge in the International Wine & Spirits Competition Alternative Drinks competition in London, UK.

More on Dry January here.

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