Is it really the best time to go dry, during lockdown, in the middle of Winter, really? Surely, there`s no better time to enjoy a hearty soul-warming red wine with the beef casserole; or a golden, creamy-rich white wine, with the fish pie. It`s a good idea to introduce a degree of abstinence, of course, a day or two at the beginning of the week, maybe. I am told our livers benefit from such breaks. But all of January? Anyway, here is my “Top Five” favourite alcohol-free tipples, to help you get through your dry days:
At number 1, Big Tom. The tomato-based drink with a royal warrant is still going strong, and it`s worth mentioning it is gluten free with no preservatives and is suitable for vegetarians. What I like most about Big Tom is that it has a great spicy kick. Ingredients include twenty-two spices, Worcestershire Sauce, celery, and mustard. Who needs a Bloody Mary when you have Big Tom?
At number 2 is Bundaberg Ginger Beer, another fabulous alcohol-free drink with plenty of welly. Using real ginger from Queensland`s Bundaberg region of Australia, this is proper, traditional, cloudy ginger beer, and I love it. The Real McCoy of ginger beers, which, another time, when you are drinking alcohol, makes for the perfect Moscow Mule.
At number 3, Brooklyn Special Effects. Probably the best alcohol-free beer on the market. Technically there is 0.4% alcohol by volume in this beer [in America a beer under 0.5% is labelled Alcohol-free]. It is a hoppy lager with malt, pine and citrus flavours, and a bitter finish.
At number 4, Scotland`s Braes o Gowrie Elderflower sparkling non-alcoholic drink, by Cairn O Mohr, is an alternative to sparkling wine, super-refreshing and dry. Too many of these types are sweet and sickly. This one regularly wins The Great Taste Awards in its category.
At number 5 is J. Lohr`s Ariel Cabernet Sauvignon, a gold-medal winning de-alcoholised red wine, all the way from sunny California. Contains less than 0.5% alcohol and is brimming with blackcurrants, cherries, chocolate, and vanilla.