The first month of the year is famously abundant with intention-setting as the world attempts to start the new year off on a good foot. Among these goals is the ever-popular idea of giving up alcohol for the first 31 days of the year. No matter your stance on Dry January, the idea is to act as a sort of “reset” from the overindulgence of the holiday season — which most of us could use.
As an alternative, a number of people now experiment instead with the idea of “Damp January” — a perhaps more accessible and less restrictive means of moderating alcohol consumption during the month. Whether it be significantly reducing the number of times per week you drink or limiting the number of drinks you have when you are imbibing, many prefer Damp January’s relaxed regulations to the rigid requirements of going completely Dry.
If you are looking for new ways to cut back on your alcohol consumption in 2023, add these nine low-alcohol cocktails into your home bartending repertoire.
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The Sherry Cobbler
While not a fruit-filled dessert, the Sherry Cobbler is as easy as pie to make, with just two ingredients necessary for a perfect low-alc tipple. To make your own, simply combine amontillado sherry — clocking in between 16 and 22 percent ABV — with simple syrup over crushed ice and enjoy.
For those who love a bitter cocktail but want to stray from boozy classics like the Negroni this January, the Bamboo could be the perfect sip for you. Traditionally made with dry fino sherry, dry vermouth, and both Angostura and orange bitters, the drink is topped with a lemon twist garnish for a refreshing citrus edge.
The Midori Sour
Despite being declared by bartenders as a “trashy disco drink,” the Midori Sour is ideal for those who don’t mind a bit of sweetness mixed into their cocktails. This low-ABV tipple pairs green Japanese melon liqueur with freshly squeezed lime and lemon juices and soda water for a refreshing, sessionable sip.
The Calabrian Spritz
The first month of the year is not just a wonderful time to begin forming new habits — it’s also a great opportunity to try something new, like Italicus. The Calabrian Spritz features the Italian bergamot liqueur as its base, which contributes subtle yet wonderful flavors like rose petals and citrus. When combined with dry vermouth, a bit of Giffard Pineapple, citric acid, tonic water, and root beer bitters, the resulting cocktail is bright, tart, and endlessly refreshing.
The Cold Snap
The Cold Snap proves that winter cocktails need not be high in alcohol to be warming. In this seasonal sip, citrusy orange liqueur dances with fresh lime juice, cinnamon and clove simple syrup, ginger, and Angostura bitters for a delightfully zippy imbibe perfect for the colder months.
Though most popular in London in the summer months — especially during Wimbledon, when over 40,000 pints are consumed in just two weeks — the Pimm’s Cup can and should be enjoyed year-round. To whip up one for yourself, all you’ll need is Pimm’s liqueur and some ginger ale. Combine the two ingredients in a mixing glass, add some crushed ice, garnish with mint, lemon, and cucumber, and you have a lightly boozy tipple to carry you through January and beyond.
Another great swap for Negroni lovers looking to reduce their alcohol intake this January is the Americano. Rather than adding gin to the mixture, the Americano is composed of Campari, sweet vermouth, and soda water for a light — yet still wonderfully delicious — quaff.
Featuring Von Humboldt’s Turmeric Cordial and a hint of London Dry gin as its base, the Turmeric Rickey is given an added layer of refreshment with freshly squeezed lime juice and club soda. Despite its refreshing qualities ideal for the summer season, the Turmeric Rickey is a low-alcohol tipple we think is perfect for any time of year.
The Rosé Lillet Spritz
Low-ABV cocktails are even better when they’re as easy to make as they are to consume. The Rosé Lillet Spritz combines the rosé version of classic French liqueur Lillet with a touch of club soda for a cocktail that exudes fruity and slightly floral flavors. As a plus, the recipe’s simplicity makes it easily customizable with your favorite fruits, spirits, and more.