Whether you’re looking for non-alcoholic drinks because you’re taking part in Sober for October, or because you’ve stopped drinking for another reason (be it pregnancy, wanting to live a healthier lifestyle or because it can seriously benefit your mental health), take a minute to give yourself a pat on the back.
Others, rather than going completely sober might simply be looking to drink more mindfully (e.g. reducing their alcohol intake in order to give themselves the space and time to examine their drinking habits) and therefore are also on the lookout for some tasty alcohol-free drink options.
Having previously gone sober myself for fifteen months, before slowly reintroducing the odd cocktail back into my life, I can attest firsthand just how helpful and motivating it is to get stuck into the world of alcohol-free beverage options – of which thankfully, these days, there are so many.
The best alcohol-free wines
Blurred Vines Sharp (0%)
After putting various alcohol-free drinks to the test, I came to realise that sometimes I missed the energising effect of booze (although not enough to risk major hangxiety, poor decisions and messing up my sleep cycle).
So, I was very excited when I heard about Blurred Vines (the non-alcoholic wine branch of Three Spirits – more on them later), which promises to provide a ‘pick me up’ feeling without any of the downsides, thanks to a blend of “electrolytes, amino acids and vitamin D for an invigorating dose of liquid sunshine”.
I put a bottle to the test on a Friday night when I was shattered after a long day at work – and low and behold, it woke me right up!
I hit the club until the early hours of the morning, danced so much I amassed 6,000 steps on my Fitbit and slept soundly. I highly recommend this as a low calorie boozeless option for anyone still wanting to *feel something* from their bev.
Eisberg Cabernet Sauvignon Red Wine (0%)
Eisberg Cabernet Sauvignon Alcohol Free Red Wine (Case of 6)
Eisberg, a widely available, alcohol-free brand, more than know how to create a palatable one. Bonus: a large glass (250ml) of this cabernet sauvignon is only 56 calories. I also highly recommend Eisberg’s merlot and sauvignon blanc too.
Opia Alcohol-Free Chardonnay (0%)
Opia Alcohol Free Chardonnay (Case of 6)
This one is a great shout for anybody who isn’t a big fan of the taste of wine (shocking I know, but I actually do have a few non-sober friends who’ve just never vibed with a “large house white” – my go-to of yesteryear).
Whilst it looks the part, this Opia option from Vintage Roots is more like drinking a really fresh and tangy peach juice. It’s extra delicious when chilled.
Jukes 6 (0%)
Jukes Cordialities Number 6 (pack of 9)
Created by wine writer Matthew Jukes, these minis are made to be mixed with either still, sparkling or tonic water.
The blend includes blackcurrant, blackberry, red fruit, plums and spicy accords, pus a hint of apple cider vinegar, equating to a very pleasing kick – perfect if, like me, you have more of a sour/bitter leaning palate.
The best alcohol-free Prosecco
I always put a bottle of this in my basket should I spy it in the aisles in Tesco or ASDA (but honestly I get through it so quickly I might as well start ordering the crates of six from Amazon). For me, this is the closest to a legit boozy Prosecco.
Freixenet Alcohol Free Sparkling White 75cl
The packaging is discrete, so you won’t have to worry about sticking out like a sore thumb at a party (not that you should care anyway… but I know I personally sometimes want to blend into the background and not answer a dozen questions about whether or not I’m pregnant).
Tastes fresh and bubbly – and the rosé variety is decent too.
The best alcohol-free beers
Lucky Saint (0.5%)
A dead ringer for real deal, this very low alcohol beer is a multi award-winning choice and I can see why. I’ve never been much of a beer drinker but this has converted me – it’s so great that my boyfriend has even picked a Lucky Saint over a regular lager on a few occasions. A solid ten.
Brooklyn Special Effects Low Alcohol (0.4%)
Brooklyn Lager ‘Special Effects’ (6 Pack)
Hoppy, zesty and refreshing. Apparently named Special Effects as it’s so akin to a typical amber lager that the drinker will have to double-check the label. Yum.
Drynks Unlimited Smashed Lager (0%)
Drynks Unlimited’s process of creating this alcohol-free lager is pretty cool (literally): they use a technique called cool vacuum distillation (CVD) which removes the alcohol post-fermentation, leaving the drink with all of the original taste and character, but with 0.0% ABV. I also enjoyed their fruity pale ale too.
Guinness 0.0 (0%)
Guinness 0.0 (pack of 8)
This has been flying off the shelves since it launched and I can totally see why (as could my dad, who isn’t sober but is a lifelong Guinness fan and who said he’d very happily drink it as a replacement).
It’s pretty akin to the ‘real deal’, only without the alcohol. If you’re a mindful drinker or just looking to drink less, I’ve heard of people blending the 0% Guinness with the boozy version and enjoying it, too.
Days lager (0%)
A light, refreshing offering that’s not too fizzy (and therefore didn’t leave me bloated), the team behind Days use a special ‘double fermentation’ process to ensure no alcohol has ever been in the product (unlike other breweries which remove the alcohol post-brewing). Days also donate 2% of each sale to supporting worthy mental health initiatives.
The best alcohol-free spirits
Three Spirit Drinks (0%)
Three Spirit: The Collection
I can’t sing the praises of Three Spirit Drinks highly enough; the USP of this brand is that their spirits aren’t only meant to fill the gap that quitting alcohol leaves, but to bring back some of the more welcome sensations too.
The Livener drink is perfect for the start of the night (it contains energising guayusa, guava leaf and schisandra), whereas Nightcap includes ingredients that are deliberately designed to relax (plus it smells just like hot cross buns).
This ginger-concentrate drink truly bites back, in the best possible way. For those wanting something snappy on the tastebuds, I highly recommend GIMBER (which is popping up in pubs all over the place, too). Bonus fact: it can also be used for cooking – I mix a dash of it with soy sauce and freshly squeezed lime to make a delicious stir fry sauce.
Everleaf Forest – Complex & Bittersweet Aperitif
This bittersweet spirit isn’t really comparable to any traditional liquors – to me, it tastes of cloudy lemonade with an ‘adult’ edge, or boiled sweets mixed with something-punchy-I-can’t-quite-work-out. Extremely quaffable and a great option for those who aren’t necessarily looking to replace an alcoholic drink with anything overly similar, but are instead keen to go for something entirely new.
Feragaia | 50cl
This Scottish-made spirit is possibly most akin to a whisky, because it’s designed to be drunk on the rocks – it’s grown-up, smells a bit medicinal (in a good way) and feels a tad Mad Men-ish. One to pour after a long day of work, or when you’re stressed and feel like brooding (minus the hangover)?
The best non-alcoholic gins
Pentire Adrift (0%)
A citrussy alcohol-free ‘gin’, perfect when teamed with tonic and a slice of fruit. Pentire use plants found along the Cornwall coastline for this product, including rock samphire, sage and Cornish sea salt – plus a few ‘secret ingredients’.
Bax Botanics Sea Buckthorn (0%)
Bax Botanics Sea Buckthorn Spirit
Another reason I love Bax Botanics is that it’s a small, sustainably run business with a real passion for delivering high quality drinks at no detriment to the planet. Their other offering, Verbana, is also well worth checking out if something citrussy is more your bag.
Sipsmith FreeGlider (0.5%)
A great alternative to a classic dry London gin, Sipsmith’s Freeglider is crafted with juniper and citrus and promises to be full on flavour. Pour over ice, top up with tonic and enjoy with a twist of fresh grapefruit zest.
The best alcohol-free cocktails
Lyre’s Italian Spritz (0%)
The holy grail. Bet you never thought you’d see the day, right? Mix a splash of this with some non-alcoholic Prosecco and it’s a) deliciously moreish and b) just like its boozy counterpart (only a tad sweeter and minus The Fear the next morning).
In general, if you’ve cut back on or given up alcohol, Lyre’s are a brand well worth knowing – they do everything from imitation whiskeys, rums, coffee liqueur and beyond. Always innovative, colourful and delicious. Go, go, go!
Alongside their equally delicious and high-quality alcoholic options, NIO (whose drinks all come in handy boxed sachets, making them extra easy to transport) have a super strong non-alcoholic offering too.
The drinks are great quality – forget about those overly-sugary-hurts-your-teeth mocktails – and really feel like a treat.
Punchy Soft Drinks (Cucumber, Yuzu & Rosemary) 250ml x 24 Cans
Every bit as good as their alcoholic versions, Punchy soft offerings are my favourite when it comes to a good old fashioned tinny (I enjoyed many of them during a summer camping trip when everyone else was on the beers). Plus, the packaging is ace.
With such a spot-on array of fun flavours, it’s hard to choose a favourite… but if I had to, it’d probably be the Ginger Dram, which is reminiscent of a Moscow Mule cocktail. I’ll take five, please.
This is a non-alcoholic drinks brand to keep a close eye on – delicious, grown-up-feeling drinks in fancy packaging. Two thumbs up!
The best alcohol-free ciders
Stowford Press (0.5%)
Like a lot of alcohol-free options, Stowford’s offering is a little on the sweet side (despite containing no artificial sweeteners), but it’s still a solid alternative for anybody wanting to keep a clear head.
Kopparberg Alcohol Free Pear Cider (0%)
Reminiscent of its alcoholic sibling, this will beat any fruity cider cravings you may have in an instant. This one gets a big tick from me.