The Best Non-Alcoholic Drinks To Make or Buy Now
7 minutes read
If you’re amid Dry or Damp January (the flexitarian approach) are Sober Curious: questioning why you drink and the reasons fueling your alcohol intake, or are abstaining because you are pregnant or you just want to swerve the hangover. Or simply are looking for cleaner drinking choices without sacrificing taste. Whatever the reason, we have the best non-alcoholic drinks to serve and sip here and advice on staying on the straight and narrow for January and beyond. Plus, the new host of bevvies have a wellbeing bonus like nootropics, adaptogens, CBD and serotonin-boosters like 5-HTP for extra zing.
Are you feeling alco-fatigued and searching for healthy alcohol-free drinks? You are not alone. According to a YouGov survey, more than one in seven drinkers plan on giving up alcohol for January. Emily Acha Derrington, Head of Wine at Manteca, is not surprised as she has seen this trend for low or non-alcohol alternatives in the restaurant bars she oversees.
“In terms of trends, I’ve seen quite a few low-alcohol wine alternatives emerge in the last year to appear on the menus of some top UK restaurants instead of a wine pairing. From blends of grapes with apples or pears (like a cross between a wine and a cider/perry) to alcohol-free drinks made using tea and fruit ferments, they look just as fancy as wine.”
And Psychotherapist Dr Carder Stout agrees: “It’s a very positive movement. Partaking in Dry Jan and it’s making a commitment to yourself and your family by leading a healthier and better life. I think it’s a great idea not only for me being sober since 2005, but for the patients I see in my clinic; I’ve heard first-hand about the benefits: They are sleeping better, waking refreshed, have better energy, feel more present, and feel good about themselves.”
But how do you avoid temptation? Well, according to Dr Stout, there are five steps you need to help you succeed:
- Be accountable: Take pride in what you are doing – let people know it will let you know and have them check in on you—no shame about it.
- Do not isolate: Isolation and loneliness feed addiction – be around people, family and friends. Get outside.
- Don’t tempt yourself: get rid of the alcohol in your home – clear out the cupboards and store it with friends or ditch it entirely.
- Stave off boredom: boredom feeds addiction and incorporates spirituality: anything that feeds the soul and what will make you happy and healthy. Spending time with your children, friends and family, going on hikes, walks on the beach, surrounding yourself in nature, picking up a good book, enjoying a film and eating a good meal. Try meditation or spa treatments and online classes. Try journaling the experience and keeping a family photograph close – After all, you are doing this for yourself, your family, and perhaps your children too.
- If you drink: don’t judge yourself. Instead, approach it with conviction – we are all human, so don’t throw in the towel at a hurdle.
Would you like to know more? Check out his new book – We Are All Addicts: The Soul’s Guide to Kicking Your Compulsions by Carder Stout (January 10, 2023, Viva Editions, Simon & Schuster) Click here to buy.
As for the Beauty Daily staffers? We could add a 6th step – if you need something that feels sophisticated and will delight the taste buds – then swap your wines, spirits and fizzes for 0% versions. They not only look like the real deal – yes, plenty of fancy bottles that look nice on your bar carts. But, the heady aroma and slight bitterness you get also make for a grown-up gin-o’Clock sensation – and you never know – some might even give you a better mental focus or better skin – there’s not much to dislike about that…
Read Next: Are You Sober Curious
The best alcohol-free drinks to buy now
Lovely pink bubbles that are not overly sweet and perfectly fine to serve in the sun or at celebrations.
With only 12 calories per 50ml serving and no hangover, this is the perfect mix for a virgin Margarita – or mix with Fever-Tree’s Mexican Lime Soda, plenty of ice, and you have a very quaffable fiesta in a glass.
It takes six weeks in a copper pot to make this botanical-infusion magic happen. The results are a convincing gin alternative perfect when poured over ice, a slice and mixed with the fizz of a decent tonic or refreshing with San Pellegrino Lemonade.
This Scandi game-changing brand is on a mission to be better for you and the planet – The average vineyard produces 0.53kg of CO₂ per 750ml bottle, but the vineyards used for Oddbird’s Low Intervention wines produce just 0.08kg. Hand-picked grapes from Breganze, Veneto aged for 12 months and then ‘liberated’ from alcohol, which means you can enjoy it with nibbles and dinner without regretting it the next day.
The ingredients read like bedtime tea: liquorice, valerian root, lemon balm, and white willow. While the turmeric, pepper, and ginger add a hint of spice and the Ayurvedic favourite – ‘ashwagandha’ famed for reducing anxiety and stress, it’s the perfect nightcap to sip before bed that promises no headache the following day.
Does ‘Dry Jan’ make for ‘Blowout Feb’?
It could turn into ‘Binge February’, but in most cases, usually what happens is people like the benefits of not drinking. So, when Feb comes around, they will be drinking less.
Is alcohol-free wine healthy?
Alcohol-free versions are usually lower in calories than their full-percentage counterparts, so they can be considered a healthier swap.
Plus, alco-free still should contain good-for-you ingredients. According to Winefoolly, researchers in France found that artificially lowering the alcohol level of a Cabernet Sauvignon (from 12% ABV to 6% ABV) didn’t remove any of the antioxidants beneficial for cardiovascular health. The study concluded by suggesting that low-alcohol and non-alcoholic red wines could be used to treat people with heart disease.
Can alcohol-free make you drunk?
First, you should understand the labels:
The average strength of conventional beers is 4.4% ABV
‘Low alcohol’ beer contains 1.2% ABV, or less
‘Alcohol-free’ beer contains 0.05% alcohol by volume (ABV), or less
Scientists who have analysed the effects of alcohol-free in the bloodstream mention that ‘your body processes the alcohol almost as quickly as you drink it’ so levels won’t build up and make you tipsy.
A simple equation can be found here: For example, a regular pint of 5% beer contains three units of alcohol, which takes around three hours to process. Compared to a pint of alcohol-free beer (0.5%), which has 0.28 units of alcohol, it will take approximately 15 minutes to process.
However, even this tiny amount of alcohol can be a trigger for anyone who is alcohol-dependent. So if you want to avoid alcohol altogether, you shouldn’t consume any of these drinks.
If you’re worried or want to talk with someone confidentially, there is help. Drinkchat is a confidential online web chat service for anyone wishing to speak to someone about their drinking (or someone else’s). It’s available on weekdays 9am to 2pm. Alternatively, call Drinkline confidentially on 0300 123 1100 on weekdays 9am to 8pm and at weekends 11am to 4pm. Click here
NHS – Useful contacts for alcohol problems – click here
This article is for informational purposes only. It is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice. To the extent that this article features the advice of physicians or medical practitioners, the views expressed are the views of the cited expert.