There are tonnes of reasons why you might give up drinking alcohol: pregnancy, to lose weight, because alcohol doesn’t mix well with the medication you’re taking… the list goes on. For me, my decision to cut down on the amount of alcohol I drink (it’s worth noting here that I’m certainly not *totally* sober… just more so than I used to be) was down to my mental health.
I don’t mind admitting that my relationship with alcohol has always been reminiscent of a rollercoaster. Three gins down and I absolutely love the stuff, but the morning after one too many bevs and I’m riddled with seriously bad anxiety. My hangovers aren’t just headaches: they come hand-in-hand with shaking, heart palpitations and severe panic attacks. The HANGXIETY is real… and that’s before we even consider the dwindling of my productivity post-BNO, and a major increase in brain fog.
I’ve learnt that, for the above reasons, I should save drinking for those special occasions and celebrations when I really, genuinely want to. If it’s just a Tuesday night and I fancy a wine to wave goodbye to a stressful day at the home office, for me, drinking simply isn’t worth it.
So, when the rest of the country went into lockdown and ordered wine in bulk, I decided to cut down on my intake. I’d still have the odd glass of Prosecco here and a G&T there, but binge drinking? Drinking for the sake of it? Drinking to curb stress? Nope. Not for me. No. Thank. You.
I’m not the only one considering going sober or cutting down on the number of glasses of vino they drink. In fact, 2019’s Dry January enjoyed over 4.2 million participants, while 38% of the population went sober at the start of 2020. Turning sober is, for many, like going vegan or shopping more sustainably. Just something that the conscious, wellness-obsessed generation that we’re a part of are eager to glamorise.
That’s great, but in my quest to cut down on booze, I encountered one HUGE stumbling block. I’m not a fan of fizzy drinks, so when I picnicked in the park with my friends or took part in a Zoom quiz (RIP), I didn’t really fancy myself a Diet Coke or OJ. And due to the (unnecessary and hopefully decreasing) stigma that comes from being sober, it’s nice to feel included and drink something that resembles alcohol.
Plus, that “I-really-could-do-with-a-drink” craving never really went.
I realised that whether you’re trying to cut down on your alcohol intake for the sake of your mental health, you’re just trying to be healthier or you’re simply taking part in Sober October to raise money for charity, getting clued up on the best non-alcoholic drinks and alcohol-free tipples is PARAMOUNT. Particularly if you actually want to stick to your goals. Alcohol-free tipples are there for when you’re in certain moods, to kick cravings to the curb and fill the void left in your heart. Plus, they actually taste pretty great.
Numerous drinks companies are jumping on the back of the nation’s thirst for sobriety. The world’s largest drinks brand, Diageo, bought out the world’s first distilled non-alcoholic spirit, Seedlip, while the likes of Heineken and Budweiser have released low-alcohol iterations of their best sellers. Even Made in Chelsea’s Spencer Matthews released a non-alcoholic gin earlier this year. Yes, really.
With that in mind, we took it upon ourselves to try and test the very best alcohol free drinks on the market – of which there are now many. There are alcohol-free wines, alcohol-free beers and non-alcoholic gins that taste just as good as the real thing. And just when you thought you’d have to nip that Prosecco-sipping habit in the bud, Nosecco came along and answered all our prayers.