The Science Behind Dry January’s Zero-Alcohol Hooch

Many people are taking a break from alcohol this month, a cultural moment that’s come to be known as Dry January. Beyond trends fueled by New Year’s resolutions, however, the de-alcoholized drink has been enjoying a boom. Beverage brands and fancy bartenders are crafting complex virgin cocktails and beers in an effort to tantalize the tastebuds of sober folks, temporary teetotalers, and the generally alcohol-averse. But how do they actually devise these drinks? And how well do they hold up to our cultural expectations of what “drinking” should be?


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This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED senior correspondent Adam Rogers joins us to talk about the science of booze and not-booze.

Show Notes

Read Adam’s book Proof: The Science of Booze.


Adam recommends bitters, indulging your hobbies, and subscribing to WIRED. Lauren recommends Letiz’s Eins Zwei Zero Sparkling Riesling non-alcoholic white wine. Mike recommends the free (and non-profit) streaming service Radio is a Foreign Country.

Adam Rogers can be found on Twitter @jetjocko. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.

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