AN ALCOHOL-free spirits producer has seen ten times more sales in the first week of the year than it saw in the whole of January 2020.

With only eight days of January gone, Wetherby-based Bax Botanics is forecasting that their sales for the whole of Dry January 2021 will be 4,000 per cent those of 2020.

More than 6.5 million people are planning to take part in Dry January this year, up 67 per cent from 3.9 million in 2020, according to Alcohol Change UK.

It said one in four adults who drink alcohol said they're aiming to cut down their consumption generally in 2021.

Alcohol-free spirits use herbs, berries, roots and botanicals to create complex flavours that make them a substitute for drinks like gin. They can be enjoyed with mixers like tonic or ginger ale, or used in zero-alcohol cocktails.

Bax Botanics was launched in January 2019 by Chris and Rose Bax after 20 years of teaching about wild foods and flavours in their Yorkshire woodland. They distil their drinks in traditional beaten copper stills using ethically sourced and sustainable herbs and botanicals.

Their two main products – Sea Buckthorn and Verbena – are sold in the cocktail bar chain The Botanist, and Booths supermarkets.

Chris Bax, head distiller of Bax Botanics, said: “We’ve been rushed off our feet the last few weeks, and we’re seeing orders flooding in as more and more people embrace Dry January.

“It’s incredible to think that we’ve already sold ten times as many bottles as we did last Dry January.

“The British public deserve great credit for making an effort to be so healthy at a time of such stress and worry.

“There are huge physical and mental benefits to cutting down on alcohol, and for those who want to cut down this year, there’s plenty of great-tasting alternatives out there.”