Gin Rickey Mocktail

Cherry Gin Rickey2 oz. Ritual Gin*2 oz. Tart Cherry Siren Shrub1 oz. lime juiceTop off with soda waterSplash of maraschinocherry juiceGarnish with thyme, cherries and lime*Ritual is a zero-proof gin alternativeRecipe provided by Siren Shrub Co.Photo by Nicole Peaslee

If 2020 has left you feeling hungover, you’re not alone. And if you have been relying on alcohol to get through the pandemic — like a lot of people in our country — you’re not alone there either. New studies show that alcohol consumption has sharply increased during the COVID-19 pandemic and that heavy drinking, especially among women, has soared. Prevalent in Wisconsin, alcohol use is popular for unwinding at the end of the day and socializing with friends. But it doesn’t have to be that way, says Nicole Peaslee, one of the founders of New Fashioned Sobriety, a group based in Madison for sober and “sober-curious” women. “I thought drinking was fun, but it turns out sobriety is a thousand times better,” she says.

While alcohol consumption might be on the rise, according to an NPR article from March 2019, millennials are drinking less, and 30% of Americans don’t drink at all. If you look closely, there are signs that point to a shift in drinking culture. Many people are now familiar with the terms “Dry January” or “Sober October,” the names for the months when some people choose to abstain from alcohol. When Athletic Brewing Co., a Connecticut-based brewery that only produces nonalcoholic beer, released its limited-edition Double Hop IPA for sale online in June 2019, it sold out in 32 seconds. There are distilled nonalcoholic spirits with bright herbal flavors, and sober bars are popping up in Austin, New York City and St. Louis. And with people connecting on social media platforms like Instagram, more groups like New Fashioned Sobriety are forming for people who want to grow an alcohol-free community.

new fashioned sobriety

Courtesy of New Fashioned Sobriety

Mint mark sangria

Sangria mix (Courtesy of Mint Mark)

Siren Shrubs

Courtesy of Siren Shrubs