For many, January always evokes feelings of hope as we begin another New Year and this one feels even more transformative as we slip into a new decade. Welcome to the new Roaring ’20s.
Now more than ever people are including resets and mind shifts, and for some that will be punctuated by reducing or even eliminating alcohol consumption. ‘Dry January’ is gaining momentum across the country. That’s a good thing but it can be challenging.
Fortunately, ‘mocktails’ are quickly gaining more popularity and are often found on many restaurant’s and bar’s cocktail menus as fresh, clean alternatives to more spirited counterparts. Taking a break from alcohol or quitting cocktails all together? Don’t settle. There is no need to feel left out at happy hour. We can still enjoy a fabulous sparkling beverage that is delicious and festive to kick off the New Year (ahem…decade).
Why do we need that replacement? “Cultural traditions such as bellying up to the bar on a Friday night with your friends becomes a habit,” says Lauryn Gilliam, Ph.D., LMFT.
With the new trend of skipping the spirits, Gilliam says we actually can continue our tradition/habit without impeding the healthier lifestyle and general wellness. “A habit is really a routine or repetitive behavior that gets some sort of reward from the pleasure center of the brain,” Gilliam states. Armed with the facts based on science, it’s easier to make a plan – and to stick to it. That doesn’t mean you have to give up being social or avoid those enjoying their vino and whiskey.
At your next gathering or social hour, why not get creative and try inventive, alternative concoctions so you don’t have to skimp on that feeling of anticipation. The pleasure center of the brain should be satisfied, and physically an extra reward will ensue post-sipping. You can imbibe without any of the fatigue, brain fog or digestive issues that alcohol can often cause.
To make the process fun, try mixing up a few specialties at home. These recipes are from the current Rock n’ Roll style menu at The Chef and I, but you can easily blend your own versions. To be creative, we’ve named these after sober rock stars. How fun is that?
Rock Star Sober Sipping Recipes
- 1 oz. egg white
- .75 oz. of simple syrup
- .75 oz. of lemon juice
- Lemon/lime sparkling beverage
In a shaker, combine egg white, simple syrup, lemon juice and a few ice cubes. Shake and pour in a rocks glass. Add a topper of sparkling and garnish with a few cherries and get ready for some sweet emotion!
- 2 Limes
- .5 oz. of habanero simple syrup
- .5 oz. of agave syrup
- 3 oz. Club soda
- Lemon/lime sparkling water
- Jalapeno pepper
Ringo always was a bit spicy, right? To make: muddle two limes (cut into quarters and press and twist (and shout!) to release the juice in a shaker. Add both syrups (found on Amazon or in the mixers section of some local stores). Add club soda. Shake. Pour over ice and top with a splash of sparkling. Garnish with a slice of jalapeno. (tip: remove seeds to tone down the heat factor)
- 0.5oz. lavender simple syrup
- 0.75oz. of lemon juice
- Club Soda
- Fresh lemon
When it comes to lavender, it’s in the way that you use it. That’s what Clapton taught us. Just pour the simple syrup, lemon juice and club soda to a jar. Shake well and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with a twist of fresh lemon rind. The bonus is that lavender is a natural anxiety reliever. Get ready to relax!
If mixing and shaking isn’t your thing, and you prefer to leave the ‘work to a professional, many local establishments are featuring fun flavor profiles and complexities minus the alcohol content. The most important ingredient is having fun, so go on an adventure and taste them all. You’ll find that you aren’t missing out, by abstaining and sticking to your wellness choice. Cheers!