Liquor Lab’s Tips for a Successful Dry January, Plus 3 Mocktail Recipes to Try

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Happy New Year! With the turn of the year comes a slew of resolutions. From reading more books to learning to cook, it seems everyone is committed to living their best lives in 2024.

“Dry January” is a New Year’s resolution that’s gained popularity and traction over the past couple of years, alongside the rise of nonalcoholic spirit options and mocktails being added to most restaurant and bar menus. If you enjoy your evening beverage but want to cut back on alcohol this month—or all year—read on for tips to make your Dry January spectacular from experts at Liquor Lab, a hands-on cocktail-making studio in Nashville.

What Is Dry January?

Dry January is a health and wellness initiative that encourages individuals to abstain from consuming alcoholic beverages for the entire month of January. The campaign, which has become popular in recent years, is often framed as a resolution to start the year with a period of sobriety and reevaluate one’s relationship with alcohol following the often-indulgent holiday season.

Participants voluntarily commit to avoiding alcohol during January, hoping to experience various health benefits such as improved sleep, increased energy levels, and weight loss. While Dry January is not a formal medical or therapeutic program, some studies suggest potential positive outcomes regarding liver function, mental well-being, and overall lifestyle habits. 

Why Do People Commit to Dry January?

There are a slew of health and wellness benefits that can accompany decreased alcohol consumption. A research paper published in 2018 found that Dry January participants may experience lower blood pressure, lower risk of diabetes, and lower cholesterol. 

 

On the outside, lower alcohol levels can help clear up skin, lead to better sleep, and give participants more energy. Decreasing alcohol consumption may even improve your mood!

 

Socially, those who abstain from drinking may experience less financial stress and improved memory, both of which can contribute to happier and healthier relationships with friends and family.

 

Besides the many benefits of Dry January, some studies found that participants went on to lead healthier lives in the months following. Dry January can be more than a challenge or one-off resolution; it can change your life.

Tips for a Successful Dry January

Embarking on a successful and enjoyable Dry January can be a rewarding experience. Here are some tips to navigate the month with positivity and resilience:

  1. Set Clear Goals

Define your reasons for participating in Dry January in advance, whether it’s for health, self-discovery, or simply a break from the status quo.

  1. Plan Alternatives

Discover and embrace nonalcoholic beverages like mocktails, herbal teas, and flavored sparkling water to replace your usual drink choices. Find three exceptional mocktail recipes from the Liquor Lab team below!

  1. Seek Social Support

Share your commitment with friends and family so they can provide encouragementand some nonalcoholic optionsduring social gatherings.

  1. Explore New Hobbies

Use your extra time, energy, and money to try out activities you’ve been curious about. Maybe now’s the time to finally join Duolingo or kick-start your 2024 reading goal!

  1. Engage in Mindful Practices

Incorporate mindfulness techniques, such as meditation or yoga, into your daily or weekly routine to manage stress and enhance well-being. These types of practices will also help ground you and remind you why you committed to Dry January in the first place.

  1. Create a Reward System

Establish small, nonalcohol-related rewards for reaching milestones to reinforce your commitment. Something as small as a coffee from your favorite shop on Fridays or streaming a movie in your queue can help you stick to your goal.

  1. Educate Yourself

Learn about the potential health benefits of a month without alcohol, and stay informed about how it may positively impact your body. The information above is just an overview; there is so much more to learn!

  1. Build a Support Network

Connect with others who are enthusiastically participating in Dry January through online communities or local events. Or consider starting a group among your friends and family!

  1. Reflect

Carve out some time to reflect on your relationship with alcohol, noting any changes in mood, energy, or overall well-being throughout the month.

 

By approaching Dry January with a positive mindset and incorporating these tips, you can navigate the challenge with success and even discover new aspects of yourself along the way.

3 Mocktail Recipes to Try This Month

Photo Credit: Liquor Lab

 

Orange-Spiced Old-Fashioned

  • 2 oz. spiced orange tea
  • .25 oz. demerara sugar syrup
  • 2 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
  • Double rocks glass, ice, and grapefruit peel for garnish

 

Preparation

  1. Add the spiced orange tea, demerara syrup, and bitters to a rocks glass and stir until combined.
  2. Fill the glass with ice and stir again until well chilled.
  3. Rub the grapefruit peel along the rim of the glass, then drop the peel into the glass to garnish.

 

Apple Mojito

  • 2 oz. apple juice
  • .25 oz. lime juice
  • .5 oz. simple syrup
  • 5 mint leaves
  • Collins glass, crushed ice, mint spring, and dehydrated apples for garnish

 

Preparation

  1. Place mint leaves, lime juice, and simple syrup into a sturdy glass and use a muddler to crush until fragrant and well mixed.
  2. Fill the glass with ice.
  3. Pour in apple juice and stir.
  4. To garnish, top the drink with an additional mint sprig and dehydrated apples.

 

Photo Credit: Liquor Lab

Chamomile Margarita

  • 2 oz. chamomile tea
  • .5 oz. lime juice
  • .5 oz. agave nectar
  • Coupe glass and edible flowers for garnish

Preparation

  1. Fill the serving glass with ice.
  2. In a cocktail shaker, add chamomile tea, lime juice, and agave syrup. Shake for 10–15 seconds and pour into serving glass.
  3. To garnish, top with edible flowers.

 

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