What is Dry January?

An invitation to reset after weeks of holiday festivities, and a chance to embrace good health and inclusivity when it comes to celebrations


Purva Grover

Published: Fri 13 Jan 2023, 12:34 AM

To begin with, let’s address the question, what is Dry January? In the simplest of words, it’s a month when you say no to alcohol for the first month of the year. Factually speaking, the origin dates back to the UK in 2013. After which, soon enough, the world woke up to the benefits of abstinence — on the waistline, on the pocket, and it also led to the awareness of alcohol abuse and the treatment. In 2013, 4,000 people signed up for Dry January and in 2022, 1,30,000 people signed up for it. Of course, the trend caught on with Dubai as well — and as always, the experts here are not only encouraging us to follow the healthy route, but have also expanded the range of beverages when it comes to the non-alcoholic market in the region. “During the festive season, many of us think having too many party invitations is a nice problem, but if you say ‘yes’ to every get-together, you may be headed towards exhaustion. It’s easy to get stressed and fatigued when you try to fit too much into every day, so allow yourself. January is a good time to slow down,” said Dr Bahjat Balbous, specialist psychiatrist, Euromed Clinic Dubai.

Should you take on a Dry January? “January is the perfect occasion to set personal goals and ambitions for the year ahead. Globally, in January, we see an increase in both trial and scan data of over 25 per cent as more consumers moderate their consumption of hard beverages,” said Mark Livings, CEO & Co-founder, Lyre’s Non-Alcoholic. “Dry January is the perfect opportunity, at the start of the new year, to re-evaluate your relationship to alcohol and understand how it makes you feel,” said Maggie Frerejean-Taittinger, co-founder, French Bloom. She highlighted the benefits, including sound sleep, weight loss, radiant skin, more energy and an overall improved health. “Though it’s more than that, I’ve seen how a month without hard beverages can inspire many to drink less over the long term. Because you soon realise that you can celebrate fully, dance all night, feel real connection with your loved ones, all without consuming a drop.” French Bloom offers sulfite-free, halal-certified, and low-in-calories products with a clean finish and sophisticated aromatic journey. Why is there a rise in acceptance and production of non-alcoholic drinks? Mark shared how the growth is driven by moderation. “Globally, consumers aged 18-24 are drinking over 20 per cent less than previous generations 10 years ago. We know that one third of consumers aren’t consuming hard beverages when socialising.”

What are the non-alcoholic beverages made up of? It’s a creation, which is a blend of various production methods. “We aimed at taking the most natural, healthful approach to creating our range, and the brand is the result of more than two years of R&D, as well as several technological innovations. We start with the finest organic grape, and manually de-alcoholise it to 0 per cent alcohol, adding natural and organic ingredients such as lemon juice, to create a balanced and elevated flavour profile, without adding preservatives or sugars,” highlighted Mary. At Lyre’s, quality, all-natural, allergen-free extracts, essences, and distillates from around the world are used to create the range of non-alcoholic spirits. “The production method differs from those created via dealcoholising a distilled spirit. We have found that the removal of alcohol also removes a lot of the flavour and body of the product,” said Mark. Lyre’s offer a range of alcohol-free classic spirits created using a unique understanding of food science and flavour architecture.


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