Top Booze Free Tips and Drinks for 'Dry January'
Giving up the booze for a bit was always one of the favourite resolutions made as the chimes of New Year rang out. But stopping drinking for the whole of January has gradually become a thing, with the first year of the month now commonly labelled ‘Dry January’.
It’s no bad thing to let the body rid itself of alcohol after all the Christmas partying. Good for the system and good for the pocket, in a month when we are all beyond broke! It can be difficult to break the habit though, especially if you are used to having a glass or two of wine with your evening meal as a general rule, or always pour a glass as a chill out after a hard day.
TIPS TO STAYING ‘DRY’ FOR JANUARY
Almost halfway through the month now, and anyone who has abstained from the booze since New Year’s Day is probably starting to feel the positive effects of being alcohol free. This is when things can go awry, as you feel you have done yourself a world of good already, so just one little drink as reward won’t hurt, will it? The slippery slope beckons. Time for some real inner strength and resolve! And a bit of practical help, which you can provide for yourself. While you are off the booze, give yourself some new habits. It sounds corny, but distracting the mind with alternative pastimes really does work. Because you are not drinking, you will have more energy to do stuff. Here are some suggestions:
● Go for a walk or a cycle after work to make the most of all that new energy and help you sleep later.
● Now you are not drinking when you get home, you can drive the car to a park or green space where there is no light pollution and do a bit of star gazing, on these crisp winter nights. Nothing like looking up at a clear night sky, seeing the blackness peppered with glistening lights, to make you wonder about your place in this amazing universe we call home. You could lose hours to this activity!
● If walking alone, going swimming or cycling doesn’t really do it for you, then a proper fitness regime at the gym might be a good plan. Gym memberships this time of year are often good value, with special offers and quarterly or half yearly memberships available. Paying up front for a membership might be a squeeze after the expense of Christmas. But one thing is for sure. When you pay for something in advance, it makes you all the more determined to do it. No one likes to waste money. Joining a gym, where there will be discipline involved in attendance and participation, is also good for anyone who needs a firm routine, rather than the casual approach to getting out and about. Once you’ve paid for a membership, this habit is likely to stick!
● At the weekend, avoid meeting friends or family in pubs or bars. You’ll walk right into the lion’s den if you think you will resist a glass or two when you see other people doing it. Keeping in touch with your homies when you’re off the booze can be difficult, especially when they are still drinking. Be clear and tell them you don’t want to risk temptation in your attempt to stay dry for January. Ask them if they fancy a night at the movies, or a daytime walk in the park instead. With coffee and cake afterwards, naturally.
● Put all the money you would normally spend on booze in a normal week aside. From the odd bottle of wine, to a weekend night out at the pub, you could gather a small fortune before the end of this month. When January is out, treat yourself to something nice with the cash you’ve saved. You deserve it!
GREAT ALCOHOL FREE DRINKS
Staying off the booze means finding other drinks to enjoy with a meal or as an anytime sip. Try to avoid commercial fizzy drinks which are full of sugar. Instead, opt for tasty alternatives which will refresh and reinvigorate.
● Richmount Cordials are super to have in the cupboard during January. Elderflower Cordial is light and refreshing. Summer in a glass. Top it up with sparkling water and add a slice of lemon for a zesty bite. Great to drink with salads and fish dishes.
Elderberry Cordial is much more macho, dark and seductive. This will do justice to the game and meat dishes of winter.
● Sparkling Apple Juice is a wonderful drink for waking you up in the morning or toasting a successful day in the evening. The Apple Farm Sparkling Apple Juice is made from apples grown on the farm. Full of natural goodness.
Available in the farm shop on site at Cahir in Co. Tipperary, or online from the website. Pop that cork and let those fruity bubbles work their magic!
● If you are missing the cocktails of Christmas, try a wonderful Nojito - a Mojito without the booze. Make it special with Wild About Nettle Syrup, made from wild nettles gathered at the home of Fiona and Malcom Falconer of Wild About, in Co. Wexford.
Make a litre with half a bottle of Wild About Nettle Syrup, juice of a lime, ice and sparkling water to top up. Delish. Add the straws and lime wedges if you really want to go to town!
● If you fancy something really different, Sharon Greene’s Haw and Ginger Syrup from the Wild Irish Foragers and Preservers range has lots flavour from wild haws and fresh rootginger. According to Sharon, this combination of ingredients was traditionally known as ‘Strong Woman’s Tonic’ and we are sure it applies to men too!
It will certainly give you a lift, with the warm spice of the ginger marrying with intense floral flavours of Haw, to lift the spirits this time of year.
Mr Jeffares Irish Blackcurrant Cordial packs the flavours and scents of an Irish summer into a bottle. Rich and robust, this cordial is made from pure blackcurrants grown on the family farm, sweetened with plant based Stevia, for a natural taste. You can dilute drink this with sparkling water for topping up. But it makes an especially warming hot drink when you get home on a cold evening. Pour a little in a heatproof glass and top up with hot water. Spice it up with cinnamon and star anise and add a slice of lemon. Works a treat if you have a bit of a winter head cold coming on.
● At Ballycross Apple Farm in Co. Wexford, fresh juice made from farm grown apples is mixed with carrot juice to create a lively fresh fruit drink, full of vitimins. A great one if you are going on a bit of a health kick this new year too. Ingredients are juiced while super fresh, so you get the goodness in the bottle. Find Ballycross juices in good health food shops and in the farm shop on site in Co. Wexford. Or you can order cases of six Mixed Variety juices online from the website.
Flavours include Apple and Carrot, Apple and Blackcurrant and Apple and Pear. All fresh pressed on the farm.