“Are you trying out every soft drink that’s ever been made?” asked my son as I arrived back from the supermarket carrying an embarrassingly large bag of clinking bottles. His eyes gleamed as I unloaded Diet Coke, orange juice, ginger beer and elderflower cordial on to the kitchen table.
Yes, it’s Dry January and, as usual, I’m struggling to find anything I fancy drinking. Giving up alcohol is the easy part. The tricky bit is coming up with an alternative. Diet Coke gets boring after a few days, orange juice is too rich and as for Marks & Spencer's Fiery Ginger Beer, the taste is so strong that lightweight that I am, I can only manage half a glass. The best drink of all and the only one that I keep on buying without getting sick of it, is Bottlegreen's Ginger & Lemongrass.
Other drinks manufacturers are definitely missing a trick. So many people have stopped drinking alcohol this month that if they could come up with a delicious, non-calorie-laden substitute they’d make a fortune.
In desperation I turned to my writer friend Wendy for suggestions. Like me, she and her husband Chris give up alcohol every January and I knew she’d be full of ideas. Sure enough, she had plenty. “Pomegranate juice with soda is lovely,” she wrote. “Tonic and fizzy water with a slice of lime. Lots of fresh mint tea (hot and chilled) plus that old Middle Eastern favourite - a jug of iced water flavoured with lemon and cucumber. Teetotaller's Pimms!”
Teetotaller's Pimms. It sounds like a winner. I reckon drinks companies should get to work on it straight away.
PS. I’ve just discovered that some crafty pals go for Dry February instead. Why? Because they only have to get through 28 days (or 29 this year), not 31…