As the excesses of Christmas and New Year have now passed, I and probably you too, start thinking about January. Will you be doing Dry January and avoiding alcohol as one of your resolutions? Or will you be embracing Dry Ginuary? This post will cover the #DryJanuary option, so read on for inspiration on what to drink for Dry January and some suggestions on lower alcohol serves to try too.
*Full disclosure: some items included in this post were given to me for free – I will always disclose this by the item name. This post also includes affiliate links, which produce income for the blog at no extra cost to you, these are all clearly marked by the link*
Dry January – inspiration for low and no alcohol drinks
I decided to include some ideas for Dry January socialising, as well as lower alcohol alternatives that I’ve tried recently:
I’ve done a dry month before – my sober September. For me this was more a check in with my body and to ensure that I don’t have any dependency on alcohol. I’ve seen various relationships ruined by people’s dependency on alcohol and with so much always available to me (due to the nature of the blog), I think it’s sensible to check in with myself from time to time.
Other people do Dry January as a personal challenge or to give their livers some time off after hitting the booze hard over the festive period.
Whatever your reasons the trend for drinking lower alcohol or no alcohol drinks is showing no going away. People are looking to remain social, without their only options being soda and juice to drink. So I’m updating you on some newly released products you can try:
Kashmiri Tea House Elixirs [gifted]
It seems that 2020 will be the year that tea in all forms will be a major trend, so get in early with the Kashmiri Tea House Elixirs. The Elixirs come in three different flavours – Rose, Saffron and Pomegranate. The Rose and Pomegranate are cold brewed with green tea, so are lightly caffeinated. The Saffron is caffeine free, but the addition of honey to sweeten makes this the only non-vegan drink of the range.
I tried the Rose Elixir and it’s a refreshing fragrant drink, I particularly liked the cardamom notes with the rose. As this one is made with green tea, then it’s a day time drink for me (I can’t do caffeine later than afternoon). I drank it cold from the fridge, but it would also be great over ice or try this recipe for a longer drink:
- 100ml Rose Elixir
- 100ml Fever Tree aromatic tonic water
- Ice to the top of the glass
- Garnish with a spring of rosemary, slightly bruised to release the aroma and infuse into the drink
You can buy the Elixirs online from the Kashmiri Teahouse for £11.25 for 3 or try them all with a mixed pack of 6 (2 of each flavour) for £22.50.
Nine Elms no. 18 [gifted]
Created as a non alcoholic accompaniment for food – it’s not a ‘wine’ replacement per se – but looks very much like a glass of wine.
Fruity berry flavours are balanced with botanicals to create a tannic drink with depth of flavour that works well with food – especially meat/proteins.
I really want to play more with this product as I could see it adding versatility to non alcoholic cocktails – watch this space.
Buy Nine Elms no. 18 from Master of Malt for £19.95.
Sea Arch – “distilled spirit” not gin
I’ve not actually tried this ‘spirit’ yet. However it appeals to me as it’s not trying to sell itself as a non alcoholic gin (what an oxymoron!), but instead focusing on the flavours. Does Coastal Juniper appeal to you as much as it does to me?
The inclusion of sea kelp, samphire and blood orange along with juniper and other key gin botanicals, such as cardamom and angelica, makes this a complex drink. Perfect with served long with tonic or for creating non-alcoholic cocktails, I think this would be a great addition for any non drinker.
Buy Sea Arch non-alcoholic distilled spirit online at Amazon [affiliate link] from £21.89.
Duchess non-alcoholic G&T [gifted]
The Duchess non-alcoholic G&T has been around for a while. In fact they have developed their range from when I first tried it. It now includes 3 options: The Duchess Botanical, Greenery and Floral. Made in South Africa, many of the flavours used in creating the range are local.
You can buy the Duchess online from £10.99 for a case of 6 bottles.
Lowlander 0% beer [gifted]
Lowlander have made a botanically brewed beer that’s remarkably sustainable too. Their Wit beer is 0.00% alcohol and made with surplus orange and lemon peels from bars and restaurants that would otherwise have been thrown away.
When I tried the Wit beer I loved the citrus flavours that explode on your taste buds. It’s very much a beer even at 0% and very tasty. I can verify that it works well with food, including curry.
Buy Lowlander beers in the UK from Amazon [affiliate link]
Everleaf non-alcoholic bittersweet aperitif
If I wanted to concoct a non-alcoholic negroni I would need to find 3 things: a non-alcoholic juniper flavoured gin substitute (see Sea Arch above), a non-alcoholic vermouth substitute (perhaps Nine Elms no. 18) and a non-alcoholic bitter substitute for Campari. However Everleaf may answer the last of these three requirements…
There has been an attempt at a non-alcoholic pre-mix negroni by Seedlip and Aecorn Aperitifs (the Nogroni), but when I tried that at London Cocktail Week, it fell flat. There wasn’t enough depth of flavour, mouthfeel and bite, this unfortunately is what the alcohol brings to the table normally. I also thought the inclusion of Seedlip Spice didn’t work – their orange spiced drink might have made it taste more classically negroni-esque.
I’ve tried Everleaf briefly when it was pressed into my hand by an enthusiastic friend, but I can’t recall much about it’s body and taste. I haven’t tried it in the holy trinty that is a non-alcoholic negroni – but this is definitely on my list to try now.
Lower alcohol alternatives
Hayman’s Small Gin
Hayman’s put a lot of effort into developing their Small Gin. Designed to taste exactly like a normal Hayman’s London Dry gin when served with tonic, I couldn’t tell the difference when tested!
Each bottle comes with a thimble to measure a very small amount of the 43% proof spirit. When diluted with tonic in a normal size glass, a gin and tonic is only 0.2 units of alcohol and 15 calories. This is a great option for those who can’t kick a G&T and want to retain that classic Hayman’s taste with minimal alcohol. The options for using this spirit in low ABV cocktails are also limitless!
You can currently buy Hayman’s Small Gin at a discounted £21 at Waitrose online.
Vermouth & tonic
A naturally lighter alcohol drink than spirits, vermouth can be served long with tonic in a spritz style, as well as neat or with ice. I find this is a great aperitif, but for me a spritz suits a hot climate (rather than January in the UK!). However this can be a light and refreshing option pre-dinner.
One I particularly like is Asterley Bro’s English vermouth, both the Estate & Schofield’s Dry. Full disclosure, I invested in them for a 30% discount for life! Find out more about and buy online at their website: Asterley Bros
Nirvana Low Alcohol beers [gifted]
As mentioned above, whilst there are some 0% beers, not all beers that are considered non-alcoholic according to law, are actually completely alcohol free. So these low ABV beers are a tasty alternative to the normal strength beers:
What will you be drinking this Dry January? Let me know in the comments below!
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