Gotta love Dry January for all the tip top non booze alcohol free drink suggestions that suddenly proliferate the press 😀
This one was in The Indy
Dry January: How to cut down your alcohol intake:
You might not believe it, but there are some delicious non-alcoholic drinks on the market <shock horror!!> 😉
The first tip is one I picked up off a friend on a holiday to Spain a couple of years ago. The poor chap had taken up a bet with some other chums and was off booze for a whole year. A whole year! I don’t think that I’ve knowingly given anything up for an entire year before, but a bet is a bet and honour is honour and he was doing his very best to uphold his end of the bargain.
Fair play to the lad, he did indeed keep going (his secret: try a new soft drink each month and stick to it- it keeps the boredom away apparently) and on our holiday to sunny Spain he got me hooked on non-alcoholic beers. Now, before you cry foul, in the most literal way possible, the days of awful 1990’s Kaliber-style beer have all but been buried. Here in the UK we are still sadly lacking behind our European neighbours, where the supermarket shelves are positively dripping with the stuff (I guess if you’ve got to drive to the beach, what else can you drink?) but there are a couple of crackers over here.
The best I’ve had as a range is the Bavaria brand, who do a nice, malty larger and a wonderfully fruity Wit beer, both of which can be found in most UK supermarkets. But by far the best is one (sold in its native country as an isotonic sports drink, even sponsoring sporting events) is Erdinger Alcohol Free Wheat Beer. This stuff is astonishingly good, to the point of it almost being an all day, all rounder. But I wouldn’t crack a bottle open at breakfast; that might be taking it too far.
When you are at home, get some of these in the fridge and if you want to grab a beer, go for one of the Bavaria options, or the brilliant Erdinger. I promise you won’t be disappointed. Sadly, our pubs need to catch up with our supermarkets on these offerings, which is a great shame.
Bitters are a blend of aromatic herbs, spices, roots, and barks macerated in high-strength spirit to draw out the flavours. In the cocktail world, they are the accessories to the main drink, adding sparkle to a cocktail in the same way earrings and necklace can enhance a great dress. Such is their power, that a single drop can transform a whole drink. They come in a wonderfully diverse range of flavours, from chocolate to chilli, and are worth every penny of their usually punch price for such small bottles.
You may well already have a bottle of bitters at home and not know it. The most famous brand, which is probably sitting at the back of one of your cupboards right now, is Angostura. Used in many cocktails, it is the one that will be your guiding light through January. How so? Well, simply take a glass of tonic water, a wedge of lemon or lime and some ice. Into this add one or two drops of Angostura bitters and you have a drink that is negligible in alcohol content, but will compete with any gin and tonic or vodka and soda you may wish to try. Every bar will have a bottle, so it is the perfect drink for sober night on the tiles.
If you’re really brave, get yourself a set of the Fee Brothers bitters. The Rhubarb one dashed into a glass of Appletizer, or the Cherry one in Lemonade is just wonderful.
More alcohol free drink options for the sober arsenal – thanks Joel Harrison!! 🙂
Plus thanks to the Dry January thread on Mumsnet and for the kind person who brought the Swedish Kopparberg Alcohol Free Cider to my attention. I picked it up in Sainsbury’s (although it was on the shelf with all the alcohol containing cider!). Two delicious flavours of pear and mixed fruit. As an ex hard cider lover and drinker (trained as a nurse in the West Country) this stuff is LUSH and not a drop of booze in it. ‘Proper job’ as the Devonians would say 😉