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9 of the best alcohol-free and low alcohol drinks

The non-alcoholic drinks to see you through Sober October and beyond

dry january alcohol free drinks
Kate Thomas
Kate ThomasLifestyle Managing Editor
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Are you trying to take a break from the booze for Sober October, but don't know where to start? Fear not because the alcohol-free and low alcohol drink market has never been so tempting.

There are dozens of amazing options available if you enjoy sipping on a cold beverage, but want to banish the hangovers from hell, negative effects on your mental health and consuming endless calories. Read on to discover the health benefits of ditching alcohol and some of the best drinks around, from low-alcohol beer to alcohol-free wine, not to mention delicious mocktails.

How we chose the best no and low alcohol drinks

  • Trusted brands: The no and low drinks market is thriving so it can be hard to know where to look. From well-loved labels to drinks getting lots of online hype, we think these are the best out there right now. 
  • Price-quality relationship: You might be surprised to find that no and low alcohol beverages are more expensive than you expected! That's why we've chosen the best deals around including money-saving bundles from Amazon and discounted options. As for the drinks at a higher price point, we reckon they are worth the extra cash.

What are the benefits of cutting back on drinking?

Navin Khosla, Pharmacist at Now Patient has shared 5 benefits of taking part in Sober October.

  • Strengthened Immune System: The body needs a variety of ‘good’ bacteria in its intestine to allow the immune system to work effectively. However, alcohol can impact the number and variety of these bacteria, resulting in a weaker immune system. Therefore, abstaining from alcohol consumption can help rebuild these levels.
  • Weight loss: Excessive alcohol consumption can put a strain on your liver, impacting basic functions such as metabolism which can make it difficult to lose weight and can slow weight loss considerably. However, alcohol can be classed as a source of ‘empty calories’, since it is extremely calorific but provides little nutrients, so removing these unnecessary calories from your diet can help accelerate weight loss. Alcohol has also been linked to hunger and cravings, therefore resulting in calorific foods making their way into your diet.
  • Better Mental Health: Alcohol can slow down how your brain processes information, often creating false emotions and reactions which can further lead to negative thoughts and feelings. The way alcohol causes chemical changes in your brain can lead to greater periods of anxiety and low mood. Cutting out alcohol will likely help lift your mood in the long run, it may take a few weeks for you to feel the effects but once your mind and body are used to being alcohol-free, you will feel these positive changes.
  • Clear Skin: Alcohol can instigate blood flow to the tissues, leading to inflamed skin and blotchiness. This, combined with the dehydration caused by alcohol consumption, can lead to dry, blotchy skin with an increased likelihood of acne breakouts due to the body trying to cleanse itself of the chemicals. Cutting out alcohol will likely leave you with clearer skin, be sure to stay hydrated and maintain a good diet to maintain your glowy skin.
  • Motivation & Productivity: Going out drinking and the after-effects of these activities can really stunt productivity (we've all been there!). With late nights and hangovers often accompanying a trip to the bar. Therefore, abstaining from drinking alcohol will likely result in better nights of sleep as well as greater levels of productivity throughout the day.

dry january no low alcohol© Istock
Ban the booze with these zero and low-alcohol alternatives

How we chose the best no and low alcohol drinks

  • Trusted brands: The no and low drinks market is thriving so it can be hard to know where to look. From well-loved labels to drinks getting lots of online hype, we think these are the best out there right now. 
  • Price-quality relationship: You might be surprised to find that no and low alcohol beverages are more expensive than you expected! That's why we've chosen the best deals around including money-saving bundles from Amazon and discounted options. As for the drinks at a higher price point, we reckon they are worth the extra cash.

Why you should trust me

I love nothing more than a glass of wine to unwind after a busy day or a bottomless brunch with friends. But in recent years, I've been plagued by crippling hangovers that have impacted my quality of life. Enough was finally enough and I've now changed my drinking habits, opting for a low-alcohol beer or gin alternative in the week. I'm finding my sleep is more restful, my skin is better and I can get up at 6am for spin class! I also reached out to my HELLO! colleagues for their opinion. From heavily pregnant Homes Editor Rachel Avery, who has been searching for the perfect prosecco alternative, to the ever-sociable social team, who love nothing more than a night out, we've found the below drinks pack the same punch as the real deal.

The best no and low alcohol drinks

  • No Alcohol Beer

    Peroni Libera 0.0 per cent no alcohol beer © Peroni

    Peroni Libera 0.0%

    "Alcohol-free beers are my go-to drink as they taste so similar to the real thing. Bottled beer is always light and refreshing and this Peroni Libera 0.0% is so drinkable. I honestly couldn't tell the difference," says Kate Thomas, HELLO!'s Lifestyle Managing Editor.

    A sophisticated, light-bodied and refreshing offering, Peroni Libera 0.0%, is the perfect alternative if you're looking for a mid-week drink. It is triple-hopped and has been brewed with the same signature Nostrano dell’Isola Maize as the regular Peroni we all know and love.

  • Low Alcohol Beer

    Lucky Saint low alcohol beer option © Lucky Saint

    Lucky Saint

    Kate Thomas, HELLO!'s Lifestyle Managing Editor says: "This is hands down my favourite low alcohol option! My husband loves this so much that we bulk order it. It's a great after-work treat and I love the fact it's low calorie too, meaning you can have a couple and not worry about what you're consuming."

    Lucky Saint is renowned for being one of the best low alcohol beers around, recently earning a nod on Saturday Kitchen. With just 0.5 per cent alcohol and 53 calories per bottle, it's a great alternative to the real deal. You can shop it now on Amazon.

  • Low Alcohol Cider

    Wignac cidre low alcohol alternative 0.5 per cent © Wignac

    La Lady Squirrel Sans Alcool, 0.5%

    Mother-to-be Rachel says: "I love this! The only problem is that it tastes like fizzy apple juice, so it's hard to ration it." 

    Wignac cider is organic, totally natural and delicious French cider made in Champagne from 100 per cent Granny Smith apples. It comes in a large bottle format, which is perfect for a wine replacement if you're not drinking at a dinner party.

  • No alcohol white wine

    McGuigan Zero Chardonnay bottle alcohol free white wine© McGuigan

    McGuigan Zero Chardonnay

    HELLO's Homes Editor Rachel Avery says: "It's so hard to find decent tasting no alcohol wines, especially whites. This has become my go-to wine during my pregnancy. Granted, it's not as good as the real thing, but it's a pretty good substitute."

    A crisp and lightly oaked Chardonnay that still delivers on taste. Plus at £5 a bottle, it's not too badly priced! The McGuigan Zero range of wines uses spinning cone technology to gently remove alcohol after the fermentation process without compromising on flavor.

  • Low alcohol gin

    CleanCo Clean G pink gin alternative bottle Spencer Matthews© CleanCo

    Clean G Pink

    "I could drink this all day! It actually tastes better than the real deal - slightly sweeter and leaves a pleasant aftertaste in your mouth. I have recommended this to friends and family who are looking to cut down on drinking and have had positive responses. The only downside for me is the £16 price point," Kate says.

    CleanCo, the brainchild of Spencer Matthews, is hugely popular for a reason. They've recently introduced Clean G Pink, the ultimate non-alcoholic pink gin alternative which tastes every bit as delectable as it looks. Offering a lead note of strawberry with a pink peppercorn kick, this fruity combo is perfect served over ice with tonic, a wedge of lemon and fresh mint.

  • No alcohol botanical drink

    Pentire Botanical drink non alcoholic alternative© Pentire

    Pentire

    Kate says: "Ever since I discovered Pentire, I've kept a bottle in the house. If I feel like reaching for a G&T, I swap it for this with a slice of lemon and tonic water. It tastes really fresh and has a unique flavour - I especially like the Adrift one."

    Pentire is a refreshing and elegant non-alcoholic option. Choose between either Seaward (with notes of pink grapefruit) or Adrift (coastal, herbaceous and fresh). They are best enjoyed as a long drink; a 50ml measure over ice, with a light tonic or soda and garnished with pink grapefruit.

  • No alcohol rosé

    Black Tower Alcohol Free

    Arianna Chatzidakis, HELLO!’s Creative Content Director says: “Now it’s January I’m looking to detox after the busy Christmas period, and I’ve been enjoying the Black Tower Alcohol Free Rosé, which has a tasty strawberry and blackberry undertone."

    Black Tower is Germany's bestselling wine brand. Its new Alcohol Free range offers a light and refreshing taste with white and rosé versions. The medium sweet flavour offers aromas of strawberry and blackberry, and also makes a great base for non alcoholic cocktails such as a Lavender Rosé Lemonade. 

  • No alcohol cocktails

    Punchy drinks soft punch alcohol free cocktail mocktail in a can © Punchy

    Punchy mocktails

    "I find these the perfect alternative post-work. The flavours are really unique and live up to what they say on the tin. I've swapped a G&T for these and can live hangover free," says Kate.

    Punchy is a cocktail in a can with a difference. Forget traditional flavours like Pina Colada or Mojito, these drinks are both refreshing and exotic. Choose from flavours including spicy ginger and fragrant chai and cucumber with zingy yuzu.

  • No Alcohol Sparkling

    Belle & Co sparkling rose no alcohol wine alternative © Belle & Co

    Belle & Co. 0% Sparkling Rosé

    "I'm a big fan of Belle & Co's classic Brut so when I spotted they do a Rose version I just had to give it a go. A pretty pink drink that packs a fizzy punch. This will be what I'll be enjoying when I'm breastfeeding over the festive season!," Rachel says.

    Containing only naturally occurring sugars, Belle & Co. bubbles taste like wine and not like a soft drink. Plus, they're less than half the calories of a typical sparkling wine (22 kcal per 100ml) so you don't have to worry.

How many calories are in alcohol-free wine?

Generally speaking, the higher the alcohol content, the higher the calories. A 250ml glass of regular white wine contains around 190 kcal, while red is even higher at 228 kcal. Alcohol-free wine is a great low-calorie option, containing roughly 9 calories per glass, depending on the brand.

How many calories are in alcohol-free beer?

Alcohol-free beer is slightly higher in calories, but making the switch will make a big difference for your health. Beer usually contains between 180 and 250 kcal per pint whereas its alcohol-free counterpart comes in at around 50 to 80 calories for a 330ml bottle. The serving size is also crucial as no/low-alcohol beer is usually sold in smaller bottles rather than cans, encouraging you to be more mindful with your drinking.

READ: 9 best sobriety books to help you give up drinking for good

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