Aaaaah, December. The month of Christmas parties, nights out, Christmas Day and Hogmanay. The month where excessive alcohol consumption is more prominent than any other. What if you’re driving though? We are all aware of the consequences of drinking and driving. Sure, you could get a taxi. What if you’re like me though, what if you just don’t drink? (I personally can’t stand the smell of alcohol. Some people have health issues that stop them from drinking. Maybe you’re pregnant. Maybe you’re a recovering alcoholic, or maybe you’re trying to support somebody who is.) Fear not! There are alternatives out there.
There’s always soft drinks, the first thing anyone will offer to somebody who isn’t drinking. Coca Cola, Sprite, Irn Bru, Tango or Cherryade(18 year old Kirsty’s party drink of choice. I’ve been told it goes very well with vodka but I can’t confirm this). Maybe water, diluting juice, or even fruit juice. My parents favour Soda water and lime cordial, but if you ask me it’s positively vile. I’m not writing a blog telling you about soft drinks though, I’m talking about the alternatives that so many people over look. Alcohol- Free alcohol, have you ever heard the likes?
Shloer, the original ‘wine’ substitute that so many children think they get drunk off. Tried, tested, and loved by many, Shloer had been a family favourite for years. You can now buy alcohol free wine too, Eisberg is the one which springs to mind but the dealcoholised wine market is expanding. Research informs me that alcohol-free wine is available in red, white, rose, sparkling, organic and even diabetic varieties, although I must say I’ve only ever tried the white. I wasn’t particularly keen, but then I was never Shloer’s biggest fan either.
Alcohol-free beer, something I’ve never tried but my father thinks is fantastic because, I quote, “it tastes just like the real thing, and you don’t feel like you’re missing out when everyone else is standing around with a bottle.” He says they’re all good, but that Bavaria is the best, and you’ll find when you’re shopping that although there are loads of different brands two will appear over and over again – Bavaria and Beck’s Blue.
Kopparberg Non-Alcoholic Cider, yum yum yum. One of my friends once told me that she thought it tasted better than the alcoholic version. Available in pear and summer fruits varieties (the former is definitely a lot better than the latter, if you want my opinion.), I’m desperately waiting for Kopparberg to release their Strawberry and Lime cider in a non-alcoholic version because it sounds so nice.
Last weekend I made a rare discovery walking down the booze aisle of my local Tesco – mocktails. Apparently Tesco sell alcohol-free cocktails (mocktails), and I have no idea if they’re new or not but they are certainly new to me. Tesco Mocktails, sold in 250 ml cans, are currently available in Mojito, Cosmo and Strawberry Daquiri. Last night I sat with a daquiri as I worked on my university application, and despite being incredibly fizzy was actually rather lovely, and I have a Mojito sitting waiting for me in the fridge.
Scrawling through the Tesco website just brought my attention to Alcohol Free Lager, but I don’t even know anybody who drinks normal lager. If lager’s your thing though, there’s an alternatice out there for you!
J2O is another fantastic alternative, yes it’s just fruit juice but the fact that it comes in a glass bottle makes it as close to an alcopop alternative as you’re going to get. Sometimes it’s as much about not feeling left out at a party as it is about taste, which can be the difference between a J2O and a glass of Coke. Of all the things that I’m writing about, J2O is about the only one you can actually get when you’re out at a restaurant or bar, it’s really quite sad that these places won’t stock booze alternatives.
How special is your occasion? For very special occasions, my collection of alcohol-free alcohol even extends to champagne and Bucks Fizz (made by Shloer), because sometimes a bit of bubbly is in order for everybody.
Everything I’ve written about in this blog can be bought in supermarkets and the such, it’s not like you have to go to the end of the earth to find them. If you decide to drink this festive season, please do so sensibly and be responsible.