Better Beverages for a New Year
Many Americans commit to changing their drinking habits come January and there are lots of ways to do it. No matter what's in your cup, here are a few New Year's resolution ideas to mix up your beverage habits in 2021.
Try a New Varietal Every Month
There are more than 1,000 wine grape varietals grown around the world, but only a few have made it to mainstream popularity. With so many different possibilities, why box yourself in as an "only cabernet" person? Find a guide to wine grapes from around the world and commit to trying something new each month. If you're a pinot grigio fan, perhaps try a crisp, Spanish Albariño this year. There are plenty of books available to start you on your wine journey too.
No and Low Cocktails
January is a popular time to go dry, whether for a month or for a lifetime. One of the hardest parts of giving up or cutting back on alcohol consumption is the temptation. Instead of reaching for a heavy-hitting gin martini, try a low ABV (alcohol by volume) cocktail instead. They're just as flavorful as regular cocktails but won't leave your head spinning after one or two. Alternatively, ask your bartender or liquor store if they stock Seedlip products. Seedlip is the first distilled, non-alcoholic spirit. They currently make 3 different kinds, a garden, citrus, and an aromatic. It's sugar-free, virtually calorie-free, and doesn't use artificial flavors or coloring. Drink it by itself over ice or add a splash of your favorite mixer. Their website has fun mocktail ideas as well that are worth a try!
Support Local Bars
In 2021, your resolution doesn't have to be about what you're drinking. Instead, make it about where you're drinking. Bars across the country have been struggling throughout the pandemic and there isn't relief in sight. Once a week, order to-go cocktails from your local watering hole. You'll be helping a small business and its employees in a very tangible way. If you have the means, consider donating to a charitable organization like the United States Bartenders' Guild Foundation. Their Bartender Emergency Assistance Program (BEAP) has offered relief to thousands of bartenders across the country since March.
Make Your Own Sodas
Sodas can be a sugary habit to break. For 2021, invest in a home soda maker and make your own bubbly beverages. Since you're in control, it's easy to cut back on sugar and try recipes that you can't find in stores. Get creative with your homemade sodas and play with flavors like rhubarb, chocolate, kiwi, and tangerine. Keep your dentist happy and use alternative sweeteners that won't rot your teeth. Many CO2 companies use reusable canisters and allow you to turn in your spent cans for a rebate!
Switch to Fair Trade Coffee
Coffee is a morning ritual for millions of Americans. But, before the beans got to your cup of joe, a farmer somewhere had to harvest it. Buying certified fair trade coffee lets you know that the farmer responsible for your daily roast got a fair price for their product. It ensures environmentally sustainable farming practices, safe working conditions for farmers, and direct trade with importers. It also supports community development through scholarship programs and health services. Fair Trade Certified coffees have generated more than $740 million in financial benefits for producers since the late '90s. There are lots of Fair Trade brands to choose from for your caffeinated kick. Get your friends in on your Fair Trade resolution and gift them a Fair Trade Coffee Subscription.
Drink More Veggies
Eating healthier is one of the most popular New Year's resolutions. If you're committing to upping your vegetable intake, consider getting them in liquid form. Smoothies are a delicious way to get your daily recommended amount of greens. Try using the 60/40 smoothie method: 60% frozen or fresh fruit and 40% leafy greens. (Pro tip: try blending the greens with a little liquid first, then add the fruit and reblend to avoid leafy chunks.) There are loads of recipes to help you max out on your vegetables without tasting them. Find a blender that fits your budget and turn kale into a kid-friendly treat.