This month, many people will be embracing Dry January, the campaign from Alcohol Concern, which encourages us to stay off the booze for 31 days and give our livers a rest from the overindulgence of the Christmas period.
Research has found that six months after completing a Dry January, participants not only drink less frequently, they also get drunk less. If you’re partaking in this years’ dryathlon, good for you. Unfortunately, January is birthday season in my social circle, which makes an alcohol-free month all too challenging. Instead I’ll be embracing a new trend, clean drinking. Clean drinking has been dubbed the fastest growing drinks trend and refers to choosing healthier versions of our favourite tipples. This means steering clear of refined sugars and opting for organic spirits mixed with healthful ingredients that increase the content of vitamins, minerals and superfoods in our drinks.
In London, superfood cocktails are all the rage. After a December packed with Margaritas and Mojitos, this healthy twist on the traditional cocktail is a welcome respite. I recently visited superfood cocktail bar, Tanya’s Café in Chelsea, where the drinks are packed with antioxidants and healthy ingredients, including cold-pressed juices, acai berry, matcha power and chai seeds. Not only was every drink delicious, but I felt almost saintly as I worked my way through more healthful raw ingredients than I’d normally consume in a week!
Inspired to create my own clean drinks, I’ve invested in a copy of Wild Cocktails from the Midnight Apothecary , which contains over 100 recipes for creating drinks full of herbs, fruits and flowers. I’ve heard that the author, Lottie Muir holds all kinds of events, as well as running a pop cocktail bar in Rotherhithe, London, so I’ll be keeping my eyes peeled. Visit www.thecocktailgardener.co.uk to find out more.
To make it even easier to enjoy clean cocktails, drinks brand Clean Drinking offers a range of cold-pressed juices made of 100% fruit, vegetable and exotic herbs. The range includes Cucumberbasilsmash and Cantaloopy and is designed to be mixed with vodka, tequila or your favourite spirit, as well as being at least one of your five a day.
Botanical or premium spirits have also been credited with cleaner labels and whilst they are free from chemicals, fertilisers and pesticides, there’s no concrete evidence they help to reduce hangovers. That said, I find that the posher the spirit, the more I savour the drink and ultimately the less I consume!
My bank balance might not be loving my new found love of clean drinking, but I have a hunch my body might be…