If you're looking for a way to enjoy a drink without the alcohol, you're not alone. More and more people are choosing to cut down or quit drinking for various reasons, such as health, wellness, or personal preference. But that doesn't mean you have to miss out on the flavour, variety, and pleasure of a good drink. In fact, there are many exciting options for non alcoholic wine and spirits that can satisfy your taste buds and your mood. We've tasted a lot of options to create a simple range of the best we've tried that offer great taste but also value for money.
Did you know 49% of UK adults are either not drinking or planning to cut down in a mindful drinking movement? And 7.9 million of us took part in Dry January last year. That means lots of work from our lovely Buyer Nic to bring more exciting things onto the shelves - watch this space!
One of the main challenges of making alcohol-free wines and spirits is to preserve the aroma, flavour, and mouthfeel of alcoholic drinks without compromising on quality or authenticity. There are different methods to achieve this, such as vacuum distillation, reverse osmosis, spinning cone column, or dealcoholisation by evaporation. These processes remove most or all of the alcohol from the fermented or distilled liquid, while retaining its essential characteristics.
Some of the benefits of drinking alcohol-free wines and spirits are obvious: you avoid the negative effects of alcohol on your body and mind, including dehydration and feeling hungover. You also reduce your calorie intake, as alcohol-free drinks tend to have fewer calories than their alcoholic counterparts. But there are also some less obvious benefits, such as being able to enjoy a drink at any time of the day, being more mindful and present in your drinking experience, and discovering new flavours and sensations that you might have missed before.
To help you explore the world of alcohol-free wines and spirits, we've selected four products that we think are worth trying. They are all made with natural ingredients, have low or no sugar content, and offer a range of styles and occasions to suit your preferences.
Alcohol Free Wine
Looking for a non alcoholic champagne / sparkling wine?
Vallformosa are a responsible and sustainable company in Barceloa, Spain that have been producing sparkling wine since 1938. Their 0% Cava is a blend of Macabeo, Xarel·lo and Parellada grapes and has an average ageing of 12 months in bottle - just like a regular cava that has been dealcoholised by evaporation. It has a pale colour with greenish reflections and fine bubbles. The aroma is fresh and fruity aroma of apple, pear, citrus, and floral notes. It has a light and crisp taste with a balanced acidity and a refreshing finish. It's perfect for celebrating any occasion with style and elegance, without worrying about the alcohol content. You can serve it chilled in a flute glass or mix it with some fruit juice or cordial for a delicious mocktail.
"VFMS 0.0% by cava producer Vallformosa is way better than most alcohol-free fizz I’ve tried" - Fiona Beckett, The Guardian, 2022
Looking for a zero alcohol wine?
This is a white wine from Australia's De Bortoli is one of the best alcohol free wine options we've tried. It has a pale straw colour with green hues and an aromatic bouquet of lychee, rose petal, ginger, and lemon zest. It has a medium-bodied and off-dry taste with a crisp acidity and a fruity finish. It's great for pairing with spicy or exotic dishes such as Thai curry, Indian biryani, or Moroccan tagine. You can serve it slightly chilled in a white wine glass or add some sparkling water or lemonade for a spritzy twist.
Looking for a non alcoholic red wine?
Honestly this one had the been the hardest to get right. We've tried some examples that have simply been too much like juice, some that are just a bit unusual and several that feel far too expensive for what they deliver. The De Bortoli Very Cautious One Shiraz is the one that we've felt had a authentic flavour and offers good value for money. However the surge in demand has left out supplier out of stock. We're hoping this one returns soon and we're on the hunt for new examples.
Alcohol free spirit alternatives
This is a very fun category with lots of innovation and possibilities. Whether you want something that simulates your favourite cocktail or spritz, or simply want to create a sophisticated 'grown-up' alcohol alternative drink, you can find something here.
Team favourite: Botivo Aperitif 0.1%
Botivo is all natural botanical cordial made from rosemary, thyme, orange zest, gentian, wormwood, wildflower honey, fructose and apple cider vinegar. All ingredients are prepared and bottled on a farm in Hertfordshire and they are committed to buying British where possible, helping to reduce each bottle’s carbon footprint. Aged for a minimum of 1 year their apple cider vinegar is sourced from a family run farm, Ostlers in Devon. It has an addictive complex and bittersweet taste with a smooth texture and a long-lasting aftertaste that keeps you coming back for more. To compare it to existing alcoholic drinks - the closest is Vermouth, but it's best to consider it as it's own thing. Ideal for stimulating your appetite before a meal or relaxing after a long day. You can serve it over ice with a slice of orange or mix it with some tonic water or soda for a refreshing spritz. We love this mixed with Hip Pop ginger and Yuzu Kombucha.
If you are chasing an alternative to a regular alcoholic drink, then Lyre's have you covered. Their range is among the best we've tried at mimicking classic alcoholic drinks used un many popular cocktails. This is a non-alcoholic spirit from England that has been crafted to mimic the flavour of Aperol Spritz. It has an orange colour with golden reflections and an inviting aroma of blood orange, rhubarb, herbal extracts. Serve this with Vallformosa 0.0 sparkling wine, soda water and a slice of orange to recreate the classic spritz.
Of course, you may not want to recreate an alcoholic drink and simply want a great tasting alternative to sugary soft drinks. Kombucha is an increasingly popular beverage that promises to do just that. Naturally brewed using tea it is packed with live cultures, vitamins, and other good stuff and is naturally low in sugar. Hip Pop is one of the best examples we've tried. Based on a farm in the heart of Cheshire, Hip Pop was founded back in 2019 by founders Emma & Kenny as a small family business with one key goal - Taste good, Do good. One of our favourite flavours is the Apple & Elderflower kombucha brewed with crisp, juicy apples and fragrant elderflowers. The result is a deliciously tangy and floral beverage that's perfect for sipping on a hot summer day.
So these are our picks, let us know which you enjoy by getting in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org