Taking part in Dry January this year? You’re not alone. The campaign, which encourages you to ditch the drink for 31 days, has seen thousands of people sign up online or on the app. But these days, alcohol-free drinks are for life, not just the first month of the year.
In 2019, Waitrose & Partners saw a 31 per cent sales increase on low alcohol wines and 38 per cent growth in sales of no and low alcohol beer and cider throughout 2018, while Ocado reported sales of non-alcoholic wine rising by 42 per cent, and sales of no and low spirits and beers soaring by 87 per cent. And just last week, Waitrose saw sales of low and no alcohol drinks rise again, led by wine (up 20 per cent) and cider (up 14 per cent).
A third of under-25s are saying no to booze completely – and they’re not the only ones. An increasing number of shoppers are shunning standard soft drinks and looking for something a little more grown-up – and the good news is, the beverage makers are listening. Whether you love a dry gin or robust red, a lip-smacking cocktail or an ice cold beer, there’s a delicious booze-free replacement on the shelves…
The best alcohol-free drinks
Ceder’s Crisp Non-Alcoholic Spirit
Try it if you love: A botanical blend
Hand-crafted and bottled in Sweden, Ceder’s is made from gin and South African botanicals, blended with pristine water to give the taste of gin, but not the alcohol content.
Seedlip Grove 42
Try it if you love: A citrus gin
‘Our shoppers have been delighted with the exclusive introduction of Seedlip Grove to our aisles,’ says Pierpaolo Petrassi, Head of Beers, Wines and Spirits at Waitrose. ‘We love it with tonic and a twist of red grapefruit.’ There’s also a Spice and Garden variety.
Try it if you love: Prosecco
Not only is it significantly more affordable than a bottle of Prosecco, this Italian-made alcohol-free version is made with aromas of green apple, pear, stone fruit and red berries.
Try it if you love: Rosé
Eisberg is a well-established name on the alcohol-free wine scene, and do rosé especially well. They go through every step of the wine-making process and then remove the alcohol, so the strawberry jam and raspberry flavour is a convincing match.
Try if you love: Negroni cocktails
For those who love big, bold, bitter flavours. The Nogroni is a non-alcoholic twist on the classic Negroni cocktail. Each bottle serves two.
Try it if you love: Beer
Reviewers say that this alcohol-free tipple is so good, you forget it’s 0%. It’s brewed under the strict Bavarian Purity Law, which means it is made from only high quality, natural ingredients.
Try it if you love: White wine
Far from a standard white grape juice, Torres’ de-alcoholised wine makes for a refreshing, sherberty glass to be enjoyed over dinner or with friends. Waitrose recommend serving it with fish, seafood and rice dishes to compliment the taste even further.
Try it if you love: Ginger beer
If non-alcoholic ginger beers don’t usually provide the fire you’re after, Pimento’s chilli-infused option is the answer. It’s made with ginger, tonic and hot pepper natural flavours and is naturally low in sugar.
The London Essence Co.
Try it if you love: A cocktail
Missing the sweetness of a fruity drink? The London Essence Co. offers grown-up soda waters in flavours like Elderberry & Hibiscus, Rhubarb & Cardamom and White Peach & Jasmine. Pour them over ice and finish with a sprig of your favourite herb.
No. 1 Sparkling Rosemary Water
Try it if you love: A healthy option
No sugar, no sweeteners, preservatives or colours (or calories) – just a refreshing drink made from two ingredients: natural spring water and pure rosemary extract. This makes a truly tasty alternative to the plain fizzy waters on the shelves.
Try it if you love: Red wine
Because this French wine has been de-alcoholised by using ‘spinning cone’ technology, it preserves a much more ‘wine-like character’ than is usual in alcohol removal processes.
Try it if you love: Espresso martini
With the subtle taste of floral blends and botanicals, FLUÈRE’s spirits come in four flavours, with this one being the most exciting looking. It has hints of dark roasted coffee, cocoa, liquorice, tonka beans and toffee. Pair it with Coca Cola for a delicious mocktail.
Try it if you love: G&Ts
Sucker for a gin and tonic, but want to stay alcohol-free this year? Stick to this brand new, 0.0% alcohol version, which does what it says on the tin!
Try it if you love: Rum
Not only is this bottle majorly aesthetically pleasing, the formula inside sounds like a tropical dream. It features a rich blend of pineapple, coconut, ginger, black cardamom, vanilla, kola nut and lime.
Try it if you love: A pre-dinner drink
Pre-dinner snacks require a pre-dinner aperitif and this one is perfect when paired with the likes of roasted almonds, cashews or pimento stuffed green olives. It features decadent notes of grapefruit, bay leaf and orange.
Try it if you love: Aperol spritz
Craving the refreshing taste of an Aperol Spritz (the kind that transports you to the Amalfi coast in seconds)? Highball’s alcohol-free take on the Italian cocktail favourite is crafted with Italian bitters and luscious orange to deliver that perfect balance of bitter-sweetness the original drink is known for.
Something & Nothing
Try it if you love: Refreshing, yet unexpected, flavours
Made using sparkling water infused with natural fruit flavours and botanicals, Something & Nothing also comes in Cucumber and Yuzu flavours, but the Hibiscus & Rose tastes like ‘refreshment from another dimension’. Delicious on their own or as a mixer in a non-alcoholic cocktail.
Try it if you love: Pilsner
Brewed in Grafenhausen in the southern Black Forest, this is the alcohol-free version of the Rothaus Pils Tannenzäpfle, but it still retains the typical and well-balanced Rothaus Pilsner taste – basically, everything you expect from the German style of beer with zero alcohol.
Try it if you love: Cider
No, it’s not just apple juice. What this cider lacks in alcoholic content it more than makes up for with its refreshingly sophisticated taste and sweet aroma of real cider as it is made with a very similar fermentation process as alcoholic versions.
Try it if you love: Lager
Regularly touted as the best non-alcoholic beer on the market, Lucky Saint is left unfiltered for maximum taste, which is ‘satisfyingly fruity with a refreshing, crisp citrus finish,’ so they say.
Thomson & Scott
Try it if you love: Sparkling rosé
Crafted from Tempranillo grapes grown in the south of Spain, Noughty sparkling rosé is de-alcoholised in a manner that retains all the crunchy aromatics and is then lightly carbonated. Medium dry and crisply refreshing, this is a serious wine that is a leap above the sickly sweet sparkling grapes juices that masquerade as non-alcoholic vino.
Try it if you love: Pale Ale
A properly beer-y booze-free beer, you still get all of the hoppiness expected from a pale ale, along with hints of caramel and toffee, with tropical notes coming from the passionfruit aroma.
Try it if you love: Pina Coladas