Many Australians are becoming increasingly sober-curious and are swapping their favourite cocktails for non-alcoholic versions this Dry July, whether it's to find a healthier life balance, save money, or just to raise funds for a good cause by banning the booze for a month. (Plus, it makes getting to the gym in the morning before work that much easier.)
Whatever your reasons, Dry July is the perfect time to give "going sober" a go — not only does the charity raise funds to help those with cancer live better lives, but the community spirit surrounding the event helps to erase the social stigma that can sometimes surround turning down the next round of drinks.
Not sure where to start? Here are four tips that will help you make the most of your month off alcohol (and perhaps even help turn it into a lifelong choice).
1. Don’t Sacrifice On Flavour
In the past, saying no to your favourite glass of vino often meant choosing a glass of water, meaning missing out on the flavour and ritual drinking can bring.
Where there once was a gap in the market for non-drinkers, bars and brands are rapidly catching up to the trend, with more non-alcoholic options on offer that don't sacrifice on flavour. (In fact, non-alcoholic wines are one of the fastest growing drink categories in Australia.)
With over 165 years of winemaking expertise under their belt, Hardys have created a delicious non-alcoholic, full-flavoured range that doesn't compromise on taste or quality. Hardys ZERO is crafted using state-of-the-art technology that gently de-alcoholises the wine at a cooler temperature, while retaining the natural flavours and body.
Think a Shiraz with a rounded palate with soft, fine tannins, a Chardonnay with bright flavours of white peach and honeydew melon, or a Sparkling with notes of lemon curd, melon and nougat - all with low sugar, low calories and zero alcohol.
2. Don’t Forget Your ‘Why’
Whether it's a Friday night out with friends, or a laid-back Sunday lunch with the family, it can be hard to turn down a drink in settings where it's usually your norm.
When old habits kick in, and you're offered a bottle or beer or a glass of sparkling, remind yourself (and those around you) of why you're cutting back. Dry July is a great starting place for the "sober-curious", as you can get friends and family involved in the process through fundraising.
But there are other benefits to cutting back on the booze, like improving your health, getting a better night's sleep, and having more mental clarity. Remind yourself of these the next time you feel tempted to have "just one drink" and sabotage your Dry July goals.
3. Socialise In Smart Settings
The phrase "out of sight, out of mind" can be a winner when it comes to exploring the world of non-drinking. While the non-alcoholic versions of your favourite drinks and cocktails have become just as good as the real thing, sometimes it can be easier to avoid the temptation to drink altogether.
That way, you're still satisfying your inner social butterfly, and sticking to your goals.
Consider switching your normal social activities for a setting that's a little less alcohol focused, like trading after work drinks at the pub for a night of bowling or mini golf, or a Saturday lunch with the girls to a morning coffee. Or, better still, BYO a bottle of Hardys ZERO to social events, so you can have your cake (or, wine), minus the alcohol.
4. Swap Drinking For Doing
With increased energy, and a more positive mindset, your time off drinking is the perfect time to start something new. Plus, if you're cutting back on going out, you may find you have a little extra time up your sleeve to do those things you've always wanted to try.
Those Saturday mornings once spent in bed are perfect for a yoga or exercise class. And those Thursday nights out can be swapped for a weekly cooking or language class.
You may just find a new, healthy habit that sticks well past July…because zero alcohol doesn't have to mean zero fun.
Brought to you by Hardys ZERO.