January is mocktail season! And it’s not just a trend. The shift to more sophisticated alcohol-free drinks has been exploding over the last couple years. Interest spikes this month for folks taking part in Dry January, but there’s been a steady and sustained rise in interest for mocktail recipes for several years now, as people become more conscious and thoughtful about their consumption habits.
Before I start, I just want to add that if you have a problem with alcohol, please get help. There is no shame in examining your alcohol use, and Alcoholics Anonymous or a therapist is a great place to start.
What is Dry January?
Dry January is a practice I have participated in with varying degrees of success over the years. The concept was started in 2012 by Alcohol Change UK, a British charity to “ditch the hangover, reduce the waistline and save some serious money by giving up alcohol for 31 days.”
Millions of people now participate in the challenge, with more Americans taking notice each year. The sober curious movement has also taken hold—people who find themselves ready to reset their relationship with alcohol decide to undertake a period of sobriety to examine their relationship with alcohol.
I participate in Dry January for a few reasons. It helps me reset after a season typically heavy on champagne, and it also coincides with wanting to establish healthy routines in the new year. When I am not drinking, I eat better and have higher willpower to resist after-dinner desserts and snacks. No drinking in January also saves me money as I typically feel pretty broke after the holiday gift-giving season.
Mocktail Recipes on The Jason Show
- Health benefits: If you’re cutting back on alcohol for health reasons, mocktails are a wonderful option to drink something fun and exciting without the alcohol.
- Craft: Mocktail recipes are getting more sophisticated. Some of the best bartenders in the Twin Cities are crafting amazing drinks without alcohol, and there are plenty of home options and recipes for your own parties and bar cart.
- Alcohol-Free: There are plenty of reasons to avoid alcohol. Those who have health issues can enjoy fun drinks with friends and family without having to include alcohol.
Common Mocktail Ingredients
- Mixers for classic favorites like margaritas or Moscow mules
- Sweeteners like simple syrup
- Favorite fruits and fragrant herbs
- Tonic or soda waters for fizz
- Non-alcoholic spirits (these aren’t necessary, but can be a fun way to give drinks a boost)
- Non-alcoholic beers or wines
The fun part about mocktail recipes is exploring your favorite flavors. The sky’s the limit when it comes to creating your own drink, making it one of my favorite ways to try some creative combinations without worrying about whether the alcohol flavor is too strong or weak.