Let’s be honest – January is a miserable month. You’ve over-indulged in every possible way over the festive period, and now your waistline, wallet and likely wellbeing are all suffering. Add in grey skies and back to work blues, and the chances are that cracking open a bottle of red or popping out for an after-work pint may seem pretty tempting.
However, there’s an increasing movement toward going booze-free for what is, what we here at Gents of London term the cruellest month. If you’re one of the around 4.2 million people who are giving Dry January a go – read on for our top tips and alternatives to get you through.
Booze free beer is no longer confined to ordering a bottle of perfectly ok, but a little boring Becks Blue. All manner of ales are now offered in alcohol-free versions. From Brewdog’s Nanny State, termed a full flavoured craft beer, to a wide range of low or no ABV IPA’s whatever your usual tipple, you’re sure to find an alcohol free beer or lager that hits the spot.
Try a mocktail
Remember the days when most bars’ only alternative to an alcoholic drink was a pint glass of orange juice and lemonade? Thankfully that time has long passed, and you can find a wealth of more exotic options. Try “virgin” versions of cocktail favourites such as Mojito’s and Margaritas, which simply use all the ingredients, bar the boozy ones. Or distillers are now even tempting our tastebuds with alcohol-free versions of our favourite spirits – with alcohol-free gins, rums and even vodkas.
Do something else instead
For many, drinking is a habit that’s associated with another activity. Do you pour a glass of wine after dinner? Or always have a pint in the pub on the way back from your Saturday sports game? To some degree, Dry January is about breaking some of the everyday associations that we have with booze, so doing new things when you’d typically have a drink is a good idea.
Generally speaking, many of us are keen to get, shall we say, a little more trim in January, so it may be that, rather than hunkering down on the sofa with a beer, you lace up your trainers and get outside. Yes, we know it’s cold, but your body will thank you for it. If you’re not quite up for pounding the pavements, there’s plenty to do indoors. What about that book someone bought you for Christmas or starting on that DIY task that you’ve put off for months?
One thing that may surprise you at the end of Dry Jan is just how much your bank account may thank you. Let’s be honest, it’s pretty tricky to find a pint here in London for less than £6 – and throw in a bottle of wine with dinner, and you’re looking at some pretty savvy savings over the month.
So why not end the month on a high and treat yourself. No, not with a glass of bubbly, but with a treat that is solely for you.