If your drinking is the focus of your upcoming New Year resolutions, or if you just feel like you need to slow down a bit, experienced wine merchant, keen mixologist and founder of non alcoholic soft drink ‘Botonique’, Hilary Marsh reveals the steps you can take towards your goal.
This time of year brings more festivities than usual, and with that turf often comes more alcohol. In a world where celebration is synonymous with drinking alcohol, it can be difficult to keep your alcohol consumption in order over Christmas without feeling like you’re missing out. But with more people than ever cutting down on booze, or eliminating it from their lifestyles all together, manufacturers have kept up with demand, and there is a wide range of alternatives that deliver a sense of occasion and great flavour.
Control Your Nights Out
Nights out in the company of friends are one of the easiest times to go overboard with drinking, but this can be avoided by taking steps to measure your alcohol consumption in social situations. Start by telling your friends or associates that you are intent on cutting down on alcohol, so not to offer you any drinks and accept it when you call it a night. It can also be very helpful to budget your night out: take out a certain amount of cash on your way out, and leave your cards at home so you only have a fixed amount to spend.
Drinking too much too quickly can spoil a good night out: if you’re ready to fall asleep after two hours, you miss out on whatever is planned for the rest of the evening. You can pace yourself, and enjoy your time to the fullest by alternative between alcohol and soft drinks. Not only does this help keep your drinking under control, but will save you money and keep you hydrated, lessening the risk of a hangover the next day. After a cocktail or beer, make sure the next thing you drink is non-alcoholic: fizzy drink, fruit juice and non-alcoholic wines and beers are good; water is even better, especially in preventing hangovers and maintaining hydration.
Moderation can often prove to be the key, whether it’s cutting down on alcohol or losing weight with an improved diet. You needn’t deny yourself your favourite drink, but simply slow down. If you’re usually a beer person, opt for a bottle instead of a pint for a smaller serving; if you are a wine lover, search the wine menu for a vintage with a lower ABV (alcoholic percentage). This way you can enjoy your favourite flavours without ingesting so much alcohol, and reap the benefits of reduced consumption.
For those who enjoy the flavours of alcohol and don’t want to give up the social aspects associated with drinking, but plan on teetotalling, now more than ever there are creative non-alcoholic alternatives that are carving out an entirely new industry. Manufacturers of these beverages are dedicated to creating flavours that deliver a pleasurable drinking experience with all the authenticity of alcohol, but none of the volume. Botonique is among these, a non-alcoholic wine crafted by wine and mixology experts for full flavour and zero alcohol. These are perfect substitutes, that allow you to enjoy the communal aspects of social drinking, without any of the drawbacks of alcohol consumption.
Cutting down on or quitting alcohol all together doesn’t have to be a loss or a reason to miss out on fun. There are plenty of ways that you can enjoy alcohol more responsibly, or stop drinking entirely, that will allow you to feel better, stronger and healthier in your body and mind, while making the most of your social life.
About the Author: As a keen mixologist and founder of non alcoholic soft drink ‘Botonique’, Hilary Marsh still loves to drink wine, but realises the negative effects it has on her body. She created Botonique as part of her concept to ‘pace and replace’, allowing people to continue to drink their favourite beverages, but in moderation and with a great alternative non-alcoholic option in between.