How to enjoy Dry January with no risk of FOMO

The Cacao-leno

It’s the first festive season since the COVID pandemic saw us locked up last December and the invitations are coming thick and fast.

But if you are worried about how you will survive drinking through what is tipped to be the busiest festive season in years, we are here to help!

We Are The City spoke to Ellie Webb, balanced drinking advocate and founder of non-alcoholic spirits brand Caleño.

So whether you aim to go teetotal for Dry January or just want to take it easy and enjoy a more mindful drinking experience this festive season, Ellie has tips for enjoying celebrations in low or no alcohol style!

  • Plan your month carefully – you don’t have to say yes to every party invitation or feel pressure to attend every gathering. It’s been a difficult year and it’s important to look after our mental wellbeing as we head into Christmas. Make sure you have some down time between each event to enjoy other festive activities such as putting up your Christmas tree. 
  • Being ‘balanced’ with your drinking doesn’t mean cutting out alcohol completely – think about why you are drinking and prioritise when you might want to drink. Decide what’s right for you and go from there. 
  • Get into the right mindset if you decide to have an alcohol-free evening – you can have just as much fun and joy and remember everything the next day! You don’t need to drink to have a good time. 
  • If you are drinking, consider switching to drinks with a lower alcohol percentage or for each alcoholic drink you have, have one or two alcohol free drinks in-between drinks. There are so many great alcohol-free options available now that taste delicious. You will still feel like you are enjoying all the fun without the terrible hangover the next day.
  • Change your vocab around not drinking for an instant change of mindset – instead of “giving up alcohol” you’re going “alcohol free” for the night.
  • Consider having a run of 2-3 consecutive alcohol-free days as it really helps your system to recover and reset your tolerance. 
  • Sometimes having a rule makes it easier to achieve the balance – such as saying “Monday – ThursdayI don’t drink”.  
  • Don’t forget that alcohol is after all a known depressant so appreciate the mental health benefits of having a balanced December.
  • Earn brownie points with friends by offering to be the designated driver on nights out – they will love you for it!
  • Finally invite some friends over for an evening of making alcohol-free cocktails – they will love how delicious they are and how good they feel afterwards – pop on some tunes and get some inspiration from our delicious cocktail ideas that feature our two non-alcoholic spirits, Caleño Light & Zesty and Caleño Dark & Spicy.

Why not start off with a Cacao-leno. The Cacao-leno is a rich cacao, coconut colada that’s incredibly simple and quick to make and was created exclusively for Caleño by food blogger and mixologist Tristan Fisher.

The ingredients have been selected for their health benefits making the Cacao-leno a cocktail that’s not only delicious, but good for you! Superfood Cacao is a healthy alternative to chocolate packed with antioxidant-rich flavonoids that help lower blood pressure, reduce diabetes risk and inflammation. Cacao is also a good source of fibre that promotes healthy digestion. Coconut milk and coconut cream are rich sources of minerals including iron, potassium, sodium, niacin and folate. Agave Nectar contains less glucose than sugar so has a lower glycaemic index value.

How to make The Cacao-leno


50ml Caleño Dark & Spicy

1 tsp of cacao powder

75ml coconut milk drink

10ml of single cream (this can be dairy free if you are vegan – you can use coconut cream as a vegan-alternative)

1 tbsp of agave nectar


Calories: Approximately 97kcal per serving.


  1. In a shaker, add the cacao powder and pour over the Caleño Dark & Spicy, coconut milk, single cream or coconut cream and agave nectar and stir well.
  2. Pour into a shallow glass over ice with a piece of dark chocolate.
  3. Serve and enjoy!

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