Whether you tapped out of Dry January, merely flirted with the idea of Feb Fast, or have been on a mission to cut down on alcohol since last Dry July, there’s no doubt that ditching the drink is one of the biggest wellness trends right now.
The last few years has seen major growth in the alcohol-free drinks market and popularity of sober communities across social media. Plus there’s now a multitude of celebrities who don’t drink alcohol.
Statistics also suggest the trend towards low and no alcohol here is being spearheaded by younger Aussies, with DrinkWise reporting that almost six out of ten alcohol drinkers aged 18 to 24 years old are looking to cut down their intake. This correlates to younger drinkers (18 to 44) being twice as likely to consume lower and zero alcohol* alternatives than those aged 45 and over. In fact, according to Wine Intelligence, 3 out of 10 drinkers aged 18 to 34 flagged health and wellbeing as their main motivation in their choice of wine.
What the experts say
But, according to alcohol coach Rachael Layton, the decision to quit drinking is one that she is seeing across all generations.
“We are hearing from more and more people who are questioning their relationship with alcohol,” says Layton. “Giving up alcohol used to be something that was seen as a last resort when a person had reached a rock bottom in their drinking.
“However, the more people are learning about the impacts their drinking is having on their physical and mental health, the more they’re deciding they no longer want to drink. It’s become a choice rather than a necessity.”
She predicts that many Australians will choose to extend beyond Feb Fast or Sober October and choose to take a more long-term break from drinking. “When people experience the benefits of not drinking they often question why they didn’t do it earlier,” she says.
Whether you’re cutting booze out or just want to stay tidy, we’ve got the tipple for you.
NO ALCOHOL WINES
Paradox Zero Alc Pinot Grigio*
The wine is a light straw colour, offering fresh fruit flavours reminiscent of red apple with a touch of orange blossom. The palate brings a mineral-like texture with a crisp finish.
Paradox Zero Alc Sauvignon Blanc*
The wine is a pale straw colour with a hint of green. It brings notes of light passion fruit along with tropical aromas. The palate is lively and fresh with a pleasingly clean aftertaste.
Giesen 0% Marlborough Pinot Gris*
After selling out of its first release of the world’s first alcohol-removed New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc in 2020, Giesen has introduced this delicious Pinot Gris into its popular non-alcoholic wine range. And it tastes crisp, zesty and incredible, just like the real deal.
Giesen 0% Rosé
If you’re held back from going fully booze-free because you love a chilled glass of rosé on a long day then let us introduce you to this pink miracle. It tastes exactly like French rosé. We’re serious. Even we can hardly believe it ourselves and we’ve tested it thoroughly to make sure.
Giesen 0% Merlot
The people spoke and Giesen responded. After repeated requests for an alcohol-removed red on social media, these winemakers rustled up a delectable red. Made from fruit from the Hawke’s Bay wine region, it’s easy drinking and a perfect match with food.
NON The Everyday Set
A collection of three hand-crafted non-alcoholic wine alternatives, for every day and not just July. This tasting pack puts forward their most popular and approachable varietals. Focusing less on what was taken away (the hangxiety, for one), NON dares not mimic the mainstream or traditional taste we associate with wine, and instead focuses on curating new innovative flavours.
NO ALCOHOL COCKTAILS
Naked Life Virgin Margarita
Make it a margarita with this all-natural refresher, crafted with Tahitian lime and Murray River sea salt.
Pineapple Jalapeno Margarita DIY cocktail kit
It doesn’t *have* to be margs with this DIY kit that comes with everything you need to create 17 full-size booze-free mocktails for just $99 (that’s under $6 a drink), but do look at that drink above – yum or what? The kit’s centrepiece is Seedlip Garden booze-free spirit.
NO ALCOHOL BEERS
Heaps Normal Quiet XPA*
The OG 0% beer and the reason we now have so much choice for in the market. It tastes just like a reg beer, it’s got body, taste and everything you’d expect from a delicious XPA but with no hangxiety the next day. #grateful
Athletic Brewing Run Wild IPA*
This balanced craft brew with a piney, citrusy aroma tastes as good as the full-strength stuff – and has the awards to prove it.
Sobah Finger Lime Cerveza
If you want a brew that’s light, crisp and citrusy (AKA if you weren’t previously much of a beer drinker) this is your guy. The finger lime, aka ‘gulalung’ is an Australian native citrus fruit naturally occurring around Northern NSW and SE QLD throughout Bundjalung Nations lands. The fruit is rich in folate, potassium and Vitamins C & E. It’s a smashable brew for warm weather or after a sweat session!
NORT Mixed 18 Pack Cans
Locally brewed, female-founded, 100% plant-based, and the lowest calorie Australian made non-alcoholic beer in the country, NORT is available in good independent bottleshops, bars, all major national liquor and grocery outlets.
NO & LOW ALCOHOL SPARKLING
Odd Bird Blanc de Blancs Sparkling White
Wine lovers, let’s be real. Most alcohol-free wine tastes like bin-juice-gone-wrong and just make you want the real thing. But this smashing bottle of bubbles proves the exception. It has a nice little fizz on it and absolutely looks, tastes and feels like a crisp, dry sparkling.
McGuigan Zero Sparkling
Starring crisp pear and refreshing green apple, consider this the perfect alt for whatever you’re toasting to.
Paradox Lighter in Alcohol Prosecco
A crisp refreshing palate, with loads of fresh stone fruit, this prosecco provides the perfect accompaniment to any celebration.
NO ALCOHOL SPIRITS
Seedlip Garden 108
G&T fans, this one’s for you. Pair it with a splash of tonic and ice for a taste of the English countryside.
Lyre’s Italian Spritz
Switch your Aperol Spritz for this bittersweet orangey number. Great with soda, tonic or booze-free bubbles.
*Contains no more than 0.5% alcohol
FAQs: No and Low Alcohol
Are non-alcoholic drinks healthier?
The quick answer is yes, and no. Depending on the non-alcoholic drink you choose your drink can be healthier if it’s low in sugar and calories. On top of this, alcohol is associated with snacking – the more you drink, the more likely you are to be reaching for snacks like salted nuts, chips or cheese. And while there is nothing wrong with snacking in moderation, booze goes hand in hand with over doing it.
Bottom line – the biggest benefit of drinking non-alcoholic wine is avoiding the consumption of alcohol.
What’s the difference between alcohol-free, non-alcoholic and de-alcoholised?
Not a lot. Alcohol-free drinks are produced without any form of fermentation (or brewing) and often have preservatives added prior to bottling to ensure fermentation does not occur once stored.
Non-alcoholic drinks contain 0.5% or less alcohol by volume, they generally undergo some form of fermentation, however the alcohol content is kept at 0.5% or lower.
De-alcoholised or alcohol removed drinks are fermented but have most of the alcohol removed prior to being pasteurised and bottled.
Surprisingly, there’s alcohol in everyday food products. For example, malt vinegar contains around 0.2% alcohol, a normal glass of fresh orange juice can contain up to 0.5% alcohol, and vanilla essence (not the synthetic one) is extracted using alcohol and can contain more than 20% alcohol.
Is low alcohol no alcohol?
No, there’s some alcohol in low alcohol drinks, just a low volume of it. Only drinks containing less than 1.15% alcohol by volume can be represented using the term ‘low alcohol’.
Is it safe to drink de-alcoholised wine when pregnant?
Health experts agree that it’s best for women who are trying to conceive, pregnant or breastfeeding to cut out alcohol. Alcohol removed, de-alcoholised and alcohol-free wines can contain up to 0.5% ABV. This is about the same level found naturally in fruit juice BUT we strongly recommend you discuss types of drinks with your healthcare provider before drinking them.
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Source @womenshealth.com.au: Read more at : womenalive.org