We spoke to Amber Wisniewski, the Founder of Dry Variety Drinks to discuss why she chose the non-alcoholic category for her newest e-commerce venture.
Who is Amber?
Amber has been self-employed for over 24 years running an esthetics business. With all the closures, during the pandemic, keeping afloat became more and more difficult, on top of personal trauma and the mental and emotional stresses that living through a pandemic brings. Like many Canadians, at the beginning of the pandemic, Amber’s alcohol consumption increased; a glass of wine in the evening turned into 2, and “Happy Hour” seemed to start a little earlier everyday. As the negative effects of alcohol started to kick in, Amber recognized that she didn’t like how she felt and wanted to make a change.
When Amber was introduced to the ideas of mindful drinking and the Sober Curious movement, she was intrigued and started seeking out alcohol alternatives that allowed her to enjoy a cocktail, without the negative effects of alcohol. Amber felt that many options were not as accessible and quite difficult to find in Canada. Weather and shipping costs can also present problems for many consumers who are seeking options on their own. With her love for food and drink, and as a way to meet new people, connect and satisfy a need in the market, Amber started Dry Variety Drinks, London Ontario’s first virtual variety shop for non-alcoholic beverages and more!
As an emerging connoisseur of the dry variety of drinks, we asked Amber a few questions!
What do you like about Sobrii 0-Spirits?
Well I must say, Bob (Sobrii’s Founder) is awesome! But the product itself is really good! There is so much depth to Sobrii 0-Spirits. Sobrii has a really clean taste with no artificial flavours and both of them make authentic non-alcoholic cocktails - you really feel like you’re enjoying a cocktail!
How would you describe the taste of Sobrii
The taste is beautiful! Both the 0-Tequila and the 0-Gin!
The 0-The Tequila is incredibly unique and complex. You can taste the agave flavour and the ginseng and a subtle and warm sweetness. The 0-Gin has so much depth. You can find some notes of citrus, making it very refreshing, especially when paired with a tonic!
When compared to some of the other alternatives, Sobrii is clearly a premium option. Sobrii is full-flavoured, it doesn’t taste watered-down and the ingredients are high quality. When I think of Sobrii, the first thing that comes to mind is the unique flavour, and also the brightness and general good vibes of the brand!
What has been the biggest change in your life since reducing alcohol?
The biggest change in my life since I’ve decided to reduce my alcohol consumption is how I feel! I still drink alcohol occasionally, so I haven’t completely removed it from my life, but just by reducing the amount of alcohol I drink, I have felt so much better! I have more energy, I am more focused, I am happier and I’ve been able to accomplish so much more. I know this might sound cliche (because I just read somewhere that Adele said the same thing) but it has been a great way to get to know myself and work through some things that were holding me back.
What advice would you give to someone who is considering a life with less alcohol?
My advice would be to prioritize yourself and the changes you want to make. Nurture yourself and surround yourself with healthy people who will lift you up and support your changes. It’s not easy to break those habits. And let’s face it alcohol is an addictive substance so it can take some time to adjust when cutting back. But I’d like to let people know there are options and giving up alcohol or reducing your intake will change things but it doesn’t mean you have to give up the ritual of having a drink.
There can be so much pressure to drink and it can be very difficult in social situations because people will question you and ask “Why AREN’T you drinking?” instead of “What can I offer you?” People who choose to drink less, often have to offer an explanation as to why they are not participating, but with non-alcoholic alternatives, you don’t have to feel left out anymore and people don’t seem to question you if you have a drink in hand. You can still enjoy a delicious cocktail and be a part of the ritual without the alcohol.
I think that we need to glamourize the non-alcoholic options just as much as the alcoholic ones! I do believe our drinking culture is changing but the shift is just beginning. We are going to see more quality non-alcoholic options in our future and I hope to be able to offer them to people as normalized alternatives. I’m excited to be a part of this step forward.
You can find a selection of non-alcoholic alternatives including Sobrii at https://dryvariety.com/