Amazingly, we’ve made it to 2021. With the new year comes Dry January, ‘the UK’s one-month alcohol-free challenge’. This is an opportunity to commit to skipping booze after the frivolities of December, (normally) filled with prosecco-fuelled celebrations. But let’s face it, we’ve just experienced what will probably be the strangest festive season of the century.
Adding to our difficulties, there’s a third national lockdown thrown into the mix. This year, anyone who successfully completes Dry January without turning it into ‘GINuary’ probably deserves a knighthood. Whilst it’s really important for our health to keep under 14 units of alcohol in a week (as recommended by the NHS), it’s understandable that many of us won’t be able to resist the temptation of a G&T when the Friday evening at home swings around once again.
What’s more achievable is a balanced approach to drinking, saving alcohol as an occasional treat accompanied with some non-alcoholic options that are just as exciting. After all, it’s exactly how we do things at Fooditude when we cater for events (check out our drinks selector).
Our Twitter poll uncovers that our followers are more likely to take part in ‘Ginuary’ than ‘Dry January’ this year.
Top 5 non-alcoholic drinks:
We asked members across the Fooditude team what non-alcoholic drinks they would recommend this January. Antonio comments about his selections, “There’s always loads of new drinks entering the market, but these are the ones that are on my list for superb flavours and consistent positive feedback from clients. What’s great about them is that they don’t contain too much sugar, some also have great health benefits (like Kombucha), plus they’re way more exciting than an average coke. They’re also great ingredients for making cocktails with”.
Here’s our team’s top recommendations…
Lazer Crush alcohol free IPA beer by Beavertown Brewery (selected by Dean)
Dry Dragon Kombucha by Real (selected by Swati)
Sodas by Nix & Kix (selected by Antonio)
Non-alcoholic spirits by Seedlip (selected by Antonio)
Iced teas by ChariTea (selected by Antonio)
Antonio’s mocktail recipes:
Antonio Ciavarella is one of the best mixologists we know and an all-round drinks guru. With his magical ability to conjure up cocktails and an encyclopaedic knowledge of wines and spirits, he’s the guy you’d most want at your party. On top of that, he’s pretty savvy when it comes to knowing about non-alcoholic alternatives too.
We’re delighted that he’s agreed to share some of his great ‘mocktail’ recipes for our Dry January survival guide. Enough from us! Here’s the recipes….
The luscious one
Non-alcoholic espresso martini
50 ml Espresso coffee
25ml Vanilla syrup
A pinch of salt
For decoration: cinnamon powder and coffee beans
Make a cup of espresso coffee and allow it to cool in the fridge, then place some ice into your cocktails glass to make it cold. Fill your shaker with ice cubes.
Put the vanilla syrup, water, espresso shot into the shaker with a pinch of salt. Shake your ingredients together, then strain into your cooled glass.
Finish off with 3 coffee beans and a dusting of cinnamon powder (optional).
The healthy one
Beetroot virgin mary
30g fresh horseradish (grated)
20ml Balsamic glaze
70ml Beetroot juice
1 tsp Celery salt
Juice of 1 lemon
A dash of Tabasco
Take some celery salt on to a small plate and set aside. Drizzle a tablespoon of beetroot juice onto a second small plate.
Place all the other ingredients into a cocktail class, adding a handful of ice. Pour the cocktail in another glass, then back again and repeat this a couple more times (this technique is called throwing).
Take the serving glass and dip the rim in the plate of beetroot juice and then into the salt. Then pour in the mixture into the serving glass and serve with fresh ice.
Garnish with a beetroot leaf and celery heart or even some pickles (optional)
The seasonal one
Blood orange, rosemary and ginger spritz
2 dried orange slices (for garnish)
40 ml club soda (or lemonade)
Honey (or maple syrup, agave)
60ml blood orange juice
2 sprigs of rosemary
1 tsp ginger powder
Whisk the blood orange juice and ginger power together, then add ice in a wine glass. Pour in the blood orange and ginger mixture, then add the soda.
Add in the honey then stir together until dissolved, then garnish with the sprigs of rosemary and dry orange slices.
Pssst. Looking for more low and no alcohol drinks?
Check out the ‘Better Without’ app or the Club Soda website for some fantastic alcohol-free alternatives to brighten up your January. You can also send over a tweet to Fooditude’s Antonio Ciavarella for suggestions.
Though a completely Dry January might be a write-off for many this year, it’s still an opportunity for us to drink mindfully in order to become more tuned-in to our drinking habits. As emphasised by the co-founder of Club Soda, Laura Willoughby, mindful drinking is “about adapting your drinking habits to live well, so that might be drinking less, or never“. One thing’s for sure, going without alcohol doesn’t mean your drinks have to be boring! We hope this survival guide has equipped you with a little inspiration to bring some new exciting flavours into the new year.
Share your favourite No / Low tipples with us on @WeAreFooditude