Alcohol-free drinks have skyrocketed in popularity recently. But you can forget the tired-looking cans of 'alcohol-free' lagers and tepid, weird-tasting wines of yesteryear. There's an alcohol-free revolution brewing that has turned the drinks industry on its head.
From mood-boosting botanicals and tasty brews to authentic tasting wines and spirits, the alcohol-free drinks market is exploding with delicious alternatives to traditional alcoholic drinks. And here at Zero.Zilch.Zip, we're leading the way to bring you our hand-picked curated list of the best alcohol-free drinks available.
Our alcohol-free adventurer and dedicated Zerologist James says it best: "It just didn't feel right that there wasn't a suitable choice for people who didn't always want to drink alcohol. We spent nearly two years researching and developing alcohol-free drinks to create the world's finest list."
So why not join us in the great alcohol-free revolution!
What is an alcohol-free drink?
Did you know that an alcohol-free drink may actually contain alcohol! Sounds crazy, right? In the UK any drink with less than 0.05% alcohol by volume (ABV) is classed as alcohol-free, while in Europe an alcohol-free drink can have up to 0.5% ABV.
Is there any need to worry about this tiniest amount of alcohol? OK, here's the science bit... this is allowed because your body processes that titchy quantity of alcohol as quickly as you can drink it. And, there are small amounts of alcohol in many of the foods we eat on a daily basis, particularly those produced using ethanol fermentation, such as bread made from yeast and soy sauce.
For example, some burger rolls have up to 1.3% ABV and a ripe banana can have up to 0.4% ABV. So, with the tiny amounts of alcohol in the drinks we sell you'll never feel the effect or get tipsy – no matter how hard you try!
Why choose alcohol-free drinks
There are lots of good reasons to reduce the amount of alcohol we drink. Not only can it reduce the risk of serious illnesses such as cancer, it can also improve sleep quality and boost energy levels. Other benefits of ditching booze can include:
- Better gut health – less bloating, stomach pain, and acid reflux.
- Weight loss because of lower calorie intake compared to alcohol.
- Better absorption of vitamins and minerals via a non alcohol-damaged gut lining.
- Improved mood, alertness and focus.
- Better skin health.
All sounds pretty good, right?
So, if you're looking to stay off alcohol, there are plenty of alternative drinks to try – and many have been created to emulate the flavour and taste of alcoholic drinks. Spirits, wines, lagers, IPAs, sparkling wines – all these traditional alcohol drinks can be made as alcohol-free versions.
Who's drinking alcohol-free drinks?
According to Alcohol Change UK, one in four of those who drink alcohol are looking to cut down on their drinking and millions of adults in the UK plan to ditch alcohol completely in the New Year as part of their Dry January campaign.
\There are plenty of reasons why people stop drinking alcohol, but one thing is certain – you don't need a specific reason to enjoy a healthy alcohol-free beverage instead.
So, the simple answer to who is drinking alcohol-free drinks is… everyone!
But here are a few pioneers who may encourage you to join in the AF revolution.
Millennials and Gen Z – Young people are drinking less alcohol than ever before. According to the Health Survey for England (HSE), those in the 16-24-year-old age group had the third-lowest intake of the NHS maximum of +14 units of alcohol per week. Alcohol-free wines, beers or spirits means you can enjoy the social element of drinking without the booze downsides.
The healthy lifestylers – The popularity of healthier lifestyles has taken off over the last few years and many people are on a mission to make better choices for their physical and mental health. Along with eating a healthier, often plant-based diet, opting for alcohol-free drinks means making small changes for big, long-term benefits.
The fighting fit – Gym goers, athletes and fitness fans are all about feeling in tip-top physical condition. This means they're super vigilant regarding what they put in their bodies. Alcohol has a detrimental effect on physical and mental performance; it doesn't care how fit you are. For those who want to be at their peak fittest, alcohol is an anchor that needs to be cast adrift.
When can you drink alcohol-free drinks?
One of the best things about alcohol-free drinks is that you can drink them whenever you like. But, if you want to view them like alcohol and make them kind of a treat, here's a few of the best times to indulge.
Girls' night doesn't have to mean complaining about your hangover on group chat the next morning.
The alcohol-free drinks market goes waaay beyond alcohol-free beer. There's alcohol-free gin and wines that fit the vibes of girls' night. If you're feeling fancy, mix them with juices, tonic and sodas to create delicious alcohol-free mocktails.
Events like New Year's Eve, Christmas Day, and birthdays have become synonymous with alcohol. But for those who don't like to, or don't want to, drink alcohol, these occasions can be tricky to get through.
Alcohol-free sparkling wines and brews are the perfect alternatives. We think Thomson & Scott's Noughty Chardonnay alcohol-free Champagne-style sparkling wine goes down during the New Year's countdown the best.
If you're planning the perfect dinner party or date, you'll want drinks that will pair well with whatever is on the menu and enhance the evening. Today's alcohol-free wines won't let you down. Try our DC Sauvignon Blanc <0.5% – great with seafood – or our José Maria Da Fonesca Syrah 0.5%, full of rich, plummy fruit flavours.
Besides your friends, there's no better buddy for watching sports at home than a cold beer. But if your attention's on the game, it can be easy to lose track of how much alcohol you're drinking.
For many, Friday night means relaxing on the sofa with a drink in hand and a boxset on the TV. But why mess up the perfect start to the weekend with a hangover the next day.
What's the best thing about alcohol-free drinks?
And what's great about all these recommendations? You can get them all in one place. We've curated a selection of the most interesting, versatile, and delicious AF drinks online, offering everything from kombuchas to IPAs, spirits to sparkling wines. Whatever you're in the mood for, we've got you covered.