Whether this is your first or 10th time giving up booze for a month, you likely already know that you can’t wake up after New Year’s Eve and expect to count down the next 31 alcohol-free days without a game plan. But with a little preparation and a lot of great zero-proof cocktail recipes, you’ll be on your way to February 1 before you know it. If you’re giving the sober-curious thing a try this year, start with these ideas to get you to the finish line.
After all the bubbles you had during the holiday season, a month without them might feel a little flat. That’s where seltzer comes in. On its own, seltzer is refreshing. Paired with other ingredients, it’s an elegant pre-dinner drink. Dress it up by tossing in muddled strawberries, torn mint or a squeeze of lemon. For the even more adventurous, consider one of these vinegar shrubs—loaded with mouth-puckering flavors.
Explore Alcohol-Free Apéritifs
The trend is growing: Numerous new non-alcoholic beverages have hit the market in recent years. Ghia(Opens in a new window), for example, is a non-alcoholic apéritif that’s refreshingly citrusy and bitter in the best way (to serve, pour over ice). Seedlip(Opens in a new window) is another non-alcoholic spirit that comes in three flavors. If you prefer the basics, you can find plenty of high-quality non-alcoholic wines and beers as well.
Concoct Sophisticated Zero-Proof Cocktails
Get all of the fanfare and presentation, but none of the booze, with elegantly crafted mocktails. Try this Blackberry Hibiscus Spritzer With Tarragon—it’s technically a summer drink, but it absolutely works well in the winter—or come up with your own version, swapping seltzer for the sparkling wine and muddling fruits and berries to blend with tonic water. (Find more inspiration for thirst-quenching zero-proof cocktails here.)
Start With the Right Tools
Those muddled strawberries? You’ll need a muddler in order to get them perfectly smashed but not bruised. Other tools that come in handy for making festive drinks: A citrus zester to dress up seltzers with strips and twists of lemon rinds and orange peels, an ice cube tray to create perfect cubes for your pour-over, and a cocktail shaker for getting just the right blend of ingredients. Whether alcoholic or alcohol-free, beverages always taste better when they’re made using quality barware.
Upgrade Your Coffee Routine
If you’re a coffee drinker, you may find yourself doubling down on your caffeine habit during this alcohol-free month. Take the time in the morning to perfect your coffee ritual: Grind your own beans, practice mindfulness while you make a pour-over or master the art of French press coffee. Instead of a mixed drink after work, treat yourself to a spiced coffee. More of a tea person? Get yourself a new kettle.
Team Up With a Friend
There’s always strength in numbers. Getting a buddy to cut back on alcohol with you means you have a ready-made support system if you start to lose motivation. What’s more, studies find that people are more likely to accomplish a goal if they have an accountability partner.
Plan Alternate Happy Hour Activities
If post-work drinks are a favorite of yours, this month plan for other ways to entertain yourself during that time. Talk a walk (weather permitting), try a new workout or just catch up with friends at your place. Another idea: Get a group together to try a new recipe.
Feeling inspired? Shop more of our barware here and start tinkering around with your own zero-proof creations.