10 Tasty Non & Low Alcoholic Drinks for 2019
Best Non and Low Alcoholic Drinks for January and beyond
For many, January signals the start of the ‘new’ you after all the indulgence from the festive period. Boozy tipples and mid-week cocktails are given the heave ho as Dry January takes full swing. As more and more people choosing a health-conscious lifestyle, drinking habits are changing too and there has been an curious increase in low and non-alcohol alternatives which are fast becoming mainstream drinks all on their own. No longer do you have to stick to the ‘looks like a cocktail but definitely isn’t’ alternatives like boring lemon-lime and soda or plain cranberry juice.
So, with that in mind, here are some of the best alternatives to your favourite boozy beverages which you will want to have long after Dry January ends.
Belvoir without the Hangover
We all love a (large) glass of wine after a long day, but we all know that sometimes that glass can turn into another, and another, and another, and before long you’re cracking open another bottle! When this happens, you know that you’re in for it the next day with a world of pain as the hangover from hell kicks in. Thankfully, Belvoir Fruit Farms have come up with the perfect solution with their range of ‘alternative’ wines that taste great and come without the dreaded hangover.
They’ve covered all areas by developing three exquisite flavours – a Shiraz, a Chardonnay and a Rosé, and each one has a complex, sophisticated taste and aroma. They all taste great and although you might not be tempted to give up the real stuff altogether, they make a great alternative for when you need to be firing on all cylinders the morning after.
And just like the rest of Belvoir Fruit Farms’ drinks, the Wine Alternatives are only made using natural ingredients with no artificial additives, preservatives, colourings or sweeteners. There is no added sugar either.
Another brand that creates a great wine alternative beverage is Botonique. Their sophisticated drinks have a sparkling blend of de-alcoholised botanical extracts enriched with Prelixir vitamins, minerals and amino acids, with just a touch of pear juice. There are currently two flavours, Crispy Dry White, similar to a dry prosecco or a Sauvignon Blanc, and Blush, a delicious alternative to rosé with tasting notes of strawberry, rose and bramble. Both drinks pair really well with food and like the Belvoir range they have no artificial additives, preservatives, colourings or sweeteners. In fact there are 14 calories per 100 ml in a bottle of Botonique which is less than a sixth the calories of most wines so no need to feel guilty if you are tempted to finish the bottle!
Franklin & Sons Soft Drinks and Infused Sodas
One brand which has been stirring things up in the soft drinks sector since 1886 is Franklin & Sons. Using only natural flavours, extracts and colours, the brand is award-winning and has an ever-growing range of fantastic flavours including - Valencian Organic & Pink Grapefruit, Sicilian Lemonade & English Elderflower, British Dandelion & handpicked Burdock, and Cloudy Apple & Yorkshire Rhubarb.
Taking inspiration from distillers and their fascination for flavour expressions, Franklin & Sons has created a new range of flavour-infused sodas to provide the experience and sophistication of a cocktail serve for those ever-increasing non-alcohol occasions. These flavours include Guava & Lime, Pomegranate & Hibiscus, and Pineapple & Cardamom. These sodas are a delight and my favourite has to be Pomegranate & Hibiscus over some crushed ice and a few pomegranate seeds added in to give it a real cocktail feel!
The clever people at No1 Botanicals have created an exciting range of botanical extract drinks containing no added sugar, preservatives, sweeteners, additives, artificial colours or flavours. Just what is in it then? The answer is natural spring water and herb extracts. Simple? Not quite! The herbs go through a complex process of cold extraction in order to preserve the fresh herb and to capture all the active compounds.
Following the success of the first flavour, No1 Rosemary Water in 2017, a range of nine new and unique single extract herbal drinks have been created using the same extraction process - Basil, Fennel, Thyme, Lemon Verbena, Meadowsweet, Olive Leaf, Sage, Mint and Juniper. Each herb has been carefully selected for their long history of health and wellness benefits, and the extracts have been authenticated by world-leading experts in botanical science at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
These drinks are absolutely packed with the sophisticated flavours of nature and they are all certainly unique in taste. My favourite has to the Basil Water, maybe because my favourite herb is basil so of course I will love it in a drink!
Kombucha is a type of fermented drink made from sweetened tea and a culture of bacteria and yeast. It has grown in popularity in the last few months due to it various perceived health benefits of helping with digestion and weightless as well as its distinct sour taste. I personally love kombucha and Real Kombucha create a great range of high quality kombuchas with high-end, loose-leaf teas, handpicked from small tea gardens in China and India.
Their three kombuchas - Smoke House, Royal Flush and Dry Dragon - have no added fruit juices or flavouring, just pure fermented teas with their own distinctive flavours. The high quality kombuchas can be found in Michelin star restaurants across the UK including The Hand & Flowers by Tom Kerridge, No.6 by Paul Ainsworth and The Fat Duck by Heston Blumenthal. I personally love the Smoke House which is brewed from a smokey, black tea from the mountains of southern China and is rich with notes of smoke, caramel and apple. These kombuchas taste great chilled and straight out of the bottle.
Borrago #47 Paloma Blend
Borrago is a non-alcoholic spirit that uses six botanicals including cardamom and rosemary which give it a dry, delicious flavour as well as a really nice depth and texture. You can use Borrago as a base for cocktails like you would gin or vodka. As it has notes of citrus as well as spice and pepper, I’d recommend mixing it with a good quality tonic and fresh mint and cucumber to create a refreshing ‘Nojito.’
You may have already heard of Seedlip as it has grown in popularity in recent months and has popped up in trendy bars and restaurant up and down London. There are three drinks in the range - Grove 42, Spice 94 and Garden 108 - all worth a try and have their own unique blend of natural botanicals and extracts. I personally love the floral Garden 108 as it has tasting notes of some of my favourite herbs including rosemary, spearmint and thyme. Perfect with a quality tonic water and plenty of ice.
Silk Tree 0.5%
Another spirit alternative to try is Silk Tree. Distilled in Ireland in the traditional copper still, Silk Tree is both aromatic and complex. This is because of the spices and botanicals that are used - fragrant coriander seeds, zesty orange peel, aromatic lemon verbena, warming cinnamon, and the unmistakable punch of juniper berries. With only 0.5% ABV (Alcohol By Volume) Silk Tree is a great low-alcohol alternative to gin, which is a minimum of 37.5% ABV. I’d recommend mixing Silk Tree with fiery ginger beer and lime juice to make a great Moscow Mule alternative to bring out the cinnamon and orange peel characters.
We all love a good cocktail now and again, but we also know that cocktails can be the devil in disguise when you take into account the high alcohol content of spirits that make up many of our favourite cocktails. A great alternative to spirits with a high ABV is vermouth, which has a naturally lower ABV compared to spirits. Berlin based company Belsazar have a fantastic range of vermouths including the Rose Vermouth, which is infused with pink grapefruits, orange blossom, bitter oranges, raspberries and redcurrants.
The white vermouth is also very good and is made with the best wines from the South Baden region in Germany. It’s gently sweet, with aromas of vanilla, dried peach, herbs and orange. Simply pair these vermouths with a quality tonic and plenty of ice for a low-alcohol alternative to a Gin and Tonic or get your experiment on! Check out 31Dover for the full range of the vermouths.
Square Root Soda
Homegrown and handmade in London, Square Root has a fantastic range of sodas for all occasions and made with real ingredients. They have a core range which they create all year round due to its understandable popularity and includes Lemonade, Ginger Beer, Cola, and Root Beer. I absolutely love the Lemonade which is made with real Sicilian lemons. Square Root also have a seasonal range which changes throughout the seasons, as fruit naturally grows and ripens. The current flavours in this range are Pear & Aronia, Bergamot, and Apple. Like you, I had no idea what aronia was, but now I know it is a delicious red berry and goes amazingly well with pear!
Square Root have also just included a non-alcoholic Gin & Tonic to their range which has all the fragrant magic of Gin but none of the alcohol. Steam distilled botanicals like Juniper & Coriander are blended with tonic water to create a fantastic flavour sensation.
So there you have it, some of the best alcohol alternatives to get you through January and beyond.
Do you have any other non or low-alcohol favourites? Let me know in the comments below!
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