When it’s cold outside and all you want to do is get cosy with a nice big glass of red….BUT for whatever reason, you’d prefer to do a fun-filled alcohol-free activity which will still makes you feel warm inside, here are our top ideas for what to do…..
Summer may be over, but pop-up cinema is still a thing! There are several places holding ‘winter cinema’ where you can get cosy under heaters, blankets with a big tub of popcorn with a hot drink. There are several around including the Luna Cinema at several locations (in and out of London), Backyard Cinema and a few others (some are even indoors if you don’t want to risk being cold).
You get to be in a pub, but have an activity without relying on the alcohol as the entertainment and therefore don’t feel you’re missing out! Plus, maybe better potential for winning if your mind isn’t clouded with alcohol (and soberistas can more subtly google things under the table too).
From brewing Kombucha, creating your own Christmas Wreath or even life drawing, there are plenty of fun activities out there that are a bit different and great to do with friends. We’ve done the Jarr Kombucha masterclass as a team which was really fun, and are planning on finding somewhere we can make our own Christmas decorations this December as our Christmas Party.
Christmas Carols (or general live music)
You can’t beat live music for the feel good factor, especially if you like Christmas Carols and want to have a sing-along. We went to see Katherine Jenkins at the Royal Albert Hall last year and it was the best thing to put us in the Christmassy mood!
If you can make it before it goes dark, then parks and public gardens are beautiful places in the winter (just make sure you wrap up warm). And if you don’t make it before dark (and are based in London) then Kew Gardens lights up the garden once the light disappears so still makes for a really beautiful visit. If you’re out of London this is a great link to find somewhere more local to you: https://www.greatbritishgardens.co.uk/seasonal/winter-gardens.html
These three cocktails are really tasty if you’re sick of cordial or the usual soft drinks out there. They’re all really easy to make, are very refreshing and moorish, so if you’re swerving alcohol for whatever reason, you’ll still have an enviable drink in your hand.
Strawberry & Mint Fizz
Ingredients (makes enough for 3-4 drinks)
- 200g strawberries
- 200ml filtered water
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 4 stalks of mint
- ½ lemon
- Ice & Sparkling water
To make the base
1) Heat everything together in a pan (you can mash the strawberries a bit if you need to speed things up), let this simmer for about 5-10 minutes. Take off the heat and let it cool for at least half an hour.
2) Blitz in a blender or nutribullet and then strain.
3) Once cool, transfer into a sealed glass bottle.
To make the drink
To serve, pour around 50ml of the mix over ice with sparkling water and a sprig of mint to make it feel more like a cocktail
Ginger & Lime Nohito
Ingredients (per drink)
- 1 lime – cut into 4-6 pieces
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
- Ice & Sparkling water
1) Grate ginger into the bottom of a glass and with 2 tsp sugar and squeeze in all the cut up lime (and put the actual pieces of lime in there too)
2) Muddle together (can use a big spoon or the end of a rolling pin if, like me, you don’t have a professional cocktail kit).
3) Add ice (crushed ideally) and then top up with soda or sparkling water.. Mix and serve.
Warm Mulled Spiced Apple
Ingredients (around 6 servings)
- 2 L Apple juice (good quality shop bought is fine, you don’t have to make your own)
- 6 cloves
- 3 – 4 star anise
- ¼ nutmeg, grated
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1-2 sliced oranges (save a few slices for serving)
1) Put everything in a pan and slowly bring to the boil, turn the heat down and let it simmer for around 10 minutes.
2) Serve immediately with a slice of orange (and a cinnamon stick if you’re being even more fancy).