By Laura Patton, Research & Development Graduate, SCF
Starting the New Year alcohol-free is a great way to rebalance the books after the overindulgence from Christmas festivities. Most of us will have consumed almost 6,000 calories on Christmas Day alone, triple the recommended daily intake for women. Cutting out alcohol, even for only a month, is an easy way to reduce calorie intake, for example a bottle of cider contains 290 calories while a bottle of wine contains 600 calories. Alcoholic beverages are not only harmful because of the hidden calories, consumption of alcohol is also associated with the increased risk of several cancers. However, more and more people are deciding to drink less, or not at all – almost a third of under 25s don’t drink, indicating people’s attitudes toward drinking are changing. The non-alcoholic drinks industry is responding to the increased demand for alternatives and here’s just a few suggestions to help you throughout Dry January.
Kombucha is a fermented tea with a natural sparkle and it’s full of vitamins, enzymes and probiotics. It has a similar look to a light lager or cider but with a more delicate taste. There are lots of different types of kombucha, some have smoky aromas, others with more floral notes or fruity, citrus kombuchas.
Alcohol-free spirits like gin come in a variety of different flavours, packaged in decorative bottles that would look beautiful in your drinks cabinet. Mix them with your favourite tonic and garnish with ice and a slice. It will look just like the ‘real’ thing and has that distinctive botanical, juniper taste that you expect from gin.
There are also some amazing non-alcoholic pre-mixed drinks, like a Caribbean dark ‘rum’ and cola which packs a powerful spicy punch balanced alongside the sweetness of the cola. While apple cider vinegar based drinks provide enough sharpness to make it the perfect long sipping drink to accompany food.
Of course, not forgetting the huge choice of wine and beer alternatives; you can even sign up to an alcohol-free beer subscription service and get different beers mailed straight to your door.
The market for non-alcoholic drinks is expanding rapidly and the variety of alcoholic alternatives that appeal to an adult palate is huge, meaning it’s never been easier to take part in Dry January!