It's Drynuary! Drink a Mocktail (Without Feeling Like a Nerd)

Julia Bainbridge
Food Editor
January 10, 2014

Drynuary: The practice of avoiding alcohol during the month of January—staying “dry”—post-holiday overconsumption. It has its devotees, it has its haters, it has an entry in the Urban Dictionary. IT’S A THING. 

"There are so many events and parties in December, you feel gross afterwards," says Jim Meehan of New York City bar PDT. “I take the time off drinking so I can give my body a chance to recover and relax.” Bon Appétit magazine restaurant and drinks editor Andrew Knowlton, who’s been Drynuary-ing it up for eight years, has some tips for how to stay on course.

As for what to put in our glasses come “cocktail hour”?

Club Soda, Angostura Bitters and Lime: This one isn’t for the fundamentalists, because bitters are alcohol-based spice tinctures. But we’re talking 5-6 dashes of the stuff in your highball, so, in the end, it’s a negligible amount of alcohol. If you’re a big gin and tonic fan, says Meehan, this one’s for you. Drop some Angostura bitters in an empty glass, fill it with soda water, squeeze a lime wedge into it, and give it a stir if you want. It satisfies that end-of-day cocktail hankering and settles the tummy in one fell swoop. 

Infused Simple Syrup and Soda: Our friends at Refinery29 have some great infused simple syrup recipes. Preparing them makes you feel like you’re fixing a special drink—giving you that same psychological satisfaction cocktail hour does—and all you need to do is mix them with some soda water.

Nonalcoholic Beer: Seriously! ”Part of the fun of drinking alcohol is the communal aspect,” says Meehan. “When someone is not drinking, you’re not in communion with them.” Nonalcoholic beer is a way to keep both the party and your Drynuary going. Meehan says the American varieties aren’t so good; try Clausthaler. 

If these don’t sound like your cup of tea, that’s exactly what you should try. “I don’t drink to get drunk; I love the contemplative aspect of it,” says Meehan. “Tea definitely gives you that outlet. The best green or black teas are sophisticated, heady liquids that you can really think about as you’re drinking.”

So there’s another resolution! To do: learn more about tea.