A list of 5 of the best no/low alcohol drinks and yes, there are some low carb and keto friendly tipples!
To drink or not to drink
I love a chilled glass of Sauvignon blanc, or a gin and tonic with plenty of ice and lemon - large glass please! However due to the fact that we live off the beaten track as far as decent public transport is concerned I often have to drive so frequently drink non-alcoholic drinks when I go out.
Normally the drink offerings for non drinkers are either mineral water, orange juice or something like elderflower presse or fizzy soft drinks. The problem is that I absolutely hate sickly sweet soft drinks and I try and avoid sugar where possible so I usually end up just drinking water for the evening, which can be quite boring!
Over the years I started to take my own drinks to parties
Over the years I got so fed up with the non-alcoholic drink offerings at social gatherings that I started taking my own drinks to parties. It felt a bit rude at first but no-one seemed to mind and I enjoyed myself far more with a decent tasting drink.
As time went on I found more and more people I knew were also opting for no-alcohol or low alcohol drinks. Some were doing it for health reasons, some were trying to lose weight and some just didn't want to drink that night. Most of them were totally fed up with drinking sweet, fizzy drinks but knew nothing about some of the great non-alcoholic drinks that are out there and on more than one occasion I have ended up giving one of my bottles to someone else at a party!
My top 5 no or low alcohol drinks
So here is a list of my favourite 5 no or low alcohol drinks (in no particular order). I have given the ingredients and nutritional information for each too and you will see how some of them are perfectly acceptable if you follow low carb or keto eating as well!
1 Alcohol free organic vegan sparkling Chardonnay
Thomson & Scott - £8.99 for 750ml bottle
It never ceases to amaze me that man has the technology to put people on the moon and yet seems incapable of formulating a decent no/low alcohol wine. I have tried so many and basically I would be hard pressed to tell the difference between them and a soft drink or grape juice in a blind tasting. They are overly sweet and have no depth to them.
I had just about given up on the non alcoholic wine front when I saw a sparkling Chardonnay from Thomson & Scott and decided to give it a go. It was so good I could hardly tell it was alcohol free and a friend commented that she would be perfectly happy drinking it at a social event.
This sparkling Chardonnay from vineyards in Southern Spain is quite dry, and I think the only thing I would say is that it is a tiny bit more bubby than your average sparking wine, but it is hardly noticeable. It has a great taste and is best served cold. For those of you trying to cut your sugar intake the news is also good, just 3.6g of sugar per 125ml glass, which is almost half the sugar content of other non-alcoholic sparkling wine and a mere 17.5 kcal per 125ml glass.
This drink is a firm favourite of mine, especially as it is 100% organic (no pesticides or animal by-products) and I really don't feel like I am missing out at all. A big thumbs up too to Thomson & Scott for being one of the few companies that is transparent about what goes into their wine by actually put their ingredients on the bottle. There can be over 200 ingredients in a bottle of wine which is how wine makers have avoided having to put them on the labels, and is one of the reasons why you can have a banging headache from one glass of wine and nothing from three glasses of another and not be able to tell if it was something like an additive you drank in your wine.
Ingredients: alcohol free organic Chardonnay, organic sugar, carbon dioxide, preservative: sulphur dioxide
Nutrition: typical values per 100ml - energy 62KJ/14Kcal, fat 0g of which saturates 0g, carbohydrates 2.9g or which sugars 2.9g, protein 0g, salt <0.1g.
Available online from Thomson & Scott or Amazon.
2 Seedlip distilled non alcoholic spirit - Spice 94 Aromatic
Seedlip Ltd - £20.94 for 700ml bottle
Sometimes you just feel like a gin and tonic but circumstances mean that you can't drink any alcohol. The answer here my friends is Seedlip distilled non alcoholic spirit in Spice 94 aromatic! This completely alcohol free spirit is distilled in copper pots and has no sugar and no sweetener.
There are three versions of Seedlip, Spice 94 aromatic, Grove 42 citrus and Garden 108. I think that the Spice 94 is the closest taste to gin with the recipe including Jamaican allspice berry and cardamom. It has a good dry taste with American oak & cascarilla bark giving it a slightly bitter tang with a slightly refreshing note coming from the addition of grapefruit and lemon peel.
Ingredients: water, natural botanical distillates and extracts (15%), Preservative: potassium sorbate, Acid: citric acid
Nutrition per 50ml measure: energy 0kj/0kcal, fat 0g of which saturates 0g, carbohydrates 0g of which sugars 0g, protein 0g, salt 0g
Perfect for keto or low carb lifestyles but be careful what sort of mixer you have with it, some are very high carb.
The best way to serve Seedlip Spice 94
You can serve Seedlip at room temperature. A measure of the drink is 50ml, which is two double measures. Make sure you do measure 50ml into your glass to get the full taste experience.
Just pour the Seedlip over ice and add tonic. I personally prefer to use a tonic that has been in the fridge but it is not necessary. You can use any tonic but if you want to stick to the low carb or keto drinking then use Skinny Tonic Indian which is a botanical blend of Sicilian lemon, bitter orange and thyme and which I think perfectly compliments the Seedlip Spice 94. Skinny Tonic Indian has no sugar and uses Stevia extract as a sweetener. Skinny Tonic Indian is £12.75 for 24 x 150ml cans.
Skinny Tonic Indian ingredients: carbonated spring water, citric acid, natural flavouring, natural quinine, natural sweetener (stevia extract)
Skinny Tonic nutrition per 100ml: energy 10kj/2kcal, fat 0g of which saturates 0g, carbohydrates 0g or which sugars 0g, protein 0g, salt 0g
Skinny tonic is available online from skinnytonic.com or from Amazon.
3 San Miguel 0.0% Alcohol Free Lager
Carlsberg UK - £12 for 12 x 330ml bottles
Occasionally I quite like a San Miguel. I have tried many no or low alcohol lagers and they either taste disgusting or are so fizzy I end up with a terrifically bloated stomach after just one bottle - not what you want in your party pants!
San Miguel is slightly different in that it is completely alcohol free (unlike some beers which are just lower in alcohol) so you can drink to your heart's content and it actually tastes quite good with a bit of a bite.
Not the same as the alcoholic version I grant you but I gave a bottle of this to someone at a party who was drinking alcoholic San Miguel but who had decided to stay longer but were driving and they were very impressed! It is not overly gassy and I think this is one of the best out there. Best served well chilled.
Ingredients: water, barley malt, hops, flavouring
Nutritional per 100ml: energy 102kj/24kcal, fat 0g of which saturates 0g, carbohydrates 5.6g of which sugars 1.7g, protein 0.3g, salt 0.01g
With approximately 18.48g of carbohydrates and 5.61g of sugars per bottle this may not make the drinks list for committed low carb and keto eating plan followers but it certainly hits the spot if you are looking for a non alcoholic beer.
Available from most supermarkets.
4 Everleaf Forest non alcoholic bittersweet aperitif
London Botanical Drinks - £18 for 500ml bottle
If you are looking for a dry and unusual taste you can't get better than Everleaf Forest and tonic.
Everleaf Forest is sourced from 18 of the world's finest and sustainably sourced botanicals and has a wonderfully unusual yet natural taste.
I have tried a lot of non alcoholic spirits and this is really good. Unlike many others Everleaf Forest tastes of bitter orange with a hint of vanilla, but not the sickly sweet vanilla, a dark grown up version. The mix includes saffron, gentian, orange blossom, voodoo lily and Madagascan vanilla. Serve 50ml of Everleaf Forest over ice with tonic.
Ingredients: water, fair trade organic cane sugar, acacia gum, konjac, natural distillates and extracts, preservatives: potassium sorbate, sodium benzoate, acids: citric acid, malic acid, trisodium citrate. May contain sulphites
Nutrion per 100ml (2 servings): energy 214kj/51kcal, carbohydrates 12.6g of which 12g sugars. Contains a negligible amount of fat, saturates, protein and salt.
If you are low carb or keto you may want to watch how much you drink of this because of the sugar content, but it is an absolutely fantastic drink if you are looking for a grown up non alcoholic drink.
Available online from Everleaf or Amazon.
5 Low Alcohol Gin & Tonic
Tesco - £3 for 4 x 250ml cans
If you are going on a picnic or maybe to a party and you don't want to take large bottles with you then a pack of 4 low alcohol G&T from Tesco should do the trick nicely. Not as good as Seedlip and Tonic but at £3 for 4 cans they are excellent value for money.
Surprisingly the drink is brewed in small batches and copper pot distilled and certainly gives a good impression of gin with the aromatic flavour of some classic gin botanicals such as juniper berries, citrus peels and angelica coming through well and I always have a few of these in the fridge. Serve well chilled with ice and lemon.
Ingredients: carbonated water, flavourings, citric acid, acidity regulator (trisodium citrate), sweeteners (Aspartame, Acesulfame K), preservative: potassium sorbate, quinine hydrochloride
Nutrition per 250ml can: energy 50kj/12kcal, fat 0g of which saturates 0g, carbohydrates 0g of which sugars 0g, fibre 0g, protein <0.1g salt 0.1g
Alcohol: <0.5% vol
Great for low carb or keto lifestyles.
With any of the above drinks that use ice it is a good idea to use stainless steel reusable ice cubes then you don't get your drink watered down and it stays colder for longer.
Try Hanwell Reusable Chilling Rocks from Amazon, set of 8 stainless steel cubes plus stainless steel tongs and plastic storage tray for £17.99.
So there you have it - the round-up of my 5 favourite no or low alcohol drinks and the perfect selection if you are going to give Dry January a go!
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