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How’s dry January going?

gin tonic ice cubes and rosemary

Dry January is dull, I’m boring myself just thinking about it; even saying the words out loud sound like a monotonous drone.  But boy can it work wonders; I know from personal experience, having tried it one year, mainly so I could finally part company with my maternity jeans…two years on from the first wear.

This year, while I might (read: probably won’t) make an effort to appease my Fitbit by moving about a bit more, I intend to make sure that at least some of that activity takes me in the direction of a bar or two this January…I just haven’t decided yet whether it’ll be a dry month, a damp one, or a monsoon.

The good news is that following the trail blazed by chefs, there seems to be a growing trend in the drinks trade towards healthier, fresher options, both non-alcoholic and fully loaded. Think aloe vera, coconut water, fresh pressed juices and super-fruits and veg.  You’re also likely to spot that bars are moving away from using syrups and sugar more nowadays, so it’s getting easier to stay on the calorie-counting wagon.   And the best bit about all of this?  Less of a hangover!

I’ve been having a natter to the chaps at brilliant Plymouth Speakeasy cocktail bar, Tigermilk at The Duke  to bring you a few ideas on how to have a month of good behaviour without having to hang up your stilettos. However you decide to play out this month, take a look at a couple of co-founder Mark Smalley’s recipes for a little inspiration – one non-alco, one cockle-warmer and one ‘thank God I’ve got tomorrow off’!

Aloe Aloe Aloe – non-alcoholic (top Dry Jan marks)

Tigermilk Aloe Aloe Aloe

A great cocktail to rehydrate and take on toxin fighting nutrients after an evening of excess.

35ml Aloe Vera Juice

35ml Fresh Apple Juice

35ml Coconut Water

20ml Lime Juice

10ml Agave Syrup

Top Soda/Ginger

Give all the ingredients a 5 second shake (or a vigorous stir) and strain over ice into a highball glass.

The Jeremiah – mildly alcoholic (hey, you tried)

Tigermilk Jeremiah

A bespoke cocktail designed for charity Jeremiah’s Journey with low alcohol and good healthy and rehydrating properties.

35ml Dry Vermouth

25ml Fresh Apple Juice

25ml Lemon Juice

15ml Elderlower Cordial

Top Ginger Ale

Same method applies:  Shake all ingredients for approximately 5 seconds (or give a vigorous stir) and strain over ice into a highball glass.

Old-Fashioned – Full-blown alcoholic (no judging here)

Tigermilk Oldfashioned

Here’s a recipe for those of you trying to use up that Christmas stock, I’m sure most of us will have some booze left over…, me neither.

Old Fashioned 50ml Spirit – usually Whisk(e)y, Rum or Cognac

5-10ml Sweet – usually sugar syrup but can also be a liqueur 3-5 Drops of Bitters – usually Angostura but many options

Gently stir over ice until chilled and balanced, approximately 20 seconds but to your taste, strain over ice into a small rocks glass.

This one’s a great base for your own experimentation and development.  Why not share your favourite creations?


And if you are one of those attempting to give dry Jan a crack, let me know how you’re getting on!

Tigermilk at The Duke of Cornwall Hotel, Millbay Road, Plymouth, Devon, PL1 3LG.  Tel: 01752 275858. 

Find more ideas here


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