Low Sugar, Low Alcohol Cocktails as Compromise to "Dry January"

photo by Amanda Schuster
photo by Amanda Schuster

So now we've hit mid January. After indulging over Christmas and New Years, the majority of us are still feeling a little porky. There are two options here: The first being to cut anything "bad" out of your life - sugar, fat, salt or the friend that always offers you the last piece of cheesecake knowing that you can't say no. Then the dreaded words "Dry January" spring to mind.

The other option is detox. It's a horrible word that has been used by wannabe health nuts who fast regularly and drink those nasty kale smoothies every Sunday after a weekend on the tiles.

In my humble opinion a detox should still feature all those things you love to abuse,  just in moderation. Maybe a little less of the brandy cream and cheese selection and more of the five a day goodness.

Earlier this month we wrote about how to drink in moderation while watching one's figure. In keeping with that initiative, here are 3 simple drink recipes all featuring lower alcohol and sugar, meaning you can still indulge but be less indulgent.

photo by Javier Lastras
photo by Javier Lastras

The Martonic

Just make your favourite Martini and pour over ice with Tonic and a slice of lemon! This drink adds a whole new dimension to the classic G+T whilst being low in calories and damn well tasty at the same time.

I used 2014 NY International Spirits Competition bronze winner The Botanist gin with Gancia Bianco vermouth in a 5:1 ratio.

  • 50ml/1.7 oz The Botanist gin
  • 10ml/.34 oz Gancia Bianco (or other dry vermouth)
  • 1 dash Orange bitters

Stir with ice until well chilled. Strain over fresh ice in a Collins or large wine glass. Top with Fever Tree Light Tonic.


photo by Josh Powell
photo by Josh Powell

Cranberry juice seems to be the go to juice when people want to detox so this drink follows the trend with a nice fruity vibe. This drink has natural juice and no added sugar except for the small amount in the plum liqueur. It reminds me of Strawberry Lace sweets.

Shake all ingredients with ice and strain over a large cube in an Old Fashioned glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.

Rusty Fizz

If any of our American readers don't know what Irn Bru (like Iron Brew) is then this is as close as you can get in flavour with the bonus of it being alcoholic too.

  • 15ml/.5 oz Aperol
  • 15ml/.5 oz Santa Teresa Rhum Orange or other orange liqueur

Give a quick stir, then transfer into a flute glass. Top with good Prosecco.

So there we have it, good drinks without having to give up too much.

That's what lent is for anyway.