Global bartender turned mindful drinking expert, Cami Vidal of La Maison Wellness, understands the pressures of social drinking and the need to feel part of the gang when it comes to going out for dinner, attending parties and even celebrations like birthdays. You’ve probably spent the last month or so drinking more than you normally would thanks to the festive season and all the joyous occasions that come with it. And that’s ok. Life is to be celebrated and enjoyed! But if you’re feeling a little run down, sick of booze and wanting to tackle Dry January, then you’ve come to the right place!

Having spent 15 years in the hospitality industry, Cami, has spent years tasting and serving the most outstanding cocktails all over the world. If anyone knows what makes a good cocktail, it’s her! But with her expanding interest in wellness (she’s a trained yoga teacher and mindfulness coach) she created La Maison Wellness to share tips, recipes and resources for drinking more consciously. Throughout her career, she’s learnt that alcohol is not what makes a cocktail stand out, but the other special ingredients you add into the mix. She’s all about flavour and her truly delicious recipes prove that you don’t need booze to make a drink feel really special.

From recommending delicious alternatives to the classic Bailey’s, Aperol Spritz and fizz, Cami has recipes, how to videos and helpful mindful tips to stay on track, through Dry January and beyond! Below she’s shared her top tips for making Dry January a success, her favourite hangout spots in London for mocktails plus a few of her go-to no/low abv drinks brands.

How to get through social situations / dining / birthdays / work events etc without alcohol?
Come prepared. Check out the place you’re going, do they have non-alcoholic options on the menu? If not you can always recommend places to your friends for meet ups that do have a non alcoholic option on the menu. Go and have a chat with the bartenders, they can always recommend something and will be more than happy to make something bespoke for you. Your experience is as important as any other guests in the bar and you should never feel like a second class guest! Don’t be weird about it or feel self-conscious and no one else will be! There is no need to apologise for not drinking, it’s your decision and you don’t have to justify yourself, at La Maison Wellness we say My Life, My Rules, My Drink!

Favourite places in London for a no abv cocktail ?
More and more bars are getting on board with the mindful drinking movement, and the combination of an ever growing number of mindful drinkers and healthy hedonists, plus delicious non-alcoholic options being launched (we are now counting 70 non-alcoholic spirits in the UK!) is making non-alcoholic sections on bar menus more exciting and definitely more adult like, sophisticated and satisfying!

Don’t get me wrong, we’ve still got a long way to go for non-alcoholic cocktails to get as much attention to the more classic cocktails but we are getting there and don’t worry La Maison Wellness has you covered with mindful cocktails being featured in different bars in London. Some of my favourite places to go in London are Redemption, Brasserie 108 and London Cocktail Club.

Find the list here – https://www.lamaisonwellness.com/bars

Favourite no abv recipes / brands
The No & Low category is one of the fastest growing drinks categories, with new, innovative products being released all the time. So many more brands are about to launch this year but a selection of my favourite out there would be Everleaf Bittersweet aperitif, Wild Life Botanical sparkling wine, Big Drop beer and Small Beer Brew co. The whole Lyre’s range is great with the Italian Orange, Sweet and Dry aperitif being my favourite, Gimber ginger, the Aecorn range especially the dry and aromatic and of course the range of Seedlip that stand out so nicely in cocktails.

That’s just to name a few, there are so many other brands out there worth trying. I would recommend to anyone who is about to embark on Dry January to do some research into alcohol alternatives, there will be a replacement for your tipple that will taste just as good!! 

Any other tips or info you would like included that can help people out with Dry Jan
Check out La Maison Wellness website and youtube channel for inspiration and recipes because trust me tasty doesn’t have to be boozy! When going out, alcohol doesn’t always have to be part of the equation, so try mindful cocktails because if the taste is making the experience enjoyable the only thing you have to loose is the hangover!