Dry January is over, pay day is finally here, but not everyone in the UK is going to be hitting the bars hard, because there’s been an explosion in sobriety movements.
Going sober no longer resigns you to pints of cola or staying in. There are loads of new organisations, establishments, drink and even clothing brands looking to get in on the increasing number of people wanting to avoid the hard stuff - whether for a month or forever.
Which is great news! It’s never been easier it is for us to make clever, healthy choices whilst keeping our social life just as healthy and our drinks just as exciting.
If you’re tempted to try a new way of socialising, here’s our guide to the most exciting sober stuff around.
Seedlip - The world’s first non-alcoholic distilled spirit
Bottles of distilled spirits normally come with the words Gin, Vodka or Tequila stamped on them, so if you’ve had some horrific hangovers on the shots, Seedlip might be the alternative for you. Smokey, with clove and citrus tones this clear spirit has distillates of six botanicals – two barks, two spices and two citrus peels – all blended together without any alcohol or sugar. It’s perfect for a Virgin Expresso Martini or Dry Dirty Martini.
Dry Drinker - Interesting booze-free beers
If you’ve ever been the designated driver you may have tried a Becks Blue, the classic alcohol free beer that you can find in your average pub, but it’s hardly going to set your imagination on fire when the boozers are enjoying exotic and artisan beverages. Dry Drinker was founded by Stuart Elkington and Jon Bird who saw a gap in the market for a high quality low alcohol and alcohol free beers. Their tagline is “Sober Revolution” and while they both say they love nothing more than enjoying a non-alcoholic beer watching the football, going dry for them is definitely about being health conscious. You can buy mixed and single brand cases of beer from around the world including Super Rock, Erdinger and Jever Fun.
Redemption - London’s 1st Alcohol Free Restaurant
With brand new premises in Notting Hill and Shoreditch, Redemption is so healthy that a night out is practically saintly. The food is vegan, sugar-free, and wheat-free and the bar is of course alcohol free. “Could we create a space away from temptation that still feels like a treat?” This was founder Catherine Salway’s inspiration. She wants to disrupt the idea that we can’t possibly socialise without getting drunk.
The Brink - Liverpool’s Sober Cafe/Bar
Alongside food and a pretty impressive coffee menu, The Brink have their own range of cocktails like Bollywood Sour, Shampagne Cocktail and Nojito. What’s really interesting about this establishment is that it's e a “recovery social enterprise”. So all their profits go to fund services for people suffering from alcoholism and addiction.
The Dry Umbrella - Promoting Manchester’s Sober Events
Comedy nights, DJs and kid friendly events are all part of what Dry Umbrella offer up for people who want to have fun but don’t want alcohol or drugs involved. They don’t have their own place but have a regular night at Nexus Art Cafe. This is more of an easy going social club than high concept chemistry.
Sobar - Nottingham
The East Midlands’ first ever alcohol-free bar, restaurant and venue, Sobar was launched by a drug and alcohol recovery charity called Double Impact because they found that those in recovery were often socially excluded with nowhere to go that was alcohol free. Whether you are a recovery alcoholic or you just want to be able to take a break from boozing for health or wealth, having fun, creative and sociable places to go where there’s a full menu of delicious alcohol free drinks is essential - Dry January is much more fun if you can still go out without standing out.
Morning Gloryville - The World’s Early Pre Work Rave
Liverpool, Leeds and London all have the sober early morning club, but it’s not likely it will stop there. MG launched in 2013 and now have parties across three continents, revolutionising the way people think about clubbing and their morning commute. From 7.30am - 10.30 they provide a rave, with coffee, smoothies, yoga and performers to inspire, energise and help you “rave your way into the day”.
Hello Sunday Morning - Motivational Online Community & App
Every Sunday the HSM community share highlights of their hangover free days. Scrolling through the #HelloSundayMorning Instagram feed there is a complete lack of Solpadeine and shameovers. Instead you have beach scenes, exercise and yummy looking breakfasts. Their mission “is to build technology that supports any individual to change their relationship with alcohol.”
Sober is Sexy - LA Fashion Label and Movement
Sober celebrities like Demi Lovato and Russell Brand love Sober is Sexy’s t-shirts. And Sober is Sexy love celebrities, making pinterest memes celebrating our driest stars like Tom Hardy, Bradley Cooper and Eve Mendes. Their lip logo is now so iconic followers get it tattooed, and their current range of tees include their classics like “The Only Coke I Do Is Diet” and newer slogans like the simple HANGOVERS SUCK. Yes they do.
Words: Deborah Coughlin