It’s that time of year again. You’ve overdone it in December and New Year’s Eve was just the icing on the cake. It’s time to bag up the empty bottles of wine, buy some food that isn’t beige and generally give your body a chance to return to its normal temple-like state (ahem).
The best place to start? Ditch the booze. Aside from knowing you’ll wake up with a clear head and clearer conscience come the weekend, you’ll also be saving money, sleeping better and – if you can make it the whole month – you’re sure to notice a change in your appearance, too. And who doesn’t want brighter skin, hair and eyes?
Whether you’re in it for the long haul or just for a couple of weeks, there’s no need for you to miss out on the fun just because you’re saying no to alcoholic additives. To help make things easier, we’ve got a few of our favourite bars to share their top Dry January drinks with us, so be sure to stop by and try them for yourself.
The team at The Envoy have put their heads together and come up with a delicious selection of cocktails that work better without the booze. We’re particularly taken with the clean-named Fresh Water, made of elderflower cordial, homemade thyme syrup, yuzu juice and soda water – fresh, fragrant and designed to make you feel good! Looking for something a little less “clean living”? The Dinosaur Roar is just the ticket. A secret recipe malted chocolate milk, frozen Milo ice ball and Milo powder make this a decadent, sticky drink that proves even without alcohol, you can still feel indulgent.
We love the decadent bar at BAPC (and the fact they know how to shake one of Hong Kong’s best Martinis). In the month when we’re resisting the call of the Vesper, however, there’s still plenty of choices. Flavour and presentation go hand-in-hand, so expect elegantly prepared drinks that also pack a punch in the taste department. The San Telmo, with apple, ginger and mate (the latter is a caffeinated South American tea that contains more antioxidants than green tea, don’t you know) is a smart choice, as is the Palermo, a mix of raspberry, lime and frothy egg white.
Bar Manager and all-around adventurous taste engineer Arkadiusz Rybak has outdone himself with his newly added selection of non-alco drinks at Hong Kong favourite Zuma. A trio of cleansing January beverages are on the menu, so will it be the Momocha (with matcha tea, Yakult, peach and lemon), the Nashi Soda (mixed with shiso, pear, yuzu juice, lemon juice and soda water) or the Yuki Pi-Chi (garnished with cucumber and shaken to perfection alongside Japanese white peach, yuzu and soda water) that gets your vote?
For a savoury and spicy evening beverage, head over to VEA on Wellington Street and order the Blood Wedding. Just reading the ingredients list – think Chinese mustard juice, smoky Lapsang Souchong and a rich tomato blend – has us coming over thirsty. Beyond this big, bold drink, a couple of other contenders also caught our eye, namely the Cleopatra Formosa (this comes served in a too-cool golden pineapple) and the fizzy Genmai. We won’t ruin the surprise; book a table to try them yourself.
This January, we’re taking ourselves to MO Bar to experience the QRC – that’s the Queen’s Road Central cocktail, to the uninitiated. What’s in it? Refreshing raspberry, strawberry and passion fruit, with zinging lime juice and ginger ale to top things off. After the excesses of the season, there’s something to be said for a fruit-laden aperitif, and this one is bound to impress. Settle into one of the cosy side booths with friends and wait for your drink to be served in the plushest surrounds.