First of all, happy new year! And just like that, it’s 2022. Now, as you know I don’t do Dry January for a number of reasons. 1) I like wine too much 2) I think an all or nothing approach is, well, unhealthy (although appreciate for some this isn’t an option) and 3) I like wine too much (think I already said that). Basically, everything in moderation, including moderation is my preferred option. Mostly, I can have a glass or two most evenings and that’s that (although every now and again I drink more and my dancing improves immeasurably). But when it comes to Dry January, I’ll pass. What I will do, with pleasure, is highlight all the lovely dry drinks I’ve been drinking recently (and will continue to drink every month, not just this jute-like January). Click on this week’s reviews for some booze-free inspiration and I’ll be back on the wine next time.
Current non-alcoholic sparkling in the fridge: Adnams X L.A. Brewery Suffolk Blush
Price: £9.99 - Buy From Adnams
Kombucha is simply fermented tea known for its gut-friendly properties and this one is a collaboration between Suffolk-based brewers Adnams and L.A Brewery, a local micro-distillery run by foraging fanatic Louise Avery. Louise gets her inspiration for her blends by going for a walk and seeing what’s in season, in this case elderflower, rhubarb and hops. And the result is a total delight, crisp and fresh with light red fruits and a floral twist. More, please.
Current shrub on the side: Sprigster
Price: £26.00 - Buy From Sprigster
If you’re looking for a non-alcoholic replacement to top up with tonic over ice, this is brilliant. Created by the gardeners and cooks of Pythouse Kitchen Garden in Wiltshire, it’s made from a blend of botanicals picked from their own kitchen garden including hops for dryness, rhubarb for tang, ginger for heat and fennel seeds for a subtle hint of anise. The ingredients are hot-steeped in distilled vinegar to create a mash, but instead of being fermented, it’s left to infuse with the botanicals before being blended with an English Discovery apple reduction and spring water. The result is decidedly herbal with a hedgerow quality to it. Serve a measure over ice and top up with tonic or soda, finished with a twist of lemon and a sprig of rosemary to garnish.