Taking a month off the sauce is a serious undertaking – one that can go south very quickly when you don’t prep sufficiently. But you already know this from your failed Dry January attempts, don’t you?


Slight hiccups of temptations are never reasons to throw in the towel, though. You can get back (or simply stay) on that horse, but, for once, that does not mean backing up. Keep reading for some solid tips, from someone who has failed too many times to count. You can trust me.

DRIVE EVERYWHERE

Don’t get an Uber to a destination “just in case”. That’s like making the decision to drink before you even leave the house. Drive there, so you’ll drive home and not drink. Just shut down any opportunity. Nothing will make you stay off alcohol like being the designated driver – I mean, fuck, one would hope.

If someone tries to mess with your commendable discipline? Wave your keys in their face and tell ’em you’re driving. If someone still tries to twist your arm into drinking after that, then you have every right to wish them straight to Hades, alongside all the cheerleaders who dropped the Spirit Stick.

AVOID SHIT FRIENDS

While we’re on the topic of crap people, let’s discuss the need to avoid them during a stint of sobriety. By now you’ll know who in your circle needs grog to have a good time, and who needs the people around them to also be on grog to have a good time. We’re also smart enough to know what a crock of shit this is – that somehow YOU need to drink so that SOMEONE ELSE can have a good time?

TRICK PEOPLE

Here’s a game: pretend you’re drinking alcohol when you’re not. A little sad that this is even something we would consider doing but yep, peer pressure is alive and well in Australia‘s present day. Plus, it might be slightly fun for you to spin some Blair Waldorf-esque fuckery on people by sipping mocktails while watching them down their impending hangovers.


Need some ideas? See the below conscious cocktails recipes by House of Angostura ambassador Ash Turner from IXL Bar Tasmania. Obviously, these will only work at home but we’re sure you can order your magic at the bar too.

Watermelon Cooler

  • 120ml Watermelon Juice
  • 60ml Cold–Brew Green Tea (Sencha)*
  • 10ml Fresh Lime Juice
  • 10ml Sugar Syrup
  • 6 dashes Angostura orange bitters

Method:

  1. Add all ingredients to Boston, top with ice, shake and double strain over ice in wine glass.
  2. Garnish with watermelon.
  3. *For the cold-brew tea add 30g Sencha and 600ml cold water together and let steep in the fridge for 24 hours. Strain off and bottle.

Smokey brew

  • 60ml Cold Drip Coffee
  • 10ml Orgeat Syrup
  • 10ml chia syrup
  • 6 dashes Angostura aromatic bitters

Method:

  1. Add all ingredients to a mixing glass and stir down with ice, strain over large clear ice in a rocks glass and garnish with flamed orange twist or dehydrated orange.

RESTRUCTURE YOUR SOCIAL LIFE

Getting off the piss does not mean your social life goes down the shitter. In fact, it’s quite the opposite – you won’t be burning friendships with unfiltered wisdom and swallowing up potential romantic relationships with premature commitments. What you need to do is organise literal morning activities – yes, like Bondi to Bronte – so that you couldn’t think of anything worse than being hungover during.

Additionally, get around social events where the pressure is off – or where people support you – like PEDESTRIAN.TV’s Selfish Weekend presented by The House of Angostura. With a session on mindful boozing, plus a manifestation class with Flex Mami and a talk by Keep It Cleaner co-founders Laura Henshaw and Steph Claire Smith, it’s gunna be a hoot whether you drink or not. Buy tix here for $35 (incl. GST).

PUNISH YOURSELF

I’m not sure where I saw it, but I once saw someone wear a rubber band on their wrist, which they would flick against their skin every time they thought of their vice. I think it was a movie. Anyway, I think it’s a great trick. If dropping a chain every time your dog barks stops them from barking (Barkbusters, true story), then the proof is in the pudding.


Alternatively, just remember all the dumb shit you’ve done while on the piss and that should be punishment enough.

Image: Instagram / @mirandakerr