Dry January

Could a 100-bottle limit help me cut down on drinking?

My New Year’s resolution is to cut down on my drinking. I’m not talking about bringing it within the NHS’s recommended limit, obviously. I’ve never met anyone who confines their alcohol intake to 14 units a week, which amounts to a bottle and a half of wine, ideally spread over many days. I’m thinking of something more in the region of two bottles a week. Why not simply stop altogether? Partly because I’ve tried that before and don’t have the willpower. The longest stretch I’ve gone without a drink was in the two years leading up to my marriage in 2001, because I didn’t think Caroline would go through with

The best mocktails for Dry January

It’s the new year, and that means time for resolutions. Many of us will pursue food-and-drink-related goals: eating healthier, eating out less, or trying a ‘Dry January’ – giving up alcohol for the month. Non-drinkers have more interesting options these days than coffee or Diet Coke. Commercially bottled kombuchas are a plausible substitute for something stronger. Non-alcoholic beers, wines and cocktails are also multiplying, judging from the crush of Instagram ads I receive. As someone in a semi-permanent state of trying to drink just a bit less, I’m always interested in tactics to facilitate sobriety. This year, I tried out mocktail recipes that might help a Dry January feel livelier.

How to stay sober-smug after Dry January

I simply love being sober. Isn’t it fun? Being totally level-headed throughout the day. Why would you want a glass of red when you can substitute some cranberry juice? January is just the perfect time to give up all of your vices because you get to hear, collectively, how great everybody feels. How much more productive and energetic your pals are after swapping out the sauvignon blanc for sparkling water. I’ll probably never have a drink again. I don’t even think about it. Then there’s the exercise. The only thing better than putting down the bottle is doing it amid multiple gym classes. HIIT class on Mondays, the best day

Where to break Dry January

Anyone who did Dry January will by now be eyeing the door and contemplating a night on the town. Because it would be a shame to break your sober streak with any old rubbish, here’s a list of the very best places in London to drink right now. Even if you did that very British type of Dry January where you don’t go out for pints but have a bit of wine at home, you’ve definitely earned yourself a treat and should read on. Seed Library X Ruben’s Reubens, Shoreditch The East London hideout of cocktail avant-gardist Ryan ‘Mr Lyan’ Chetiyawardana slides into February with a fresh menu and barbecued

Dry January is cruel

Allow me to set the scene for you. It is the coldest month of the year and also the darkest. The sun sets not long after lunch, ruling out any after-work revelry more exciting than testing your antifreeze. It’s too chilly to go for a walk; even a trip to the gym looms like an endurance test. Despite blasting the heat at all hours, you still can’t get your house warm. Your girlfriend hasn’t been seen in the four days since she took refuge under that blanket with the Friends logo on it. The Christmas season has ended, stripping the winter of its festivity: no more twinkling lights or Andy Williams. You