Cut back on the booze in style—

Happy New Year! If you’re doing Dry January, best of luck. I prefer making the same resolution every year to drink less but better. And for those days off, there are increasingly enticing low and no-booze options around.

In my view, by far the best of the low-alcohol brigade is Big Drop Brewing Co. All its beers come in at just 0.5%, and all of them are excellent – the stout in particular is a jaw-dropper. Superb flavour without compromise.

Wine is far more hit and miss – I’ve found a low-alcohol Sauvignon Blanc which is 9.5% and a convincing 0% wine impersonator from Aldi, but otherwise I’d be sticking to tonics and kombuchas with punchy natural flavours to really drink like a mock star.

As for an alternative to spirits, Seedlip and tonic is as close as you’ll get to a G&T – but when the tonic’s as tasty as Fierce Botanics you barely need a mixer.

OLLY’S PICK OF THE BUNCH

STOUT WITH CLOUT: Big Drop Stout (0.5%) £1* Tesco. Gorgeously rich with deep dark flavour and subtle sweetness. You won’t miss the booze. *until Jan 21.

SPICE ‘N’ EASY: Lurvill’s Delight Lavender Spice Soda (0%) £1.95 boroughwines.co.uk. Gently aromatic with a spicy thrill, this blend of lavender, ginger and horseradish is genius.

ZESTY ZINGER: Zero Point Zero White (0%) £2.49 Aldi. Crisp and zesty, this is cunningly created from grapes and green tea for a decent wine impersonation.

DOC’S ORDERS: The Doctor’s Sauvignon Blanc 2017 (9.5%) £8.99 Waitrose. Excellent zesty freshness in this naturally lower-alcohol wine from New Zealand. Bravo!

TASTY TONIC: Fierce Botanics Apothecary Tonic No 1 (0%) £3.50 symposium-wine.co.uk. This tonic is my go-to non-booze sparkler, Packed with flavour (and also delicious with gin…).

This column was originally published in EVENT Magazine, Mail on Sunday, 6th January 2019

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