FOOD & DRINK

Struggling to complete Dry January?

Here are a few ideas that might help you get over the line

Are you giving Dry January a go? If yes, this is the time (second week of the month) when people are most likely to give up.

Millions of Brits take part in Dry January but what is the key to staying alcohol-free for the whole month?

According to new research by soft drink brands, Robinsons and 7UP Free, a third of the nation (32%) have attempted Dry January in the past, but have not managed to complete the whole month. This is the key time when people taking part to start drinking alcohol again (27%), with one in four (24%) not being able to make it past the first week.

When it comes to priorities for the new year, more than half (53%) of the nation say they would like to save more money. Adding to this, 48% would like to eat more healthily, one in four (23%) would like to cook more at home and one in five (20%) aim to drink less alcohol. While pairing food with alcohol, specifically wine, is widely well-known, the majority (57%) of Brits are unaware that soft drinks can also be paired with food to enhance specific flavours. Low-sugar soft drinks are known to be the preferred choice as an alternative to alcohol.

In a bid to help Brits succeed this month and save some money in the New Year, Robinsons Fruit Cordials and 7UP Free have teamed up with the world food recipe box service, Feast Box, to create the ultimate alcohol-free drink pairings for Feast Box’s authentic versions of some of the world’s most iconic dishes. For those who need a little bit of inspiration to help them through Dry January, they are offering an exclusive discount code for 30% off your first two orders – use code: DRYJAN30.

The research found a lack of drink inspiration was the top reason for people giving up (17%). Soft drink boredom at meal times also ranked high, with 16% finding Dry January too difficult due to not finding enough non-alcohol drink options available to enjoy with food.

Expertly flavour matching the soft drinks to a range of different foods and meal occasions, the partnership aims to solve drinks boredom and help keep Brits motivated to keep going through January and beyond.

The soft drink partnership with Feast Box features more than 35 meals which have been specifically paired with 7UP Free or one of the Robinsons Fruit Cordials, based on their individual flavour profiles.

Katy Watts, food & drink pairing expert at Britvic, comments: “Food and drink pairing has been done successfully with wine, but for those who are looking to minimise their alcohol intake this January, it’s important to maximise the power of pairing soft drinks with food. According to the survey by Robinsons Fruit Cordials and 7UP Free, a fifth of Brits said they found it easier to take part in Dry January with family and friends, and one in six (17%) said they saw it as an opportunity to discover more no-alcohol drink options.

“Dry January provides the perfect opportunity to discover a wider range of soft drinks, with their varying flavour notes, intensities and textures. By expertly pairing a selection of delicious recipes from around the world with the different soft drink options, we’re aiming to make drink choices easier this month and allow people to try something new.”

Some of the food and drink pairing examples include:

Lemon Chicken, with Robinsons Crushed Lime & Mint Fruit Cordial – The lime may harmonise with the lemony chicken, but the real key here is the refreshment from the mint. Lemon chicken might not be spicy, but the prominent flavour and fresh garlic notes welcome a bit of balance and coolness that this drink offers

Crispy Sichuan Duck Leg with Orange & 5 Spice sweet potato mash and Pak Choi, with 7UP Free – The lemon and lime tang cuts through the succulent flavour of the duck leg while harmonising with the citrus-laced sweet potato. Fizzy drinks excite the taste buds, especially useful for enjoying complex, layered spices like Sichuan pepper & Chinese 5 spice

Vegan Mapo Tofu & Pea, with Robinsons Pressed Pear and Elderflower Fruit Cordial – As the most delicately flavoured cordial, the flavours of pear and elderflower pair perfectly with subtle dishes. The light sweetness of the drink cuts through the salty miso while complementing its fruity notes. The fruit cordial is also vegan, making a perfect pairing for those following a vegan diet 

Iranian Adas Polo with roasted molasses and sesame beetroot, with 7UP Free – This dish offers something new in each bite, which means a refreshing palate cleanser such as 7UP Free can amplify the flavours. The creamy flavours of aubergine, rice and yoghurt especially benefit from a crisp, light, fizzy accompaniment

“Pairing drinks with food can take a great culinary experience to the next level,” says Feast Box CEO & Founder, Jyoti Patel. “With drink boredom and a lack of inspiration being a big part of why many Brits don’t succeed at Dry January, we’re excited to be able to provide our curated food and drink pairing experience throughout the whole month, in partnership with Robinsons Fruit Cordials and 7UP Free. Complementing your meal with the right drink can enhance flavours on the palate, providing the perfect partner for those at-home dining occasions.”

To find out more information, visit www.feastbox.co.uk/deliciouslydryjan

As an alternative, you could consider the latest offerings from Cawston Press.

Cawston has launched a new range of sparkling waters containing less than 10 calories (if you are also on a 2020 diet) for those wanting an everyday ‘go to’ that’s less sweet than your average soft drink – but much tastier and exciting than plain water.

Available in two flavours, Ginger & Lemon or Raspberry, they’re a simple blend of British sparkling spring water, a twist of Cawston’s pressed juice and natural extracts.  No added sugar, no artificial nonsense and no shortcuts.

According to their head of taste, Micah Carr Hill, “Flavoured sparkling waters are seeing huge growth in the UK, but they can be austere or taste artificial. So with Cawston Dry, our focus was flavour. Adding a twist of our pressed juice and natural fruit extracts, makes for a much more rounded finish; a refreshing but dry profile that tastes of real fruit. That little splash of our renowned pressed juice makes a big difference.”

Cawston Dry is will be available to buy from Ocado, Wholefoods, Planet Organic, Amazon and many independents including coffee shops, yoga studios, healthy cafés, gyms and art galleries. The two are available to buy in single 250ml slim can format with a recommended price of £1.19.

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David Buckley

Dave Buckley is a career journalist. “I once went painting girders for a week and discovered I didn’t like heights,” he says. “Apart from that it has always been journalism for me in one form or another.” Past publications worked for include the South-East London Mercury*, Kent Messenger, Daily Express, Today*, News of the World* and Hong Kong Star*. All those marked with an asterisk no longer exist (trend emerging?). He owned and edited a Thailand-based property magazine before returning to England and currently works as a production editor for an East Midlands-based publishing group.

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