Do your New Year’s resolutions disappear faster than the bubbles in a leftover bottle of sparkling? According to psychologists, while it is a good time to reflect on what changes you’d like to make in the months ahead, you’ll have a greater chance of success if you set small, attainable targets and gradually work towards them. Whether your end goal is to be kinder to the planet, cut carbs or track your alcohol intake, here are four ways to enjoy a few guilt-free drinks, make positive changes and say goodbye to resolution regret.
If being more environmentally conscious topped your New Year’s resolution list, you should feel no guilt at all about enjoying a glass of wine. Simply choose certified organic drops that are produced without synthetic chemicals and work with nature, such as using sheep to eat weeds on the vineyard and fighting pests with biological control methods. What’s in it for you? Apart from the feel-good vibes from protecting the planet, thanks to a growing demand for Australian organic wines, you can now enjoy a wide variety of choice and complex flavour profiles. Try Wildly Organic Rosé, which has hints of pink roses, pomegranate, fresh strawberries, lavender and passionfruit. Or savour the dark and broody fruit flavours and spicy tannins of Wirra Wirra Organic Shiraz. Don’t forget to recycle the bottles for extra planet points!
After the excesses of Christmas, resolving to reduce your alcohol intake during January is almost as common as getting sand in your sandwiches at the beach. But what about those summer picnics or holiday barbecues?
Fortunately, producers have come to the party with lower-alcohol options, so you can still treat yourself to a social tipple. They are a great choice for ‘mindful drinking’, which means drinking slowly and being more aware of how much you consume. It’s also an opportunity to try something different, such as The People’s Wine Piquette Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. It’s made using a French method of re-soaking and re-pressing grape skins, resulting in a lighter, refreshing wine substitute with less alcohol (8% compared to the average 11-13% of most white wines). Or pop an ultra-low carb Travla Mid Strength Lager in your stubby holder for an all-Aussie brew that’s only 3.5% alcohol per can.
‘Sober curious’ and keen to take a break from booze? Or perhaps it’s your turn to be the designated driver? Thanks to the boom in zero-alcohol drinks, you can say goodbye to spending all night sipping soft drinks while your friends have fun sampling cocktails. Why not whip up a pink Tom Collins with ice, lemon juice, sugar syrup, soda water and a gin substitute like Four Pillars Bloody Shiraz Bandwagon Zero Alcohol? Or try a Virgin Mexican Mule by pouring Lyre’s Agave Reserva (Tequila Reposado), ginger beer and lime juice into a tumbler with ice. Non-alc spirits such as Lyre’s offer a compelling alternative that doesn’t compromise on flavour. “Lyre’s is true to taste – it offers the flavours you know and love when it comes to your favourite cocktails, just without the alcohol,” says sommelier and Lyre’s Flavour Architect David Murphy.
If getting into shape is on your 2023 agenda, look for slimmed-down summer drinks that come with less carbs and kilojoules. Swap your afternoon G&T for a Four Pillars Fresh Yuzu Gin & Soda, which marries the floral citrusy notes of this unique Japanese fruit with diet-friendly soda water (tonic water contains sugar to mask the bitter quinine flavour). For a tropical twist, trade your mango daiquiri for Fellr Brewed Alcoholic Seltzer Mango, which contains less than 1g of sugar and only 347kJ (83 Cals). Or switch full-strength brews for the crisp finish of Brick Lane Hi-fi Dry Japanese No Carb Lager, containing zero carbs and only 364kJ (87 Cals).