Our Favourite AF Drinks to get you through the festive season
In this blog Lucy lists some of our favourite tried and tested alcohol-free drinks, listed by category, to get you through the silly season.
I am going to be honest with you, I have never really been mad about zero-proof drinks (AKA Alcohol Free or AF). In fact, I drank more AF beers and spirits when I was actually a drinker trying to cut back on my boozing! I am so happy with my herbal tea or sparkling water with fruit. I am always trying to keep myself hydrated so I drink 2-3 litres of water a day, plus a few herbal teas and the odd low cal drink such as Nexba Kombucha, or Strange Love Low Cal Soda. YUM!
We teach our students that in early sobriety, preparing what you will drink at an event ahead of time is so so important. This goes for any type of event that involves others drinking alcohol, be it a bottomless brunch, boozy lunch or backyard BBQ. It does not matter what the event is, it is essential to plan what you will be drinking ahead of time. This reduces the risk of being put on the spot when the waiter is taking your order, being forced to drink a high sugar kiddy drink that you wouldn’t normally drink, or even worse, slipping up and ordering a glass of champagne instead.
It’s so exciting to see that most restaurants and bars now offer some form of AF drink options or mocktails aside from the standard soft drink and fruit juice options. Zero proof beers, wine and spirits are becoming more and more popular as people are becoming more aware of the negative impact alcohol has on our health and society. There are even online stores like this awesome one https://sansdrinks.com.au/ who stock all of the Aussie AF brands, including those that use natural ingredients, have low calories, with sugar-free & vegan options. WOW!
Please take note that AF drinks are not for everyone. There are some studies that have reported that the smell and taste of AF drinks can be enough to trigger an alcoholic to drink again.
Within our Thrivalist community, alcohol-free drink options are regularly discussed and so far none of our students (who mainly classify as grey-area drinkers) have reported that drinking AF drinks has triggered a relapse. In fact, the discussions have all been positive as AF drinks give us options for when socialising and relaxing.
We thought in the lead up to the festive season, it is a great time to share our students’ (and our own) favourite AF drinks with you, so you can enjoy your festive season without feeling like you’re missing out on a thing!
A light, fresh and crisp Australian Non-Alcoholic craft beer with the highest quality ingredients, chemical-free, preservative-free and without additional processes to remove the alcohol.
A pale golden, crisp beer with citrusy hoppy & fruity notes, with a crisp and refreshing finish.
Heineken Zero is a non-alcoholic lager brewed with a unique recipe for a distinct balanced taste. Heineken 0.0 is twice brewed and fermented with Heineken’s unique A-yeast from natural ingredients with gentle alcohol removal and blending to achieve a fruity flavour and slight malty notes.
A thirst quenching beer, golden in colour with a fruity aroma and refreshingly crisp finish that you can swim, parent, exercise, work and drive after. Low in calories, plant based and Australian owned and brewed.
Carlton Zero is for beer lovers who enjoy the taste of Carlton but would prefer it without the alcohol content. Crafted with the same quality ingredients as all other Carlton beers, the flavour is unmistakeably Carlton with a fruity aroma and noticeable hops.
This is a refreshing, thirst-quenching alcohol-free beer. Packed with essential vitamins B9 and B12 it’s also surprisingly good for you. A real energizer that’s made from all-natural ingredients and at 82.50 calories per serving it’s a great low-calorie alternative.
A medium bodied beer with classic Indian pale ale citrus, the UNN non alcoholic beer also offers hints of pine, caramel and tea.
This lager tastes almost exactly the same as the alcoholic Bitburger beer, a huge win for an alcohol free variety. The German beer is fully matured with a lasting, almost sweet taste.
Brewed using traditional pilsener brewing techniques, the slightly bitter Holsten has a crisp and clean aftertaste.
A full malty flavour awaits with the Coopers Ultra Light Birell. Made with no sugar, Australian malted barley, hops and yeast, it’s a simple brew with big impact.
The Dutch know their beer and Hollandia upholds their reputation with a crisp and rich malt blend that leaves a smooth finish to this alcohol free lager.
Classic pale ale citrus flavours meet hopping hops in this alcohol free beer that is great anytime, but especially perfect for a hot Australian summer.
Bilpin Non Alcoholic Cider has the crisp taste of Granny Smiths, Pink Lady and Red Delicious apples. A refreshing summer drink.
AF Wines & Sparklings
McGuigan Wines has responded to the global acceleration of moderation and abstination by expanding its portfolio to offer consumers greater choice across the wine category. The McGuigan Zero range – with an RRP of $12 – is now available in Australia through all major retailers and includes Shiraz, Sparkling, Rosé, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
The Domaine de la Prade is a premium alcohol-free organic Merlot Shiraz produced in Certified Organic vineyards in Languedoc-Rossuillion, Southern France. This is a collaboration between the winemakers and award-winning, renowned wine connoisseur Richard Juhlin.
Almost four decades of winemaking have given the Giesen brothers all the skills and knowledge they needed to create a deliciously decadent Sauvignon Blanc with the alcohol gently removed to ensure the flavours and aromas of a typical Sauv Blanc aren’t excluded from the bottle.
NEWBLOOD has two products currently, a red and a white variation of their delicious alcohol-free wines. NEWBLOOD brings together traditional winemaking techniques, with cutting edge, triple distillation to redefine what’s possible and forge a new path in winemaking craft for the industry.
Enjoy this fresh, vibrant, sparkling Noughty Chardonnay. It’s deliciously bubbly and packed full of taste, with a smooth crisp finish. Crafted with chardonnay grapes it’s made with only 3 g of sugar per 100ml, totally organic and vegan and all the alcohol has been removed. It’s your go-to for bubbles.
Since 2006, Edenvale have been making quite the name for themselves, providing non-alcoholic wines to non-drinkers all across the globe. They use innovative wine making practices to ensure that the removal of alcohol doesn’t also remove the full-bodied flavour of a traditional wine.
They’ve built their range up to include a wide array of wine varieties, all the while providing a healthy, antioxidant-rich, low-in-calorie alternative to all the classics.
This Natureo Premium Rosé is made in the Bodegas Torres SA winery located in the historical wine-growing area of Penedès in the Catalonia region near Barcelona, the Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes that make up this rose are second to none. The winemaker uses an innovative alcohol extraction system, which retains the aromas of the grapes, antioxidants, vitamins and mineral salts sans the alcohol.
The sparkling alternative without alcohol – this refreshing and finely balanced non-alcoholic drink combines sparkling fermented grape juice blended with premium green tea.
Odd Bird quality wines, made with traditional methods and matured for up to 12 months, and then gently liberated from alcohol in order to preserve the flavors nature intended. But liberated from alcohol does not only describe the removal of the substance. It also describes the liberation from our drinking culture. Liberation from norms and the preconceived notion that alcohol is an integral part of celebratory occasions. Liberation is the ability to choose between with or without alcohol. Liberation is a desired outcome of democratization which is exactly what we intend to do with the dinner table.
Get ready to party like it’s 1999 with this lively sparkler from the iconically German Blue Nun Wines. Blue Nun wines were in-vogue back in the 70s and 80s in Australia and have been having a real come-back recently, and for good reason. Known worldwide for great taste and having fun, the Silver Edition of this non-alcoholic Sparkling white wine is a party in a bottle!
José Maria da Fonseca
Say hi to your new ‘house red’! The Two Valleys Red wine comes from José Maria da Fonseca, which is the oldest and one of the most prestigious wineries in Portugal. It’s also the first winery in Portugal to create an alcohol-free wine so we thank them for their innovation and forward-thinking.
Made using fruits sourced from some of the finest vineyards in the illustrious wine country of South Australia, Plus & Minus Blanc de Blancs NV holds all the delicious taste of a regular wine, minus the alcohol.
As this wine is lovingly crafted, no artificial sweeteners are added, but grape seed oil is introduced instead for its naturally occurring antioxidants which may help protect us from certain health issues.
Alcohol Free Spirits
Made in Australia, Lyres’ big range of non-alcoholic spirits don’t just mimic, they have their own distinction as a premium, non-alcoholic beverage. Their website also has several really cool AF mocktail recipes to help you plan for your next dinner party. Worth checking out!
Seedlip is on a mission to change the way the world drinks with the highest quality non-alcoholic options. Three unique & complex blends – Spice 94, Garden 108 & Grove 42 – simply served with tonic or mixed to create sophisticated non-alcoholic cocktails. Amazing AF drinks and cocktail options are also provided on their beautiful website.
A sophisticated, sugar free AF G&T range. These beautifully packaged drinks are really tasty too! Another Australian made AF spirit to add to your list of must-tries!
With meticulous attention to detail, skilled botanists have brought The Duchess to life using a re-distilled juniper extract and botanically infused tonic water. It delivers a classic gin and tonic taste, with aromatic layers of orange peel, cloves, cardamom, allspice and star anise.
Crodino is a non-alcoholic bitter aperitif. It is an orange coloured drink made of herbal extracts and sugar, and is primarily consumed in Italy and other European countries.
AF Cocktails / Pre-mixed drinks
Passionate about the principles of good health and inclusion, each of their sparkling non-alcoholic adult drinks is created with antioxidant and mineral-rich Native Australian fruits and herbs.
Apart from a little local natural honey in their HNY drink, the range is free from added sugars and has no preservatives, or any artificial colours, flavours or additives. With a mission to provide adults an alternative to alcoholic drinks in any social occasion, Etch Sparkling has a satisfying mouthfeel flavour and can be enjoyed on its own or used as a mixer with your favourite non-alcoholic spirit.
Altina’s pre-prepared AF cocktail recipes have been carefully curated to create a complete and balanced alcohol free drink. They us native ingredients and interesting spices, along with familiar flavours such as organic rose, sweet orange and hops to develop innovative new and unexpected flavours. Their AF cocktails also have no added sugar!!
An amazing blog written by SansDrinks with some very tasty recipes.
Non-alcoholic drinks recipes with a sprinkling of related knowledge created by the Drug Education Network in Tasmania.
We hope this extensive list helps you choose an AF drink option or two for your next social occasion. We would love to hear any other AF drinks you love that we may have missed.