Master Those Mocktails
Dry January needn't be a chore. Make it fun! Just as you'd have a cocktail party, have a mocktail party. Get some healthy snacks in, order sushi, get some loud songs on the Sonos and shake and strain until you master the art of the mocktail. We've got to say, a good nojito is just as good as the real deal (without the hangover!). We love this recipe by In Katrina's Kitchen.
Look for Low-ABV Drinks
Just in time for those of us tackling drier January (or better yet, going drier for the long run), low-alcohol cocktails are fast becoming all the rage and some of the most popular orders in bars as more and more of us grow conscious about our intake. Low alcohol doesn't mean simply smaller measures, but instead ingredients that have lower than 20 percent alcohol-by-volume content (low ABV). The inimitable Aperol spritz is a great-tasting cocktail to order, not least of all because it's so in vogue, but because Aperol is low ABV and you can play around with the rest of the proportions, so it's less prosecco, more soda.
Water Needn't Be Boring
'Tis the time to make water more exciting. Staying hydrated is essential to maintain a healthy glow, particularly through the winter months, and alcohol is a key culprit in your skin feeling dehydrated and dry. While you're off the alcohol, embrace flavored waters, sparkling water and your own wonderful creations with the help of a fruit-infusing water bottle that not only looks cool, but is very effective, too. Lemon, lime, cucumber, pineapple — add whatever you want to make your water more appealing.
Image: Courtesy of Infruition
Long Live Virgin Marys
It's January, your friends are all going for brunch and you're the only one not drinking. Hello, Virgin Mary! If you're a Bloody Mary fan, you're actually in luck because it's probably one of the few cocktails that is (almost) as good without the booze as it is with it. You can still go large/extra spicy/add bacon and what not, keeping the concept and just shunning the vodka. There's a great recipe on the Ruche blog.
Drink Low-Cal Mixers (Without the Booze)
Believe it or not, alcohol contains more calories than sugar. Yup, alcohol has 7 calories per gram versus sugar’s 4 calories per gram. Just imagine how many calories have been in those rum and Cokes you've been knocking back. While you're off the booze, embrace and enhance your lower-calorie intake by simply drinking low-cal mixers. A glass of slimline tonic with ice and a slice of lemon is only about 5 calories and is almost as good as a proper G&T (almost!).
Replace the Zinc
Alcohol reduces the body’s storage of zinc, an essential mineral that supports all sorts of reactions in the body, such as hormonal balance and fertility, which will suffer without it. After all that festive boozing, allow Dry January to be an opportunity to replenish those resources. Add sesame seeds and pumpkin seeds to your smoothies, add maca powder to your coffee, snack on cashew nuts, swap your usual oatmeal for quinoa oatmeal and eat beef and lamb for dinner — all great sources of zinc. If you're so inclined, try a Frosty Pumpkin Seed Sweet Green Smoothie by Healthy Happy Life.
Invest in Elderflower Cordial
For the month of January, consider elderflower cordial your finest champagne. It's thick, sugary and delicious, plus it somehow feels sumptuous, especially if you get a posh glass bottle version. Don't drink it all the time like regular juice or cordial, save it for Friday nights and/or special occasions, like you would with a bottle of bubbly. Mix with soda on ice and it's a pretty good substitute!
After all the pre-dinner drinks, dinner drinks and post-dinner drinks over the holidays (not to mention the late night sherry and afternoon mulled wines), there’s no doubt our bodies are feeling the strain. Now’s the time to be nice to our livers, so whether you’re doing Dry January or just a drier January, it’s time to embrace the mocktails, low-alcohol and non-alcoholic drink options, shun the hangovers and reap the benefits. Remember, a “dry month” won’t wipe your liver entirely clean or transform you into a new person. Instead, it’s an opportunity to realize all the times you don’t need to drink, to establish how different it makes you feel and, ultimately, influence and improve your intake going forward. Whatever the reason you’re lessening your booze consumption and regardless of how strict you’re being on yourself, take note of these delicious drinks (and tips) that will help you pull through the month — and beyond.