I’m quite sure I’m not the only relatively newly sober person who has fretted a LOT about ‘what to drink’ now that wine, beer, cider, spirits, cocktails and pretty much everything else I liked to drink are permanently off the menu.
As I have mentioned before I am a big fan of ‘planning’ any occasions at which I might be tempted to drink. That’s pretty much every occasion if I am honest, whether alcohol was actually appropriate or not. Over the last 139 days I’ve built up a reasonable repertoire of drinks I LIKE and enjoy, which significantly cuts my feeling of resentment, at having to stay alcohol free.
I thought I would share them. I always choose things at less than 0.05% alcohol, and you have to be careful especially with AF beer and wines; there are quite a few at 0.5% or even 2%, which to my mind is ‘low alcohol’ not ‘alcohol free’
Starting with the simplest...
BOTTLEGREEN GINGER AND LEMONGRASS WITH FIZZY WATER,
This comes as a premixed bottle, or as a cordial to which you can add your own water. I LOVE the ginger bite in this one, its not too sweet, but less bitter than some of the other ginger drinks. You can add a dash of lime which is also nice
BECKS BLUE LEMON
To my taste this is much better than the plain Becks blue. Like its straight cousin, the lemon Becks Blue is < 0.05% alcohol and the last of lemony sweetness cuts through the lager taste. Very refreshing when really cold !
EISBERG WHITE WINE
This is my favourite of the AF white wines. (I haven’t tried any of the ‘low alcohol ones’) Its not wine, but it comes in a wine bottle, it looks like wine, and it tastes ok. I REALLY like this when guests come round at home and I’m feeling like I want to join in – is that cheating ? I don’t know, but it helps me. Also Eisberg spritzer with ice is nice.
Marketed as a sparkling wine ‘substitute’, I’ve included this, although I’m actually not THAT keen on it, because it is completely AF and has an interesting flavour. The slight aniseed taste is not something I really enjoy, but I know many people do…
Slightly more complex drinks
This is a complete revelation to me. Its a distilled alcohol free spirit. The taste is adult and complex. There are now two different types, the original is woody and rich, and the recent addition smells of flowers and grass. I mix the former with good quality tonic water with a slice and a squeeze of pink grapefruit. It is just lovely and tastes properly ‘adult’, The No2 seedlip I mix with bitter lemon and a little mint or cucumber, The ONLY downside to Seedlip is the price – its about £30 a 70cl bottle which is steep. But as a treat ? unbeatable. I’ve given it a plug at the top of this page as I love it so much!
Things that really need you to make a ‘few’ / proper mocktails
I like cocktails, and here are a couple of ‘mocktails’ I’ve tried. The recipes all originate from other people, but Ive adapted them a bit for my taste. I don’t like sickly sweet things – so you might want more simple syrup.
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 5 blackberries
- 10 mint leaves
- 1/2 lime, juiced
- 1.5 oz simple syrup (a little less than 1 shot glass!)
- 1/2 cup sparkling water
- Garnish (optional): extra mint leaves, 3 blackberries, lime slices
- For the Simple Syrup
- Combine the sugar and water in a small pot and bring mixture to a boil. Stir when needed.
- Once it boils, turn down the heat to low for about 2 minutes and let simmer until all the sugar is dissolved. Let cool to room temperature.
- This can be stored in the fridge for quite a while ( I’ve done about 3 weeks with no ill effects! )
- For the Blackberry Spritzer
- Combine the blackberries, mint leaves, and simple syrup in a cup. Squish everything together, squishing the juice from the blackberries and mint leaves. You can use a liquidizer depending on how smooth you want the drink ( similarly you can strain the liquid if you don’t like seeds)
- Then add the sparkling water and fresh lime juice. Adjust to taste
- Fill the rest of the glass with ice, garnish with some sprigs of mint, a few black berries, a slice of lime and serve immediately.
really simple or really complex –
- tomato juice
- worcestershire sauce
- back pepper
- celery salt
- BIG squeee of lemon / slice of lemon
- tabasco (if you like it HOT)
personally I don’t serve it over ice, but that’s just a matter of taste
Ive used apple puree for this (made myself with apples on the stove) but the pear puree I bought from the baby food section of the local supermarket ! You can mess about with the relative proportions – I have also made this with ginger beer and ginger ale… and with the above mentioned bottle green ginger and lemongrass instead of elderflower.
- 60ml. Schweppes Citrus Blend
- 25ml. Pear Puree
- 15ml. Lemon Juice
- 10ml. Sugar Syrup
- 15ml. Elderflower Cordial
If you have any favourites, please share. I also love coke zero, or citrus diet coke, but I’m sure the caffeine isn’t that great for me!