Alternatives to Alcohol: Save Money & More

Cutting back on booze is becoming more and more popular in the UK. if this is something you are interested in, then in this article we’ll be looking at valid alternatives to alcohol.

Not only can drinking alcohol excessively be bad for your health, but it can also be really hard on your wallet. Perhaps not as many of us are visiting the pub as we used to before the pandemic, but even a bottle of wine or a few cans of beer on a Friday or Saturday night can be costly over time.

Not only do you pay for the drinks, but invariably you end up spending even more on snacks and nibbles to go with your drinks. And if you’re out late at the pub, a late-night post-pub trip to the kebab to burger shop is usually on the cards.

Speaking personally, I have decided to ditch the booze recently. And not only do I feel a lot better, physically and mentally, but I’ve also noticed having a bit more in my bank account at the end of the month too.

So what are the alternatives to drinking alcohol if you don’t want to drink tap water all night?

Alcohol-Free Beers

Alcohol-free beer has improved greatly in recent years and can be a tasty and refreshing substitute for the real thing. I’ve sampled a few myself and have thoroughly enjoyed them whilst being able to drive home, avoiding expensive taxi fares.

Alcohol-free beer is made by taking the alcohol out of beer after it’s brewed, rather than before.

This means that some brands are actually more expensive to buy, as they’ve had to take out the alcohol twice – once at the beginning of the brewing process and again afterwards. But there are other brands that are pretty much on a par with traditional beers in terms of cost.

If you’re struggling to give up the booze, then alcohol-free beers are a great way to gradually phase it out of your life. You can still grab a pint or watch the footie with your mates but save money by buying the non-alcoholic alternative.

A couple I would recommend are Erdinger Alkoholfrei 0.5% 500Ml which you can buy in Tesco, and Free Damm (Abv 0%) which I picked up in Morrisons.

Both are genuinely tasty alternatives that really taste like good beer.

Alcohol-Free Wine

Alcohol-Free Wine is another option for those wishing to cut back on drinking. It’s still possible to enjoy a glass or two of red wine without the cost and health implications of drinking it with alcohol.

Many people who drink wine regularly will already be aware that there are some fantastic wines available that don’t contain any alcohol at all.

Whilst you can typically expect to pay more for alcohol-free wines, they’re still very much on par with regular wines in terms of taste.

There are also some great deals to be found, for example, Tesco has a range of zero alcohol wines from £4 per bottle – which is pretty much on par or cheaper than other wines in its price range.

Red, white and rose wine are all available, so you’re sure to find something to quench your thirst and not break the bank.

Kombucha

Kombucha is a fermented drink, made using yeast and bacteria which is then left to ferment into a slightly fizzy drink with no alcohol content. In fact, Kombucha has been described as somewhere between a soft drink and an alcoholic beverage as it is brewed from tea but does not contain any alcohol.

Although some online listings for kombucha state that they do contain alcohol, this is largely due to the wording used and not all kombucha brands contain any alcohol at all.

Kombucha contains a very small amount of naturally occurring caffeine which acts as an energiser and means that it’s often compared with green tea or coffee in terms of its taste and health properties.

Although Kombucha can be expensive from some online suppliers, if you’re happy to source it from a supermarket rather than an online seller then prices come down significantly. For example, Asda sells Lo Bros Kombucha for £3.99 for 4 250ml cans.

Alcohol Free Spirits

If you’re after something to replace vodka, whiskey or gin, then there are an ever-growing number of options on the market. For example, Stryykk produces a non-alcoholic gin made from juniper berries called Not G*n. This is just one example but there are plenty of other brands available so it shouldn’t be hard to find an alternative. Whilst alcoholic spirits typically contain 40% ABV, the alcohol-free version of this contains 0.05% ABV and has a very similar taste.

Shrubs

Shrubs Drinks, which are considered to be shrubs (or drinking vinegar) have been made since medieval times when people began using vinegar in order to preserve fruit. The word “shrub” is thought to originate from the Arabic “sharāb”, which means “to drink”, and the process of preserving fresh fruit in this way became popular amongst British colonists in the 16th and 17th centuries.

Shrubs are still popular in North America today, where they’re used as a cocktail mixer or to make other alcoholic beverages. However, many of the modern-day brands of shrub drinks available do not contain any alcohol. If you’d prefer an alcoholic alternative to a spirit such as vodka, then try adding your favourite shrub drink to soda water for a non-alcoholic cocktail.

Mocktails

Mocktails are another alcohol-free way of creating a tasty, refreshing and alcoholic drink. The word “mocktail” is thought to come from the United States in the 1980s and has been used to describe non-alcoholic cocktails.

Mocktails often use fruit juices in order to get their flavour, but there are also plenty of recipes that don’t contain any fruit juice whatsoever. A popular example of a non-alcoholic cocktail is Pimm’s No.3 which uses ginger ale and lemonade as the two main ingredients.

Although it may not be hard to find some great mocktails, if you’re struggling then there are some great sites such as Mix That Drink which give plenty of hints and tips on making your own drinks without any alcohol. And if you’re looking to do so in bulk, there are some great discounts on Amazon for cocktail shakers and batched drinks kits.

Have you sampled any tasty non-alcoholic drinks? I’d be interested to find out! Please comment below if you have.

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