Hilary Sheinbaum is a journalist and the author of The Dry Challenge (HarperCollins), a judgment-free guide to giving up alcohol for a month-long period. She started participating in Dry January, accidentally, in 2017 after she made a spontaneous bet with a friend on New Year’s Eve. The premise was to see who could go an entire month without alcohol. Spoiler alert: Hilary won the bet, and she’s completed Dry January every year since.
Fast forward to now, eight years later: Hilary is a prominent figure in the non-alc space. She’s an advocate for dry months and exploring fun, new, and different ways to live a happy, adventurous life.
In 2023, she was featured extensively in news articles and on broadcast segments, including: MarketWatch’s piece on non-alcoholic options on St. Patrick’s Day, The New York Times (which calls her “the Dry January M.V.P.”), The Wall Street Journal, and a dry dating segment on Good Morning America. Her first TEDx Talk, covering the topic of dry dating, went live in October 2023.
Here are Hilary’s top 10 picks right now:
- Mionetto Alcohol-Removed Sparkling Wine: After debuting in the US 25 years prior, Mionetto recently launched an alcohol-removed sparkling wine that is lower in calories, not too sweet, and perfect for a toast.
- Freixenet Alcohol Removed Sparkling Rosé: This is my go-to for gifting right now, and always around Valentine’s Day. It’s fresh and fruit forward. Also, the label is gorgeous, and it’s fun to photograph in a glass for anyone who is on social-media (if I’m being honest).
STILL (AND SPARKLING) WINE
- Giesen New Zealand Riesling: Giesen’s range of alcohol-removed still wines are the best tasting and comparable (to wines with alcohol). The Riesling is my current favorite. They also have a new Sparkling Brut, which has a perfect amount of effervescence. I recently served it at my latest book launch event.
- Free Spirits The Spirit of Milano: Free Spirits has gin, bourbon, tequila and vermouth. Milano is great for negronis. Also, it makes your beverages a really pretty red color… because presentation counts!
- Damrak Virgin 0.0: Great for palomas (no, really!) and acts as a fantastic replacement spirit in any gin drink.
- Fluere Spiced Cane: A great rum replacement for blended drinks on vacation, or the mocktails you’re drinking when you’re wishing you were on vacation.
- Curious Elixirs: Easy to pop open a can or bottle for a single-person serving. No need to mix, muddle, shake, or stir.
- Sir James 101 Mojito: I love this refreshing drink! It’s great for summer and hot days, but I also drink it in the winter and it automatically transports me to warmer days.
- De Soi: I like all of their flavors, but I’m partial to their Très Rosé. I did a TEDx Talk on dry dating, and brought De Soi with me for attendees to try. The audience members loved it. One attendee in her 30s—who had never had a sip of alcohol due to religious reasons—was so intrigued! She was so excited to tell all of her friends.
- Martini and Rossi Vibrante: I’m not going to lie—I had a White Lotus Italian themed birthday last year, and this is what I excitedly served to guests. It was such a fun night of Italian food and spritzes. I love how festive the M+R flavors are, and how vibrantly colored the bottles are, too. 10/10, I recommend.
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