I know Dry January has been a thing for a few years now (since 2014, according to some), but it seems like each year I end up hearing more and more about people deciding to abstain from drinking alcohol for the month of January.  

As someone who was straight-edge in high school and much of college, I can tell you from first-hand experience that there is nothing more obnoxious than someone who won’t shut up about how they don’t drink (it’s me, I’m obnoxious).  So how has staying on the wagon become such a huge bandwagon?  Well, I have a few, not-really-based-on-any-real-factual-grounds theories as to why…

Resolution Lite 

New year, new me! It’s New Year’s Resolution season, where- not to be too cynical- everyone lies to themselves about wanting to make a big change in their lives and doesn’t quite follow through with it in the long-term.  Thus, saying you’ll quit drinking for 1 month sounds like a reasonably attainable goal to set for yourself.  It’s arguably more about the sense of accomplishment for seeing something through to the end than any real self-improvement, but y’know, sometimes that kind of sense of accomplishment can lead to you putting your mind to doing other, more impactful things.  Or something? jfc, I’m one bullet in and I’ve already lost the plot.

Less Barhopping

Despite people’s insistence that we’re bouncing back (Omicron whomst?), many are finding that a night out at a crowded bar just doesn’t hit like it used to.  And, maybe this applies to only me, but I feel like I rarely get the urge to drink outside of those kinds of settings.  Plus, January’s too cold to be going out anyways, if you really need a night of chaotic sloppiness with your friends just stay in and play one of the Jackbox games or something. 

New Year’s Hangover

These aren’t college kids doing Dry January, it’s, at the youngest, mid-20-somethings and up.  These are people for whom it’s not unfeasible that, after a night of drinking cheap champagne, they might say “let’s not do that again for a month or so.”


I’m not sure if this is a chicken-or-egg situation, but the past few years have also seen a rise in mocktails.  And I don’t mean sauntering up to the bar and mumbling an order for a virgin pina colada, I mean drinks with names that sound just like all the other drinks on the menu, but just happen to not have alcohol in it.

And on that note, I want to announce my intent that for the month of January, in lieu of long, written pieces I’m going to be releasing recipes for mocktails every Monday (ugh, why did there have to be 5 Mondays next January).  If some big news story happens to break during that time, I’ll probably throw my 2 cents at it too, with the drink tacked on at the end.  And, of course, in typical Food Bytes Back fashion, they will be terrible and uncomfortable but actually not that bad.

As of writing this, I don’t actually have any ideas for cursed mocktails, nor do I really have any experience with cock and/or mocktail crafting (nor am I really planning on doing Dry January myself, although I don’t really drink that much so it wouldn’t be that difficult for me to do it on accident), so we’ll just have to see how any of this works out.

2 thoughts on “Why is Dry January Becoming Such a Big Thing?

  1. RJG says:

    Mountain Dew Mountktail plz

    I am not sure what could be added with Mountain Dew and not be overpowered by its presence but yeah

    1. Riley Johnson says:

      … Challenge accepted.

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