I have been on a mission to find VOC’s 10 best alcohol free drinks and because I have some equally adventurous mates I invited them to an evening of mocktail tasting. They declined. … SO I rebranded it “Cocks, Mocks and Frocks!!” and they soon came knocking. They are so childish!
(For the avoidance of doubt that’s cocktails, mocktails and dresses)
We wore frocks, drank mocks and some also had cocks. This is only going to get worse so let’s move on with the reviews!
In no particular order…
1. Double Dutch Cucumber And Watermelon Tonic (66 cals per bottle)
My personal favourite was this utterly delicious tonic which can also be used as a mixer with any spirit, although that would be spoiling it. There is something delightfully creamy but light about this drink. It’s not too sweet and yet the fullness of flavour is reminiscent of a milkshake. Very satisfying on the tastebuds!
2. The Temperance Spirit Company’s Teetotal G+T (72 cals per bottle)
The bottle on the far right (not politically I don’t imagine) is a lovely mock G+T. As my friend Andrea insisted to me,
‘This is your friend!’
Now, you have to remember that an alcohol free drink is always going to resemble a very weak version of the real thing. My idea of a decent G+T was about 50/50 gin to tonic ratio. This ain’t that!
Teetotal is more akin to the long single G+T you order in a bar but hey, it’s alcohol free! And compared to many others I have tried this one is refreshingly full bodied. I really like it.
Teetotal G+T is made in Skipton, Yorkshire and costs £10.99 for a pack of 6 from Drydrinker.
The also have Teetotal on Amazon in larger quantities of cute gift sets, should you want to take some to a party.
3. Elkington’s ‘Gin’ Rhubarb (75 cals per bottle)
This sparkling ‘celebration drink’ is the one in the middle (pictured above) but it’s nestled just on the edge of what I would consider to be an adult beverage. I know if I gave this to my kids they’d snarl and ask me what was in it. And that’s a good thing because I deeply detest drinks companies who peddle fizzy pop and call it ‘alcohol free’ in order to mark up the price.
Yes, it’s on the sweet side but as an early evening – just arrived at the party – drink, this is very acceptable.
It’s a little pricey at £11.99 for 6 bottles, also from Drydrinker.
4. Rocktails Orangewood (45 cals per bottle)
This one certainly wins the prize for best design with it’s 19th century medicine bottle styling and swirly label design. But it’s more than just a pretty face, it tastes good too.
Let’s talk about adult flavours. This one wouldn’t even reach my son’s lips because you can immediately smell the complexity of flavours: blood orange, cascarilla and smoked cherry wood. The smokiness is a real treat which arrives just after the acidity of the orange abates. This drink has been lovingly created and you can taste it with every sip. Well done Rocktails!
Made in Devon but available on Amazon for £3.03 a bottle
5. ZeroPointZero Sparkling Rosé (34 cals per glass)
Aldi launched this alcohol free drink (left) last July and I am very glad they did. Most sparkling AF wines fit into 2 categories: hollow tasting and / or super-sweet. This is neither.
Don’t get me wrong, this is no prosecco but it is preferable to many of its counterparts. Green tea and fermented grape juice make it a very palatable drink, which I would happily hand out as my guests arrive. (My non-drinking guests, obvs)
Buy it from Aldi for a refreshingly low £2.49 (in shops only)
6. Vintense Syrah Rosé (33 cals a glass)
Now, I didn’t much care for this one but then I’m not much of a red or rosé drinker, sparkling varieties aside. Most alcohol free wines are ‘de-alcoholised’ meaning the alcohol has been removed and then replaced with water or grape juice. What you get is watered down wine. Mind if I pass?
So, for me, this sort of sat in that group, however, I was on my own. Apparently it’s the perfect summery drink for a Saturday afternoon in the garden when you don’t want the resulting headache. So take their word for it not mine.
At £7.99 a bottle from Drydrinker, it’s worth a go.
7. 8. and 9. Let’s hear it for the beers!
Look, I’m sorry but beer isn’t my forté, so forgive me for not including an alcohol free version of Bishop’s Penis, or whatever obscure ale you favour. If stout or bitter are your thing then you’d best find a bearded history teacher. I am not your guru.
I am a fair weather lager drinker and only occasionally have one after a days work in the garden but in that moment a cold lager is the only drink I want. So it’s an absolute joy to have such a large array of alcohol free beers from which to choose. These are all good (although Heineken is my fave).
10. My home made apple and ginger kombucha!!
I know this is cheeky and I’m sorry. After all you can’t exactly head out and buy this off the shelf but it’s worth mentioning simply because you can make it yourself, at home. Follow the kombucha recipe here, using a SCOBY you can buy from The Happy Kombucha Company and you’re all set to experiment.
I added a healthy dollop of honey, a whole chopped apple and a big toe of root ginger (a big hairy man toe). This was left to ferment further in the bottle for 3 days, which resulted in a rich, syrupy kombucha which excited every part of your tongue. … See how I big my own drink up more than the others. Shameless!
Club Soda have loads more for you!
If you’re looking for recommendations of sober-friendly pubs and restaurants then check out Club Soda. They have a tonne of drinks and venue suggestions plus they have meet ups for non-drinkers as well as mindful drinkers. Lovely people too!