Sober curious and looking to source quality alcohol alternatives for special occasions? Check out our pick of alcohol-free drinks which still elicit a feelgood buzz
Sprigster Drinks’ Garden Brut
This new sparkler from Wiltshire’s Sprigster Drinks is a premium alternative to that bottle of bubbly you’ve been saving for special occasions.
The non-alc experts excel in all-natural tipples which reflect seasonal harvests from their kitchen garden. This latest drop is crafted using a combination of hops, rhubarb, ginger and fennel seeds which are slow cooked in apple cider vinegar for several weeks to allow the botanicals to fully infuse and hit their blended sweet spot. Local spring water and a gooseberry reduction are then added before carbonation, resulting in a uniquely complex, dry and refreshing sans-alcohol sip.
Expect slight cloudiness from the natural sediment (skipping filtering gives the drink greater depth of flavour), a fruity nose, herbaceous hints and a crisp, clean finish.
Unique plants native to Cornwall’s coastline – including rock samphire and sage – are carefully distilled alongside botanicals including lemon citrus and Cornish sea salt to produce this clean, revitalising spirit evocative of salt-tinged adventures on the coast.
As alcohol-free spirits go, this herbaceous number is a deceptive alternative to ABV gins when paired with a quality tonic. It manages to lock in flavour from local botanicals while delivering a punchy and refreshing sip.
Jamu Wild Water
The team behind this Devon-based brand are on a rewilding mission to reconnect people of all ages with nature, one can of gut-friendly sparkling water at a time.
As well as producing a range of natural soft drinks designed to rewild the microbiome via prebiotic fibre and immune-boosting, home-grown botanicals, Jamu further encourages healthy habits through its charitable partnership with Outward Bound Trust. The educational charity takes young people on wild outdoor adventures to develop self-confidence, support wellbeing and reconnect with the outdoors.
Sample all three of Jamu’s sparkling, sugar-free flavours (raspberry, lemon and blood orange) via its explorer case and if you like what you taste, dive into a subscription.
Wavelength Ruby Aperitif
This handcrafted red-ruby elixir is the brainchild of Eddie Lofthouse – founder of Cornish brewing company Harbour Brewing Co – who started Wavelength (formerly called High Point) as a satisfying alternative to alcohol.
Using his expert knowledge of fermenting top-tier beer, Eddie and the Wavelength team spent two years perfecting their recipes for complex aperitifs and digestifs before launching them on the sans-alcohol drinks scene.
Striking the right balance between sweet, sour and spicy, the Ruby Aperitif bursts with notes of hibiscus, lavender, wormwood, pink peppercorn, orange zest and pink grapefruit zest. Pour over ice, top with tonic water and add a slice of pink grapefruit for the perfect thirst-quenching serve.
PiQi water kefir
Kefir fans will want to keep a few bottles of sparkling PiQi in the fridge, special occasion or not. Although, it’s not a sip for those abstaining from alcohol altogether as, similar to kombucha and other fermented drinks, water kefir contains trace amounts of alcohol (the amount is usually very low).
The drinks are fermented at a brewery in north Devon and include the range: Original (honey-like aroma with light fruity flavours), Ginger + Lemon (zesty thirst-quencher with subtle citrus notes), Butterfly Pea (delicate aroma with herbal notes) and Grapefruit + Cardamom (sophisticated notes from fragrant cardamom). Each pour is packed with billions of live gut-friendly cultures and, as opposed to many softies on the market, looks attractively upscale poured into a glass.
Like 5 of the best alcohol-free drinks? Check out our roundup of kombuchas in the South West.
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