Liquid News: Festive season is over so raise a glass to dry January

Naked Hot Toddy
Dawn Egan

IT’S officially into January, the end of the never-ending festive season and the start of a new year – and new you.

January brings promises of new beginnings, hopeful resolutions and, for some, a month without alcohol.

Many people are giving up the booze for the rest of the month. However, many others feel that it’s a surefire way of making the bleakest time of year even bleaker. Opinion is divided on the idea but for those who are going ‘dry’, here’s a few no or low-level alcohol ideas to keep you ticking over.

Nojito: An alcohol-free twist on the Mojito which is just as refreshing as the original, this is perfect if you want the fresh mint and lime taste without the rum. Just mix lime juice, brown sugar and mint, fill your glass with ice and top with lemonade or carbonated water. You can also add a dash of rum extract if you want to go all the way, but this mocktail works just as well without.

Alcohol-free beer: If you’re out at a bar, it’ll likely have a selection of low-or-no-alcohol beers on its drinks list and if you’re heading to a friend’s house, pick up a pack on the way. Several companies now sell alcohol-free versions of beer; Brewdog’s Nanny State, Estrella Damm Free are high-quality bottles that sacrifice none of the taste and all of the hangover.

Pink lemonade: A more grown-up taste makes this easy soft drink an excellent alternative to alcohol. You can get creative with this one as well; throw in some fresh fruit and mint leaves, a squeeze of lemon or a touch of lime, or even a little honey. It’s refreshing and moreish – and you can top it up to your heart’s content.

White wine spritzer: The classic glass for those of us who can’t afford to have a heavy night, the white wine spritzer is a chilled thirst-quencher. Just pour in a little wine and top up with carbonated water and ice. Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling are especially good varieties to use because they’re light, fruity and low in tannins – or use Rosé instead and throw in some fresh raspberries for an even fruitier spritzer.

NAKED hot toddy: This is ideal for a cold night. Mix some honey and lemon with nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon, stir with hot water – or tea, if you prefer. Then sip away – it’s a great substitute for mulled wine.

Shirley Temple: A must-try for anyone avoiding alcohol. It’s served pretty much everywhere, and you can easily mix it at home as well. Just mix some grenadine with lime soda and ginger beer, mix well – and don’t forget to garnish with a cherry.

Enjoy your January!

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