Find Provider Providers Find Locations Locations Care Services Services Patients Patients

Dry January: It’s Not Too Late to Join this Healthy New Year’s Challenge

4 min read

One way to start 2024 feeling your best is to take a break from alcohol consumption by participating in Dry January. Learn more about the health benefits of abstaining from alcohol, gather tips for success, and save the following mocktail recipes from Happy Valley Nomadic Spirits – a local professional bartending service co-owned by Amy Tedesco, RN, Cardiac Catheterization Lab, Mount Nittany Medical Center.

About Dry January

Dry January began as a campaign led by Alcohol Change UK more than a decade ago that challenged individuals to forgo alcohol for the entire month of January. Now, thousands of Americans take on the challenge each year with surveys reporting that between 15-35% of US drinkers will participate in Dry January.

The Benefits

Removing alcohol from your diet for 31 days can have some big advantages. According to a study by the University of California Davis Health, participants reported immediate health benefits including:

  • Weight loss
  • Better sleep
  • Improved mood and energy levels
  • Increased physical activity due to more energy
  • Better diet due to better dietary restraint and a lower empty calorie intake
  • Decreased growth factors related to cancer, insulin resistance, and blood pressure
  • A reduction in liver fat and blood sugar

Tips for Success

Having a plan in place is the best way to set yourself up for success, especially in social settings where alcohol will be present. Consider the following:

  • Make a pros and cons list: Think about why you want to cut back and what you don’t enjoy about drinking. Alternatively, what are the things you like about drinking and how can you achieve those same results without alcohol? For instance, if drinking helps you feel less stressed, what are some other ways you can reduce stress in your life?
  • Create accountability by telling your friends and family you’re participating in Dry January and encouraging them to participate with you.
  • Research popular mocktail recipes you think you’ll enjoy before going out for the evening. You’ll know what to order when the moment comes.
  • Prepare your own mocktail recipes or bring your own nonalcoholic beverages to social events. The selection of nonalcoholic beer and wine is ever-increasing.
  • Avoid certain social settings if necessary.
  • Take notice of how you feel by tracking your sleep patterns, energy levels, mood, and weight either in a journal or health app. This will make it easier to notice any changes.

Delicious Mocktail Recipes

Amy Tedesco, RN, is a clinician in Mount Nittany Health’s Cardiac Catheterization Lab and co-owner of Happy Valley Nomadic Spirits. Amy and her husband, Michael, began Happy Valley Nomadic Spirits in 2020 and today they offer cocktail classes and professional bartending services for weddings and private parties of all sizes. They can also be found at local events in their mobile mocktail bar, Nellie – a renovated travel trailer. Whether serving cocktails or mocktails, Amy and Mike enjoy creating unique, handcrafted experiences for their customers.

The following recipes are courtesy of Happy Valley Nomadic Spirits:

Spiced Apple Collins

  • 1.5 oz. Monday Zero Proof Gin (can be found on Amazon)
  • 1 oz. Honey Crisp Serum (recipe below)
  • ½ oz. Lemon Juice
  • 2 Dashes Hella Apple Bitters
  • Top with Club Soda
  • Cinnamon and Sugar Rim
  1. Fresh press ½ oz. of Lemon Juice and add to your shaker tin.
  2. With a used lemon boat, rim the Collins glass. Roll Collins glass in Cinnamon and Sugar creating an even rim around the glass.
  3. Jigger 1 oz. Honey Crisp Serum and add to the shaker tin.
  4. Add 2 drops of Hella Apple Bitters.
  5. Jigger out 1.5 oz. Monday Zero Proof Gin and add to the shaker tin.
  6. Add ice to the shaker tin and roll the shaker tin with pint glass several times.
  7. Fill a Collins glass with 1-inch cubes and strain the cocktail into Collins glass.
  8. Top with Club Soda and enjoy.

Honey Crisp Serum for Spiced Apple Collins

  • 3 Honeycrisp Apples
  • 12 oz. Water
  • 1 cup Brown Sugar
  • ¼ tsp Cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp Nutmeg
  1. Core the apples and slice them into smaller pieces. Add to a large pot.
  2. Add water and bring to a boil. Boil apples until soft.
  3. Lower heat and add sugar to dissolve fully.
  4. Add Cinnamon and Nutmeg and stir until incorporated. Let the serum cool, then remove apples and store in an airtight container.


Snakes and Angels 

  • 2 oz. Seedlip Grove 94 (a non-alcoholic spirit)
  • 1 oz. Lime Juice
  • ¾ oz. Orgeat (can be made at home or purchased online)
  • Dried Chili Ancho Garnish
  1. Jigger ¾ oz. Orgeat and add to your shaker tin.
  2. Fresh press 1 oz. Lime Juice and add to your shaker tin.
  3. Jigger 2 oz. of Seedlip Grove 94 and add to your shaker tin.
  4. Add 5-7 cubes of ice to your shaker tin and shake hard for 10 seconds.
  5. Double strain your cocktail into a chilled coupe class and garnish with a pinch of Dried Chili Ancho.