Top 10 Dry January initiatives 2023By Georgie Collins
From events to campaigns, menus to at-home serves, if you’re cutting back on the hard stuff for Dry January, these 10 initiatives should make it a bit easier.
Whether you’re looking to improve your at-home alcohol-free cocktail game, or want to hit the bars in January without hitting the booze, there are numerous venues and brands waiting to make Dry January a month you won’t want to wish away in a hurry.
With one in six UK drinkers looking to abstain from alcohol in January, keep scrolling to find out the best ways to make it a reality.
Maya’s non-alcoholic pop-up cocktail bar
January will see the opening of Maya’s, London’s ‘first’ non-alcoholic cocktail bar, that should make things a little easier for locals looking to swerve the booze in January without missing a beat on their social calendar.
Nestled in the heart of Shoreditch, Maya’s will run from Thursday to Saturday for three weeks, starting 12 January. The bar will host a series of pop ups throughout 2023 before pursuing a permanent spot.
Expect a menu of expertly replicated classic cocktails, along with a selection of non-alcoholic wines and beers.
Macellaio RC mocktail masterclass
If you want to know how to get the best out of the non-alcoholic ‘spirits’ in your home bar, London-based Italian restaurant, Macellaio RC, will be hosting a mocktail masterclass in January.
Lead by bar manager Samuele Lombardi, the mocktail masterclass will teach guests how to create delicious non-alcoholic cocktails using Seedlip Grove.
Guests will walk away with all the skills and knowledge to create three cocktails: the Red From The Roots, made with beetroot and Persimmon; Hidden Garden, made from aloe vera and passionfruit; and Inner Beauty, made with dragon fruit and chia seeds.
Taking place in the Soho restaurant, guests can enjoy their mocktails alongside a three-course dinner, all for £75 a person.
Low-ABV menu at Seed Library
Rather than suggesting you cut back all together, Crossip is actually asking you to moderate your drinking in January, which is pretty bold for a non-alcoholic ‘spirit’ brand – and we like that.
The brand’s Defy January campaign is championing low-ABV over zero-ABV in January, in a bid to shine a light on the often over-looked category of moderated imbibing. It’s all manifesting itself in a limited edition menu in partnership with online retailer Drinks Distilled at east London’s Seed Library, which will encourage drinkers to explore both lower-ABV and non-alcoholic Crossip serves, inspired by the bar’s sustainable and seasonal approach to cocktail creation.
Guests who book in to experience the menu will receive a complimentary mini Drinks Distilled x Crossip x Seed Library Surplus Cobbler cocktail set, while those who want to moderate their drinking at home can also purchase the kit directly from the Drinks Distilled website. The kit will be available from 11th January, priced at £65 (US$78).
Caleño’s Tropical Tales at Mr Fogg’s
In the business of around-the-world adventures, Mr Fogg’s is taking non-booze drinkers to South America this January with a colourful collaboration with Columbian non-alcoholic ‘spirits’ brand Caleño.
The partnership sees a limited edition menu featuring a riff on a classic Espresso Martini, known as A Robusta Distillation, and a lavender-based Daiquiri-style serve called Botany Beauty.
With cocktails priced from £10 (US$12) each, guests can discover a taste of the tropics whilst taking in the surroundings of Mr Fogg’s London bars, including Mr Fogg’s Residence and Mr Fogg’s Apothecary in Mayfair, Mr Fogg’s Society of Exploration, Mr Fogg’s Tavern and Mr Fogg’s Gin Parlour in Covent Garden and Mr Fogg’s House of Botanicals in Fitzrovia.
Lyre’s UK-wide activations
Is there anything Lyre’s isn’t doing in January?
Not only is the non-alcoholic ‘spirits’ brand giving away 10,000 cocktails in bars across the UK, and an additional 10,000 bottles to those that sign up to Dry January on the Try Dry app, but its also hosting a pop-up retail space at Bluewater shopping centre until early January, and has collaborated with bars across the UK to create non-alcoholic cocktail menus that guests can enjoy throughout the month.
The Lyre’s portfolio boasts a selection of 16 premium spirits, five ready-to-drink cans and its Italian sparkling ‘wine’. The Lyre’s Dry January menus will make the most of many of these ‘spirits’, and will be available to enjoy at all of The Ivy venues across the UK; in all Pitcher & Piano bars, and across all of The Alchemist bars.
Everleaf’s Try January campaign
Everyone’s broke in January, so to coax you out of hibernation after the New Year festivities, non-alcoholic apéritif brand Everleaf has launched a campaign to make January ‘a little easier’, by offering to pay for your drinks.
The Try January campaign is giving you the option to claim back the cost of your Everleaf cocktail in a number of UK bars, including the acclaimed Connaught bar, Happiness Forgets and Birmingham’s The Golden Pineapple.
The full list of participating bars, as well as instructions on how to claim back the cost of your serve, can be found on the Everleaf website.
Club Soda x Bird at the Bar
London’s West End has its own alcohol-free off-license, complete with an alcohol-free tasting bar, and this January it will play host to Rebecca Bird, AKA Bird at the Bar, who will guide guests through making three perfectly balanced, delicious non-alcoholic cocktails.
Each £60 ticket will include a welcome drink, three sustainable booze-free serves, all the essential tips and flavourings you need to create perfect serves at home; a guided tour through creating sustainable drinks using locally sourced and foraged ingredients; and 10% off in the Tasting Room shop.
The London Alcohol-Free Comedy Club
January isn’t often a laughing matter, but this month the Backyard Comedy Club in Bethnal Green, east London, will be hosting a Dry January Special on the 22nd of the month.
Whether you’re living that sober life full time, on hiatus from the hard stuff or just want an afternoon of laughs without the risk of a hangover, this event featuring comedians such as Impractical Jokers star Paul McCaffrey, Comedy Store regular Maureen Younger, and Mock the Week’s Dave Chawner, will hit the spot.
Clean Co x Sober & Social – A Night Less Wasted
Let’s face it, none of us had Made in Chelsea party boy Spencer Matthews on our ‘celebs most likely to launch a non-alcoholic ‘spirit’ brand’ bingo card, but Clean Co has been going from strength to strength since it debuted in 2019. With booze-free alternatives to gin, Tequila, rum and whisky, the possibilities for non-alcoholic cocktails are almost endless.
On the 21 January, the reality TV star is hosting an event with hangover-free lifestyle brand Sober & Social called A Night Less Wasted. Held at one of London’s most ‘exclusive’ nightclubs, the evening will feature DJ Fat Tony on the decks, alongside a series of ‘scandalous and shocking’ shows that will make it an unmissable night. Cocktails will, of course, be made using the Clean Co range.
“There is a stigma that you have to drink alcohol to have fun… Our aim with this party is to begin to change that,” commented Matthews. “A great night out doesn’t depend on the presence of alcohol. In fact, sometimes the most memorable, exciting and high tempo evenings are the ones where we let go of the pressure to drink and simply embrace the moment with good friends and a clear mind.”
Whistlepig x Sunkist RTD
Vermont-based distillers Whistlepig are putting a ‘peel-good’ twist on Dry January with the launch of two very different ready-to-drink cocktails – one for when you’re on the wagon, and one for when you’re off it, with 100% of proceeds benefiting bartenders across the US who suffer from little bar traffic during the Dry January drought.
Crafted with Whistlepig 100% rye non-whiskey, barrel-aged maple syrup and Sunkist orange essence, the Dry Orange Fashioned offers the well-balanced flavours of a classic Old Fashioned cocktail, without the hard stuff.
Bottled at 0.5% ABV, the serve includes 10% of your daily value of vitamin C so you can stave off scurvy with fewer orange-garnished Old Fashioneds during Dry January.
Meanwhile, the 35% ABV ‘wet’ counterpart is crafted with the same ingredients, but swaps out the non-whiskey with the real deal – Whistlepig Piggyback 100% rye whiskey – to enjoy post-January. If you can resist it for that long.
The limited edition Dry Orange Fashioned and Wet Orange Fashioned bottles will be available for purchase online at shop.whistlepigwhiskey.com starting from 26 December, for RRP US$49.99 per 750ml bottle.