Designated Driver? Here Are The Best Alcohol-free Spirits To Try This Christmas

Posted: Dec 19, 2018



If you’re avoiding alcohol Christmas can be a minefield. If you’re not being dragged down to the pub, you’re being pressured to have a tipple with your turkey. And 90% of the time, answering these requests with a simple ‘no thanks’ invariably results in pouting and whining, maybe even accusations that you’re ‘ruining Christmas’ from the more dramatic family members. The other big concern about not drinking at Christmas is that the alternatives are always either sugary soft drinks or tasteless soda water.

Thankfully, plenty of distillers are starting to get wise to the idea that there’s a real market out there for alcohol free spirits (in fact, it looks like it’s going to be one of the big drinks trends of the next year) so there’s more choice than ever for discerning sober shoppers.

The idea behind these spirits is to fit into any favourite cocktail recipes without necessarily altering the recipe or the taste. You can enjoy a grown-up drink without the alcohol and best of all, the annoying people who seem bent on getting you to drink won’t be able to tell the difference.

Seedlip
Arguably the most famous non-alcoholic spirit is Seedlip. The brand has gone from strength to strength since launching in 2015 and is now the go-to choice for non-alcoholic drinks in over 250 top-rated cocktail bars around the world. They even have a pop-up shop in London this Christmas.

Lots of people compare Seedlip to gin, given that it is aromatic, herbal and can be consumed with tonic but in truth it’s a little more complicated and distinct. You can get Seedlip in three varieties: Grove 42, which has a hint of orange and mandarin; Spice 94, with Jamaican All Spice berry and cardamom; and Garden 108, which is fresh and floral, made with hand-picked peas from the garden of Seedlip’s founder.

Stryyk
A relatively new alcohol-free spirit from Alex Carlton, the guy behind Funkin Cocktails, the pre-mixed cocktail mixers and fruit purees used by bars around the world. Stryyk is crafted to have all the flavour and punchiness of classic alcohols, but without the hangover.

So far Stryyk only comes in two varieties, Not Rum and Not Vodka, but a Not Gin is coming soon. In an stylish rounded bottle that will stand out on the shelf, Stryyk is a brand that will definitely excite non-drinkers.

Spirits Of Virtue
If you can get around the weirdly moralistic tone of the Spirits Of Virtue Chastity No-Sin Gin the product has actually been pretty well-reviewed. The alcohol-free gin is based on a classic London Dry recipe with juniper, coriander, liquorice and angelica at its core. Between the two different versions, citrussy ‘Temptation’ and floral ‘Seduction’, Spirits Of Virtue have two ginny-themed spirits which should fit with most tonics you can throw at them.

Ceder’s
A brand which only popped up in the past couple of years, Ceder’s is a South African gin-alternative which launched into UK supermarkets this year with three different varieties: Classic, Crisp, and Wild. Once again, you’re looking at the same break down in terms of flavouring as basically all the others on this list. Classic is floral, Crisp is citrussy, and Wild is spicy.

GinSin
If you’re looking for something a bit different than the standard alcohol-free gin-imitations the GinSin could be for you. These eye-popping drinks come in a bright pink Strawberry, a dazzling Tangerine, and a Bombay Sapphire-aping 12 Botanicals.

Interestingly, GinSin, despite putting gin in the name, sells itself as an alternative to Mother’s Ruin, rather than an attempt to remake the spirit sans alcohol.

They also do WhisSin, VerSin, and RonSin, which are whisky, vermouth, and rum alternatives, respectively.

Herbie Virgin
You’ve got to hand it to the Danish team behind Herbie Gin, they’re really committing to their ‘effect is secondary’ tagline. The company essentially treat their gin’s alcoholic properties as an unfortunate side-effect to the actual taste and quality of their gin, so it makes sense that they’ve created a version which is entirely alcohol free. Thankfully, the gin and its non-alcoholic sister has been widely acclaimed for its perfumed taste using botanicals including licorice, Danish apples, rosemary, and fennel seeds.

The Driver’s Tipple
Created by former British racing driver Hamish Gordon, Driver’s Tipple is brand new, having just launched this September. It’s supposed to be a classic London Dry Gin minus the alcohol content. Seven botanicals are added to the gin: juniper, angelica, cardamom, coriander, ginger, grapefruit, and mint. The product is gendered too, for no apparent reason. The Lady Driver and Gentleman Driver seem to be exactly the same, aside from having different labels.

Borrago
Not only is this one alcohol free, it’s also one of a few on this list which is entirely calorie free too, perfect for those watching their weight at Christmas. It’s name for the light-blue borage flower but given that Borrago wants to keep their recipe close to their chest, we don’t actually know if that is one of the botanicals they use. Still, it’s been making a splash in the small world of alcohol-free drinks bloggers, so it might be worth checking out.

By Jack Rear December 14, 2018 Source, Complete Article and availablity at: Telegraph.co.uk



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