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 :
- 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.
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.