Let’s face it – plenty of us wake up on January 1st with one hell of a hangover. With the Christmas and New Year bash out the way for another year, we can all be forgiven for looking at the splashes of champagne potentially decorating the wall and floor and wondering why we ever took up drinking in the first place. Maybe all this drinking at the end of the year is why so many people partake in dry January, going sober for a month as a way to cleanse the system of those ill-advised tequila shots. But just because you’re not drinking alcohol for a month, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some luxurious winter mocktail recipes before spring.
We’ve created some fab Christmas cocktail ideas, but if you’re going dry in January than we’ve got five fantastic mocktail ideas for you and your friends to try out – so you can still have a drink at those winter parties, just without the side effects. And if you want to support a friend who’s partaking in Dry January, you can still get them a nice bottle of something special, with our alcohol-free spirit and a card.
What is dry January?
Dry January is a one-month alcohol-free challenge that people have been participating in since 2013. Founded by Alcohol Change UK, they’ve helped thousands of people, both formally and informally, to take a break from alcohol, resetting their relationship with the ‘demon’ drink for the coming year.
A month’s break is the ideal way to give your body a much-needed break and can even help you develop a healthier drinking routine. And even if you’re not a big drinker, sometimes it’s nice to hang out with friends and do activities that don’t involve alcohol.
The benefits of dry January
It might seem an intimidating prospect to quit drinking for a month, but the benefits of dry January are numerous and far-reaching.
For starters, you’ll probably notice your skin becoming brighter and fuller. Alcohol can do a number on our systems and a clean break gives our bodies a chance to clear everything out.
Over 65% of people who’ve participated in dry January have reported generally improved health overall, with 70% of people finding they’re sleeping better. Many others reported that they felt less anxious as the month went on.
In fact, research has shown that going just one month without drinking can lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of diabetes, decrease bad cholesterol, and even reduce the risk of cancer!
But on top of feeling healthier, the other great benefit of dry January is how much money you can save. A full 86% of people said that dry January has helped them save even a little bit of money, money that can go towards other healthier things to keep your New Year’s resolutions on track.
How to do dry January
Obviously, if you appreciate a wee tipple with dinner, not drinking for a full month might seem an insurmountable hurdle. But with the right help and support, anyone can achieve it.
Start by making a realistic goal. If you’ve never done dry January and aren’t sure you can go a full month, then there’s no harm in trying dry January for two weeks instead. You should also let others know that you’re giving dry January a try, giving yourself a base of support and a hype-man to help you through those tough days.
Finding a healthy alternative to alcohol is also a really good idea. Say an alternative like the five alcohol-free mocktails we’ve prepared for you to try?
Without further ado, let’s get you mixing some easy mocktail recipes!
1. Baby Bellini
A baby Bellini is the ideal starting healthy mocktail recipe and a classic take on the traditional peach and champagne cocktail. Elegant with a near-exact match for flavour, as mocktail ideas go, a baby Bellini is a must-try.
- 60ml of peach juice or nectar
- 120-150ml of sparkling apple juice
- Peach slices for garnish
Begin by pouring peach juice into your champagne flute until it’s 1/4-1/3 full. Then, slowly fill the rest of the champagne flute up with the sparkling apple juice. Then simply stir and garnish with a peach slice.
2. Margarita mocktail
Nothing says classy like a Margarita. Equal parts sophistication and casual, Margaritas are a much-loved cocktail for a reason thanks to their distinctive taste and salted rim. After sifting through several easy mocktail recipes, we think we’ve found one that captures the perfect Margarita essence.
- 450ml of limeade
- 180ml of orange juice
- 60ml of sugar syrup
- 120ml of seltzer
- Sugar and coarse salt to coat the rim
- Lime slices for garnish
For this healthy mocktail recipe, start by mixing the limeade, orange juice, and syrup in a pitcher. Next, pour equal amounts of sugar and salt onto a plate and spread it level. Slice a lime and run it around the rim of each glass to coat it in juice, then roll the rim of each glass in the sugar and salt until lightly but evenly coated. Finally, fill half of each glass with ice, pour in the Margarita mix, and then top each glass up with seltzer and add a lime garnish.
3. Apple cranberry spritzer
Spritzers of all flavours are becoming increasingly popular, so no winter mocktail recipes list would be complete without one. This apple and cranberry spritzer is guaranteed to tingle your tongue with its crips taste and is one of the easiest to make out of all our simple mocktail recipes.
- 1l of cranberry juice
- 1l of apple juice
- Lemon and lime soda
Take your cranberry and apple juice and pour half and half into your pitcher until full. Give it a stir and then refrigerate until chilled. When sufficiently cooled, fill each glass with 1/2 or 3/4 of the mix and top it up with lemon and lime soda. For garnish, add a cranberry skewer and a thin slice of apple.
4. Blackberry mocktail
If you want the most unique mocktail on our easy mocktail recipes list, then our blackberry mocktail is for you. Sweet and juicy in equal measure, this winter mocktail takes a little bit of effort to make, but it’s worth it.
- 120g of sugar
- 225ml of water
- 450ml of blackberries
- 55ml of fresh lime juice
Taking a large saucepan, pour all of your ingredients inside and bring it to the boil, stirring occasionally to help the sugar dissolve. Once the blackberries start to break apart, reduce the heat to a simmer and stir until the sugar is fully dissolved. Remove from the heat to cool and then strain to remove any lumps. Serve in small glasses.
5. Strawberry daiquiri mocktail
Last of our alcohol-free mocktails, but certainly not least, we couldn’t create a top 5 without mentioning this fruity little drink. A strawberry daiquiri is a perfectly smooth finish for any mocktail tasting session. One that won’t disappoint.
- 250g of strawberries
- 200ml of soda water
- 2tbsp of sugar syrup
- 1 lime, juiced
This strawberry daiquiri requires minimal effort to make. Simply plop all your ingredients into a blender and give it a whizz till smooth. Pour the mix into glasses and then garnish with mint and another strawberry.
There are plenty of other fabulous winter mocktail recipes out there for you to try and we encourage you to mix and match them to find your favourites. With these drinks in hand, dry January will fly by.
If you know someone who’s going to be attempting dry January while celebrating their birthday, get them a January birthday card to keep their (metaphorical) spirits up. We’ve plenty of unique cards and gifts from independent creators for you to choose from, so whether it’s for a friend or relative, you’re sure to find the perfect card to match their personality. And if you still need recipes for your friends who aren’t doing dry January, we’ve also got you covered, with rum cocktails, summer cocktails and more right here on the thortful blog.