If you have (quite rightly so) over indulged in December and rolled into the New Year feeling a little pickled and full of cheese, then abstaining from alcohol and rich food in January is generally not a bad idea. Let’s be honest though, January is a tough month: cold, dark, long, most of us are skint and 99% of the population (myself included!) are on some sort of diet/detox. It’s not surprising then that attempting a dry January can be pretty challenging. Fear not though, we have scoured the shelves for non alcoholic alternatives that might just keep you going and get you through, alcohol free until the end of the year’s loooongest month.
It’s great to see that there have been huge improvements in non alcoholic offerings over the past year and the trend of non alcoholic wines, spirits and beers is expected to become somewhat of a revolution over the next few years, with more and more teetotallers and health conscious consumers demanding better quality and more choice. Although great alternatives to alcoholic drinks are now available, it’s worth bearing in mind that without the alcohol all of these drinks lack the complexity and length of their alcoholic counterparts, therefore as long as we lower our expectations in comparison to when we are buying our usual wine and spirits, then we generally shouldn’t be too disappointed!
So, Dry January, Try January, Sober October…..whatever hashtag, trend or health movement you are following then check out our review of our top non/low alcohol picks, so you can keep going and still join in and have fun at that party!
Waitrose £24.00 (currently on offer from £27.99)
Seedlip is the world’s fist non alcoholic distilled spirit and is beautifully done! Sophisticated and stylish, this makes a delicious non alcoholic gin and tonic and is also perfect in a classy mocktail. In a stunning bottle, this drink is a triumph. Available in 3 different styles:
Seedlip Grove 42; the original bottling this is distilled with three types of orange to give warm citrus notes as well as lemongrass and ginger. Serve as usual G&T with premium tonic and an orange peel twist.
Seedlip Garden 108; reminiscent of an English garden, distilled with ‘handpicked peas and homegrown hay’ along with rosemary, thyme, spearmint and hops. This is fresh, floral and delicious! Keep it simple with ice, premium tonic and a healthy sugar snap garnish!
Seedlip Spice 94; probably my favourite….distilled with Jamaican Allspice berry, cardamom, bark and citrus. Warm, spicy, rich and sublime with premium tonic, ice and a red grapefruit twist. This will satisfy that Friday G&T craving!
Ceder’s Non-Alcoholic Spirit
A wonderful and unique partnership of South African botanicals from the Cederberg Mountains in the Western Cape, infused with Swedish water. Created and launched by husband and wife team, Craig Hutchison and Maria Sehsltrom, Ceder’s contains all the classic juniper and floral flavours of gin but without the alcohol. Available in 3 unique flavours:
Ceder’s Classic; probably the most akin to gin this combines classic juniper with fresh, floral notes.
Ceder’s Wild; juniper with warm and spicy notes of ginger, clove and rooibos
Ceder’s Crisp; juniper with fresh notes of citrus, cucumber and camomile
Nosecco - Alcohol free sparkling wine, 0% abv
This is surprisingly good! It looks like prosecco, opens like prosecco, has a lovely sparkle and isn’t overly sweet like many non alcoholic sparkling wines. It’s also lower on calories and the bank balance - perfect January Friday fizz!
Torrés Natureo, De-alcoholised Muscat white wine. 0.5% abv
Spanish wine giant, Torrés, have been producing low alcohol wines since 2008 and have hit the mark with their Natureo range. Their white wine is produced from Muscat grapes (the one grape variety that retains it’s grapey character in wine) and is made in the same way as wine but is de-alcoholised before bottling. The alcohol is removed using spinning cone technology which enables many of the aromas and flavours of the wine to be retained.
This wine is off dry, aromatic and redolent of a riesling or gewurztraminer so perfect with spicy food and healthy stir fries. Look out for the Natureo Syrah red and Rosé which are also worth a try.
Rawson’s Retreat Cabernet, 0.5% abv
It’s January and it’s cold therefore rich and warming red wines are really what most of us are craving and for those of us abstaining then this is definitely worth a go. Again, this is produced in the same way as red wine but the alcohol has been removed leaving a 0.5% abv. Rawson’s Retreat is part of the Penfolds empire and this is a good effort - a lovely bottle, pretty robust and full bodied and relatively dry. It lacks the complexity and depth of a regular Aussie Cabernet but a decent dry January alternative.
Have a look at our Calendar of Events and Open Tastings page for a full schedule of 2019 events! Our January ‘Winter Wines & Pies’ is almost sold out and being on the 31st January is the perfect reward to having been healthy (or not) post Christmas!