Dry need not be dull. Power up or sit back and relax with our top five alcohol free beverages!
Indulging in ones tipple of choice is linked inextricably to the festive season. Whilst the socialising will have been curtailed this year, the imbibing probably wasn’t. Hence, here are some dry alternatives to help you through the traditionally alcohol-sparse first month of the year…
1. WATER (YES, REALLY)
Not perhaps synonymous with excitement, water is nonetheless central to our existence – and curiously, we all spend much of our time actually dehydrated. Central heating is one culprit for drying you out, but the other is we simply don’t incorporate sufficient water into our daily routines.
Now is the month to change all that. Buy a reusable container and fill it at home before commuting, walking or driving wherever you are going. Its an easy way to get at least another litre of water into you daily. You’ll feel the benefit of it almost immediately.
Easy to make at home and widely available in artisan stores and good supermarkets, smoothies with a fruit base to boost your fruit intake or yoghurt based if you want a dairy alternative. For a home version, use literally any fruit but try including a banana for thickness, especially if avoiding yoghurt.
Our favourite is a strawberry and banana smoothie. Add strawberries to taste with one large banana and a drizzle of honey. Blitz in a food processor for around thirty seconds and pour. Add yoghurt (dairy or non dairy) for body and a more substantial beverage. Natural ingredients, easy to prepare and it tastes fantastic!
3. FRUIT JUICES
Fruit juice can contain considerable levels of sugar. Even juice you freshly squeeze yourself will be rich in fructose. A great way to use juice to break up the monotony of a beer and wine free January is to add sparking water. It creates a far lighter and easy to drink beverage, that gives a fruity burst that is lower in sugar.
Try freshly squeezed orange and lemon juice with a liberal dash of sparkling water. Simply squeeze two good sized oranges at home, together with one lemon. The bitterness of the lemon juice is balanced by the sweet orange juice and the sparkling water’s lightness peps the whole thing up. Drink from a stemmed glass or champagne flute and find the joy in January!
There are so many great herbal and fruit based infusions on the market today, one can be spoiled for choice in terms of flavour options. Infusions need hot water, but not boiling (unlike black tea). If you prefer yours chilled, make it hot to allow adequate time for the infusion, before leaving it to go cool. Most are caffeine free, so as good for a post dining digestif as they are at breakfast or elevenses.
Ideally infuse in a clear glass pot and dispense into a clear glass cup, tumbler or a receptacle made from fine bone china. Infusions don’t require milk of any type.
It is all well and good to declare a month long hiatus on merry-making. It is almost expected that some sort of constraint is placed on the consumption of pastries, chocolate and other luscious goodies. It is tacitly accepted that a genuine effort to reduce volumes of cured meats and red meats will be par for the course in the bleakness of January. But surely one small pleasure can be retained?
Enter coffee, if indeed you had ever left. The aroma of ground beans, the bubbling of the kettle, the mugs warming by the iced over windows. And once brewed, that rich black elixir to give energy and focus to the day. In January, forgo the wine by all means, omit the bacon, dispense with cake, park the steak. But hold on to the coffee!