Here at the Dapper HQ, our favourite tipples are quite literally part of the furniture; some of the finest beverages from around the world line the shelves of the DC drinks cabinet. We love them for their complex flavours and rich ingredients and of course for the sense of occasion they bring.
However, some moments in life demand something a bit softer and until now there hasn’t been much choice. Soft drinks and fruit juices are often packed with sugar and don’t really cut the mustard when it comes to flavour, but thanks to the bods at the mindful drinking movement Club Soda, the alcohol-free drink market has had something of a shake-up.
Now, there’s a whole festival dedicated to fantastic tasting no and low-alcohol options, the Mindful Drinking Festival in association with Heineken 0.0, which recently made an appearance at Spitalfields Market. We’ve picked out a few of the very best beverages that don’t compromise on flavour but with all the benefits of being alcohol-free.
The best gin – Cedars
This distilled non-alcoholic gin is made with classic and exotic South African Botanicals, available in Crisp, Classic and Wild varieties. All had pleasing depth and flavour, but the Wild’s blend of juniper, and ginger with clove and rooibos made it our pick.
The best beer – Heineken 0.0
Light, refreshing, 0% alcohol and only 69 calories, Heineken’s 0.0 beer wins the contest with a fruity, malty flavour thanks to all-natural ingredients. Now you can have a beer and still hit the gym in the morning. Win.
The best alcohol-free wine – Eisberg
Packed with fruit notes and depth, Eisberg stood out as a great alternative to wine. The grapes are selected to retain their flavour when the alcohol has been removed, but a 125ml glass is less than 33 calories so it’s a great accompaniment at a dinner party or as a base for a mocktail.
The best punch – Punchy
Signalling the end for dubious punch bowls, the chaps at Punchy have created something special. A blend of five flavours – peach, ginger, spices, rum and of course bubbles, Punchy packs a healthy tang without unwanted sweetness. Available with or without the alcohol, so all bases are covered.
The best reinvention of a classic – Pimento Ginger Beer
If you’re partial to a ginger beer but want to cut down on the sugar, Pimento is made like a ginger ale but with all the spice of ginger beer. The combination of fruity and earthy ginger and kick of chilli pepper made this a festival standout.
If you missed the Mindful Drinking Festival in London, it’ll be back in Glasgow on October 13th. For more information visit www.mindfuldrinkingfestival.com.