Every year, Sober October challenges individuals to embark on a transformative journey, inviting them to relinquish their ties to alcoholic beverages for the entire month. It serves as a profound opportunity for participants to reevaluate their relationship with alcohol, provide their bodies with a respite from its effects and potentially unlock a host of untapped benefits associated with a booze-free lifestyle.
Participating in the challenge does not entail a permanent abstinence; rather, it can serve as a catalyst for cultivating a more thoughtful approach to one’s alcohol-related decisions. As we see the growing trend of sober or sober curious continues to gain momentum, now is a time to dip your toes if you’ve ever been intrigued.
Why participate in Sober October?
1. Financial Liberation – cutting out the cocktails when out to dinner or resisting that bottle of wine at home is a great way to keep a little pocket change for other expenditures.
2. Personal-Growth – setting a challenge and meeting your goals requires a lot of will power and can lead to some interesting self-discovery along the way
3. Health Triumphs – the list of health benefits can be endless from improved sleep cycles, clearer skin, and a surplus of energy
4. Mental Well-Being – embracing sobriety can be a tool for reducing anxiety and depression, amplifying mental clarity, and tempering mood swings.
What to drink instead?
Fortunately, we’ve got a wide array of options to help you navigate this alcohol-free month. Theres two distinct categories to note which are Non-Alcoholic and Alcohol-free. The difference between these two categories is that Non-Alcoholic products have go through a fermentation process to create alcohol. They are then dealcoholized using a variety of methods (reverse osmosis being common) that remove most of the alcohol in wine to normally below 0.5%. The process of fermentation creates both phenolic compounds and a sensory quality that add to the flavours of the final product, so while these products are not truly 0.0% they can have flavours more akin to their boozy counterparts. In North America this is generally viewed as Non-Alcoholic but opinions can vary per country.
On the flip side, alcohol-free beverages take a different approach. They skip the fermentation stage entirely and instead aim to mimic the taste and experience of alcoholic products. This process can vary depending on the beverage type, whether it’s wines, spirits, or beer.
Fre Wines A Non-Alcoholic wine using what’s known as spinning cone technology that separates the alcohol, water and the very essence of the wine then they add back in everything that makes the wine delightful minus the booze. This method gets the wine below 0.5% ABV (Alcohol by Volume) but still retains all the captivating flavours from fermentation. Try the Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, and Sparkling Brut as alternatives to the ‘real’ thing.
Proxies A special category in itself the Proxies have no alcohol and go beyond just the grape. They blend premium grape juices with carefully sourced fruits, acidities, spices and teas to create the body and complexity to match a wines. They are not intended to taste like a specific type of wine but are inspired by flavour components.
Noh Co Beer A locally-brewed easy-drinking Non-Alcoholic blonde ale that has a refreshing balance of flavours and intriguing nuances that make it stand out. The brew reveals hints of vanilla, subtle spices, and a playful infusion of fruity flavours to balance with the mild malty sweetness. It’s also brewed with organic lion’s mane mushroom, organic reishi, and L-Theanine that add to the unique character and depth.
Tuesday – Freebomb Pale Ale A meticulously crafted non-alcoholic pale ale brewed with Citra and Amarillo hops which give it a tantalizing bouquet of citrusy, floral, and mildly tropical notes. It balances out with a classic English base malt resulting in a quaffable craft beer for aficionados and novices alike.
Ceders - Created by a dynamic husband-and-wife team in 2017, the Ceder’s recipes have developed by distilling both classical and exotic botanicals from the Cederberg Mountains in the Western Cape, South Africa. With over 15 botanicals carefully selected and distilled separately to preserves their essence and character. They were harmoniously then blended together to create four distinct flavour profiles. These libations bear the distinction of 0% alcohol, sugar free and zero calories but carry a ton of flavour. The Ceder’s can be sipped on their own served chilled, or incorporated into a customized cocktail of your choosing.
Indulge in a thoughtfully curated assortment of alcohol-free cocktails that not only taste tantalizing but also champion sustainability and a minimal environmental footprint. Crafted with 95% organic ingredients and no artificial colours or flavours these libations take a unique twisted in creation process. The botanicals are lovingly steeped rather than distilled to create these alcohol-free marvels.
Created by a local Calgarian Dalia, her creations possess a distinctive character – a delightful bitterness that mirror the complexity of a genuine cocktail experience. There’s currently three options to try from and the Bee’s Knees is certainly a hit with a sophisticated mix of lemon, honey, and a bright undertone of juniper and clover.