Dry January – Week 4


For me, this week was the test. Our book launch on the 25th, a Burn’s Night dinner on the 29th and in-between the start of our kitchen renovation. All occasions where I would normally have a glass of something cold and very very strong. How did it go?

Book launch

Jonathan Rose Photography

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.

Dry January – week 2


It’s getting serious now – we’re on week 2, gang. How’s it going with you? For me, I still haven’t really got back into socialising yet since all those lockdowns. Popped round to a mate’s for coffee this week but it’s the first time I’ve done anything like that in a couple of months, and I’ll easily spend two or even three days not leaving the house. I’m confessing my hermit status because perhaps that is what is making Dry January so very much easier than I thought it would be. I’m not going to the pub, so it’s a doddle and, dare I say it, kinda fun.

The confessions continue…

Right so the Christmas tree and decorations all came down and got put away or recycled accordingly before twelfth night, but this Christmassy can- Lervig’s No Worries – Driving Home From Christmas slid into the week after, shock horror! Also, it’s O.5%! So not totally booze-free!! Lol, course it is, half a percent is less than what’s in bread so I think we’re groovy. This beer was just what I needed on a particularly cold evening after a moderately rubbishy day. It’s a super dark beer, if you like stouts and porters grab a can while you can. Hint of festive spice and lovely bit of bitterness. Beaut.

Dry January – week 1


Happy New Year! Fingers and toes crossed that this year is much improved for you all.

Still, with so much uncertainty I’m avoiding big bold new year’s resolutions. Phrases like “travel more” or “spend more time with friends and family” and I just hear a grotty “mwahahhah” from the gremlin that is Covid-19. But I am going to do dry January. Simply because I’ve not done it before, and I’m curious to see if it has any benefits on my mood and health more generally. I’m also really keen to try some of the non-alcoholic drinks on offer…and it’s a good excuse to revisit some recipes from our book!

First hurdle

When does it officially start? If you go by the stroke of midnight on the 1st of Jan then I have failed, I was definitely double-parked at that point with a glass of fizz and a brandy, ‘hic’. Spent mostly under a duvet, the rest of the 1st was unsurprisingly a lot easier to abstain. With the 2nd being a bank holiday I just fancied a glass of fizz. I know, that might make me sound slightly ridiculous but there we are. So I popped down the shop and bought myself a bottle of appletiser. Yes, it’s just sparkling apple juice, but served well chilled in a champagne coupe, it’s not that far off that first super-sweet sip of not particularly posh Prosecco – just what I was after! I thought it needed something extra though, something to kick the sweetness down just one notch so I took a strip of lemon zest, twisted it over the glass so plenty of the lemony oils spritzed in, then dropped it into the drink. It worked! Super simple, inexpensive but felt v. fancy.