When a supermarket’s essentials range includes buffalo mozzarella, you expect there to be a pretty good selection for those of us now shunning the label ‘middle class lush’, and who are instead joining the ranks of those toning down the weekly tipple for a healthier lifestyle. So let’s see how Waitrose did…
- Lots of non-alcoholic wines – so you can find something to suit your taste. They have a good selection of small, single glass bottles too if you are cutting down.
- The soft drink selection is exciting, and will keep you exploring for weeks until you find your favourite tipple.
Room for improvement:
- Waitrose do have a local producers policy that they could extend to their soft drinks selection, so we could see a greater range of flavours as well as brands.
- The website search for low alcohol drinks does not throw up all the options (so Nanny State does not come up and Bavaria only if you type in non-alcoholic). Some sort of tagging of the drinks would be really useful.
- On the website the ABV information is also often missing, especially on the wines and the Erdinger non-alcoholic beer.
- There are very few low alcohol options.
So, without further ado:
What to buy in Waitrose?
Non-alcoholic beers and lagers
In the supermarket we visited, we found Nanny State (0.5%) at £1.29, Bavaria (0%) and Clausthaler (0.5%). Online and in other stores you can also buy Erdinger Alkoholfrei (0.5%).
Low and no-alcohol cider and wines
In the supermarket we found their own-brand 1% ABV cider (still a bit sweet to my taste) and a well stocked selection of wines. In the shops you can expect to find a smaller and sometimes different range than online. But they did put it together – have a look below for the mini single glass bottles (good for those cutting down). They stock Eisberg, at least in the branch we were in. Online, Waitrose sell the de-alcoholised Torres (0.5%) red, white and rose, all of which get a generally good press from our members. The Ebony Vale Chardonney (0.05%) and Fre de-alcoholised red (0.2%) are also available.
Low alcohol beers and wines
In our shop we found Fosters Radlers (2%) – note that online you will need to search for this by the brand name, as it does not come up if you just search for low alcohol beer!
Adult soft drink options
This is where Waitrose excels. A sturdy offering of cordials and premixed fizz awaits the shopper. A generous helping of Bottle Green, Belvoir (premixed cans, bottles and cordial), own brand ‘refreshers’, and craft sodas from great producers like Cawstons and Karma Kola. Plus the usual suspects like Shloer, Appletize, J20, San Pellegrino, Fentimans and Crabbies. A large range of cordials from elderflower to raspberry to pimp any water (still or sparkling), and various flavours of tonic that are great without the addition of gin. The Funkin Cocktail mixers are alochol-free, which means that added to fizzy water or elderflower you can begin to experiment with your own alcohol-free cocktails.
Waitrose do have a local producers policy that they could extend to their soft drinks selection too – so we could get a greater range of favours, as well as more from Square Root Soda, Dalstons, Posh Pops and Luscombes – all of which are lower in sugar and easier to pair with food.