Bibendum HQ: How we're doing Dry January!

The UK's January drought is in full swing. Whether or not you've packed away your wine glasses for the month, Dry January has become an unstoppable force. Year on year, more people commit to turning their backs on booze, with an estimated four million taking part this January alone.

Add to that the number of people attempting a 'damp' affair by cutting down on their alcohol intake for the month, and it's undeniable that low-and-no drinks become the 'category of the moment' every January. On top of that, an estimated 70% of people who make it to the 31st will carry on drinking less long after the first days of the year are done.

So, while it's important to be catering to teetotallers this month, ensuring your low-and-no range is both strong and varied enough to see itself through February and beyond has never been more important.

We caught up with three of the Bibendum team on their attempts at Dry January, what they're drinking, and the products they think will tick the box for the health-conscious consumer throughout 2020.

Peroni Libera - Sophia Godyn, Brand Communications Manager

Recommending because...

Non-alcoholic beers are my go-to alternative for Dry January - they're refreshing and easy to pick out on a list when you're not sure what to go for, and you don't want to spend time searching for new drinks that you might not like. Also, they're a great alternative to sugary drinks like sodas or juice! I'm a big fan of Peroni Libera, it's definitely been my top pick this year. It's a fairly new product from Peroni, brewed with specially cultivated ingredients like Nostrano dell'Isola maize, and dedicated yeast strains, which mean no alcohol is produced in the fermentation process. Plus, there are only 73 calories per bottle - so it's great if you're looking for a healthy non-alcoholic option, too.

The taste breakdown

It's a little lighter than normal beer, but still has an incredibly hoppy flavour profile that's got a lot of fruit aromas, so for me it stands up well to its alcoholic counterpart. It's definitely characteristically 'Peroni', too - it's got all the same elegance and lightness.

Where will you be drinking it?

Anywhere and everywhere, really! For me, that's the beauty of a non-alcoholic beer: they fit pretty much every occasion. I think it's part of the reason why non-alcoholic beer is the fastest growing category in the no-ABV market. In the industry, January's often a time where people will be going out to a range of events, even if they're not drinking, so this fits the bill for the entire month. It fits well with its name - 'Libera' means free, with the idea that Peroni's customers won't find any limitations to this drink.

Any food recommendations?

Pizza! I think the Peroni Libera's refreshing enough to match well with some of the heavier, acidic tomato flavours you get in pizza.

Tips for surviving Dry January

Always order alternatives that you actually want to drink. Just because it's not alcoholic, doesn't mean it has to be boring - so don't go for boring options.

Find out more about Peroni Libera here.

Ceder's Crisp - Ina Liaugaudiene, Packaging Project Manager

Recommending because...

It's the best alternative to gin I've found so far. The botanicals used in it are very similar to ones you'd find in gin, so it's got more depth and flavour than a lot of non-alcoholic spirits. Every botanical in it is sourced from the Cederberg mountains in South Africa, so it's got the story and provenance as well as being alcohol-free. On top of tasting very gin-like, it's also incredibly refreshing (especially noticeable the next day when there's no hangover).

The taste breakdown

It's very gin-like! So, lots of juniper and coriander, and some cucumber notes as well. It's great with a tonic, slice of lemon and a sprig of rosemary.

Where will you be drinking it?

I discovered it at my local pub, but I think this is an ideal one for aperitifs of pre-dinner drinking. Or anywhere you would enjoy a gin and tonic!

Any food recommendations?

The flavours in it are light and delicate enough to match up well with things like light salads, or fish. But personally, I'd enjoy this more just before a meal.

Tips for surviving Dry January

Explore the low and no options out there. The category's grown hugely in the past couple of years, and people are launching new non-alcoholic drinks all the time. You can spend the whole month exploring the options and never get bored.

Find out more about Ceder's Crisp here.

Real Kombucha Dry Dragon - Andy Chadwick, Supplier Manager (Spirits)

Recommending because...

I think kombucha just offers something a little bit different, in terms of a flavour profile. I love the sour taste, so a lot of the time, I'll pick this over an alcoholic drink even if I'm not doing Dry January! In addition, it has great health benefits (kombucha is rich in antioxidants), so it's a good choice for a month where everyone's trying to be healthier.

The taste breakdown

Kombucha in general is slightly sour and lightly fizzy. The best one I've found so far is the Real Kombucha Dry Dragon. It's designed to be a good alternative to Sauvignon Blanc, so it's got lots of flavours of grapefruit and lemon. As it's made by fermenting Dragonwell green tea, it has those slightly bitter tea notes as well, balanced by a little bit of sweetness.

Where will you be drinking it?

Alongside meals. The Real Kombucha range has been designed to pair well with food, so it's a great substitute if you're used to drinking wine with your meals like I am. There are lots of kombucha and food pairing opportunities that most people haven't explored, that are really interesting and offer a whole different experience when you're not drinking.

Any food recommendations?

Because the Dry Dragon flavour profile is similar to that of a Sauvignon Blanc, I'd go off the back of that and say fish, and light green salads - but it goes incredibly well with Asian dishes, too.

Tips for surviving Dry January

Visit venues who are embracing Dry January! So many bars are now offering specific low and no menus, or have separate categories on their lists. It means you're more likely to find a range of great drinks, and discover something you love.

Find out more about Real Kombucha Dry Dragon here.


Inspired to try more low-and-no options?

Download our Low and No brochure and browse the entire range here.

Having spent most childhood summers trekking through Italian vineyards, Elisa’s love of wine started at a young age. Now, you’ll find her heading up Bibendum’s social media channels, as well as writing about wine, spirits, and everything in between.

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