Alternative drinks to alcohol
One of the questions we frequently get asked is what to drink when you’re not drinking. We have lots of drink reviews (I know because I wrote them all). So here we are going to compile a quick guide to the best things to drink when you’re not drinking.
1. Non-alcoholic beers
Non-alcoholic, or 0% beers have come a long way in the last few years. With a little work you can find some great options and if you’re not sure you can come to one of our 0% beer tastings and try a whole range of interesting drinks. Or you can just check out our reviews here.
Our top picks are:
Brewdog Nanny State
Style: Hoppy Ale
Where to buy: Bottle Dog in Kings Cross/online, or at larger branches of Tesco
Tasting Notes: Good reviews noted for it’s real beer flavor.
“A good proper beer”
“Buttery & herby”
“Definitely a picnic kind of beer”
“Pretty good! Smelt floral and smooth but tasted a tad too bitter for me. I could manage about two on a night out with food”
Rothaus Tannenzapple Alkoholfrei
Where to buy: Online, from importers, or The Beer Boutique in Putney.
Taste: A strong contender.
“I would drink this on a week day pub night”
“Tastes like lager!”
“This beats Becks! I could have 10+ on a night out!”
2. Top Tonics
If you’re used to drinking a G&T you might want to replace it with a T&T. Lots of craft soda producers are making interesting flavoured tonics that need no accompaniment. A great example of this is Peter Spanton. These are great because Peter Spanton created them for the non-drinker, he quit and was sick of going out and having no decent non-alcoholic options, sound familiar? His Cardamon tonic is well worth a try and these are other unusual offerings like chocolate and lemongrass.
Fever tree also do a good range of tonics including flavours like Elderflower, and Lemon and Rosemary. They are also served in lots of pubs and restaurants which make them perfect for a night out.
3. Craft Sodas
Drinking soft drinks doesn’t have to mean a night of coke. More and more craft soda producers are popping up with great drinks designed for a more grown up palate than the usual fizzy offerings. Some of our favourites are:
Square Root London Rhubarb Soda
Square Root is all about hand-making sodas from natural, and frequently seasonal, ingredients. What they have on offer varies a bit depending on the time of year from Raspberry Lemonade, to Rhubarb to Cucumber, there is always something new on offer. Additionally there is a standard line including tonics, cola, lemonade and ginger beer.
Dalston Cola Real Lemonade
Available from cravedlondon.com £2.00
Dalston Cola’s drinks are handmade in London, the citrus fruit comes from the market near Spitalfields; and the bottles are from Clapham. The ingredients are simply water, fair trade sugar and fresh natural flavourings. There Cola is made with real Kola nuts for an interesting take on a classic and a hit of natural energy.
You may not be convinced that kombucha is the drink for you. Fermented tea sounds a bit hipseter-ish and weird. But, if you are used to drinking cider it may be the perfect drink for you. It really does taste quite a bit like cider and is an amazing healthy alternative to alcohol. Kombucha is basically a fermented and sweetened black or green tea drink originating from Japan. It’s the brewing process that distinguishes it from fizzy pop!
5. Interesting Botanical Things
There has also been a bit of an explosion, recently, in adult drinks for the non drinker. This has led to some interesting offshoots that defy easy categorisation. So here are a couple of examples some interesting drinks to look out for.
Seedlip is a spirit without the alcohol. I know it doesn’t seem like that makes much sense but that is the general idea. It’s the brainchild of founder Ben (last name) who got the idea from the 1651 book ‘The Art of Distillation’ by John French. Distillation was originally used for making medicines, some of them were alcoholic formulations but plenty weren’t. Seedlip is distilled from six botanicals: oak bark, cardamon, cascarilla bark, lemon peel, grapefruit peel, and pimento berries blended together without alcohol or sugar.
The flavour is a balance of smoke, spice and citrus. Because there are no added sugars a 50ml measure contains just 0.2 calories.
Available from Selfridges £16 for 700ml and also from some venues in London including Clove Club.