Dry July is here again. The event aims to raise money for cancer patients, their families and carers through participants giving up alcohol for the month. Even if you’re not signed up but still keen to cut back on booze, it can leave you wondering: what to drink instead?
Well, we’ve rounded up a selection of low and alcohol-free drinks, from beer and wine, to spirits and cocktails.
Now, to be fair, you shouldn’t expect any alcohol-free version of beer, wine or spirits to taste exactly like the boozy version. That’s not the point here. It’s all about giving people options and often helping non-drinkers feel more comfortable at social gatherings.
Here are the go-to drinks for Dry July
Big Drop Brewing Co. Galactic Milk Stout
I absolutely love stout beer, especially milk stouts. This one is a goodie. It’s just 0.5% alcohol (which is about the same as kombucha). It’s a beautiful dark colour and you can definitely smell the chocolate notes. When you pour it into a glass it doesn’t have that thick head on it that you get with a classic stout. The bubbles look more like cola. It’s not at thick as a Guinness, but it’s very easy to drink and would be a great for BBQs.
Monday Distillery Dark & Stormy
Wow! There is a definite ginger kick here. It’s the lime flavour that hits you first, then that fades away and the ginger just hits you. It’s not as smooth as a classic dark and stormy made with rum. You only get a slight hint of the rum spices in this alcohol and sugar-free number. It’s a great match for my veggie curry though, and perfect for the cooler weather during Dry July.
Plus & Minus Pinot Noir 2020
I’m the first to admit I’m a bit of a lush — I love a good wine. But I’d never tried alcohol-free wine before. This pinot noir tingles on the tongue at the first sip. It reminds me of Ribena. There’s a hint of vinegar in there too. Didn’t stop me from drinking it, mind you. The bottle looks just like a regular pinot noir — the label is minimalist cool — so if you’re going to a party and not wanting to answer, yet again, why you’re not drinking, this is a great option.
Brunswick Aces Spades Sapiir
We’ve mentioned this drop before — Brunswick Aces set up Australia’s first bar geared entirely to non-drinkers. It’s been such a hit that their online store has expanded massively, and this sapiir — aka alcohol-free gin — is a mainstay. While it doesn’t have the hit you get with actual gin, it still makes a decent G&T, the perfect way to celebrate Dry July.
The Hills Cider Company Virgin Apple Cider
This one would make for a pretty perfect summer sipping situation. It’s a little on the sweeter side, but has a crisp apple flavour and is refreshing on the palette. Honestly, this cider is pretty comparable to some of the sweeter alcoholic varieties. Easy drinking, indeed. You can pick up The Hills Cider Company at Dan Murphy’s.
Freixenet Alcohol Free Sparkling Rosé
If you ever sipped on sparkling grape juice as a kid, this will take you right back. The drop is very sweet and particularly fruit-forward. Expect a lot of berry flavours in this alcohol-free sparkling rosé. It’s not my jam, full disclosure, but it’s a nice option for folks who want to pop a bottle and celebrate with something bubbly.
According to new reports from Dan Murphy’s and BWS, non-alcoholic drink sales have increased by 83% in the past 12 months. A lot of growth has been seen in the beer and wine space, in particular. Check out the full list of non and low-alcohol drinks from Dan Murphy’s here.
Got any suggestions for tasty alcohol-free drinks? Let us know!