By Elizabeth Greatrex
How do you know whether someone doesn’t drink?
Well, you can be pretty sure that they’ll find a way to tell you. It’s not that you’re not happy for them, while you smile and nod through gritted teeth, it’s more that their very sensible status of soberness reminds you that your current 5 o' clock wine time probably isn’t as acceptable as you and your fellow drinking buddies so often convince yourselves.
But why do we drink? Well, I’m sure you’ll already know the answer that most people have prepared. To take the edge off at the end of a hard day, of course! To find a way to let go, to have fun, or just to feel more at ease around people you don’t know that well. Just a few of the many variations. Alcohol may help us relax, loosen up and have fun in the moment, but in reality, we still have to face up to our demons on Sunday morning when ‘the fear’ kicks in. You know what I’m talking about. The soul-crushing feelings of anxiety, depression and low self-esteem for no apparent reason.
It’s not that you dislike your sober friends sitting across the table munching on peanuts and sipping Coca-Cola, while still managing to have a laugh; it’s that you want in on their secret.
Have you ever considered that you might be able to be the life of the party without your trusty social lubricant? Part of the need for alcohol is mental, we convince ourselves that we’re not in the least bit interesting, funny or cool without it. Imagine if you found the confidence to join in, tell jokes, and shamelessly parade around the dance floor without booze? Once you’ve found that, there’s no taking it away from you.
So, we’ve put together a list of our favourite alcohol-free brands that are fast becoming the cool new companion of people that have chosen to go sober. As Lent has just started, there’s no excuse not to try these mouth-watering alternatives.
What to drink when you don’t drink? Seedlip have the answer. Their Bottled NOgroni is one classy cocktail. This is a delicious non-alcoholic take on Seedlip’s classic Negroni. Bitter and citrusy, it has a distinctive, bold taste with hints of aromatic spices, Chinotto Orange and Grapefruit. This popular non-alcoholic beverage has been featured at some of the best bars globally since its debut. The NOgroni can be found at Waitrose, Selfridges and online at seedlipdrinks.com.
Three Spirit’s Livener
We just love Three Spirit’s Alcohol-Free Livener, which is both gluten-free and vegan. A refreshing, stimulating mixture made with Schisandra berries, ginseng, apple cider vinegar, guayusa, guava leaf, and green tea. The Livener is not a drink to be forgotten. The watermelon, guava, and ginger give the beverage a fresh yet intense taste, while the very noticeable notes of ginseng and floral green herbs make for a vibrant assortment of flavours which will have you stocking up on bottle after bottle for some alcohol-free fun at every joyous occasion. Three Spirit's Livener is stocked in various bars and restaurants in London such as The Connaught and NightJar. It can also be found online at threespirit.com
There’s no better way to get your fake gin fix than with Ceder’s cool, refreshing non-alcoholic alt-gin made with classic gin, pure Swedish water and exotic South African botanicals. Our personal favourite from the Ceder’s range is Crisp, a blend of classic gin botanicals such as citrus, cucumber and camomile for an extremely satisfying taste and harmonious drinking experience. Ceder's Crisp is served in Hawksmoor Restaurants across London, and online at ceders-alt-gin.com
Clean Liquor Co’s CleanGin
Spencer Matthews’ Clean Liquor brand’s product CleanGin offers a refreshing, tasty alternative for those who want to approach a cleaner lifestyle by drinking a lot less. CleanGin has cleverly preserved the best bits of gin with managing to only include the bare minimum in terms of the percentage of alcohol. Rest assured, Clean Liquor Co state that there is in fact less alcohol in their product than in bread. This pristine drink is best served over ice with light tonic, lemon and fresh mint to finish for an extremely satisfying beverage, without the hangover. CleanGin can be purchased online at cleanliquor.com
Pentire Drinks's ACV With Turmeric
Inspired by a love of coastal living, Pentire Drinks perfectly harness the beauty, power and flavour of plants found along the Cornish coastline, within their botanical non-alcoholic spirits. Our personal favourite is the Pentire ACV with unpasteurised cider vinegar, honey syrup, soda, and garnished with a slice of the nurturing antioxidant turmeric and fresh fennel leaves. You can find Pentire Drinks ACV with Turmeric at Daylesford and online at pentiredrinks.com