@GeorgeArkley1

Image courtesy of Pixabay

Image courtesy of Pixabay

Between lockdown 3.0 and the downfall of US democracy, almost everyone has fallen off the Dry Jan bandwagon before the first week is even over. Unfortunately, a bottle of wine and box of beer will not change what is going on in the world right now.

However, swapping out your usual beverages for some low-alcohol alternatives can make a huge change to your life. Instead of waking up hungover, to yet another depressing news broadcast, try waking up fresh and ready to take on the next set of challenges.

Nothing quite beats a glass of wine after a terrible day. But guess what? You don’t have to give up the ritual of drinking wine after a long lockdown day to be sober. In fact, you can trick your mind and body into thinking your drinking alcohol when actually you’re having a delicious, low-alcohol drink instead. Win, win!

As a sober-curious person myself, I have tried my fair share of alcohol-free drinks. Disclaimer: most alcohol-free drinks are actually 0.5% or below. If you are a recovering alcoholic, please stay clear of these drinks until you speak with your sponsor or doctor.

Wine

During my alcohol days, I considered myself a wine-connoisseur. Rose, white, red, sparkling, you name it – I would drink it. Although, as I entered a *more or less* sober lifestyle, I realised my love affair with wine was less to do with alcohol and more to do with the glamour of holding a wine glass.

Have you ever noticed that in most movies or TV shows, the sexy, elegant female protagonist always has a glass of wine at the end of the day? She swirls it around, kicks off her heels and flirtatiously takes a sip. Think Carrie from Homeland, Cersei from Game of Thrones, Olivia from Scandal, Bridget Jones, Carrie Bradshaw, the list is endless.

But guess what? The next morning they awake fresh as a daisy and continue to work as though they haven’t just downed a bottle of wine the night before.

Yes, I know they are fictional. But unfortunately, dear reader, we are not. Here are the best alcohol-free wines to satisfy your inner goddess.

McGuigan Zero White Wine

This elderflower beauty is one of my favourites. Personally, I prefer a sharper acidic wine to the fruity sweetness of a Chardonnay or berry rose.

McGuigan does a brilliant job of capturing the freshness of white wine without overpowering the flavour with too many fruits with their Sauvignon Blanc.

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Eisberg Sauvignon Blanc

If fruity and sweetness is something you look for in wine, this is the one for you. Gooseberry and tropical fruit flavours make this beverage the epitome of summer wine.

Pierre Zero Merlot

Honestly, you can’t tell the difference between this and alcoholic wine. Need I say anymore?

Thomson and Scott Noughty Sparkling Wine

Who doesn’t love a glass of bubbly to celebrate? This sparkling wine uses organic Chardonnay grapes for a touch of sweetness and just the right amount of bubbles. It also has the lovely dry after-taste of most prosecco. Delicious.

Beer

For the beer drinkers out there, I have found some incredible ales, lagers and even IPAs. Unless you’ve been hiding under the alcohol-rock, you will already know that BrewDog is way ahead of the game when it comes to AF beers. However, there are a few others that taste good too.

AF beer needs little explanation. All of the below taste like beer, look like beer and will definitely satisfy any beer cravings you may have. Most of them are even sold in pubs as well!

Heineken 0.0

BrewDog AF Punk IPA

Becks Alcohol-Free

Budweiser Zero

Spirits

Before we delve into the world of gin, rum and cocktails, here is a quick heads up. I don’t drink spirits; I never have. However, I have heard great things about all of these recommendations from my trusty sober friends.

Gin: Sea Buckthorn, Bax Botanics

Aromatic gins and flavoursome tonics are the trendiest drink right now. This zero gin uses ginger, rosemary and chamomile flavours in place of alcohol. Top it off with a slice of lemon and Fever Tree tonic for the ultimate non-alcoholic G&T.

Rum: CleanCo

If you’re a Made in Chelsea fan, you will have heard of Spencer Matthews’ brand, CleanCo. Their rum uses golden caramel and cayenne pepper to create a smooth, spicy and sexy drink. Also, the bottles from CleanCo are every hipster’s dream.

Cocktails: Punchy Drinks

Apparently, nothing beats the Punchy Drinks cocktails. Aperol Spritz has been a hit drink for many summers now. Luckily, Punchy Drinks have an amazing blood orange mocktail alternative.

NIO Cocktails

One of the best parts of drinking a cocktail is the glamour that comes along with it. Nothing says glamour and elegance like the sleek letterbox cocktails from NIO cocktails.  Although they only have two mocktails in their collection so far, NIO has absolutely nailed the alcohol free game. These mocktails are far from the virgin punch you were served on holiday circa 2008. They are classy, delicious and dare I say, superior to regular cocktails.

RELATED: My hangxiety got so bad, I stopped drinking altogether

I used to wake up most weekends with an overwhelming feeling of dread and disgust. Last night’s bottle of wine sat on my bedside table along with painkillers, a bottle of water and a note that read: You didn’t do anything wrong... to read more click HERE 


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