This summer, when you’re refueling the bar for your summer parties, you may want to think of something new: soft drinks, asis in full swing. Whether you’ve researched it yourself or not, you probably know someone who has done it. More and more people are turning to soft or low-alcohol beverages.
Why do more adults sober up or The dry challenge, there are various reasons why people say no to alcohol. “There are health benefits such as better sleep, better digestion, more energy and weight loss … and some people are sick and tired of hangovers,” she said. Scheinbaum points out that there is a lot of research to support dangers of drinkingand millennials and Generation Z have adopted a lifestyle that is more health-conscious (and less drunk).taking over? According to Hillary Scheinbaum, journalist and author of
If you or a loved one is one of the many people who started alcohol this year – or even if you’re just going to be the right driver for the next party – you’ll be glad to know that there are a variety of soft beers, wines and spirits that have the taste profiles of your favorite alcohol-based drinks without noise. I researched and personally tested the taste of over 10 of these non-alcoholic brands and delved deeply into customer reviews to decide which taste was best and closest to the real thing.
Athletic Brewing Company, a Connecticut-based brewing company that specializes in soft craft beer, sent me three selections to try: Run Wild IPA, Free Wave Hazy IPA and Upside Dawn Golden Ale. The brewery also has its own stable beer and other beers of limited series. To develop its non-alcoholic beer, Athletic Brewing uses only four ingredients: water, hops, yeast and barley. They also keep the volume of alcohol or ABV below 0.5% to meet the qualifications for non-alcoholic beer.
To my great surprise, Run Wild IPA and Free Wave Hazy IPA taste just like a traditional alcoholic IPA and have enough carbonation to pass for one. The Upside Down Golden Ale is the only version of the three that is gluten-free, but has the least fizzy taste and a little darker than I prefer. I had friends brewing their own beer, judging this, and they found that Athletic was a solid choice for a non-alcoholic IPA. I would recommend Athletic Brewing Company as a solid substitute for those who love IPA but are trying to reduce alcohol intake.
If you drink sparkling wine and are looking for a substitute for non-alcoholic wine, Semblance is about to become your favorite. Semblance is made from Chardonnay grapes from California and has a fresh, dry taste profile that resembles sparkling wine almost to T. It comes packaged in a shiny green bottle filled with a cork sealed in gold foil. I was so impressed with the performance and the taste that I wouldn’t know the difference between the Semblance version and a real Chardonnay glass. This sparkling drink will surely please the crowd.
I was impressed with the packaging of Free Spirits because they deceptively look like real bottles of bourbon, tequila or gin. Even more surprising is how realistic the gin and bourbon smelled when opening the bottles. Bourbon, my favorite selection of the three, had flavors and elements of real alcohol (such as the smooth aroma of oak combined with vanilla and other spices).
Free Spirits follows a process called distillate reconstruction, which involves identifying the unique flavors and raw materials of each alcohol and then distilling those materials into natural extracts and plant products. The brand also infuses its non-alcoholic spirits with B vitamins and amino acids to help you improve your mood and make your drinks more nutritious. Free spirits can be served on their own or mixed with your favorite cocktail.
DRY Botanical Bubbly Reserve is marketed as a carbonated beverage company that also produces soft drinks. Carbonated drinks are available in cans, while non-alcoholic wines are packaged in standard bottles and are served with pineapple and cranberry flavors. The brand also has non-alcoholic botanical bitter products (aromatic, bright / herbal, sweet and spicy) that can be used in your cocktails.
I managed to try the DRY non-alcoholic botanical bitters and they were a pleasant surprise. My favorite was the bright / herbal taste, which was refreshing and delicious in itself. Reviewers are also big fans of the bitters and the Vanilla Bubbly Reserve. Some compare the vanilla soft drink to the less sugary version of Coca-Cola. DRY drinks are decent alternatives that can be mixed with cocktails or enjoyed on your own.
If you like the dark and storms, you will enjoy Lyre’s Dark ‘N Spicy Premix Drinks. This drink comes in a red 8-ounce box and maintains its carbonation while you drink it. Well-balanced flavors are a mix of ginger, lime juice, sugar cane and spices. This drink was refreshing and not too sweet and definitely tasted like a real cocktail.
I’m not a big fan of beer, but I found that I like classic seasonal beer Samuel Adams. With that in mind, I was impressed by the non-alcoholic IPA beer Samuel Adams Just the Haze, which was launched last year. It took two years to perfect Sam Adams’ non-alcoholic IPA recipe.
The flavors that make up Just the Haze include a full-bodied citrus drink such as grapefruit, mandarin and lime, and fruity notes of pineapple, guava, melon and peach.
It was one of the best soft drinks I’ve ever tasted. Sam Adams Just the Haze is a drink that IPA lovers and those who do not usually drink beer can enjoy equally. The best part is that you don’t have to worry about noise after a few.
After looking at the Three Spirit bottles, I was captivated by the design and the elegant, enchanting style. These soft drinks have been developed by plant scientists, bartenders, herbalists and artists and you can definitely see every influence. The three different spirits available are called Livener, Social Elixir and Nightcap. When I tried them, I couldn’t determine what they reminded me of because I had never tried anything like it. Each is unique in its own way and has different taste profiles.
Livener is caffeinated and is the most invigorating of the three, consisting of green tea, guaia, watermelon and berries. Social Elixir is a darker, bittersweet blend consisting of passionflower, yerba mate, cocoa, molasses and other spices. Nightcap is designed to soothe you and has valerian root, Canadian maple syrup and lemon balm, among other herbs.
They are best used as mixers to complement other cocktails or can be consumed alone on ice. Reviewers seem to prefer Nightcap in general because of its mild taste and because it relaxes them – perfect for relaxing at the end of a long day.
Sovi is a sommelier-owned soft drink company that has created its own sparkling rose and red blend. The red blend consists of several Spanish and French grape varieties in California. The rosette is dry but bubbly and maintains carbonation, which is key to soft drinks. The red blend is a dry full red wine and has hints of cherry, grapefruit and watermelon. These drinks didn’t arrive in time to try, but reviewers love this alternative to wine for both taste and realism. A sommelier even relies on these soft wines (among other drinks) during her pregnancy.
Take a brewery
Partake Brewing non-alcoholic beers are available in IPA, Dark Ale, Blonde Ale, Pale Ale and Red Ale. Beers are composed of 0.3% ABV and depending on the drink can be up to 10 calories. I tried IPA, Red Ale and Blonde Ale and all three really looked like the alcoholic versions that inspired them, but with less body and carbonation. My favorite was Blonde ale – ideal for someone who loves light beer, but wants a non-alcoholic version without overdoing it.
Lagunitas, best known for its IPAs, has its own line of non-alcoholic beers that are sure to appeal to sober and curious beer lovers, including Hoppy Refresher and IPNA.
Hoppy Refresher is clear and sparkling and is prepared with the help of zither hop, equinox and hundred-year-old hops and has a fruity taste. This reminded me of a sweeter but refreshing aromatic celery that can be used alone or mixed in non-alcoholic cocktails.
IPNA consists of the same ingredients included in the original IPA of Lagunitas. Its ingredients include dried hops, mosaic and zither, and its taste profile has hints of citrus and pine. It has less than 0.5% ABV and tastes just like a traditional IPA – meaning Lagunitas stayed true to its original product but missed most of the alcohol. If you are already a fan of Lagunitas, you will appreciate this non-alcoholic substitute.
The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended for health or medical advice. Always consult a doctor or other qualified medical professional about any questions you may have about your medical condition or health goals.