Cocktail or Mocktail

Did Your Dry January Fail?

If you are like many people you at least tried for a Dry January and failed. I’ll admit I failed pretty quickly.

Now that February is here, we can talk about dry January.  Dry January is an interesting concept that someone came up with to let our livers heal after beating them with holiday egg nog and Champagne.  It sounded like a good idea, so I gave it a try.  I also quickly failed.  I knew there were three basic non-alcoholic alternatives to drinking that might help me stay “dry”.  

First there are Mocktails.  These are non-alcoholic cocktails.  Some use a “spirit replacement” others use herbs and spices for the kick.  On CoolToys TV, I talked about a brand of “mocktails” by a company called Escape. The Escape Mocktails weren’t bad, they just weren’t great and had a lot of sugar.  My favorite was the Moscow Mule.  My wife and Escape founder Talley both like the cinnamon whiskey the best.

I also tried a brand of “non alcoholic sprit replacements” by Ritual.  I found the “Tequila replacement” to be tolerable when I made a real margarita with fresh limes from our tree and agave nectar.  Sadly the Ritual “Spirit Replacement Tequila” cost more than a lot of good tequila’s.  So that was out.

The next option was NA beer.  I don’t really drink much beer, especially in the winter.  Just to have options, I tried six different NA or No Alcohol beers on the CoolToys episode as well.  Thankfully I actually liked one of the NA beers.  

The final thought was NA Wine.  I know, the first thing I thought was “Isn’t that just grape juice?”.  Well at least the two I tried were neither wine or grape juice so I didn’t waste my viewers time talking about them.  Like the Ritual Mocktails the wines were a bit pricey too.

Wine As A Vice

Fortunately for me, I don’t like too many high alcohol content beers.  I haven’t met a 12% or higher ABV IPA I even like.  They all remind me of the “Bitter Beer Face” commercials.  Wine on the other hand is something I enjoy.  As a kid growing up, we lived by “French rules”.  Kids could have wine (albeit watered down when we were younger) at the dinner table.  For many years my wife and I lived on the Napa Valley border and she worked in a small family owned vineyard tasting room.  It helped to cement my appreciation for good wine.

Recently my wife and I both took our WSET level one wine exams.  Yes, I like wine so much I wanted to learn more about it. 

As far as non-alcoholic wines go, skip it.  That is all I have to say.  

Other Options

I have also started drinking out of glass a lot more.  The aluminum thing may be totally wrong, but plastic is for sure a snow job.  There is nothing good about plastic bottles what are now piling up in recycling centers around the globe.  We should have never stopped using returnable glass bottles.  

In addition to NA beers I started drinking a lot more Topo Chico mineral water, along with more Perrier, Pelligrino, Evian and Gerolsteiner mineral water when I find them in glass bottles.  Not only is glass the most environmentally friendly container out there, I like the waters.

Wine was the cause of my failing dry January.  I make Pizza, It goes great with good Chianti or Beaujolais.

The Bottom Line

If you really want to give it a try in February, find some great cocktail replacement recipes, like the ginger mule I found.  If you like beer, try a couple of NA beers.  Like I said I found several great options, my vice was wine that caused me to fall off the dry January Wagon.  Beer I could live without and the mocktails were good enough to replace any cocktails.