January Is The Month For A Winter Reset and A Tea Mocktail
Let’s celebrate the New Year with a tea mocktail! Now that the Holidays are behind us, we can properly align to winter patterns and celebrate the winter months as nature intended. Hibernation is an essential part of the natural energy of winter, but it is nearly impossible for all of us to do in our busy modern lives. But winter hibernation gives us the proper space to rest and rejuvenate in preparation before the active spring months arrive.
Winterizing will help you focus on conserving your energy for your health. So, if you aren’t feeling up to setting your New Year’s resolutions, that’s okay; springtime is a better time to think about that anyway. But you can start the year by focusing on your well-being. After all, your body may be begging for a break from all the sugar and processed foods you ate during the holidays. Setting healthier intentions in January doesn’t have to be perfect, but it will help your body properly rest and digest.
Start by cooking healthy, home-cooked meals with seasonal foods. Also, consider taking a break from alcohol by participating in dry January. Try herbal teas and healthy winter non-alcoholic drinks. This Oolong Tea Mocktail is a great example of a healthy and brightening fun drink that will make you forget all about alcohol. Plus, it will have you feeling so good you may quit alcohol altogether.
Winter Months According to Traditional Chinese Medicine
The cold season is about getting in touch with your truest self and leaving the rest behind. This process is done in the winter because it is the time we pull inward, just as nature contracts. We turn inward through slow rituals like meditation, qi gong, and tea ceremony. These practices allow us to develop, grow, and prepare for a new year.
This seasonal change is known in Traditional Chinese Medicine as the most yin time of year because it is the darkest period of the year. Some may enjoy the solitude, but others may feel isolated and cut off with feelings of depression, melancholy, and loneliness. In the winter season, TCM focuses on the water element by strengthening the corresponding organs, the kidneys, and the bladder, the homes of our waterways. If you have a strong water element, you can move more smoothly through the chilly days with strength, courage, and willpower. Our kidneys are responsible for fluid regulation, essential for having healthy energy reserves that get us through our day. If we don’t care for this, we feel burned out and more prone to illness.
The Perfect Mocktail For Winter Wellness
Non-alcoholic cocktails are a fun way to spice up the winter season when you need a fun and uplifting pick-me-up. The fresh citrus uplifts your spirit, and the hint of mint invigorates your senses. It is an easy mocktail that doesn’t require special drinkware or too many ingredients. Plus, it is an extra flavorful mocktail that anyone will enjoy.
Typically, in TCM, an iced beverage is considered too cold for the body, which can cause digestive problems and inflammation with consistent use. So, it is good to enjoy a cold mocktail occasionally, or you may even want to skip the ice. But the great thing about this mocktail recipe is the energy of the ginger, which is warm enough to counterbalance the ice. Plus, ginger helps invigorate the circulatory system, which is very important when we aren’t getting much movement in the winter.
Tea Mocktail Ingredients According to TCM
Mint is a great addition to any beverage because it is warming and cooling and helps aid digestion. It is a pungent, diaphoretic, carminative herb with many beneficial volatile oils commonly used in digestion herbal tea blends. A sprig of mint in a winter mocktail will help liven your senses and spirit. Adding mint to a winter mocktail or tea is also a great alternative for a sweet tooth. That helps circulate blood sugar, cholesterol, and fat through the bloodstream. Helping to stimulate and move energy upward. In TCM, it is used to clear mucus-forming lung conditions, helps moisten the kidneys as a cardiotonic, and clears sluggish liver conditions.
Grape juice with no added sugars and is not from concentrate is best because it will have more health benefits. Red grape juice is a beneficial water-element food. Any food that is dark purple is specifically indicated for maintaining health during the winter time. This is because they are rich in antioxidants, polyphenols, and flavonoids. Specifically beneficial for regenerating and protecting liver cells. Helping build and purify the blood. It helps cleanse the glands and kidneys, which helps strengthen tissues and bones.
Citrus fruits are in season in the winter and help fortify our body with vitamin C and other immune system-boosting constituents. Grapefruit pulp has a cooling thermal nature. The peel is warming and bitter, helping move/regulate the spleen/pancreas. Helping alleviate intestinal gas, pain, swelling, and obstruction and helps treat lung mucus conditions. It also strengthens the gums, arteries, and circulation in general, which is a crucial function in the winter months.
Oolong Tea makes elevated winter mocktails, especially when using old-growth tea leaves from Living Tea. In this recipe, I used a Dong Ding Oolong tea called the Old Master. The tea has a sweet, grassy, floral, and tart flavor with a rising roasted flavor that harmonizes, warms, and centers.
It is a refreshing drink that can easily be made up whenever you need an elevated non-alcoholic cocktail. It is a great option that will have you forgetting about alcohol. Bring them to a holiday party or enjoy at home whenever you want. An alcohol-free option is always a good idea at holiday parties.
Oolong Tea Grapefruit Mocktail Recipe
- 1-2 oz of Pure Grape juice or pomegranate juice
- 1 tsp of Dong Ding Oolong Tea
- 1 cup of water
- 1 tsp of Fresh Ginger grated
- Topped with Sparkling Water Citrus Soda Water, Seltzer Water or Ginger Ale or Ginger Beer
- 2 Grapefruit or Orange Slices
- A squeeze of Fresh Grapefruit Juice
- Fresh Mint Sprig
- Dash of Orange Bitters or other citrus
- Grate the ginger and add to the bottom of a tall serving glasses
- Add ice cubes to the glass
- Add the grapefruit slices
- Make the oolong tea and let it sit for 1 to 5 minutes unless you want it really strong.
- Let the tea cool a bit, then add it to the glass
- Add the grape juice, squeeze of grapefruit juice, and dash of orange bitters can also be a perfect addition.
- Top off with citrus seltzer water of choice and a sprig of mint
- Share this alcohol-free option with your friends and guests at your next winter gathering or make for yourself when you are in need of some serious R&R time. I love making a cool mocktail to enjoy while I am practicing self-care in the bath.
Find more information about the water element with more seasonal recipes here.