Has recent news sobered you up? You can still sip on something delicious.
You’ve probably heard of "Dry January" as a time to start the new year off right, especially as a reset after a few indulgent weeks of holiday treats. But September, the start of a new school year, brings an opportunity for a fresh start to more than just students. With summer over and the holidays just around the corner, many are taking September as an opportunity to drop the booze and focus on resetting.
Jump on board with "Sober September", a 30-day challenge to focus on getting back on track for the fall by cutting out alcoholic beverages. Previous research has found consuming more than five drinks a week can increase your chance for cardiovascular disease, with some experts equating alcohol to the dangers of smoking. The latest research has determined no amount of alcohol is healthy, supporting other studies that have found cutting out alcohol can help lower liver fat, improve blood sugar, and lower cholesterol.
So what can cutting out alcohol for just a month really do? Self reports by those who have participated in "Dry January" found an increase in self achievement, better sleep, more energy, weight loss, and more money saved, according to ABC News. We even had a Cooking Light writer go sober for 10 days, and she learned firsthand seven benefits associated with abandoning alcohol altogether.
But what about all of the football tailgates, cocktail hours, and dinner parties you’ll miss out on? We hear you—but we also know that alcohol isn't the end-all-be-all of social events. Swap in these five delicious mocktails for a party-worthy drink you can feel good about while staying sober all September long.
Blackberry Gin Fizz
Swap out the gin in this fruity cocktail, and you’ll be left with a creamy, fruity, fizzy concoction.
Get the Recipe: Blackberry Gin Fizz
Cucumber Fennel Cooler
If savory cocktails are your usual go-to, shake up this lemony drink next time you’re craving a special sipper.
Get the Recipe: Cucumber Fennel Cooler
Make this citrusy cocktail "Sober September" friendly by omitting the vodka and triple sec. Swap in two more tablespoons of blood orange juice and a dash of nonalcoholic orange bitters for the perfect punch.
Get the Recipe: Carrot Citrus Crush
Pear Prosecco Shrub
Scrap the gin and prosecco for one-fourth cup light ginger beer for a sweet twist on this festive fall beverage.
Get the Recipe: Pear Prosecco Shrub
Swap out the gin for 2 ounces of tonic water and 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice for the perfect "mocktail" sipper. Of course, kombucha is a fantastic alcohol swap for most occasions.
Get the Recipe: Grape-Kombucha Sipper