That’s Dry January done and dusted. Or is it? What if after 31 days of DJ action you want to continue them-there evangelical vibes but you still want something that fills your glass with grown up attitude?
May we suggest three bottles to have on your radar? Not only do they look the business but they’ve been painstakingly researched and developed by some of the finest tastemakers in the UK to deliver on the taste front – whether you’re in it for the long haul or looking to add more booze-free days into your repertoire.
In no particular order…
Proudly sitting in the Seedlip portfolio this tasty little number is the brainchild of a Claire Warner, a woman who knows what’s what when it comes to great taste. Her mission was to create a range of non-alcoholic aperitifs that are: “big, bold, expressive and complex and designed for spritzing, mixing and to accompany small plates”. And by George has she cracked it.
There are three in the range (Bitter, Aromatic and Dry), our fave is the latter. It’s light, it’s fresh, it’s beautifully balanced, it’s just the ticket if you like deliciously refreshing, herbaceous spritz-style drinks. And the recommended serve couldn’t be easier. Simply pour a measure into a wine glass, top with sparkling water or soda and garnish with lemon or sprig of rosemary or thyme. Job’s a good ‘un.
Price £19.99 for 50cl. Available nationwide and from aecorndrinks.com
ZEO is another one that gets a big thumbs up from us here at Cocktail Towers. In a category that’s gone absolutely bonkers in the last couple of years – some good, many (so many) bad – it takes a lot to stand out. And ZEO does it in exemplary fashion.
We’ll come clean here, we gave ZEO extra-special attention when we heard that Simone Caporale was behind it. Having provided us with some of our favourite cocktail experiences when he was part of the then chart-topping Artesian bar team, we knew that anything he put his heart and soul into was going to be good. And it doesn’t disappoint.
It took three years for the team to get the profile just-so, and it is evident on the palate. There are two variants: ZEO Botanical Dry, a gin-like botanical spirit that works particularly well in a Z&T (the non-alcoholic G&T) as it does in a n/a Collins. The smoky ZEO Spiced Oak dials the flavour up a notch and does a very good job in a range of drinks, including an Espresso Martini or Negroni.
Price £18 for 50cl. Available from feelzeo.com
Lastly, we have Crossip another brand created by a former bartender/drinks expert, in this case, Carl Anthony Brown (CAB). This is good. Seriously good – it’s another non-alcoholic range for those who take their flavours seriously.
There are three variants in the collection – Dandy (think mezcal or peated whisky); Fresh (CAB’s take on a fruit punch) and Pure (a ‘Dry’ alternative to the classic Bitter). Our favourites? Too close to call. Each one is packed with complexity and confidence and unlike many non-alcoholic drinks, boasts a rich texture and long and considered finish. The recommended serves are simple enough – your chosen expression lengthened with soda or for the Ginger Dandy made with Dandy Smoke (delicious btw), ginger ale. And to keep those virtuous vibes going, just know that 5% of all sales goes to social causes including Alcohol Change UK, Papyrus, CALM and Centre Point UK.
Price £22 for 50cl bottle. Available from crossipdrinks.com