It's that time of year again, when thousands of Australians  abstain from alcohol for 31 days in order to raise funds for cancer patients. There's no doubt that it's a worthwhile cause and, for many of us, a significant challenge to say the least. 

You're not alone if you're considering signing up but are put off by the prospect of going a month without drinking booze. It may seem easy at the beginning but you need to be realistic in your expectations and know that there will definitely be difficult periods where you are out with friends and the alcohol craving hits! That is why we have compiled a list of tips and tricks to help you survive Dry July this 2022. 

1- Know your why

This one is very important, if not the most important. Know and continue to remind yourself why you are participating in dry July in the first place. It's usually easier to keep your promises when your aim is linked to a significant personal value. Perhaps you know someone who is battling cancer or is addicted to alcohol. Perhaps you want to set a good example for your children. There is no right or wrong when it comes to values; the key thing is to understand why this vow is so essential to you! This will also keep you motivated throughout the month of July. 

2- Accept that it won’t be all smooth sailing

If you expect that your early burst of motivation will keep you going for the entire month, you may be caught off guard when an alcohol need strikes or you are thrown into a social situation centered around drinking. It's far better to expect bumpy patches and prepare for them ahead of time (and be pleasantly delighted if there aren't any!).

3- Have some goals in mind

Not only are you doing dry July for a great cause but you may also be partaking in dry July for your health and to give your body a break from consuming alcohol. Giving up alcohol for such a good cause is a fantastic objective, and for some people, just knowing they are helping cancer patients is enough motivation. Others, on the other hand, feel that focusing on a secondary objective with a more direct personal benefit helps them stay motivated. You could want to clean up your diet and lose a few pounds during your month without alcohol. Perhaps you could use all of your hangover free time to get some exercise in the mornings. If you tie your Dry July to a goal, you'll be more likely to perceive the month as a worthwhile opportunity rather than a difficult task to complete! And who knows what great habits you will pick up after your month of being sober. The possibilities are endless. 

4- Drink non-alcoholic beverages instead!

No, we aren’t talking about that cheap bottle of sparkling grape juice you find in your local supermarket, we are talking about drinking non-alcoholic beverages such as alcohol free wine and beer or even spirits if that's your preferred drink, again the options are now endless. Unlike 10 years ago where the sober friend had to sip an orange juice all night and be the odd man out, now you can have the same great taste of your favourite pinot noir or lager, just minus the alcohol! 

Some of our personal favourites would have to be  the Lyre’s Dry London Spirit. This is a classic gin drink only without the alcohol. Flavoured with juniper and citrus undertones, this spirit can be enjoyed as a full-bodied Gin and Tonic with a slice of lemon, ice and plenty of sparkles. Alternatively, if you love your wine we highly recommend Thomas and Scott Noughty Sparkling Wine which you can find amongst our many non-alcoholic beverages. This Noughty Chardonnay is fresh, lively, and effervescent. It's delightfully effervescent and flavorful, with a smooth, crisp finish. It's prepared with chardonnay grapes, has only 3 g of sugar per 100ml, is completely organic and vegan, and has no alcohol. It's your go-to when it comes to bubbles.

Lastly, if you are trying to survive dry July but love a cold, crisp beer in the afternoons we have you covered! Big Drop Pine Trail Pale Ale is bright and zesty, and delivers on taste and aroma just with the alcohol removed. The beer has a light and limey citrus bite, balanced bitterness and dry aftertaste. Big Drop Pine Trail delivers on all levels with delightful rosy floral aromas. A winner at the World Beer Awards, this ultra-low alcohol pale ale is worth a second look. This beer is also only 64 calories per serve and is handcrafted here in Australia. You can’t get much better than that. 

5- Practice Saying No

Peer pressure can be real when it comes to alcohol in our Australian drinking culture, regardless of age. If you find yourself in a scenario where people are urging you to drink, it's a good idea to have a plan in place for respectfully declining. Of course, the basic, obvious response is "I'm doing Dry July," but if that doesn't cut it, you could reply "I'm driving" or simply "No thanks, I’m not drinking tonight”. It can be easy to give in to peer pressure especially when everyone around you is drinking and having a good time but just keep the thought in the back of your head always that you are doing dry July for a good cause and it is only 1 month out of the entire year. You got this! 

We hope these tips and tricks on how to stay on track during dry July are helpful and for anyone out there participating this year, we commend you for doing something great for an amazing cause and showing your support for those with cancer. Just remember, you can do it and if you start to crave your favourite alcoholic beverage then grab yourself some non-alcoholic wine or beer, this will have everyone fooled, especially your taste buds. 

Sherif Goubran