Passing on the booze? We have some suggestions for soft drinks that will more than make up for it.
While some of you choose to decline alcohol all year round, the notion of giving up the sauce for a stint is ever popular, and “Dry January” has truly manacled itself to our national psyche. It seems the lure of saving money, trimming the waist and skipping hangovers is a potent one.
It can be a challenge to inject soft drinks with the same amount of sparkle as their alcoholic equivalents, but we have some tips for ensuring teetotallers don’t miss out.
Blood orange punch
If you’re abstaining at the beginning of the year there is a whole host of seasonal citrus fruit available to turn into juice. Grapefruit, pomelo and clementines are in season during the winter months, but we particularly like blood oranges. They have a very short season towards the end of winter, but make the most of their deep red flesh while you can.
Making a batch of homemade fruit cordial should see you through a few weeks of a dryathlon. Try to use whatever is seasonal and for a basic mix combine with just sugar and water. Elderflowers work well and can often be foraged – just make sure you shake off the bugs – or try seasonal berries. Provided they’re stored in sterilized jars, cordials can last several months in the fridge.
Pomegranate mojito mocktail
Alcohol is inextricably associated with celebrating and nothing says party like a delicious cocktail. Ditch the rum and try this pomegranate-based mocktail. Make sure to bash the mint under a rolling pin or with your hands to release the oils, thus plenty of flavour.
Up your vitamin take and whizz up a fruit-based smoothie. Follow our guide to achieving the perfect blend using your favourite ingredients, then get creative with flavourings like peanut butter and spices. If you want to be really virtuous try adding vegetables – a green detox smoothie made with coconut water, apple, kiwi and spinach is one seriously heady beverage.
Mulled apple juice
Often the reserve of festive revelry, the process of mulling works with a wide range of base drinks. Try using apple or pear juice and spice to taste – a touch of citrus, cinnamon and a sweetener such honey or agave should do the trick.