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Sober Curious? Tips to have you mixing non-alcoholic drinks long after Dry January
When the first “Dry January” took place in 2013, 4,000 people took part. Now more than 130,000 people are estimated to abstain for the month. That said, Dry January is just a small part of a growing trend towards a sober curious lifestyle — and with more and more people opting to stop or lessen their alcohol consumption, many are looking to non-alcoholic spirits, like Seedlip, to sip on at happy hours, parties and at home. Beyond just those at the bar, those behind it are leaning into pouring as much creativity into non-alcoholic cocktails as those with an ABV, too. Here’s what to keep in mind if you’re mixing up your own at home.
Don’t expect Dry January drinks to be cocktails
While you can certainly mix up your favorite drink with a non-alcoholic spirit, don’t expect them to be an exact replica of vodka, gin or whiskey. For example, Seedlip’s three varieties are totally unique blends of herbs, citrus and spices that have been macerated, distilled, filtered and blended into a “spirit” that’s completely alcohol and sugar free. That’s not to say they won’t still be delicious in a classic drink like a margarita or a martini, but they will add a blend of different herbs and flavors than traditional spirits.
Try pairing them with a meal
A huge part of going out to dinner or having a nice meal at home is sipping a cocktail that complements what’s on the menu. That same mentality can (and should!) apply to non-alcoholic cocktails, to make them part of the dining experience. So, before you start mixing at home, think about what’s cooking: is it a hearty beef stew? Or a big dinner salad with garbanzo beans and a bright lemon dressing? When pairing, you’ll want your drink to either mirror or contrast the ingredients in your meal. For example, a simple sparkling tonic made with the herbal Seedlip Garden 108 will contrast the heaviness of a beef stew, while mirroring the herbs in the dish, without getting overpowered.
Experiment with warm toddies
It is January, after all, so if the thought of sipping on a frosty drink with crushed ice gives you the chills, don’t be afraid to turn up the heat on non-alcoholic cocktails. (In fact, heat can sometimes increase the taste of the alcohol in a boozy cocktail, making it more bitter and overpowering if the drink isn’t properly balanced.) Plus, a classic take on the hot toddy with a non-alcoholic spirit might actually make you feel a bit better if you’re under the weather, rather than dehydrating you. Try pairing Assam black tea with the ginger and lemon notes of Seedlip Grove 42, or mix up something a little more herbal and light with Seedlip Garden 108, lemon juice, apple juice and lemon verbana syrup. Both sips are perfect for a sunny, chilly day when you’re daydreaming about spring.
Share Dry January drinks with friends
For the longest time, those who weren’t drinking were tasked with being designated drivers and sipping on water at the bar with friends. Or, when someone brought along a new bottle of wine to try at the group hangout, the non-drinkers were excluded. Now, it doesn’t need to be that way. Just like you would want to share a new craft gin you found or trade sips of your cocktails at dinner, sharing non-alcoholic beverages makes them that much more enjoyable. Mix up a batch version of a non-alcoholic cocktail you love, or get a few spirits together for a tasting, then invite the group over to share. For those who enjoy spice-led spirits, try Seedlip Spice 94, while those who prefer herbal liqueurs could find a match in Seedlip Garden 108. If you have guests who enjoy citrus notes in their base spirits, the Seedlip Grove 42 is the way to go — but of course, you could always host a sampling party with all three.
Get creative with glassware and garnishes
From pretty glassware to expertly peeled lemon twists, cocktails are all about substance and style. Even if you’re just pouring a non-alcoholic spirit neat, taking the time to break out your nicest rocks glasses and drop in a sphere-shaped ice cube will elevate the entire experience. Plus, getting creative with presentation is one of the most enjoyable parts of sipping cocktails - alcoholic or non-alcoholic. For inspiration, try serving yours in uniquely colored glassware, or taking the time to give your non-alcoholic margarita an impressive sugar-salt rim.
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