A word on non-alcoholic wine
If today you’ve made it your New Year’s resolution to follow dry January then I’ve got you covered with my top 3 drinks for 2021, including non-alcoholic beers, spirits and mixers. Before I move on to my favourites, I wanted to note my experience with non-alcoholic wines and why they won’t be featuring in my top 3.
I have yet to try a good non-alcoholic wine, but will be sure to post about it if I ever find one!
The reasons for these wines tasting so unlike the good stuff is down to the process of how they are made. Basically, alcohol is taken away from them by either reverse osmosis or vacuum distillation, the latter leaving the most lifeless drink since most of the aroma compounds are evaporated away. When alcohol leaves the wine, it takes with it the aromas that usually hang on the surface of a wine by evaporating alcohol and tannins, which add texture and body.
So really the only way to make a better tasting non-alcoholic wine is to leave some alcohol in and call it ‘low-alcohol’…the best bet if you want to find this is sweet Mosel Reisling’s from Germany which are often between 7% and 9%.
Either you can find a new love for the sweeter stuff, or ditch the wine idea completely because although the wine industry hasn’t quite got it together yet, the beer industry certainly has.
Heineken 0.0 is a miracle. I feel like this company really cares about us non-alcohol consuming folk because they made a beer, without alcohol that TASTES LIKE BEER. I can happily sip this next to my boyfriend and his can of regular Heieneken and feel like i’m not missing out, better still, I’m enjoying it more because mines in a bottle!
Don’t be tempted if the shelves run out of Heineken 0.0 to go for another 0% lager brand, from my experience so far, you’ll be disappointed. It really is the only premium lager brand that have just got it.
There is another option if you enjoy the more fuller bodied wheat beers and that is Erdinger alcohol-free. I do really like this one because I always enjoyed their Weissbier and this one just brings back all of those memories…I think my record was 5 pints one wintery night in Croatia…no judging please.
All the flavours of a wheat beer are still present, with the aromas also leading you into a false sense of security as you believe it to be the real deal before you even take a sip. If we were being pedantic, we wouldn’t actually call this an alcohol-free beer, because unlike Heineken 0.0, Erdinger’s example has 0.5% alcohol. So it’s low-alcohol, but reeaaally low. Perhaps this 0.5% is actually the reason it tastes so good, besides, that full-body, 50cl size and less of the addictive stuff means you probably won’t be able to manage too many…at least not 5 anyway.
My last point to make about this beer is that along with it being a healthier choice simply just because it has very low alcohol and lower calories, it is also rich in B12 (a vitamin hard to find in most foods), folic acid (compulsory for pregnant women) and polyphenols (good for boosting energy). Pretty much a win win in my books.
Moving away from beer, Seedlip is more of a spirit inspired drink, using distilled herbs and spices to add aromatic qualities to tonic or whatever you feel like mixing it with. I like to experiment with different tonics since they add extra dimension to the flavour whilst keeping the sugar content at a minimum. It’s great for drinking with your friends as they get merry on gin-tons as you can build your drink to look like theirs, adding in any garnish to give it that real feel, plus it’s not based on sickly sweet fruit juices that many a mocktail can be.
For me, this is a real winner as I can happily sip and slurp as I type away before dinner, without feeling any of the blurry effects that would cause me to lose concentration.
After finding out that the business originated in Lincolnshire (my home county) I’ve become their number one fan and even feel a sense of pride for how this company has turned their unique idea into such a popular and successful product, featured on some of the best bar lists around the UK, let alone all of the major supermarkets!
I wish you all a merry 2021 and the best of luck with dry January if that is your goal! I’ll be joining you the whole way and posting about any new non-alcoholic finds I might stumble upon.