Read full article here.
TZR’s Bon Aperitif series explores the cocktail creations of some of your favorite celebrities and influencers. From indulgent martinis to the perfect wine spritzer, these recipes aim to make your life a little more joyful. Our latest installment features a Dry January-appropriate lavender blueberry mocktail by Chef Serena Poon
At this point in the month and year, it’s likely you’ve heard words like “resolutions,” “goals,” and “Dry January” thrown around a handful of times (if not more). And while the jury is still out on whether new year’s resolutions are a worthy investment, most can agree that pressing the reset button (mentally, physically, or both) from time to time is rarely a bad thing. This is probably why health-focused things like the aforementioned Dry January are such a, well, thing this time of year. “I love resets,” says Poon, who actually created a 28-day wellness program for her clients to try out in the new year, or whenever they want to give their bodies a little TLC. “Taking time to focus on all of the ways you can love and nourish yourself can set you up for a year full of health and vitality.”
And said nourishment includes abstaining from alcohol for a few weeks. With the last months of the year filled with celebratory events and festive libations, it’s common for people to crave a little booze cleanse come Jan. 1. “Alcohol can disrupt sleep and cause inflammation, which can spiral into a whole slew of health concerns, so moderation is really key,” says Poon. “I’ve found that people often reach for alcoholic beverages because it’s a social norm or because they’re stressed, but really feel better when they swap out their alcohol for mocktails in these situations.”
And, to be clear, just because you’re keeping the spirits away doesn’t mean you’re sacrificing flavor. There are still good times to be had after the holidays, and a delicious beverage is still within reach, even if it’s alcohol-free. “I love getting creative with my mocktail recipes,” says Poon. “I add pureed fresh fruits, vegetable garnishes, delicious and healthy spices and herbs to make delicious options,” she explains. “Sparkling water or kombucha make delightful additions to recipes because their bubbly texture adds some extra effervescence to the experience.”
The key here, however, is keeping things simple and sticking to fresh, natural ingredients — after all, the whole point of a mocktail is for it to be a healthier option, right? “Avoid added sugar, salt, or processed beverages such as sodas, packaged fruit juices, and syrups,” says Poon. “I usually add infusions of herbs and spices that not only keep beverages tasting great, but also offer an array of therapeutic properties.”
This month, Poon’s mocktail du jour is a crisp, “delicate” creation starring nutrient-packed lavender and blueberries. “[It] can bring so much joy to a social event,” she says. “It is full of antioxidant-rich blueberries and healing herbs like lavender and mint, which nourish your body in numerous ways. These herbs also offer wonderful calming and digestion-soothing properties that make this cocktail the perfect option for helping you unwind at the end of a long day.” Unwind sans hangover? Yes, please.
So, as you settle into Dry January, remember that it’s not meant to be a punishment. Parties and outings with friends and loved ones should be enjoyed to the fullest, with or without alcohol. “Social events don’t have to be unhealthy experiences, let’s normalize taking care of our bodies while spending quality time with our friends,” says Poon. “There are so many delicious, wholesome flavors out there to be discovered and enjoyed.”
Want to test drive Poon’s go-to mocktail for yourself? Check out the full video tutorial for her signature lavender blueberry creation below. Cheers!