Alcohol free drinks seem to be everywhere these days, but which ones are actually nice???
That age old question, what to drink when you’re not drinking?! Actually I think Seedlip have trademarked that … so I’ll put the question as “No booze … what the f*** do I drink instead?
Sober October, Dry January, and every day in between I don’t drink anymore. Choosing to go alcohol free has been a game-changer for me my life is much improved – but whatever your reasons for choosing alcohol free drinks keep reading for some of my favourites.
Pregnancy, marathon training, saving for a house, taking a break from drinking for your wellbeing, mental health – more and more of us are choosing alcohol free drinks these days.
Having not had an alcoholic drink for 10 months, and having worked both in a pub and doing a lot of client entertaining I have tried a lot of alcohol free drinks.
This isn’t an exhaustive guide, and indeed our tastes vary so much (I used to drink gin & wine, and my family drink some ales, so I favour those alternatives) but the below will give you a good idea of what alcohol free drinks are on the market – and which tastes good!
I’ve split my choices into Grown Up Soft Drinks and Alcohol Free Drinks Substitutes.
The Grown Up Soft Drinks contain zero percent alcohol, the Alcohol Free Substitues are alcohol free alternatives and some have up to 0.5% alcohol in – up to personal preference whether or not you drink them.
My Favourite Grown Up Soft Drinks
Right these might look like ordinary juices, but I promise you they taste SO GOOD! The Apple, Mint and Lime is a very yummy & much healthier mojito alternative and the pineapple, coconut and lime could pass for a Pina Colada.
I first tried these at Club Soda’s Mindful Drinking Festival and they are so yummy! Made in small batches in the UK, Crafted’s distinctive flavour profiles are created using unique fruit juice blends – with no added sugar!
Served in a nice glass they are the epitome of a healthy grown up soft drink and I highly recommend! They’re available in major UK supermarkets so pick some up on your next food shop.
Tetley Sunshine – Vitamin D – Super Green Tea
If there are two things synonymous with Britain, it’s unpredictable weather and a good old cup of tea. I love herbal and green teas and this is my current favourite – with added benefits.
With sun-starved Brits not getting enough Vitamin D and new government guidelines recommending daily supplements, Tetley is coming to the nation’s rescue with Super Green Tea Sunshine; a delicious alternative to getting your vit hit! While it is difficult to get the adequate amounts of vitamin D from food alone, it is essential to our health as it regulates the calcium and phosphate in your body, the nutrients needed to keep your bones, muscles and teeth healthy. But now, thanks to this new brew cleverly blended with Vitamin D, getting your daily dose has never been easier or tastier!
Tetley has created Tetley Super Green Sunshine by adding Vitamin D to a smooth green tea base with a citrusy twist of lemon and orange. It’s a lovely tea that warms me up whatever the weather – you can pick it up in all major supermarkets – let me know what you think when you try it!
James White Apple Juices
James White has a range of of five premium apple juices from English orchards:
Bramley; Cox; Russet; Apple & Elderflower and Apple & Summer Berries that looks very grown up served
in a tumbler or in a wine glass (if you fancy!).
They use filtration techniques borrowed from the wine world – so it’s pretty different from your usual apple juice!
If you’re partial to a crisp dry wine then Bramley is the juice for you. If you like it rich and sweet try Russet which has characterises of a dessert wine. While Cox is my favourite and provides a delicious light and fruity taste!
You can try these via Ocado or James White’s own website.
This is one that I pick up when I’m out and about and don’t fancy a fizzy drink and want something more interesting than water!
A mix of spring water and real fruit, Robinsons Refresh’d contains 100% naturally sourced ingredients.
The three flavours have been developed with 100% naturally sourced ingredients delivering a refreshing flavour. Refresh’d contains simply real fruit, spring water and naturally sourced stevia leaf extract – my current favourite is Apple & Kiwi!
I’ve mentioned Fentimans before as one of my alcohol free drink brands of choice – but I couldn’t help but list them again! Their Rose Lemonade is a firm favourite of mine – and I got to sample lots of their other flavours at Club Soda’s Mindful Drinking Festival!
My Favourite Alcohol Free Drinks (Booze Substitutes)
You know you’re on to a winner of an alcohol free drink when your dad and brother (who drink) start buying these for you and drinking them regularly! Heineken 0.0 is my current favourite alcohol free beer to drink at home and it’s super easy to find in supermarkets.
I also love that they’ve done a billboard campaign to launch it. As my friend Joe said: Mainstream brewer. Mainstream billboard. Mainstream choice?
Karma Pale Ale
Another discovery from the Mindful Drinking Festival (Club Soda are organising another one and you should go!) I’m a big fan of Nirvana Brewery, they are the UK’s only non-alcoholic brewery based in East London! They’ve recently launched: Karma Pale Ale, the first in a series of 0.5 % beers.
I don’t know too much about beer (shocking as I work in a pub!) but this has had a nod of approval from lots of pale ale drinking friends of mine!
Nirvana say: The new ale is light and refreshing with citrus and floral hop aromas leading to a dry bitter finish. As with all of the brewery’s beer, only the finest artisan ingredients are used in the brewing process and the Karma Pale Ale a mixture of 5 different malts brewed to give the beer a good malt back bone and not resulting in a thin beer unlike several alcohol free beers on the market.
St Peters Without Gold
Another pale ale now, St Peters Without Gold. A favourite with ale drinkers – and you also used to be able to get it at my office local when I worked in Soho!
It’s made in the same way as a craft ale, so is pretty authentic! A new golden alcohol-free craft beer, with a full-bodied, slightly sweet malt flavour combined with a citrus bitterness!
Belvoir without the Hangover Range
I’m a big fan of Belvoir’s new range of yummy non-alcoholic, wine like drinks. The master soft drinks maker has developed three varieties consisting of a Shiraz, a Chardonnay and a Rosé with all the taste, aroma and look of a glass of Bacchus’ best but without the hangover!
My favourite is the Chardonnay which has a dry taste and is not too sweet. It is a non-alcoholic blend of Chardonnay and white grape juices with peach juice and elderflower & jasmine extracts. A pale straw yellow in colour (so it looks like wine), this drink has a complex, distinctive taste of white grape with a nose of grape and peach and delicate floral undertones. These contain 0.0% alcohol so are a great choice as a wine alternative!
I’ve been looking for a prosecco alternative, and Botonique ticks all the right boxes! It’s a British-made natural, dry, sparkling alcohol free drink.
Best served chilled in a Champagne flute, Botonique looks very much like Proscecco, but doesn’t include grapes or alcohol! Instead, notes of herbs, spices and citrus blended with sparking water and pear juice create a unique flavour
reminiscent of dry white wine, gin and vermouth (it’s an interesting drink but you’ll have to try it to see what I mean!
Interestingly (and I didn’t know this when i first tried it!), it contains the beneficial elements of Prelixir®, a unique blend of vitamins, minerals and amino acids which alcohol is known to deplete. This unique element means that Botonique is able to provide anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, alkalising, detoxifying and hydrating benefits!
Seedlip is the world’s first distilled non-alcoholic spirits brand who are specifically on a mission to solve a dilemma of what-to-drink-when-you’re-not-drinking (as I mentioned above!). It splits opinions but I LOVE IT – and my current favourite is Seedlip Spice. We even stock it at mum and dad’s pub, it’s been a hit with the regulars who are doing Sober October!
A guy called Ben Branson is the brand creator and he became frustrated with the amount of sweet, high carb, fizzy drinks which were offered as the only alternatives to the teetotal amongst us. Seedlip are doing a lot to get the spirit offered in bars and restaurants and I am very greatful for that! I had a Seedlip & Tonic on a hen do in Brighton at The Ginger Pig and recently on a client lunch in Birmingham at Bar Opus at One Snow Hill.
The drink is made in the same way as a gin with botanicals that are distilled in copper pots. Seedlip combines allspice, grapefruit, lemon peel, cardamom, American oak and cascarilla bark to make a fresh, warming drink that is full of flavour but alcohol free. Not just alcohol-free, Seedlip has the benefit of being a great choice for anyone who is watching their weight. At just 0.2 calories per 50ml serve, combined with low calorie tonic it’s a great sugar free choice!