Dry January 2.0

Photo by Olena Bohovyk

I’m making my way through Dry January 2.0 -mandated for healthy baby brain development, not any sort of health improvement initiative. Now with some experience from the first trip, I’ve had enough exposure to be able to name some favorites.

The Shopping Upgrade

Back in 2020 when I was first pregnant, non-alcoholic options were available, but difficult to source. My local store had some non-alcoholic craft beer options and the budget powerhouse Fre sparking Brut (featured at grocery stores across the nation), but the more elaborate options proved to be more difficult to obtain, requiring bulk purchases from individual suppliers. Enter Boisson.

Founded in Brooklyn at the height of the pandemic, Boisson offers non-alcoholic options the way your favorite hometown shop offers you spirits. With seemingly endless options to try, Boisson makes receiving your precious picks easy. For whatever reason, I was cursed on my desired shipment of Casamara Club -Como which broke twice in transit. A brief email, and voila, another was on it’s way to replace at no charge.

While Fre hits the spot for bubbly, Boisson’s allowed me to be more adventurous, receiving 0.0 % natural wines with flavor more than “spoiled vinegar”. I’d trust anything on their site, but here are a few faves.

Lyre’s Classico 4-Pack

Some days, you just want one mimosa or Aperol Spritz to enjoy during brunch or cocktail hour. Rather than break open an entire bottle, the Lyre’s Classico 4-Pack allows you to pop the top on just one drink. Unlike the listing on Lyre’s website which requires you to either buy a full case or one case in a bundle, you can purchase single packs on Boisson’s website.

Classico is another simple sparkling option. While I normally enjoy it as a mixer, it’s dry enough to be enjoyed on its own.

Untitled Art Non-Alcoholic Beer

In my previous post on non-alcoholic drinking, I listed some non-alcoholic beer options I’d found and liked. This was before I found Untitled Art. Around the November/December timeframe of non-drinking, I bemoaned not having a good stout to curl up with. I happened to find the Untitled Art Chocolate Milk Stout at my favorite beverage store, and figured I’d give it a try, not expecting much after my previous stout options proved lacking. The Untitled Art Chocolate Milk Stout now ranks as one of my all time favorite stouts, even up against the alcoholic options.

Perfectly balanced with all the chewiness you want in a dark beer, this brew keeps me snug through the winter months. Their Italian Pilsner offers a perfect match for the summer season while the Juicy IPA is a great all around, often allowing my pregnancy to go unnoticed at our favorite hangout, the newly opened Oddstory Brewing Company.

Eins Zwei Zero Riesling

Riesling is easily my favorite type of wine because, like me, it is crisp, bright and German. But it’s one type of wine I gave up on during the sober months part one. While the whites I’d found were drinkable, I didn’t want to taint the image of my favorite. After reading the reviews of the Leitz option, I decided to risk it. I’ve wasted $20 on worse things

Is it the best Riesling I’ve ever had? Of course not (especially not after a wine friend hosted a Riesling dinner with double pairs per course). But it’s also not the worst Riesling I’ve ever had. You can order in the traditional or sparkling, and I’ve taken to keeping both at the house for when I just want that little bit of tartness.

Bitter Beverages

“To match your attitude,” my husband quips when I expound on my love of bitter beverages. A fan of Campari, and really all bitter apertifs, one of the non-alcoholic replacements I longed for was a good amaro. Lyre’s offers an Italian Orange and Italian Spritz I tried in round one that matched what my mouth was looking for, but I’ve since found some other favorites

  • San Pellegrino Chinotto Soda -The San Pellegrino option clocks in at a whopping $5.99 at World Market, by far the most budget friendly option on the list. The first version I tried was the Lurisia option while at Alleia restaurant while celebrating our anniversary. Glum over my paltry tastes of red, I picked the Lurisia option because I had no idea what it was, a strategy I often employ while at restaurants. Served with a splash of club soda, the drink hit all the tingly good spots, and became an instant favorite.
  • Figlia & Ghia Non-alcoholic Apertifs -My palette isn’t sophisticated enough to differentiate these with justice. While Lyre’s and Chinotto maintain the syrupy sweetness of Aperol, Figlia and Ghia are more direct to the amaro flavor. Lighter and botanical, these options are more refreshing when mixed.

Non-Alcoholic Drinking -Here to Stay?

I stopped drinking alcohol because I had to, but it would appear the trend is here to stay. With more and more moving towards Cali-sober, non-alcoholic drinking options continue to flood the market. With endless options easy to receive, it’s a good time to be dry.

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