by Lee Isaacs DipWSET

A quick guide to a dry(er) January

A quick guide to a dry(er) January
Well, here we are. 2023. Another year has hurtled by, which given the way things have gone since the start of this decade, is no bad thing. Yet, as we hit another January, we encounter the inevitable ‘time to get healthy’ messages that always follow a season of excess.

Chiefly amongst these is Dry January. As someone who loves, and indeed makes a living from, alcoholic drinks, Dry January is obviously not for me. However the feeling that someone may need to ‘go sober’ for an entire month is symptomatic of this country’s approach to alcohol.

In January 2022, 7.9 million people did Dry January1, up from 6.5 million in 2021. Projections indicate that 10 million will be giving it a go this January.2

Alcohol does not have to be an all or nothing experience. We tend to view moderating alcohol consumption as either drinking alcohol, or not drinking alcohol. There are now a wide range of products that cater for those in the middle of these parameters. Perhaps customers can still enjoy an alcoholic beverage, but one at a lower percentage ABV.

With this in mind, I’ve recommended some of the drinks that offer either no alcohol or a small amount of alcohol. These products offer interesting flavours and a fun drinking experience, perfect for your January drinks offering.


La Gioiosa Sparkling Wine – 0%ABV




We all like something bubbly and fizz puts a spring in your step, whether it contains alcohol or not. Legally, Prosecco has to contain alcohol, so this can’t carry the name of everyone’s favourite Italian fizz. It is made however by one of Prosecco’s most recognisable names and it carries all that bright, zesty citrus and orchard fruit.


Eins Zwei Zero Riesling – 0%ABV




I’ve tried a good few reduced alcohol wines and always found them lacking. It’s fine if it doesn’t contain alcohol, but in my mind I’d like to still resemble a wine in flavour somehow. The very best zero alcohol for wine for me is Leitz’s Eins Zwei Zero. It actually tastes like a light, dry German Riesling. This takes some beating in the low/no wine stakes.


Brooklyn Special Effects – 0.4%ABV




Anything below 0.5% ABV is generally regarded as being ‘no alcohol’. For this level of alcohol to have an effect, you’d have to consume so much that ultimately the alcohol would likely be the least of your concerns. This beer is made with lazy yeast, that naturally stops working at 0.4%ABV. As with the wine mentioned above, this is the closest to ‘real’ (by which I mean containing alcohol) beer I’ve tasted.

It’s a lovely product for the beer drinker who is looking to cut down and moderate their intake.


Heineken 0.0 – 0%ABV




Becks Blue dominated the 0 alcohol beer scene for an age before Heineken took the top spot a couple of years ago. It is now the biggest selling low/no beer in the UK3 For the lager drinkers out there, this has all the freshness and crispness of a typical lager, but without the alcoholic component. It’s so good, it’s quite hard to tell the difference.


Savyll’s Alcohol Free Cocktails – 0%ABV



There’s more to drinks than just wine and beer of course, and the cocktail boom continues apace. But what about options for the abstainer? We work with Savyll’s Alcohol free cocktails and currently offer the Bellini (80793), Mojito (80795), and Paloma (10416). These cocktails work because they focus on purity of flavour rather than making up for alcohol by replacing it with sugar.


Shandy Shack – 2.2%ABV – 2.8% ABV



The guys at Shandy Shack have reinvented shandy; no longer the drink of nostalgia, they’ve proved it can be a perfect way to moderate alcohol consumption without removing it completely. These are flavoursome, fun, and easily enjoyable products that have quickly gained traction with consumers.

Look out for the Pale N Ginger, Elderflower Lager Top (80803) and IPA Shandy (80797)


So there we are, a few easier ways to have a dry(er) January. Low/No products no longer have to be bland or filled with sugar, and these products show how fun and tasty this category can be.

When it comes to alcohol, I would like to paraphrase a literary hero of mine, Oscar Wilde: “Everything in moderation…including moderation.”

Head to Unity Wines to check out a wider range of Low/No products including more beers, ciders, and wines.



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