What to drink when giving up alcohol?


What to drink when giving up alcohol? The choice has never been better.

This has now become a whole new ball game with over 23% of the population in the UK choosing not to drink for reasons personal to them.

The drinks market is also reacting with sales certainly in the UK and Australia on the increase. The reasons are far and wide and let’s nor box anyone in but they seem to be in the following areas in thinking what to drink when giving up alcohol.

  • You can’t : For me despite only being a social drinker my liver gave in for some reason. A mix of genetics, stress and diet. From that moment on when I was given 48 hours to live my decision was no alcohol. Maybe you get an allergic reaction or the substance brings you out in a rash. You just can’t drink alcohol, it’s simple.
  • You choose not to: This can be a mix of drinking getting out of control, too many hangovers or you have a religious path that means consuming alcohol is not for you.
  • You don’t want to : This category may want to save money or is fed up of the feeling crap every morning and you are wasting away the weekend ( Moving away from alcohol)
  • You want to : Very often there is no rhyme or reason, it’s a lifestyle choice and you are happy with that call. This is probably the easiest in some respect and it’s a real emotion driving. ( Moving towards a healthy lifestyle)

So years ago the options for what to drink when giving up alcohol were really limiting. I remember a long while ago testing out a new alcohol free beer, I spat it out it was horrible.

Since then consumers have driven the market and there is profit in them no alcohol options even though the education and awareness is poor especially in bars. Choice is moving in our direction.

The classic water option

Did you know that up to 60 percent of the human body is water. I thought it was fat but maybe that is just me, The reality is that we need water to survive and alcohol really dehydrates us, thus the banging hangover headache.

However, before you dismiss water as boring if you are giving up alcohol it is great for a couple of reasons. Firstly the body needs it big time to function and secondary forget about standard water when you are out.

The choices have radically increased and I don’t mean just fizzy, from flavored waters to special water with an ice and slice. A big part of the issue when we go out if we are honest is the social pressure issue. So if we can have a tall glass with ice and a slice no one cares or no one notices half the time. Check out my review of one of them here.

Rather than dismiss water embrace it and it’s fabulous for weight loss as it curbs the appetite surge which is really a sign of dehydration in the body.

Non alcoholic beers – more choice than ever

So it was not that long ago when you would have never seen a 0.0 beer in full view in those freezer cabinets behind the bar. Now some bar staff don’t understand it and I once got told “what the point of ordering that”?

I politely explain which he was not expecting about liver disease and why I could not touch a drop. If I had had a flip chart I would have got it out and done a presentation. I was so irritated.


However, what has improved :

  • Branding
  • Many taste like the real thing
  • ABV : This is established clearly in most case, I always go 0.0% abv but I know many are happy with 0.5%
  • Profit : There is now profit in it as lifestyle and the impact on health in terms of awareness is changing so it’s not bad it’s good. We are now in the consumer driving seat.

However, there is still a good way to go. I would still say 9/10 bars still don’t have adequate choice of any and the abv stat really confuses them. Sorry but that’s my experience. Not great if you are wondering what to drink when giving up alcohol.

I have to go through the whole explanation thing again and again as recently as week ago when lock down was lifted in the UK. It is also not in every country with some having no options whatsoever.

If you are ordering online I still have to show ID, again another block to consumers on what to drink when giving up alcohol.

My review of my favorite non-alcoholic beers is here if you are interested and I like them a lot.

Mocktails have hit the menus.

I think this is a stroke of marketing genius. You can not go into a bar on a Saturday morning full of a hen party and hear those words “guess what I’ll have a mocktail!”

Not one of the friends batted any eyelids. It becomes the acceptable face of getting drunk with no alcohol. Generally speaking they look the same with tall glasses and a few sparkles for some but this is a great choice if you don’t want to be left out of the crowd.


I have reviewed mocktails here.

The bad news is of course they seem to have left the prices the same but it’s still a good alternative. Think cocktails with zero alcohol but double check no-one mixes the drinks up

Alcohol Free Gin – seriously good

Who would have even thought this was a thing and sales prove it is. Of course, it’s not really like gin but has a similar feel and unfortunately it’s priced the same and poured out the same in terms of measure.

There are now more brands than I can count on one hand and I am getting through them to review one by one. However, it feels like an event drinking it, can easily go into a mocktails and looks the same. Make sure you get ice and a slice! Another great option for what to drink when giving up alcohol and its 0.0 % abv.

One of my favorites I have reviewed here and there is more to come from alcoholic free gin. That got a bit of thumbs up from me.

Alcohol Free Ginger Beer

This has been a real mainstay for me since giving up drinking. The brands are all over the place although as they say in airline safety cross-check, I would say cross-check as some do contain alcohol. They have a real kick, can be used in mocktails and again it takes the pressure off.

The manufacturers are now seeing how great this option is and the latest I reviewed included not just ginger but chilli beers. Not everyone’s thing but expect to see more unique flavors coming into the mix.

Remember the golden rule of 00abv.com

Ask for what you want when you ask people what to drink when giving up alcohol. Be bold, and avoid social pressure. Whichever category you fit in it’s your choice and the range is getting bigger as we speak.

A small caveat, for certain people it is advised not to drink 0.0% abv options if you are alcohol dependent and I have heard various views.

Only you can decide but if it’s linked to health, get advice. I personally avoid any 0.5 options and go for the 0.0 abv but I realize the mind may think differently

Let me know what choices you have tried and leave a comment as that gets a debate going. I always respond.

8 thoughts on “What to drink when giving up alcohol?”

  1. Hello, 

    Thank you for sharing this article as I really enjoyed reading it. 

    I don’t drink alcohol and it can be very difficult to find alternatives when you’re out with friends/family.

    Mocktails are a good option but I don’t understand why they are so expensive. 

    J20s and fruit juices are sometimes the only option but more variety would be nice. 

    Best wishes, 


    • Thanks Cameron, you are so right, I purchased a bottle of alcohol free beer today in a bar and it was more expensive than the cheapest draught beer on the menu! I am pleased you enjoyed reading about what to drink when giving up alcohol. You are right about mocktails. You certainly don’t get a discount! Variety is what this site is all about so thanks for taking time out to comment. I really appreciated it, Phil

  2. Hello Phyl, Just went thru your article. Thank you for sharing this article as I really enjoyed reading it. Though I am not a drinker. I can use it help my friends. Mocktails are a good option but most  drinkers hesitate to try out this option. Thanks for sharing such an useful article.

    • Hey Rajesh thanks for commenting on what to drink when giving up alcohol, I really appreciate it. I can see your point about mocktails but you can always double check the ABV so alcohol by volume but all should have zero alcohol content.  I appreciate you taking time out to comment. Phil

  3. Hi

    It is great that you have highlighted the many alcohol free drinks on offer, as we as a society are slowly turning our back on it, especially  the young. I  only drink occasionally  and when I do I like a glass of wine or some spirit.  I do not feel the urge to drink alcohol and so I do not. I am always look to the new options available to me and you have highlighted some that I was totally unaware. I never knew that you can get alcohol free gin and I may be tempted to try it.  What is noticable  in supermarkets is the increase of flavoured  waters and the introduction of adult soft drinks. I think the best way to give up alcohol is through help and encouragement from others. If they give up, you are more likely to give up.



    • Thanks so much Antonio, very wise words and your point about help and encouragment is an excellent one. I really appreciate you taking time out to comment, Phil

  4. Hello there, Thanks for sharing this awesome article I know it would be of great help to the public as it has been of help to me.For me, I think the water option is really the best as other, i know a lot of people that have had drinking issues and acholo has always been the best option is solving the issue.

    • Hey thanks for comment, it great to see you on here. You are so right about water and with so many choices increasing in terms of variety big companies are catching on. This is an interesting water choice for something different which gets good reviews. Dash Water. Having choice when you are out is key. I really appreciate you taking time out to give your view. Thanks Phil 


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