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  • Writer's pictureLushmuddled

TOP 5 Non Alcoholic Drinks

Updated: Aug 15, 2021

I have been experimenting a lot with non-alcoholic drinks lately. Dry July was a good starting point, but the popularity of sober drinking has risen. No one is going to raise an eyebrow if you order a mocktail or non-alcoholic beer at the pub, or if you walk into a bottle shop and ask for a 0% wine. Here are my favourites zero alcohol drinks - in no particular order.

1) Sobah Aniseed Myrtle Stout 330mL - $25 per four pack

This is a limited release, but I hope that Sobah make this part of their regular line up. These guys are Indigenous owned and all their beers are infused with native Australian flavours, like finger lime or pepperberry. If you read my article on non-alcoholic beer, you'll know that the issue I have with them is that they generally lack body and flavour by comparison to full-strength beers - this beer bucks that trend. Coffee, chocolate and aniseed through and through. This is rich and bold, holding its head well and carrying so much flavour that you really need to sit down and appreciate this for what it is. As a heads up, you will really need to like aniseed flavours - liquorice, ouzo, fennel - to enjoy this beer. It's flavours are unapologetic.

2) ALTD Green Grocer Non Alcoholic Spirit - $54.95ea

Without the high percentage, alcohol free spirits rely purely on flavour. They have to pack a lot in and somehow keep all the flavours in check. It becomes worrying business, really. This one manages itself nicely. Along with few garden variety botanicals, this also used Lemon Myrtle, Pepperberry, Aniseed Myrtle, Native Thyme and Iron Bark. Indigenous ingredients pack a lot of flavour, so this doesn't come across as a shrinking violet. It still won't fool anyone in need of a spirit, but it's a great way to get some Australiana into your mocktail and it works with a lot of different garnishes.

3) NON #5 - $30ea

The big trouble with non-alcoholic drinks is that they are defined by what they are not. The standard for non-alcoholic beer is always going to be beer. NON is a circuit breaker. It isn't trying to be a wine, or a beer, or a spirit. The best way to think of them is as an adult soft drink. They are inspired by sparkling wines, but are not trying to replace them. There's a lot of variety too. Non #4 is a deeply savoury, beetroot and jalapeno flavoured water - easily the most unique - but #5 is my pick. It's flavoured with hops, lemon verbana, lemongrass and lemon marmalade (with a lot of other things) and is all kinds of fun. Sweet tea, mint, hibiscus and sweet blossoms shine through, with a great savoury edge. It's fresh. Pure. Jubilant. Crushable stuff. Definitely greater than the sum of its parts. It feels complete.

4) New Blood Shiraz - $15ea

Finding non-alcohol red wines is easy. Finding a drinkable one is almost impossible. I actually enjoyed this one and chose to have a second glass. The alcohol is removed from this wine by vacuum distillation. Distillation requires heat, which damages flavour, but vacuum distillation significantly lowers the temperature needed to evaporate the alcohol. The flavours are, relatively, left unharmed. This has a good aroma of blueberries, cherry with spices and a simple palate of plum and dark chocolate. This isn't the best wine you'll have at $15, not by any stretch. But there a plenty of options which are worse.

5) Lyre's Amalfi Spritz 250mL - $19.95 per four pack

Where non-alcoholic spirits tend you let you down, the RTDs really shine. This really hits the spot for an adult drink. It isn't a pale imitation of an Aperol spritz either - it's refreshing, has weight and has the flavours you'd expect. My one complaint is that it has a little bit too much sweetness, but it's easy to get around this by treating it like a spritz. Instead of drinking it from the can, pour it into a glass with lots of ice and garnish with a slice of orange and thyme. Sit outside in the sun and pretend your looking out over the Mediterranean.

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