Culture

The Best No-Low Drinks 2021

Holos ‘Sparkling Oolong’ Premium Kombucha (2 x 750ml)

Holos ‘Sparkling Oolong’ Premium Kombucha

How about a sparkling Kombucha made from Oolong tea leaves? Fermented in West Sussex using luxury loose leaf Oolong, this treat is a perfect excuse to toast amongst mates when you don’t want an ABV in your glass. Notes of elderflower and lychee intertwine, making this a floral driven sweet treat – it’s like the demi-sec of Kombucha.

£24, available at HOLOS Kombucha.

The Original Small Beer Session Pale (6 x 350ml, 2.5% Abv)

The Original Small Beer Session Pale

Hands down one of the BEST low alcohol beers on the market. I visited the brewery last year and saw first-hand how they create these wonders. The Session Pale is one of my faves, given it has such a tropical fruit backbone to it with a little apricot thrown in. You get that refreshing juicy burst of fruit followed by a crisp balanced hoppy finish. The best bit? It just tastes like a really well made beer – the alcohol content doesn’t even cross your mind. Small beer, great minds.

£12, available at Majestic.

Copenhagen Sparkling Tea Rød (750ml, 5% Abv)

Copenhagen Sparkling Tea Rød

A renowned sommelier from Denmark loved his tea and one day it just hit him – why don’t we explore the same process with tea leaves instead of grapes?! The result was quite genius. I never thought I’d exclaim that I truly enjoyed drinking a sparkling version of tea, but here goes, it’s great! RØD is their version of a sparkling rosé and is ripe with blackberries, red berries, hibiscus and a balanced citrus. Lady Grey and Earl Grey teas (two of my favourites) create a slight bitterness from the bergamot oil which balances everything together quite nicely. Honestly, this is something you’ve got to try!

£18.50, available at Fortnum & Mason.

OTO CBD Botanical Seltzers (3 x 250ml)

OTO CBD Botanical Seltzers

Two things began to surge in 2020 – seltzers and CBD. OTO is arguably the most luxurious and quality driven CBD brand on the market right now. So, when they decided to launch their own seltzer range, naturally, I got pretty excited. I’ve been using the products for a fair while now and can confidently say my anxiety levels have fallen and I feel a better sense of calm.

There are three flavours, each containing 25mg of CBD and matching the 3 categories across the OTO range – Focus (Korean Sencha, Mint and Kampot Pepper), Amplify (Bitter Orange, Goji Berry and Habanero Chilli Extract) and Balance (Elderflower, Cucumber and Liquorice). Honestly, they are well worth a try. As we enter 2021, health is our most important asset and we’re going to need to invest in it.

£11, available at OTO CBD.

Mcguigan Zero Rosé (750ml)

Mcguigan Zero Rosé

Finally, a de-alcoholised wine that actually tastes decent. Many have tried, few have succeeded, but I have to say McGuigan have done a great job. The magic lies in spinning cone technology, which draws the wine into fine layers for enhanced vaporisation. This basically means alcohol is removed at much lower temperatures so the taste can remain! The result is not just aromatic and vibrant, it’s bursting with fresh strawberries, cherries and a citric kick which holds everything together.

£5, available at Ocado.

Sea Arch Coastal Juniper (700ml)

Sea Arch Coastal Juniper

If you’re longing to feel the sea breeze against your skin like the good old days when we could actually leave our towns and cities, well, this may be for you, a 0% gin that takes inspiration from its Devon roots. Aromatic juniper berry with herbal notes of sage upfront. Coriander and grapefruit peel results in a clean, crisp feel on the palate along with some peppery notes. Sweet blood orange adds complexity and together with lemon undertones drives the perception of juiciness. Cardamom spice gives a balanced warmth to the finish.

But it’s the sugar kelp and samphire that are the stars of the show, with juniper, coriander and blood orange playing the harmony in the background. Simply add a splash of your favourite tonic and you’ll unravel juniper and bitter grapefruit with a sweet-spice blood orange and breeze of seaside herbs. Are you thirsty yet?

£25, available at Sea Arch Drinks.

Caleño Light & Zesty (500ml)

Caleño Light & Zesty

Columbia is a country that I’ve long wanted to visit. Sadly, right now that’s not but possible – but what I can do is taste the equivalent in a glass with Caleño. Inspired by a variety of tropical, citrus and spice ingredients such as Inca berry, pineapple, papaya and coconut, to name just a few, Caleño gives us a burst of sunshine in a glass. Zesty, tropical, sweet and tangy all in one – there’s a surge of memorable flavours that leave you wanting more. This non-alcoholic spirit is growing rapidly and with good reason.

£18, available at Amazon.

Mother Root (480ml)

Mother Root

Ginger, honey and apple cider vinegar are three components that if we take on a daily basis can really boost our immunity and keep our gut in good stead. Mother Root has managed to combine all three ingredients into a non-alcoholic drink, which can now be enjoyed as part of a routine versus a forced concoction each morning.

Inspired by an age-old American recipe this infusion of pressed ginger juice, blossom honey and organic apple cider vinegar entice the tastebuds. Perfectly paired with a light tonic (to retain the flavours) and a big slice of orange or sprig of rosemary for something a little more savoury. Another evolution for the world of drink and health.

£19, available at Mother Root London.

Mockingbird Spirit (500ml)

Mockingbird Spirit

Say hello to the UK’s first tequila alternative with zero alcohol, made using blue weber agave. I have to say, this for me is one of the most exciting discoveries of the year so far. I judge hundreds of tequilas each year and this really does attain the major components (minus the alcohol taste) of a quality driven reposado.

There’s a sweet vanilla glaze from what would have been oak ageing, married together with the plush and juicy blue weber agave. A kick of habanero spice comes into play, all the while creating a succulent drink which leaves you wanting more. Completely unexpected (as I’m always so sceptical when it comes to no-alcohol adaptations of spirits) but thoroughly delightful.

£23, available at Mockingbird Spirit.

About the author

Aidy Smith

Aidy Smith

Aidy Smith is a wine and spirits personality and one of the presenter trio behind Amazon Prime TV Series, The Three Drinkers. In better times, he is often found scouring the globe for his next tipple. It’s a hard life, but someone’s got to do it. You can follow his adventures on Instagram at @sypped.

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