We are often told to watch out for fakes in today’s society. We’re warned against fraudulent scams on social media telling us all we have to do is ‘click this link’ and we’ll be £1 million richer, and often reminded to do our research before purchasing a supposedly designer bag online that is being sold for just £25. In short, fakers, con artists and great pretenders are not looked upon too kindly where we come from.
There are some instances though where ‘faking it ‘till you make it’ is actually rather welcomed, if not encouraged. Of course, we are talking about the rise in popularity of low and no alcohol drinks - yes, you read that right, the UK has gone crazy for booze that is not actually all that boozy. Whether it is because we are now a more health conscious society, because people are more educated about the dangers of overindulging in alcohol, or simply because it’s no longer seen as a ‘must’, people are turning away from booze in droves.
Of course, you are unlikely to see sales in Prosecco or gin plummet any time soon, but that doesn’t mean that low and no alcohol drinks don’t have an ever-growing audience. Luckily for anyone who is avoiding drinking for whatever reason, winemakers, brewers and plenty of other drinks folks have been hard at work over the last few years coming up with delicious alternatives. From non-alcoholic wines to low-alcohol beers and even alcohol-free spirits, the business of not drinking is booming.
If you are new to the teetotal life, or just want to cut down on your alcohol intake, allow us to be a helping hand. We have tried and tested a whole host of non-alcoholic beverages and adult soft drinks to handpick the best ones on the market. Check out our picks below and cheers to not waking up with a hangover tomorrow.
Best non-alcoholic and low alcohol drinks
If you have ditched the booze or want to cut back on your intake, you’ll be glad to know that there are a whole host of alternatives out there. Read on for our pick of alcohol-free ‘spirits’ and more
What: Former Made In Chelsea party boy Spencer Matthews isn’t the first person that comes to mind when you think of going teetotal, but he in fact ditched the booze a few years back and created his own low-alcohol drinks line - Clean Gin is a botanical sip with just 1.2% ABV.
How much: £25
Buy Clean Gin
New London Light
What: Olympic medal hopefuls Hannah Mills and Eilidh McIntyre find the likeness to an alcoholic G&T incredible. For us, its herbaceous nose entwined with ginger spice and capsicum pepper introduces a drink that is confident and refreshing, while on the palate it’s linear and precise with a spicy botanical depth. Dry but smooth finish.
How much: £23.90
Buy New London Light
Seedlip Spice 94
What: Seedlip is one of the leading brands when it comes to alcohol alternatives and it’s true that Seedlip ‘spirits’ are rather punchy when paired with tonic. In particular, we’re fans of the Spice 94 variety, boasting notes of oak, cardamom, lemon and grapefruit.
How much: £23.50
Buy Seedlip Spice 94
Punchy Peach, Ginger and Chai
What: If you abstain from alcohol simply because you don’t like the taste, why not opt for a booze-free punch instead? This fruit mix is sweet and refreshing, plus it comes in a can, which makes it great for bringing along to house parties or barbecues.
How much: £.150
Buy Punchy Peach, Ginger and Chai
Real Kombucha Royal Flush
What: If you’re looking for a grown-up soft drink, look no further than Real Kombucha’s Royal Flush. This sip is gluten-free, alcohol-free, low sugar and vegan-friendly, but what it lacks in nasties, it more than makes up for in flavour - why not try it for yourself and see?
How much: £8
Buy Real Kombucha Royal Flush
Fentimans Rose Lemonade
What: If you’re not looking for a great pretender, but rather a sophisticated soft drink to sip on, check out Fentimans Rose Lemonade. Made with real lemons and pure rose oil sourced in Bulgaria, it’s a light and refreshing sip that will remind you of hot summer afternoons.
How much: £15 for a pack of 12
Buy Fentimans Rose Lemonade
Lyre’s Italian Spritz
What: This bittersweet non-alcoholic spritz, with its notes of rhubarb, orange and mixed herbs, makes a great base for a whole number of refreshing mocktails, but it also works when paired simply with soda or tonic water.
How much: £19.95
Buy Lyre’s Italian Spritz
What: We love the attractive packaging of this non-alcoholic aperitif almost as much as we love it's bittersweet character: flavoured with botanicals such as vanilla, gentian and liquorice. Best when mixed with soda or tonic water.
How much: £19.95
Buy Everleaf Forest
Best non-alcoholic and low alcohol beer
Alcohol-free beers were once avoided at all costs, but there is now a new wave of low and no alcohol beers that are taking the teetotal community by storm. Check out our favourite non-alcoholic and low-alcohol beers.
What: Non-alcoholic beers don’t have a great reputation, but many Heineken Zero drinks say they can barely taste the difference with this low-alcohol version, which has just 0.05% volume. We’re inclined to agree and chuffed to have found a worthwhile non-alcoholic beer.
How much: £8 for pack of 12
Buy Heineken Zero
Becks Blue Alcohol Free
What: If you’ve given up beer because of its reputation for being fattening, you’ll be glad to know that Becks Blue Alcohol Free is only 53 calories a pop. It also tastes remarkably similar to the real thing, so it’s a win all round.
How much: £7 for pack of 15
Buy Becks Blue
San Miguel 0.0%
What: Proving that no alcohol doesn’t have to mean no flavour, this alcohol-free version of San Miguel’s popular beers is golden in colour and boasts floral and herbal notes. A great alternative for any designated drivers at the pub.
How much: £3 for a pack of four
Buy San Miguel 0.0%
Adnam’s Ghost Ship 0.5%
What: One of the lesser known brands with a low-alcohol option is Adnam’s. It’s Ghost Ship beer has a malty, biscuity smell, while the flavour features notes of citrus and grass. It’s a great alternative to a regular beer and cheap as chips.
How much: £1.30 per bottle
Buy Adnam’s Ghost Ship 0.5%
Big Drop Brewing Co Galactic Milk Stout
What: We know what you’re thinking - an alcohol-free beer with a silly name and loud packaging? Surely this is a case of all style and no substance? You’d be wrong though as this delicious, rich and indulgent beer from Big Drop Brewing Co is seriously impressive stuff.
How much: £1.20
Buy Big Drop Brewing Co Galactic Milk Stout
Brewdog Nanny State
What: You can always count on controversy courting Brewdog to come up with a fun name for its beers. Nanny State’s snarky moniker is backed up though, by a beer that’s malty, bitter and brimming with hoppy flavour.
How much: £6.79 for a pack of four
Buy Brewdog Nanny State
Adnam’s Wild Wave 0.5%
What: If you’re looking to cut down on alcohol, rather than cut it out complete, low alcohol beers are a great shout. At just 0.5% abv, Wild Wave is a suitable alternative and feels distinctly British too, with its light and refreshing crunchy apple flavour.
How much: £13.50 for a pack of 12
Buy Adnam’s Wild Wave 0.5%
Best non-alcoholic and low alcohol wine
Wines and fizz are the go-to drinks when it comes to social celebrations, so what happens when the non-drinkers in the group want something a little more special than a Diet Coke? Allow us to introduce you to some of our favourite non-alcoholic and low alcohol wines.
Fortnum’s Rose Sparkling Tea
What: Best served chilled, this 0% ABV sparkling tea makes a fun alternative to bubbles, boasting a pale pink hue, crisp taste and flavours of tropical fruits along with cranberry and hints of ginger. Sort of like a sophisticated, grown-up version of Shloer.
How much: £16.95
Buy the Fortnum’s Rose Sparkling Tea
Eisberg Sauvignon Blanc Alcohol Free White Wine
What: Fresh and aromatic, this alcohol free white wine from Eisberg is teeming with gooseberry and tropical fruit flavours. Wine without the inevitable wine hangover? Sign us up.
How much: £4.19
Buy the Eisberg Sauvignon Blanc Alcohol Free White Wine
La Gioiosa Alcohol Free 0% Sparkling
What: An alternative to sparkling wine, this light and sweet sip reveals notes of apple, white grape and elderflower. It makes a great base for cocktails and at just £5.99 a bottle, is great value too.
How much: £5.99
Buy La Gioiosa Alcohol Free 0% Sparkling
Luscombe Damascene Rose Bubbly
What: This fruity combination of grape juice, citrus and rose notes makes a great alcohol-free swap for Prosecco. If you’re hosting a dinner party, pour these straight into flutes or coupes and pair with white fish.
How much: £20.28 for a box of 12
Buy Luscombe Damascene Rose Bubbly
What: Gimmicky name aside, we think you’ll be impressed by Nosecco. Pale yellow in colour, it features intensely fruity notes and just the right amount of fizz. A great alternative for a sober party and mix with fresh orange juice to make first-rate Mimosas.
How much: £3.50
Freixenet 0.0% Sparkling Rose Alcohol Free
What: Customers rave about this alcohol free rose from Freixenet, which is both good value and delicious. It’s definitely one for those who prefer sweeter drinks, but makes for a perfectly adequate alternative to Prosecco and doesn’t need to be paired with anything else to be enjoyable.
How much: £5
Buy Freixenet 0.0% Sparkling Rose Alcohol Free
If you prefer socialising outside of the house, check out these cool London bars where the bartenders will be happy to whip you up a mocktail or two.
Prices correct at time of writing