When I first started drinking as a teenager, there was no denying that the foul taste of an alcoholic drink was tolerated to get to the dizzy heights of feeling inebriated.
It’s somewhat ironic then, that when I finally realised the feeling of intoxication was no longer doing anything for me, it was the drinks themselves that left a bit of a hole – not the biochemical effect of the ethanol within it.
At the start of my sober journey in 2018, I leant heavily on the only real alcohol free option I knew – Becks Blue or Heineken 0%, and I mourned the days of ciders in the sunshine, red wines with roast beef and Baileys at Christmas .
With time however, the alcohol free drinks market and aisle in the supermarket has exploded to life, and in 2020 I don’t think there is a single drink I feel I can no longer enjoy, sans alcohol.
In The early days I swiftly discovered alcohol free proseccos and wines, finding the latter often not to my taste and favouring a sparkling option
Following on from the fizz, the evolution of alcohol free Gins filled the gap and my copa gin glass with tonic and floral guff.
More recently, we have seen a rise in the alcohol free cider options – which seem to be appealing to the mainstream as they can often be found in the chiller of a pub (well, when pubs were a thing that is).
And for my sober husband, who made the change alongside me, the bitter ales have finally caught up with the lagers; our favourites being Ghost ship and Brewdogs low alcohol options.
A few months ago, my mind was blown when I tried an alcohol free spiced Rum, mixing up my first Rum and coke in a very long time. The Rumish flavour is spot on and makes for a grown up evening tipple without paying for it in the morning.
On a similar theme, other alcohol free spirits have started to fill my drinks cabinet – favourites include the Lyres Orange, and Lyres Amaretti – drunk over ice it’s a festive sensation.
Sometimes the substitutions are surprising, but work. This summer I was pointed in the direction of an alcohol free pimms cocktail – in which the pimms is replaced with balsamic vinegar. It blew my mind how similar it tasted; don’t knock it till you have tried it!
This year however, I filled the final hole in my life when I clocked an alcohol free Irish cream ‘Twisst’. Courtesy of my trusted source Wise Bartender, I had to give this a whirl, and I can tell you it did not disappoint.
Life without alcohol does not have to be a life of deprivation, and if you look hard enough, you can find all of the pleasure with none of the pain.
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