By Spirited AF 

If you’re feeling the holiday hangover, this one’s for you. 

Start the new year on a healthy note by joining the millions who say adieu to alcohol during Dry January. What began as an experiment over a decade ago has reached a rather popular, trend-setting approach to imbibing without the headache of alcohol. 

The commitment, you’ll find, falls into the category of a creative experiment rather than a deprivation. 

The creativity of those behind the bar, coupled with the accelerating investment in alcohol-free spirits, beers, and other forms of “booze,” have introduced not simply an absence from the social enjoyment of a drink but, instead, a substitution. You can still achieve a frothy espresso martini (see the recipe on the next page) with a kick of caffeine and sweet finish; you can still buy a six-pack of hoppy brews without the technical booze; and you can still order a clever, punny drink title on the alcohol-free section of bar menus around the city without a lifted brow. 

Here are some reasons to reinforce making the most of Dry January—without missing out. 

Prioritize your health 

Believe it or not, cutting out alcohol for just one month can make a noticeable difference in your physical and mental health. According to studies, regular drinkers who abstained from alcohol for 30 days slept better, had more energy, and even lost weight. 

Quench your thirst with mocktails 

Dry January is the perfect time to explore nonalcoholic beverages. This month in Memphis, sixteen spots are participating in the annual Mocktail Championsip, produced by Edible Memphis and Spirited AF. Make a date and try a few! 

Instantly boost your mood 

Alcohol is a depressant, so if you’re looking to improve your mood, drinking is not going to do it. Without the spike of alcohol, your moods stabilize, and your mindset is more optimistic, offering you more clarity and motivation for longer-term resolutions. 

Redefine happy hour 

If you’re used to having a glass of wine every night at five o’clock, replace the ritual with something new and inspiring—whether a workout or meditation or a new project or learning how to cook. If you’re longing for a pour, opt for an AF (alcohol-free) rendition. 

Spirited AF is a movement to inspire an “AF”—alcohol-free—lifestyle by infusing spirited alternatives on restaurant and bar menus, store shelves, and your at-home bar cart. Learn more at and follow along on Instagram at @spiritedaf_. 

The AF Margarita 

  • 1.5 ounces Seedlip Grove 42 
  • 1/2 ounce Cane & Herb jalapeño simple syrup 
  • Juice of 1/2 lime, plus lime wedge to garnish 
  • Flaky sea salt or margarita salt 

Run your lime around the rim of your glass, then roll the glass in salt. Add ingredients with ice to a cocktail shaker. Shake and strain over fresh ice in prepared glass. Garnish with lime. Serves 1. 

The AF Espresso Martini 

  • 2 ounces Lyre’s Coffee Originale 
  • 2 ounces cold brew or chilled brewed coffee 
  • 1/2 ounce vanilla bean simple syrup 
  • Coffee beans, to garnish 

To prepare vanilla simple syrup: Simmer equal parts sugar and water in a saucepan until boiling. Slice one vanilla pod lengthwise and scoop vanilla bean paste into simmering syrup. Then, add the pod to the saucepan. Turn heat down to a simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and pour into a glass container. Store in refrigerator for up to one week. Serves 1.