By Lisa Nicklanovich; courtesy photo
While “Dry January” may be more popular, the sobriety challenge “Sober October” is a movement that is catching on. Some people commit to cutting out alcohol consumption for the month of October as a way to donate to a charity; some make it about their health and wellness as they look ahead to the indulgences of the upcoming holiday season.
Sober October is part of an overall trend of the “sober curious” – a term created by Ruby Warrington, author of Sober Curious: The Blissful Sleep, Greater Focus, Limitless Presence, and Deep Connection Awaiting Us All on the Other Side of Alcohol. In the book, Warrington defines being sober curious as, “choosing to question, or get curious about, every impulse, invitation, and expectation to drink, versus mindlessly going along with the dominant drinking culture.”
The sober curious movement has given rise to sober bars that serve handcrafted, creative mocktails, and nonalcoholic drinks that give people the opportunity to socialize. Sober-focused events can be found for yoga retreats, meditation sessions, book clubs, dinner parties and morning dance parties like Daybreaker which, while virtual this year, includes DJs who play upbeat music.
Online communities have sprung up, providing resources, support and connection for anyone who wants to change their relationship with alcohol, in whatever form, whether abstaining, taking a break, or just understanding it better. Annie Grace’s 30-day alcohol experiment community sprang from her book The Naked Mind: Control Alcohol, Find Freedom, Discover Happiness & Change Your Life. The Hello Sunday Morning community is connected to the Daybreaker dance parties that got Oprah’s 2020 Vision Tour audience up on their feet and dancing.
Distilleries, breweries, juice companies and soda manufacturers are all jumping into the low- and no-alcohol beverage market, giving the sober curious many options. Check out Curious Elixirs, Lyre’s, Ritual and Mocktails, which all offer booze-free cocktails or mixers.
Seedlip, which has distilled spices and botanicals, has become very popular for those craving a craft cocktail. Beer lovers can try the IPA-inspired hop water from the Lagunitas Brewing Company. Wine lovers might like wine water from O.Vine, which is made from the skins and seeds of red or white wine grapes.
The benefits of cutting out alcohol for a month may mean better sleep, more free time, higher energy levels, clearer thinking and other health benefits. There are enough intriguing options for at least 31 days.