Keen to find tasty alternatives to your favourite drinks, minus the alcohol? We reveal the best non-alcoholic drinks.
For years, it’s been assumed that a standard part of the uni experience is going out most nights and getting drunk. That might be the case for some, but the reality for many students is very different.
Studies suggest that, in recent years, young people have generally become more sober-curious and are drinking less. It’s no wonder when you consider the physical and mental health benefits of cutting out alcohol. No more hangovers, for one.
Plus, drinking less alcohol saves you money. If you take prosecco as an example, the cheapest 75cl bottle we saw at Tesco while writing this guide cost £5.49. But the 75cl bottle of Nozeco (one of the top alcohol-free drinks) cost £2.75 with a Clubcard – around half the price of the alcoholic version.
We’ve tried lots of non-alcoholic beverages to find you the best ones. Whether you’re doing Dry January or you want to drink less (or no) alcohol throughout the year, these drinks are worth trying.
Seedlip‘s alcohol-free spirits are the best we’ve tried so far, especially when mixed with tonic. They come in a few flavours: Grove 42, Spice 94 and Garden 108. However, they’re a bit more pricey than some other brands, typically costing between £18 – £26 for a 70cl bottle.
But there are cheaper alternatives that still taste good.
At the time of writing, a 70cl bottle of Tanqueray 0.0% costs around £16.
Gordon’s is another great option. A 70cl bottle of their alcohol-free spirit usually costs £14.
You can also buy four 250ml cans of Gordon’s alcohol-free spirit with tonic for around £4 – £6. These taste really similar to G&Ts, so they’re ideal if you’re keen to have a nice drink with your friends without the risk of getting drunk.
One good option for non-alcoholic beer is Impossibrew. You might have seen them on Dragons’ Den.
They sell non-alcoholic and 0.5% beers that include active herbs. These give the beers a relaxing effect, similar to what you’d expect from an alcoholic drink. Their drinks are quite expensive (around £2 – £2.50 per can). However, you can get £5 off your first Impossibrew order via our link.
That’s far from your only option, though.
For an alcohol-free lager, try Beck’s Blue. You can buy packs of 15x 275ml bottles from Tesco that work out at £1.94/litre at the time of writing. This is pretty cheap compared to some of the other top non-alcoholic beers.
More of an ale drinker? Leffe Blond 0.0% and Doom Bar Zero both taste good and each cost around £3/litre.
Of all of the alcohol-free drinks we’ve tried, Guinness 0.0% is one of (if not the) hardest to distinguish from the alcoholic version.
It tastes delicious and has a lovely, smooth texture. Even if you wouldn’t usually think of yourself as a Guinness fan, it’s still worth trying the non-alcoholic version as it might surprise you.
And, at the time of writing, it costs just £4 on Clubcard to buy four 440ml cans.
Non-alcoholic sparkling wine tends to be cheap to buy and really tasty.
Like with a bottle of champagne, you need to pop the cork to open the bottles, making these ideal for celebrations.
One of the best and cheapest alcohol-free sparkling wine brands is Nozeco. You can find their bottles of fizz in most major supermarkets, usually costing around £3 for a 75cl bottle.
Another good one to try is the Freixenet 0.0%. This costs around £4.50 for a 75cl bottle.
There are some other good ones, too, like Fizzero (£4.75 for a 75cl bottle at the time of writing).
If you struggle to find a non-alcoholic prosecco you like at first, it’s worth trying a few different ones until you find a bottle that suits your tastes.
Although we’ve found it pretty easy to find non-alcoholic sparkling wines that we like, finding a good alcohol-free still wine has been another matter.
The problem is that a lot of alcohol-free wines either taste too acidic (a bit like vinegar) or too sweet.
The best we’ve found so far in terms of value for money has been Tesco’s own-brand low-alcohol wine. We’ve tried the Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Tempranillo which each cost £3.50 for a 75cl bottle at the time of writing.
They have less than 0.5% alcohol. And, while they’re not quite like the real thing, we’d say they’re closer to the usual taste of wine than some others.
Unfortunately, if you’re keen to try completely alcohol-free wine, we’ve struggled to find a good cheap one.
For example, Oddbird‘s alcohol-free wine often gets good reviews, but it’s very expensive (around £15 for a 75cl bottle at the time of writing).
Instead, we’ve found it’s much better value to buy something cheap and fizzy like Nozeco, rather than splashing out on a bottle of alcohol-free still wine.
Non-alcoholic cider, like wine, is something that we’ve found to be a little hit-and-miss. However, there are some good ones out there.
Our favourite so far has been Kopparberg‘s alcohol-free pear cider. It’s very sweet and fizzy, but with enough of the typical cider flavour coming through to make it feel like you’re drinking the alcoholic version.
Kopparberg has a range of fruity alcoholic-free ciders such as strawberry & lime and mixed fruit. At the time of writing, they cost £1.50 per 550ml bottle for each flavour.
Or if you’re looking for a more traditional apple cider, try Thatchers Zero.
And finally, the classic non-alcoholic drinks: mocktails.
In the past, you might have expected mocktails to just be the typical cocktail without the alcoholic element (essentially being juice and ice). However, you can now use non-alcoholic spirits to closely replicate the taste of your favourite cocktails. Yay!
For example, if you love lemon drop cocktails, you can make them as you usually would, just with a non-alcoholic spirit to replace the vodka. Strykk Not Vodka could be worth trying for this.
You can also buy mocktail cans from sites like Dry Drinker. We’ve seen cans of alcohol-free mojitos, bellinis and more from there.
* Prices were correct at the time of writing.