18 March 2020, The Tablet

Tipples without the topples

From the Vineyard

Tipples without the topples

Though there is no known study that proves it, it would be a safe bet that the most common Lenten abstention is, in one form or another, from alcohol. But what else do you drink on those social occasions when you would normally accept or pour a glass of something? Until recently, the choice was severely limited. But change is afoot, motored, not by piety or ascetical keenness, but by market forces responding to the so-called “low and no” movement.

Dry January (or, as some wag wryly rechristened it, “Dry Ginuary”), the fashionable antidote to Christmastide overindulgence, is contributing to (or is it coinciding with?) a marked decline in alcohol consumption in Great Britain. A 2018 study, ranging over all social classes and regions, found 30 per cent of young people under 25 never drink alcohol. 

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