Whether it’s for a week, a month, a year or the rest of your life, no alcohol – or, at the very least, mindful drinking – is the new yoga: everyone’s (not) doing it. Here’s what to drink when you’re not drinking…
Great-tasting drinks – minus the alcohol
Dry January, Freebuary, Sobervember or NotTober? Take your pick: giving up alcohol for 30 days each year is becoming de rigueur for increasing numbers of people. Two people in our office (and we’re a small team) did it this year, and loved the results. In the UK, One Year No Beer and Club Soda are both networks championing mindful drinking. Club Soda recently hosted a mindful drinking festival, where people drank no-alcohol craft beers and cocktails and compared smug notes on how well they were sleeping. I’m making up the last bit, but why shouldn’t they? Giving up is a great way to cut down on sugar, lose weight, be more productive, feel more rested and recalibrate ingrained patterns of drinking out of habit rather than for enjoyment.
And there are more and more great alcohol-free options, too... no need to hole up at home until it’s all over!
Bavaria non-alcoholic beer
I’m not a huge beer drinker, although sometimes on a blisteringly hot day there’s nothing to touch it. But the no-alcohol varieties have often been disappointing – not worth the calories, in my view. In the interests of more expert input, I canvassed my beer- loving friends to find out which no-alcohol beer they prefer, and Bavaria nonalcoholic was the one most recommended. Beck’s was also up there. And I believe Heineken has launched 0.0, which is getting rave reviews in Europe. Drink the beer ice cold and straight up or add half lemonade, or even half lemonade, half soda water, for a refreshing shandy.
The Duchess no-alcohol, no-sugar G&T
I love The Duchess. Not only does it taste just like a deliciously herbal botanical gin, it also has no calories, no sugar, and comes in beautiful grownup packaging, so you won’t feel like a kid sipping a cooldrink while the grown-ups neck the good stuff.
Mulled apple juice
If it’s a bit cold, as it can still be in October, there’s nothing nicer than a glass of mulled wine. Here’s a gorgeous no-alcohol equivalent:
Ingredients: 1 litre apple juice, orange peel strips, cinnamon stick, 3 cloves, sugar or honey to taste.
Method: Simmer the apple juice with the orange peel, cinnamon stick and cloves for about 5-10 minutes. It is already quite sweet, but if you need a little more, add a bit of honey.