There are plenty of alcohol-free gins that you can try out to keep Dry January going. Many of us have collapsed under the weight of January stress and gone back on our promise to banish the booze, but for those of you remaining strong, congrats! You’re all the healthier for doing so. The question is, will this new-found sobriety continue past the New Year? Or do we meet the end of January with a sigh of relief and a large G&T?
According to Alcohol Concern, 5 million people took part in Dry January in 2017, but what are the real benefits to this alcohol-free life? After all, you can’t have fun without alcohol, right? We drink alcohol to lower our inhibitions and combat social anxiety, but if you start relying on alcohol to get you through social outings that anxiety soon reappears. That’s not to say that there are not responsible drinkers among us, but as a society, it’s well known that we are a nation of bingers. Surveying a group of teens, Alcohol Aware found that 22% of those who had drunk in the last week had drunk 15 units or more – that’s more than 7 pints!
Just imagine, waking up on Sunday morning with a full memory of the night before, no black outs, no missing pieces, and no hangover. You’ll soon be teasing those who teased you for not drinking, as you spring out of bed for a full day of productivity rather than wasting the day hungover in bed. You’ll appreciate the deep meaningful conversations that no one else can remember and you won’t wake up with your mouth feeling like the Sahara after that pizza crunch – always a mistake! Best of all, you’ll have saved money. The average person spends £50,000 on booze in their lifetime!
There are also some seriously important health benefits to consider as well. A teetotal lifestyle is proven to improve a number of things:
- Better immune and digestive systems: goodbye never-ending colds and having to spend the morning head hanging over the toilet
- Improved sleep: not waking up with the room spinning
- Beautiful glowing skin: a simple and inexpensive solution to all those breakouts
- Losing weight: ever wondered why you can’t burn off that last bit of Christmas weight?
- Improving anxiety: for many being drunk or even the hangover can be a trigger
Although people aged 16-24 are considered less likely to drink than any other age group, when we do we drink it’s to excess – we binge more than any other age group. Perhaps it’s time to reconsider ending that dry spell. After all, being teetotal seems bang on trend for 2018 as the Office of National Statistics says a quarter of women in the UK have chosen the sober route permanently.
Of course, choosing to extend your dry period can seem scary but let’s try banishing that dread. A teetotal life doesn’t have to be a test of endurance like Dry January but instead a lifestyle change that may help you for the better.
However, just because you choose the sober life, doesn’t mean you should compromise on taste, so here we found some of the best gin alternatives:
1. Teetotal G‘n’T: the most gin-tasting non-gin, all the flavour with none of the alcohol. Only 52 calories! Buy a case of 6 for £10.99.
2. Seedlip Spice 94 & Garden 108 Non-Alcoholic Spirit: These two have a more distinct flavour. Subtle herbs and spices tickle the taste buds, but they don’t come in cheap at £27.99 for 70cl. Head to their website for a voucher code for Dry January.
3. Nix & Kix: a range of ‘adult soft drinks’ with flavours of cumber and mint to mango and ginger, these are a great alcohol alternative and make a mean mocktail. A case of 12 is £15.
For more information visit Alcohol Concern’s Dry January page.
Words by Susie Butler