Dry January: UK kombucha, alternative drinks and thinks.
Dry. But hold the phone. There’s no drought involved. Will you turn up to a bar during the month of January and be offered nothing as the tumbleweed blows across your feet? No. You will be offered something. You haven’t simply given something up, in this case, booze. You have also chosen something else.
What about the booze buzz?
Yes, if you are reducing or giving up alcohol then the buzz from having an alcoholic drink is something that will be missing. But then so will the sleepless night, the paranoia (oh, is that just me?), and the feeling that all you can muster the following day is a full breakfast then back to bed. So, what have we got so far? Missing: Buzz from booze. The torpid next day feeling. What won’t be missing at the bar? Choice, Taste. Flavour. Or, that is how it should be. So, if the bar, let’s call it Zeezees, is geared up for January there will be a range of options which are just as complex in taste profile as wine or beer.
Living it up, not giving it up
Something can be gained in Dry January. It isn’t just about giving something up. I am not, for a moment, mocking the serious intent and commitment behind Alcohol Concern’s Dry January campaign. Their website states alcohol as the biggest risk factor to health for people aged 15-49 in the UK. Moreover, people who participate in Dry January raise funds for charities, and have seen dramatic personal benefits in areas of weight loss, energy levels, and also in terms of saving money.
There are also other indicators that could show boozing is on a slow but steady downward trajectory. According to statistics released by the ONS, we’re drinking less than ever in the UK, with 21% of us not drinking at all. Further, in their study released in May 2017 the figures for people drinking in the week has fallen from 64.2% in 2005 to 56.9%.
So, the time is also right then to show that the alternatives, for those who are cutting down/abstaining/giving up alcohol (see, now I’m doing it), are actually pretty darned sassy. After all, they don’t sell Seedlip (the first distilled non-alcoholic spirit) on Virgin Atlantic flights because it’s a dull, only getting on for the last two minutes of the game to give it a cap, substitute. It is because it’s a serious alternative. It stands on its own merits. It is interesting. It has flavour. And taste. I first tried Seedlip in February last year when we were doing tastings of our kombucha alongside nutritionist and bestselling author Amanda Hamilton (who was giving a talk all about the microbiome and gut health) at a pop-up dry bar in Edinburgh. I’ve been a huge fan ever since.
Find your tribe: Join Club Soda
Did you know that the Mindful Drinking movement is being championed by a membership organisation called Club Soda? The team there run an 8 week course full of excellent support and resources for drinking less alcohol or cutting it out. Fancy doing a sober sprint with them? Their site is well worth a read, and their Mindful Drinking Festivals are brilliant events.
Be Dry. Be Sober. But be daring and be different too.
There are lots of interesting drinks on the market now which deserve a better tag than ‘substitute’ just because they don’t tick the ‘booze’ box. So, see you at ZeeZees for a rather jonty January/Drenchuary/oh, you get the picture.Live it up in Dry January: What will you be drinking? Why not try our delicate kombucha, handcrafted in the UK, the sassy alternative to prosecco (people have written in), the Oolong. Raw. Living. #healthyfizz