Which are the best low and no alcohol drinks to try this January? Every year as part of my Dry January I start on a quest to try some of the latest alcohol free drinks. It’s always great fun! This January I have also discovered low alcohol drinks in the form of ‘hard’ tonic and I’ve finally come across a very drinkable alcohol free sparkling wine. Great standbys for times when I’m trying to cut back and evenings when I’m the designated driver. Here are my recommendations. Do try them and let me know what you think.
Faragaia is made in Scotland, the name means ‘wild earth’. Its colour makes, this non alcoholic spirit look like a whiskey alternative. However, although it looks like whiskey it isn’t trying to emulate the taste. It’s earthy and spicy with a definite citrus note. Full of flavour. I tried it various mixers. Winners were with ginger ale and lime and with tonic plus a slice of orange. Both are tasty and make a really interesting alternative to alcohol. You really do feel that you are having a grown up drink.
Last year I was introduced to Mother Root’s Ginger Switchel and it is now a staple in my drinks cabinet. I met business founder, Bethan, at her stand at Spirit of Christmas at the end of last year and loved trying the new addition their range. This is Marmalade Switchel. A blend of Seville oranges, green tea, cardamon and apple cider vinegar. I love it. It’s delicious with tonic and a wedge of grapefruit or you could try it warm with hot apple juice or try this recipe for Marmalade Ice Tea.
To make firstly cover a Rooibos teabag with 125ml boiling water. Add a lightly toasted cinnamon stick and chill. Once cold remove the tea bag and cinnamon stick. Pour into a cocktail shaker and add 25ml Marmalade Switchel, 50ml tangerine juice, 1tsp maple syrup and ¼ tsp vanilla bean paste. Shake, pour over ice and drink garnished with cinnamon stick and a tangerine slice. For more recipes visit the Mother Root website.
I sometimes wonder if alcohol free spirits are really worth it? Would I be better to stick just with the tonic plus garnishes? I recently tried the new alcohol free gin from Sipsmith. It’s light and citrusy with plenty of juniper. I’m based in West London, home of Sipsmith and I absolutely love their original London Dry Gin, so I was really excited to be given a free taster bottle of this alcohol free version. The packaging is gorgeous and if you’re searching an alcohol free gin alternative this is definitely one to try. They have plenty of great cocktail recipes on their website. Take a look.
I discovered Percival Hard Tonic at a pop-event I was taking part in last season. One of the great bonuses of taking part in these events are the fabulous small businesses I discover. This hard tonic is lightly alcoholic but without the high sugar contents and calories of many alcohol drinks. It comes in three delicious flavours. I’ve tried them all and I think my favourite is The Elderflower although I was quite taken with the Apple and Mint as well. Very refreshing.
Gratien and Meyer Festillant
The Wine Society now has an alcohol free and low alcohol range and this sparkling wine from Gratien and Meyer is one of their best offerings. This is wine which de-alcoholised. It has been through one fermentation and then the alcohol is removed using vacuum distillation. I’ve tried quite a few alcohol free sparkling wines and this is definitely one of the best. It’s fruity but not too sweet with light bubbles. The palate is quite grapey with an apple and pear finish. It isn’t quite the real thing but close. There’s potential to be good alcohol alternative here and it’s very well priced at only £4.50 a bottle so well worth a try.
I reviewed another of The Wine Society’s alcohol free range, LA Brewery’s Sparkling Kombucha, last year. Click to find out what I thought.
Even you are not going alcohol free for January you might be thinking of drinking a little less and maybe a little better. We’ve got some great ways of keeping your wine fresh if you don’t finish the bottle including this stylish vacuum pump/stopper by AdHoc. Find out more here and discover some great special offers on our range.