Christmas is a time for food, drinks, friends, and family. And, erm, a bit more food, a few more drinks, and another bite or two of food thrown in for good measure. So, when the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve, it’s not surprising that many of us feel like embarking on a bit of a detox. If you want a healthy start to the year, it might be worth taking part in Dry January – not only will you feel better for it, but because you’ll probably save money by not drinking alcohol, your bank balance will thank you for it too!
Alcohol Change UK is a leading charity who promote ‘alcohol change’ rather than being ‘anti-alcohol’. What they are aiming to do is create a future in which people drink as a conscious choice, not a default. That’s why every year, Alcohol Change run Dry January, a one-month, booze-free challenge. With 88% of participants reporting they save money by not drinking alcohol, there are a number of benefits to taking part! It’s not too late to get involved either – you can still sign up here.
And don’t worry – taking part in Dry January doesn’t mean you need to be stuck at home whilst your friends are out having a good time. There are tons of delicious alcohol-free cocktail recipes out there – in fact, we’ve put together our top five mocktail recipes below so you can still join in the fun but without waking up with a fuzzy head the next day!
Something Fruity – Sparkling Cranberry Pomegranate
This sparkling and fruity concoction is the perfect tipple for special occasions!
- ¾ cup pomegranate seeds
- 2-3 limes, thinly sliced
- ¾ cup water
- ¾ cup white sugar + ¼ cup for rimming glasses
- 2 ⅓ cups unsweetened cranberry-pomegranate juice
- 24 ounces club soda or sparkling water
- Crushed ice
- Garnish: fresh mint, cinnamon sticks
Whisk together the water and ¾ cup white sugar in a bowl until the sugar is completely dissolved. Fill a large jug halfway with ice, and pour in the simple sugar mixture. Add in the unsweetened cranberry-pomegranate juice, along with the sparkling water, sliced lime, and pomegranate and stir.
Dip the top of your Champagne glass into a bowl filled with the remain ¼ cup sugar to rim the glass. Pour the drink into the sugar rimmed glass and garnish with a cinnamon stick and/or fresh mint.
Something Refreshing – Cool Cucumber Mocktail
This deliciously refreshing drink is the ultimate long drink to sip and enjoy!
- ¼ teaspoon finely chopped dill
- 1 tablespoon agave syrup
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- ¼ cup of fresh cucumber
- ¼ cup chilled soda water or lemonade
- Garnish: 1 thin, lengthwise slice of cucumber, 2 dill sprig
Press the cucumber slice against the inside of a chilled highball glass and add ice. Meanwhile, muddle the chopped dill, agave syrup, lemon and lime juice in a cocktail shaker, add one tablespoon of water, and mix until the syrup is completely dissolved. Add ice and cucumber and shake well.
Strain into the prepared glass, and stir in the soda water or lemonade. Garnish with the dill sprig.
Something Simple – Sweet Sunrise
A non-alcoholic take on the classic Tequila Sunrise that’s as pretty as it is delicious!
- 4 ounces orange juice
- ½ ounce grenadine
- Garnish: orange slice
This one couldn’t be more simple to make – so if you want to make a delicious mocktail quickly, look no further! Fill a highball glass with ice and orange juice, then pour in the grenadine. Voila – quick, easy, and delicious!
Simply garnish with a slice of orange.
Something Tropical – Fruity Fizz
It might be January, but who says you can enjoy a bit of summer sun in a glass?
- A handful of strawberries, hulled and halved
- 1 kiwi fruit, peeled and chopped
- 1 pineapple rings, chopped
- Sparkling apple juice
- Tropical fruit juice
- Soda water
Mix together the chopped strawberries, kiwi fruit, and pineapple rings and add to eight glasses. Fill the glasses with equal amounts of chilled apple juice, chilled tropical fruit juice, and chilled soda water. Serve and enjoy immediately.
This delicious thirst quencher doesn’t need any extra garnish – it’s pretty enough on its own!
Something Fun – Sweetie Mocktail
If you have a sweet tooth then you’ll want to get your hands on this sweet and fun mocktail!
- 1 cup lemonade
- 1 ounce of grenadine
- ½ ounce lime juice
- Red decorating sugar
- Garnish: your favourite sweets, treat stick, sliced lime
Dip your favourite glass in water then into a bowl of red decorating sugar to rim the glass. Fill the glass with ice, add 1 ounce of grenadine, lime juice, and top up with sparkling lemonade.
Garnish with a slice of lime, add your favourite sweets to the treat stick and balance it on the top of the glass. Simple, fun, and delicious!
According to Alcohol Change UK, 58% of participants lost weight during last year’s challenge, and 71% enjoyed better sleep. Dry January clearly has a number of health benefits – but don’t forget you’ll also save money by not drinking alcohol too! If you’d like to save even more cash in the New Year, why not sign up to our panel to take part in paid market research? It’s great fun and you can fit it in around your work and family life too.
If you’re participating in Dry January, we hope these recipes provide you with some great alcohol-free ideas. Good luck – and enjoy!