Despite this being the most miserable January in living memory (™), droves of us are keen to give up even more of life’s basic pleasures. This is set to be the most widely-practiced Dry January yet, with various unscientific surveys claiming that anywhere between 6.5m UK adults (up from 3.9m last year) to half of all Londoners (!) are planning to quit the sauce this month.
If you’re one of them, here are some interesting booze-free options to help get you through the cold, dark, plague-ridden month ahead without the numbing certainty of hard liquor.
Sparkling tea with cheese
Saicho sparkling teas and British cheese shop Neal’s Yard Dairy have created a Dry January Cheese Board. The pairing aims to provide a twist on cheese and wine pairing, with each cheese matched with one of Saicho Teas.
Saicho Teas, which are cold-brewed for twenty-four hours and carbonated, are designed to be served chilled in a Champagne flute or coupe. The Saicho Cheese selection costs £33.
A non-alcoholic aperitif
The next frontier in the alcohol-free revolution is the humble aperitif. Wilfreds, which comes in a striking Art Deco inspired bottle, uses naturally bittersweet ingredients to conjure the crisp, citrusy flavour of a spritz, without the booze. Designed to be served with tonic, it’s a blend of zesty bitter orange, rosemary, rhubarb and a hint of clove. Wilfred’s costs £18 a bottle.
CBD, but in a cocktail
There seem to be few places where the tendrils of hemp extract CBD have not reached. OTO non-alcoholic CBD bitters are designed to “amplify tonics, juices and cocktails”. Combined with a range of botanicals, OTO claims to help reduce stress and anxiety and promote calmness. The flavour profile is herbaceous, citrus and with a hint of floral.
Teas that are a bit like wine
Made using similar techniques to sparkling wine, REAL is made from loose-leaf teas, blended to produce two drinks, Royal Flush (which claims to be the “Champagne of teas”) and Dry Dragon (which boasts “notes similar to a Sauvignon Blanc”). Available from Waitrose, REAL even comes in a cork and cage bottle, giving it that “almost-but-not-quite-booze” vibe.
Available in Waitrose.
Beavertown Lazer Crush 0.3% IPA
Monday 4th January 2021 – Dry January has arrived and for those looking to keep having fun but cut the alcohol, Beavertown Brewery’s Lazer Crush is bringing the party. While some consider taking a break from alcohol to be ‘dry’ in more than one way, Lazer Crush is the perfect beer to banish boredom and bring that first-pint feeling into 2021.
Alcohol-free beers are nothing new, but the arrival of a new one is always a source of interest at City A.M. HQ. Lazer Crush is a robust and hoppy alcohol-free IPA created with a new type of yeast. The tasting notes claim a “crisp and mildly malty base before hoppy notes emerge, followed by a wave of fruity undertones”. It also comes in Beavertown’s distinctive graffiti-style cans for added authenticity.
Available here and in Sainsburys.