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Surviving dry January

For most Londoners, the thought of an after-work drink on a Friday is what gets us through the week. But come January 1st, after a month of eating and drinking everything in sight, dry January might seem like a great idea to start the new year.

More people than ever are signing up for a booze free month in an attempt to start 2018 feeling healthy and fresh, with internet searches for dry January climbing every year according to Google trends. Dry January’s website, supported by British Alcohol Concern, claims that 79% of participants save money, 62% had more energy and slept better, and 49% lost weight. The charity has also released a free app this year for participants to keep track of the money and calories they will save.

This sounds like a win-win situation, but what does it mean for the hospitality industry, when January is already a tough month for sales?

This year has seen a huge change in attitude to dry January, with many London bars taking a proactive approach and fully embracing the choice Londoners are making to stay off the booze. More bars than ever bringing out whole menus of mocktails rather than trying to tempt customers to give in. Be At One has launched a non-alcoholic cocktail menu, along with a cocktail bootcamp of yoga and boxercise followed by their tasty new mocktails.

There is also a new market for a higher calibre of alcohol free spirits and beers. Advertising itself as the world’s first distilled non-alcoholic spirit, Seedlip gin is being served in Michelin starred restaurants and luxury hotels. The brand is giving customers £5 off purchases in January, as well as a free cocktail in collaboration with Drinkup London at certain bars across the city.

So ditching the booze in January doesn’t mean you have to give up weekends out. Across London, bars and restaurants are welcoming – and encouraging- people to give up alcohol for the month, pushing their fresh home-made juices, sodas and cordials as well as delicious alcohol free cocktails.

Try one of these bars and sample their booze free options. You might even find a new favourite!

Mint Leaf Lounge in Moorgate has a big range of mocktails, including apple mojitos, a peach passion, and a zingy fruit cup cocktail.

IceBarLondon has decided to join the dry January gang and is offering a range of chilly mocktails too.

@Bar in Clapham has four delicious mocktails on offer, along with a wide range of softies.

Dandelyan in the heart of London boasts an imaginative list of cocktails, with alcohol and without.

Kouzu in Victoria offers a big range of detoxing mocktails and teas, as well as delicious Japanese food.

Dirty Martini have also got in on the action, with a whole menu for non-drinkers. Try the cucumber and dill cup, or the acai berry and pomegranate mojito.