Dry January – week 3


We find ourselves at the hump of the month, with still a way to go to the finish line. Richard asked me at the weekend if he could make me a drink and without hesitation I asked for a booze-free dirty martini. We’ve got a recipe for one in our book – page 38 – the dirty rosemary-tini, to be precise, and it’s a good’un. We went for an extra lazy approach of making it with a blend of some faux gins instead of the rosemary infusion the recipe calls for and it wasn’t bad, but I think the infusion works better in this case (not just blowing my own trumpet) because the strength and method quality of the rosemary balances out the brine a lot better. But it was still pretty good.

Mocktail delivery

I was then sent some new products this week, a new brand of alcohol free canned cocktails called Mocktails. Currently in 4 flavours: Mockarita, Mockscow Mule, Mockapolitan and the Sansgria. I tried the Mockscow mule first off, had it as I was getting ready to meet a friend for dinner. I honestly wasn’t expecting much but I was mega impressed. Poured into a rocks glass with ice (as suggested) it’s ace. Sweet but not sickly, and a good fiery kick of ginger but without feeling like a soft drink. Felt like you should sip it and I honestly felt like I was drinking a cocktail. Properly impressed.

I whipped up a big batch of chilli and decided this could be a good time to try the margarita style mocktail – their mockarita! Suggested serve is also in a rocks glass with a salt rim, which is perfectly pleasant but nothing more. It’s a really lovely glass of juice, but didn’t transport me. Took a couple of sips and then left the dinner table to fire up the blender. This drink, blended (in a blender that can take ice crushing seriously) with a good handful of ice cubes, is fantastic. It makes a delicious frozen margarita and in this format I did not miss the booze one drop.

Sober Girl Society

This week was great fun because I was asked to interview Millie Gooch for an internal work event at Immediate Media. In preparation I downloaded the audio book version of her book The Sober Girl Society Handbook. It’s a great read/listen, for anyone thinking of ditching alcohol or who is doing dry Jan too and needed a bit of a boost towards the finish line. Millie was great to interview and the Sober Girl Society looks to be a fantastically supportive space. I think my biggest take away from the book was to consider what alcohol does to our brain. If it has the capability to cause depression – either at the time or those hellish fear-ridden hangovers, then perhaps drinking at times of difficulty or sadness isn’t the best plan. The idea of taking a bottle of wine over to the house of a friend who is going through a breakup or a hard time then starts to seem illogical.

Hot off the press

Ok now this next product is so new you can’t even buy it yet. I feel like such an influencer right now <flicks hair>. Luxwell’s make a selection of fruit and flower flavoured waters in glam bottles with a birdcage design. Fun right? I’ve only tried the rose and honey one so far but it was lovely. Turkish delight vibes from all that rose, but with a whisper of bitterness – like you get with a mint tea perhaps, but really very subtle and it just stops it being sickly sweet. Very impressive, very refreshing. I think this is the thing I want to be handed during a papering situation – like served ice cold while I’m in a spa…or might just have it in a mug when I have a bath next – either is fine. It has this fun, iced tea quality that isn’t a mocktail but it’s more complex than just a juice. Really interesting product. Looking forward to trying the others in the range.

WEEK 3: the results

I am loving this. I am extremely privileged to be able to try all these new drinks but I am also still just loving having a glass of faux gin and tonic of an evening. I realised that I like this ritual but I find feeling a bit tipsy after the first drink a bit of an annoyance. I think as I am ageing I am finding a preference for drinking rather than being drunk. In the same way that I eat a largely vegetarian diet with the odd bit of meat or fish when I remember, it’s possible that working more booze-less alternatives into an evening will become the norm for me…who knows.

How are you doing?

How has week 3 been? Are you a member of sober girl society? Have you tried anything new that has surprised you? Are you counting down the days til February or are you interested in staying Sober for Spring?…or something in between?

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