While there was a time where we treated drinking like a competitive sport blitzing through the weekend, the tide appears to be turning against boozing beyond sober October or Dry January.
The rise of #CleanEating means we’re no longer just being mindful to what’s on our plates, but what’s in our tumblers too.
Of course, there are many different reasons as to why someone would reduce or completely cut their alcohol consumption; for the sake of their liver, pregnancy, bank balance, waistline or just to be spared from the torture of hangovers, which we’re certain become more acute with age.
Professor David Nutt, the ex-government adviser who once famously wrote that alcohol was more harmful than crack, is developing ‘alcosynth’, molecules designed to give drinkers all the pleasures of a drink, with none of the pain afterwards. Imagine a world without hangovers, alcohol-related health issues or the inevitable creeping Fear that follows a particularly excessive session.
While a solution against the downsides of drinking may be on the horizon, it is still a very distant speck. In the meantime, if you’re toying with the idea of going cold turkey, it can be tricky, especially in social situations like weddings, BBQs and parties where you’re the only one abstaining.
But it needn’t be. The fact fewer young people are on the sauce (just 29 per cent of 16- to 24-year-olds according to research by UCL) and general drinking trends in the UK are shifting (6.1 million bottles of zero- and no-alcohol bottles were sold in Britain last year, according to the Nielsen Changing Consumer Prosperity report) combined with the demand for more low- and no-alcohol alternatives is shaking up the drinks industry. Where once zero per cent was a hard sell, now it seems, we’re thirsty for a change.
There’s a huge variety of dry bottles out there that look and taste just like the real thing, minus the bad stuff. Cheers to that.
Find our favourites below
Fortnum’s Sparkling Tea
Et voilà! The perfect drink minus the hangover. Made with an organic blend using eight of Fortnum’s famous brews, this zero alcohol sparkler is the champion of celebratory non-alcoholic drinks and it won’t leave you feeling like a headache on wheels.
The flavour is incredibly light and crisp with traces of mint, jasmine and Darjeeling. Ideal for pop-the-cork occasions, this one goes down an absolute treat.
£16.95 | Fortnum & Mason | Buy it now
Martini 0.0 per cent Dolce
If you’re looking for an alternative to fizz, Italian drinks brand Martini has just popped the cork of its newest bottle, the alcohol-free Dolce.
Made with the finest grapes in northern Italy, the drink is perfect for all manner of summer soirees with a delicate taste that hints of apples and pears. All the fun of fizz sans the booze – how refreshing.
£6 | Ocado | Buy it now
With 0.5 per cent alcohol, ATOPIA is the newest kid on the low-alcohol block with an ABV of 0.5 per cent. Made with botanicals and fruits, it’s an ideal replacement for gin and vodka at happy hour.
Everything from the bottle designs to the taste is designed to take the moderate drinking experience to the next level.
£23.89 | The Drink Shop | Buy it now
As one of the original zero-alcohol players, Seedlip have a strong and loyal following (72K on Instagram at the time of printing).
They’re a new kind of spirits, designed for the generation that’s mindful of excessive drinking but that still wants to come to the party.
Choose from three varieties; Garden 108, Spice 94 and Grove 42.
£26.50 | Waitrose | Buy it now
Self-billed as “a soft drink for wine lovers”, Botonique is a sparkling de-alcoholised two-bottle range made in Britain. The Original tastes like a dry white wine or prosecco while the blush brims with fruit and floral notes.
The company has added Prelixir, a mix of vitamins, minerals and amino acids, which boosts the very vitamins that traditional alcohol depletes, so not only will you be hangover-free but you might even end up even healthier as a result.
However, a word of caution: Botonique is initially made using alcohol to extract the flavours from the ingredients, before all traces of it are removed. So while it is alcohol-free, alcohol has been used somewhere along the line. The more you know…
£7.99 | Ocado | Buy it now
Buy the Blush at Ocado here
Nosecco Alcohol Free
Virtually indistinguishable from the real thing, the only give away to this free-from bottle of bubbles are the words ‘alcohol free’ in tiny print on the label.
Everything from the cheerful pop of the cork to the gently fizzing bubbles makes this a superior imitation, making it ideal for parties and special occasions.
£3.75 | Sainsbury’s | Buy it now
Eisberg Sparkling White
At 31 calories per 125ml serving, this is a non-alcoholic drink that will be kind to your waist line as well as your liver (not to mention your wallet).
It has all the hallmarks of a bottle of Champagne but without any of the headache. With flavours of peach and citrus coming through, it’s the perfect thing to use as a base for a ‘Champagne’ cocktail.
£3.99 | Waitrose | Buy it now
The Driver’s Tipple
Whether it’s your turn to be the designated driver on your next night out, or you’re abstaining for other reasons, you can still enjoy a dry G&T with The Driver’s Tipple which recreates the flavours of the classic drink.
It’s distilled in London and is led by juniper notes followed by a host of other botanicals and fruits.
Not only is it sugar and gluten free, but it’s vegan too. What’s not to love?
£26.99 | Wise Bartender | Buy it now
Ceder’s Non-Alcoholic Spirit
If you are looking to recreate the freshness of a G&T without the alcohol addition, Ceder’s is one of our favourite alternatives to the spirit.
Composed of botanicals closely associated with gin as well as rare cape ingredients grown in the Cederberg mountains, there are three flavour variations; Classic, Crisp and Wild.
£16 | Sainsbury’s | Buy it now
Belvoir elderflower pressé
Don’t underestimate the power of elderflower cordial for an instant update of almost any drink. Handmade with real English elderflowers on the brand’s farm, the Belvoir Pressé offers a delicate yet flavoursome addition. Add to apple juice with fresh mint or sparkling water for a refreshing mocktail.
£2.56 | Waitrose | Buy it now
Schweppes Premium Mixer Lavender & Orange Blossom Tonic
While you might associate tonic with its gin counterpart, there is an extensive range of the once mixer in a range of fruity flavours that can be enjoyed alone or as part of a mocktail. This Schweppes tonic contains notes of orange blossom and lavender for a floral mix.
£2.20 | Urban Drinks | Buy it now
The Bees Knees Sparkling Wine
If you are looking for that satisfying pop of champagne to mark the start of the new year but do not drink, then the Bees Knees sparkling wine is for you. The drink combines sparkling grape juice with a tea infusion to create a bubbly and refreshing drink.
£2.99 | Ocado | Buy it now
No1 Rosemary Water Sparkling
From improved digestion, to migraine relief, the health benefits of rosemary have been captured within this beverage that makes incorporating the herb into your diet easier than ever. This sparkling alterative to the label’s signature drink adds that extra fizz, while remaining a healthier alternative.
£3.95 | Ocado | Buy it now
ESBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.