Mindful drinking: booze-free beverages to see you through the summer season

An honour to great matriarchs and the wines named after them this Women’s Day

Our tips on what to imbibe if you want to avoid the hangover 

The summer season is officially here—and with it back-to-back events and social occasions. As fun as this time of year can be, it can also put strain on our wellbeing and overall health; as we consume more alcoholic beverages than we would usually. Enter the phrase ‘mindful drinking’—a global trend fast gaining traction of choosing low and/or non-alcoholic drinks for health and social reasons.

The movement started by millennials aka ‘Generation Sober’ has seen a rise in the creation of inventive booze-free beverages. These teetotaling tipples include everything from de-alcoholised wine and coolers to spirit aperitifs. With this creative—and delicious array—you won’t be left feeling like a lame duck with a glass of soda water at your next party.

De-alcoholised wine

De-alcoholised wine is made traditionally with an additional phase right before bottling, where a spinning technique removes the alcohol. The spinning cone technology uses thin fill evaporation, created by the rotation of cones, and removal of aroma and alcohol using a vacuum process at low temperatures. After this, the essence aroma and flavour essence is added back to the de-alcoholised wine.

Leopard’s Leap Natura De-alcoholised Classic White and Classic Red wines, R65 (per bottle)

Natura is made from traditional wines from which the alcohol has been extracted to leave no more than 0.5% abv. The duo is made up from a white wine, which is a blend of chenin blanc and muscat as well as a red, a blend of cabernet sauvignon and cinsaut.

Van Loveren Almost Zero, R69.99 each.

Almost Zero has less than 0,4% alcohol. There are three in the range, Ravishing Rosé, Radiant Red and Wonderful White.

Lautus De-Alcoholised Wines, between R65 and R120

The Lautus range includes a white, rosé, red, and bubbly. Made using traditional winemaking methods and then de-alcoholised. There is less than 0.5% alcohol per volume.

Lautus Savvy White, R65

Made from cool-climate grapes for a crisp and refreshing profile.

Lautus Rosé, R65

 

All the berry flavours you’d expect from a rosé.

Lautus Savvy Red, R80

Red and black berry fruit flavours with a touch of oak.

Lautus Sparkling, R120

No need to miss out on the bubbles if you’re avoiding alcohol… Try this sparkling sauvignon blanc.

Spirited away: non-alcoholic gins 

John Ross Virgin Gin, R295

From the house of tonic maker extraordinaire, Barker & Quin comes a virgin distilled gin. ‘John Ross’ heroes honeybush along with a host of fragrant botanicals as well as that all-important juniper. Sugar free to boot; enjoy it with one of their Indian tonics with a slice of lemon, as you would with a normal G&T.

Ginifer Sober Non-Alcoholic Distilled Dry Gin, R299

Made by the Ginifer Gin company, this distilled dry ‘virgin’ gin is a blend of juniper berries, coriander seeds, green herbs and spices. Serve with Indian tonic water, freshly sliced cucumber and a wedge of lemon.

 Vermont Vergin Bloom, R449

How beautiful would this look on your drinks’ trolley? Vermont Vergin is made from botanicals grown on an organically certified Overberg farm in the Western Cape. We love the Vermont Vergin Bloom, named for its floral flavour profile, there is also a Vermont Vergin Limon with a flavours of lemon and lime. Both products contain zero sugar.

Coolers: refreshing takes on classic coolers 

Little Wolf’s Virgin Apple Cider, R23.99 (per bottle)

What could be more refreshing than an ice-cold cider on a hot summer’s day? A non-alcoholic one is what. Little Wolf’s Virgin Apple Cider has been brewed with aroma hops with Elgin apple juice as the foundation, while the American hops add a tropical-fruit scent and herbal finish. 

Artemis Uplifting Botanical Alcohol-Free Cocktail, R79 (4 x 275ml)

Based on the classic vodka and bitter lemon mix, Artemis is infused with Sceletium and Sutherlandia as well as fresh lemon juice, lemon peel and grapefruit with a pinch of green peppercorn.

FIBS Virgin Classic Dry Gin & Tonic, R80 (4 x 275ml)

Pop the cap and instant G&T—a virgin one that is. Made with a selection of botanicals and pure mountain spring water. There is also a rose & cucumber flavoured one to try.

Written by Malu Lambert, food and wine writer. Malu Lambert is an award-winning wine writer. She won the title of Emerging Wine Writer of the Year at Louis Roederer International Wine Writers’ Awards 2019. She also won the Veritas Young Wine Writer in 2015.

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