It’s a brand new year and the ideal time to set goals for the year ahead. Getting one’s mind and body into tip-top shape is a great way to kick things off. Sabi Phagura has compiled a guide to some of the best low-alcohol and alcohol-free drinks that’ll help to put you on the right footing.
After a boozy Christmas, you may be thinking of doing sober January as you nurse that hangover. And while a few years ago, the choice for non-alcoholic drinks was at best poor, the sober movement has really taken off in recent years. The tail end of 2021 even saw the launch of the Uk’s first alcohol-free off-licence open in London (the pop-up can be found at 59 Great Portland Street, London W1W 7LJ). So what constitutes an alcohol-free beverage?
Many drinks on the market are marketed as ‘alcohol-free but are labelled as 0.5 ABV on the product. Can they be classed as alcohol-free? Yes, they can. Many food and drinks contain a small amount of alcohol as it occurs naturally in ingredients and thus must be stated on any packaging. Drinks labelled as 0.5% in the UK are not restricted by alcohol licensing, meaning anyone can buy and sell them. We’ve rounded up some of the top alcohol-free drinks on the market so you can wave bye-bye to sugar-laden soft drinks and get a grown-up drink instead.
SEVEN BRO7HERS BREWING CO
2021 marked seven years in business for SEVEN BRO7HERS BREWING CO, and they have just added an AF Pale Ale to their portfolio. Founded by the McAvoy brothers, Guy, Keith, Luke, Daniel, Nathan, Kit, and Greg, the brewery was inspired by their dad’s home-brewing in their cellar at home.
Price: £1.60 per 330ml can
Where to buy: www.sevenbro7hers.com/afpaleale
COTSWOLD DISTILLERY GIN ESSENCE
The Cotswolds Distillery designed its Cotswolds Dry Gin Essence to reduce the amount of alcohol required in G&T and gin-based cocktails. It’s made using ten times the botanical concentration of their award-winning Cotswold Dry Gin. A little goes a long way as just a 5ml thimble is needed for a full flavour G&T.
Price: £17.95 for 100ml
Where to buy: www.cotswoldsdistillery.com
This Scottish, sustainable, and subversive soft drink brand is offering a lip-smacking and guilt-free alternative to alcohol for those who want to socialise without the dreaded hangover. The fresh fruit evangelists pride themselves in only using only raw, natural ingredients to create vegan-friendly, low-calorie soft drinks using fresh and seasonal ingredients with no nasties.
It comes in Ginga Ninja, Dry Lime, Burny Lemon, Scottish Cranachan soda and Scottish Strawberry.
Price: The DIY box is £33
Where to buy: www.rapscallionsoda.com/collections/range
BIG DROP LEAFKICKER
Coffee and beer in one! Alcohol-free brewer, Big Drop, has teamed up with Square Mile Coffee Roasters to produce a new coffee flavoured beer. Leafkicker is a coffee-infused amber ale that is naturally brewed to strength which allows it to be fully fermented while staying below the 0.5% ABV threshold throughout the whole process. Big Drop chose Square Mile to collaborate with because of its shared values and passion for delivering a product of exceptional quality.
Price: £16 for 6 x 440ml cans or £29.50 for 12.
Where to buy: www.bigdropbrew.com
The Vinada brand is a range of not one but three no or low alcohol sparkling wines. They’ve been available across Europe for a while but only launched in the UK in the autumn. The Vinada wines are de-alcoholised using a process that retains most of the wine’s original aroma and taste. The quality has been recognised by the IWSC. The three wines include a Sparking Chardonnay, a Tempranillo Rosé and a sparkling golden wine.
Price: All three are priced at £9.95 for 750ml and £4.95 for 200ml
Where to buy: www.amazon.co.uk/vinada
Perhaps at the forefront of making grown-up beverages, Luscombe was launched over 40 years ago. They source organic whole fruits from trusted growers worldwide and then blend them with Dartmoor spring water, drawn from a source on the farm where their drinks are made. They have a Royal Warrant in hand and 90 Great Taste Awards from the Guild of Fine Food under their belt.
Price: Box of 12 x 270ml for £21.30
Where to buy: www.luscombe.co.uk/products
GORAM IPA ZERO
Butcombe Brewing Co (part of Liberation Group) has marked its own foray into the no and low drinks market with the launch of its very first draught and bottled low alcohol product – Goram IPA Zero. Following in the footsteps of the company’s original Goram IPA recipe, Goram IPA Zero is an ale made with a punchy blend of English, US and New Zealand hops, which balance stone fruit, citrus and bitter notes.
Price: 12 x 330ml bottles £14.45
Where to buy: https://butcombe.com/brewery-shop/
For those looking to make healthier choices whilst still enjoying the taste of beer, Heineken 0.0 may be the answer. A 330ml can comes in at just 69 calories, so you will also be able to tame that beer belly. What’s more, in what is a seminal moment for the British beer and pub industries, 2022 will see the rollout of Heineken 0.0 Draught, the first alcohol-free draught beer to sit alongside regular beer taps in pubs.
Price: 6 X 330ml bottles from £4
How to buy: Available from all major supermarkets and convenience stores
Punchy and fragrant, fresh ginger is a sure-fire way to chase away cold winter chills. Belvoir produces some great flavours from their farm that are a perfect, natural way to enjoy its genuine spicy kick. They are warming and soothing and contain no secret ingredients, just 100% natural ones; choose from Ginger Cordial, Ginger Beer Honey, Lemon & Ginger Cordial and Spiced Ginger Punch. It’s like a hug in a mug.
Price: From £2.70 for 750ml
Where to buy: www.belvoirfarm.co.uk
If you are just cutting down on alcohol without abstaining, you may want to look into Inside Out. These cranberry flavoured drinks are touted as the drink you need before you drink. It’s loaded with antioxidants to support a healthy liver and is ideal for a pre-party drink. The plant-based, low-calorie drink includes milk thistle, goji berries, cranberries and hibiscus. So like its namesake, they look after your body from the inside out.
Price: Pack of three 250ml cans for £9.99
Where to buy: www.insideoutdrinks.co.uk
If you’re looking for something hot, coffee is always a good bet. The latest offering from Fireheart Coffee adds a true taste of summer to this straightforward subscription service. Shady Bader is the new seasonal Colombian coffee with an ice cream-like flavour profile produced by two brothers at their farm in Finca El Eden. The beans are seriously rare, high scoring micro-lot, and now accessible for everyone to enjoy, whether you’re an occasional coffee drinker or a coffee expert. Just don’t try to lick this one.
Price: Priced from £11.95.
Where to buy: www.fireheartcoffee.com