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There was a time when being sober among your friends was slightly frowned upon. The phrase, “I’m not drinking”, was often followed by an eye-roll or an exasperated sigh.
But fast-forward to 2024 and taking a break from alcohol for 31 days at the start of the year has become a tradition.
For some, not drinking alcohol for a whole month serves as a way to kickstart a weight loss journey, while for others it’s about improving their mental or physical health.
There are a plethora of benefits when it comes to cutting down or abstaining entirely from alcohol with weight loss, better sleep quality and improved mental health being just a handful.
Luckily, Britons who decide to abstain from booze for 31 days don’t have to sip soda water and lime cordial at their local pubs and bars. Well-known alcohol brands and breweries are offering up their own alcohol-free options so Britons can still have a treat at the end of the week.
From alcohol-free beers, ales and ciders to “nosecco”, non-alcoholic G&Ts, aperitifs and wines, there are plenty of options out there if you want to enjoy a beverage or two without feeling ropey the next day.
Having abstained from alcohol on and off for a couple of years, I have tried quite a few alcohol-free and low-alcohol tipples.
For those looking to cut down on their alcohol consumption long-term or extend their abstinence beyond January, these are the beverages I’d recommend:
This creamy, rich stout substitute tastes almost exactly like the real thing but with a little less kick.
Hints of chocolate, coffee and Guinness’ distinctive hoppy bitterness make for a delicious winter tipple.
One of the reasons this tastes so good is Guinness has cleverly added their famous nitrogen-filled widget to the can which releases bubbles when opened to replicate the draught experience we’re all looking to experience at home.
Guinness Alcohol Free 0.0% costs £5 from Sainsbury’s
This is one of my favourite non-alcoholic lagers in the summer months. It’s light, low-calorie and tastes zingy and refreshing with a wedge of lime.
Like Guinness 0.0, Corona Cero is very similar to the full-alcohol version with notes of citrus and hops and a generally light flavour.
Pair this with fajitas, tacos or enchiladas for a delicious, summery feast.
Corona Cero costs £8 for 12x330ml from Tesco
Birra Moretti Zero
If you prefer continental lager that’s more hoppy and full-bodied, Birra Moretti Zero will hit the spot.
This is subtly fruity with hints of banana and a malty finish that makes it very similar to the full alcohol version.
Unlike other alcohol-free lagers, this doesn’t compromise on fizziness either.
Birra Moretti Zero Alcohol Free Beer Bottles cost £4 from Asda
Fruity, malty and very well-balanced, Heineken’s alcohol-free offering tastes delicious served chilled in the summer months.
This tastes less like the full alcohol version but is a flavoursome alcohol-free lager that doesn’t taste watery or overly sweet.
Heineken 0.0% costs £4.50 for six from Waitrose & Partners
Belle & Co. Alcohol Free Sparkling Wine
Some alcohol-free sparkling wines taste very similar to fizzy apple juice and taste very sugary. With Belle & Co., that’s definitely not the case.
This is a refreshingly light alcohol-free sparkling wine that’s blended with premium green tea and produced with fermented grape juice.
Hints of caramel, pear and apple make this a really enjoyable tipple. And priced at just £3.50 at Sainsbury’s, it’s affordable too.
Belle & Co. Alcohol Free Sparkling Wine costs £3.50 from Sainsbury’s
Plus & Minus Non Alcoholic Premium Blanc de Noirs Sparkling Rosé 0.5%
When I first tried this, I had to double-check I hadn’t accidentally opened a bottle of sparkling rosé – it’s that good.
Unlike other non-alcoholic beverages, this Australian peach-hued tipple is dry and not too sweet with hints of red fruit, citrus and brioche.
Plus & Minus wines are hand-made without artificial sweeteners and include grape skin extract which is naturally rich in antioxidants. So not only are you enjoying a low alcohol tipple but you’re getting an antioxidant boost too.
Plus & Minus Non Alcoholic Premium Blanc de Noirs Sparkling Rosé costs £15.20 from Zero.Zilch.Zip.
Crodino Non Alcoholic Aperitivo
This bittersweet, citrusy aperitivo is 100 percent Italian with hints of vanilla and spices.
Crodino gets its name from the small municipality in Northern Italy, Crodo, where it has been produced for more than 50 years.
If you love an Aperol Spritz, then this is a great alternative that tastes just as good served alongside Italian dishes.
Crodino Non Alcoholic Aperitivo 3x175ml costs £6 from Sainsbury’s
Gordon’s Alcohol Free & Tonic With Lime
Juniper and citrus flavours make Gordon’s Alcohol Free & Tonic pre-mixed cans just as good as the real thing without the hassle of mixing it yourself.
Gordon’s has managed to perfectly balance the botanical flavours without the beverage tasting overly sweet or strong.
Gordon’s Alcohol Free & Tonic With Lime Ready to Drink Premix Cans 4x250ml cost £5.50 from Asda