As the new year unfolds, many individuals embark on transformative journeys. “Dry January” is a popular trend that involves abstaining from alcohol for the month of January. For some, it serves as a reset button after indulging in holiday festivities, offering a chance to break unhealthy drinking patterns. Others view it as an opportunity to reevaluate their relationship with alcohol.
Regardless of the motivation, participating in Dry January may offer health benefits:
- Improved sleep
- Enhanced energy
- Reduced blood pressure
- Better mental clarity
- Weight management aid
The popularity of mocktails, or non-alcoholic cocktails, has soared in recent years. These beverages offer a satisfying and sophisticated alcohol-free alternative to traditional cocktails. They allow individuals to partake in social events without feeling left out.
Any great mocktail is garnished with something festive.
Dehydrated Citrus Wheels
These citrus wheels can be made of any citrus – blood orange, lemon, lime, orange and grapefruit. Simply slice thin, about 1/8-inch thick, pat dry with a towel, then put on a lined baking sheet and bake at 200 degrees F for up to 4 hours, or until fully dehydrated.
Orange Rose Ice
These do double duty: as a flavor and a decorative element. First, slice an orange in 1/8-inch-thick slices then cut the slices in half. In a large ice cube mold, arrange the orange slices, peel side up, in circles so that they form the shape of a rose. Pour water into the mold, then freeze until solid.
Spicy Pineapple Mocktail
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 0 minutes
Total time: 10 minutes
This spicy tropical drink offers a balance of sweet and spicy with a kick of acid. Because pineapple juice is naturally sweet, add honey as needed to suit your sweetness preference.
- ½ jalapeño, sliced, seeds removed if desired
- ½ cup pineapple juice
- 2 tsp. honey, or as needed
- 2 large limes, juiced
- 1⁄2 12-ounce. can lime-flavored sparkling water
- In a glass, add a few jalapeño slices and press down with a muddler or spoon. Leave the jalapeño slices in there if you desire a spicier aftermath. Add ice, pineapple juice, honey to taste and lime juice and stir well. Adjust sweetness if desired. Top with lime sparkling water.
This mocktail espresso martini offers a caffeine kick and the same aesthetic as the classic drink while being healthier and alcohol-free.
Shanthi Appelö is a registered dietitian and health and wellness spokesperson for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan based in Detroit. Passionate about the science of nutrition and behavior, Shanthi has experience working in clinical nutrition, public health and teaching in the university setting. In her free time, she enjoys experimenting in the kitchen, exploring the outdoors, working on art and spending time with family. For more recipes and health information, visit ahealthiermichigan.org.
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