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Dry Jan: What to Drink When You're Not Drinking

Dry January needn't be a time of deprivation, or being stuck with sweet, sugary alternatives on a night out (or in). We've pulled together some fabulous grown-up no- and low-alcohol alternatives to your usual beer, wine, cocktail or long drink; think of it as not so much giving up alcohol as giving up hangovers.


In the UK there are three categorisations of no/low-alcohol drinks:  

  • Alcohol-free: no more than 0.05%ABV

  • De-alcoholised: no more than 0.5% ABV

  • Low alcohol: no more than 1.2% ABV


However, in the US anything less than 0.5% alcohol can be marketed as alcohol-free, so please check ingredients carefully.


Hip Pop Kombuchas & Living Sodas


Editor's Pick

There's no chance of getting bored of these deliciously zingy gut-loving kombuchas with flavours like Ginger & Yuzu, Apple & Elderflower, Strawberry & Pineapple and Blueberry & Ginger - or of their living sodas: Cola, Lemonade, Orange, and Ginger & Turmeric. There's also a range of kombuchas with CBD, if you want to tick all the health boxes this month. Highly recommended.


RRP: Prices vary for mixed boxes - see website for details.



Trip CBD


The official drink of Dry Jan and the UK's fastest growing soft drinks brand must be doing something right. Apart from their delicious and inventive flavours, Trip are providing an alternative way of chilling out with a drink - by including CBD, shown to reduce anxiety and aid sleep, as well as a host of other benefits for your body such as reducing inflammation (although these also double perfectly as cocktail bases if your non-Dry Jan friends feel like adding a slug of gin).


RRP: £24 for 12 x 250ml cans

Available at major retailers including Waitrose, Sainsbury’s, Boots, Ocado and Holland & Barrett.



Cacto


These 100% natural sparkling prickly pear drinks are enriched with magnesium, electrolytes, antioxidants and phytonutrients, so you can be replenishing your body's resources instead of draining them.


RRP: £15 for 6 cans or £27.30 for 12 cans.



Living Things Soda


Recently-launched brand Living Things has released a range of three sodas that are low in calories but high in flavour and gut-friendly goodies. Drink as they are, or pop them in a glass with ice and a slice for a mocktail vibe.


RRP: from £2.49 per 330ml can  



Feragaia


Distilled in Scotland at its very own distillery, Feragaia is made up of fourteen carefully selected land and sea botanicals, many of which are native to Scotland and grown on the family farm.  The delicate floral and herbal flavours combine with the earthier notes of root botanicals and spices to create a complex and layered flavour profile.


RRP: £30 for a mixed pack of 12 x 250ml cans



Fhirst Living Soda


Combining living cultures with prebiotic fibre, probiotics and zinc, this is good news for your brain, gut and immune system. Flavours include Passion Fruit, Cherry Vanilla and Ginger Mandarin.


RRP: from £2.20 per 330ml can  



Belvoir Farm Non-Alcoholic Cocktails


Pop a couple of these in the fridge and you can enjoy a classic cocktail, just without the alcohol - although they have enough sass that, come February, you can use them as a base and top them up with your booze of choice.


RRP: £4.49 for 4 x 250ml cans

Available at Sainsbury’s & Waitrose


Hocus

Here's a great way to get all the feels of a G&T but in a low-alcohol version; simply spray two or three spritzes of concentrated gin into your glass of tonic and enjoy. Rum and bourbon dispensers are also available.


RRP: £29.99 each   



Pentire Non-Alcoholic Spirits


From signature spirits to aperitifs and pre-mixed cocktails, the Pentire range offers refreshing coastal flavours with a unique blend of botanicals native to the coast in Cornwall. Choose from their signature spirit, Pentire Adrift, the zesty Pentire Seaward (both great served with tonic and a garnish of fresh rosemary or red grapefruit peel, and available pre-made in cans), the Coastal Spritz or the convenient bottled Margaritas - try these in a glass with a chilli-salt rim.


RRP: from £27.80 for 70cl



Tanqueray 0.0% from Master of Malt


There are a number of alternatives to spirits to try over Dry Jan, including this alcohol-free option from Tanqueray. Drinks gurus Master of Malt have you covered this month with a whole range to try; how about the award-winning Caleño Dark & Spicy Spirit from Columbia, or V.I.B.E. Espresso Zero Alcohol?


RRP: £15.15



Long Tail Mixers


These punchy mixers are available in five different varieties, from the warmth of Island Spice and Ginger & Lime to the zingy freshness of Lemon Sour and Blood Orange. Enjoy on their own over ice or as a mixer in an alcohol-free cocktail - they make easy work of creating a refreshing alcohol-free drink.


RRP: £1.85 per 500ml bottle

Available at Sainsbury’s & Ocado



Wildleaf Mixers


One of the best hacks for spirit drinkers over dry January is to buy a top quality mixer and pimp it with botanicals, fresh herbs and spices - try juniper berries, cinnamon sticks or sprigs of fresh rosemary. These North African craft mixers - including this tonic, a light version plus a club soda and ginger ale - use wildleaf (aka wormwood) to bring a smooth and complex flavour.


RRP: £27.50 per case of 24 x 200ml glass bottles



Quenched Real Sodas


This is one for the vodka, lime and soda drinkers who are cutting down on the booze; the good news is, you don't need to overload on sugary cordial or have fresh limes on hand. You can drink it neat, or mix with an alcohol-free 'spirit' to layer the flavour.


Don't just take our word for it; the lime and soda is a Winner of a 2023 Great Taste Award.


RRP: £14.99 for 12x 330ml cans; £23.99 for 24x 330ml cans



Bird & Blend Tea Co. Cold Brew Teas


If you're swapping out the cocktails for a lower-calorie, healthier alternative, check out these delicious new Bird & Blend Tea Co. flavours: Pina Colada, Mojitea, Peach Soda and Sangria. They also do a stylish cold brew bottle great for creating alcohol-free drinks, with a built-in infuser filter for no fuss cold brewing: fill with a flavour of choice and leave in the fridge.


RRP: £6.30-£7.40; cold brew bottle £32.00



Spice Drops



A fabulous way to jazz up a soda or cocktail, these flavoured spice drops really pack a flavour punch. With over 30 varieties of highly concentrated extracts of herbs, spices, fruits and flowers, every 5ml bottle contains around 150 drops, each one of which can transform a boring carbonated drink into something special. We particularly like the cardamom and the orange - which, by the way, would be an amazing addition to a Negroni in February.


RRP: £5.50


Mixologist's Garden Garnishes


One of the issues that can derail your Dry Jan plans is that soft drinks can seem to lack the glamour and effort of cocktails. Freeze-dried to capture 100% of the fruits’ flavour and appearance, Mixologist’s Garden garnishes rehydrate, providing the ultimate at-home bar hack for jazzing up mocktails and soft drinks without having to buy, store and prepare (and potentially waste) fresh ingredients.  


RRP: £2.75 per 10g pouch

Available in selected Asda and Co-op stores



Sea Change Alcohol-Free Sparkling Wine


Sea Change supports marine conservation charities with every bottle sold, including their sparkling alcohol-free option. A specialised production process maintains the grapes at four degrees which prevents fermentation and creates a crisp, balanced alternative to their other wines, with no artificial additives or colouring.


RRP: £10.99



Chouffe Alcohol-Free Beer


Chouffe Alcohol Free is a refreshing brew with hints of spices and fruity notes unique to the Chouffe portfolio. Unlike other beers, Chouffe Alcohol Free is brewed with a special type of yeast that does not turn sugars into alcohol during fermentation, so the alcohol content stays below 0.4%.


RRP: £1.80 for a 330ml bottle



MOMO X Orbit Beers Hops Kombucha 


Editor's Pick

MOMO X Orbit Beers Hops Kombucha is made with Hallertau Blanc and Nelson Sauvin hops that provide tropical fruit and gooseberry flavours, rounded out with a tart kombucha hit. Hops have a complex flavour profile with both citrus and herbal notes, making them a great match for a fully fermented tart kombucha like MOMO’s; the taste starts off as a punchy kombucha and ends like a mellow beer. This is a great non-alcoholic option for the beer drinkers out there.


RRP: £4.50 per 330ml glass bottle; £26.50 for a 6 pack; £45.00 for a 12 pack






[Items in this article may have been gifted to Chatting Food. No financial payment has been made to feature in this article, and entries to the feature are made independently by members of the Editorial Team. This page contains affiliate links and we may receive a small commission for purchases]


Deputy Editor, Chatting Food London: Amanda David

Amanda David is a freelance food writer specialising in London’s restaurants, bars, exhibitions and events. She is the Events Editor and a contributing writer for London Cheapo and a regular contributor to Palate Magazine.


Follow Amanda at:

Instagram: @LondonGAT




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