If you’re looking to cut back on alcohol for damp (or dry) January, we’ve got you covered! The biddies dive into a little bit of dry January’s history before sharing some of their favorite adaptogenic drinks and mocktail options.


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The Phoenix, History of Dry January

Cleveland Clinic, Adaptogens

KegWorks, What the Heck Is a Shrub?

The Atlantic, The Meaning of Dry January

Study Notes On Adaptogens for Dry January:

*Please note these are the literal notes we created to record the podcast and sections may be copied and pasted from our sources above.

History of Dry January

  • “Sober January” (Raitis Januar) has its roots in WW2 Finland
  • The government declared January 1942 Raitis Januar in order to “save national resources”
    • Reduced consumption of alcohol and saved money
  • Dry January as we know it today started in the early 2000s, but didn’t really take off until 2013 when a British organization “Alcohol Change” initiated a dry January challenge
    • Became especially popular in the US and Canada
      • As much as 1/5th of the US population participate (The Atlantic)
  • Atlantic article: Author of Drunk, Edward Slingerhand, discusses how the two guardrails of alcohol use have fallen away due to distillation (stronger booze) and isolation (more private consumption


Cleveland Clinic, Adaptogens


  • A shrub is a non-alcoholic syrup made from a combination of fruits, aromatics, sugar and vinegar
    • Typically can mix 1:1:1, let sit for two days or more, and then strain
  • Derived from Arab word “Sharab” which means to drink
  • Were popular in colonial America
    • Helped to preserve/use fruit
  • Once refrigeration came around and soft drinks etc, shrubs became less popular
  • Began to be reintroduced by craft cocktail makers

Brands Kara has tried:

  • Curious Elixirs
    • No. 5 (“cherry chocolate old fashioned”)
      • Elderberry and ginger: boost immunity
      • Shatavari: antiviral, boots immune system, antioxidant, hormone balancing
  • Little Saints
    • Three flavors: Ginger Mule, Paloma, Spicy Margarita
      • CBD: relieves pain, helps balance blood sugar, eases anxiety
      • Terpenes (also from cannabis): ant-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-microbial, antioxidant
      • Reishi: boosts immune system, lowers cholesterol
  • Apothekary
    • Rose-Tinted Glasses
      • Hibiscus: antioxidant, may help promote weight loss, supports health of heart and liver
      • Schisandra Berry: improves liver function, reduces stress and depression symptoms
      • Lion’s Mane: regulates blood sugar, reduces blood pressure, supports heart and liver health
      • Rosehip: rich in antioxidants, may support immune system and heart, reduces inflammation, may support skin in aging process, may aid weight loss
      • Siberian Ginseng: good for fighting common cold, increases energy, improves cognitive function
      • Chrysanthemum Flower: can reduce blood pressure and support heart health
    • Take the Edge Off
      • White Mulberries: improve blood sugar levels, protect against obesity, prevents bone loss, enhances brain function
      • Passionflower: can help treat anxiety and insomnia, raises about of GABA in brain (promotes relaxation)
      • Oat straw: reduces blood sugar and cholesterol, reduces inflammation, improves blood flow, reduces anxiety
      • Linden: calming, reduces inflammation and blood pressure
      • Skullcap: supports liver, improves digestion, relaxing, may protect against neurological disorders
      • Lemon Peel: high in antioxidants, promotes heart health, improves digestion, may treat gallstones, has anticancer properties

Megiswell.com for great shrub recipes