Whether you’re doing dry January, don’t drink, or just want to avoid the hangovers in 2020, here are some botanical spirits that taste great and are alcohol free
While 2019 was another great year for gin, sobriety is fast-becoming the trend of the new decade.
Despite 2018 seeing the opening of Scotland’s first gin botanical garden, the rise of gin-infused delicacies, and locally sourced plants such as seaweed making an appearance in some of the more ambitious gin blends, more and more people are choosing to ditch the alcohol for good.
Last year saw a new wave of botanical distillers in the UK specialising in alcohol-free brands and blends.
This new troupe of artisan distillers’ non-alcoholic alt-gins are jam-packed with all the herbs and flavour of regular gin, without any of the chemicals.
Some of the more exotic or unusual ingredients in these drinks include cape floral fynbos, rooibos, lemon verbena, inca berry, angelica root, and sea kelp. The result? Great-tasting cocktails without any regrets the next day.
Three alt-gin brands you need to try
Named after the bright blue, edible borage flower, Borrago is carefully crafted from six top secret botanicals.
Available in three variations – Classic, Crisp and Wild – CEDER’s is made with exotic South African herbs and spices.
Sea Arch is inspired by the soul-restoring sea of the Southwest coast of England and contains sea kelp, as well as junipers, cardamom and blood orange.
Glass: Wine Glass
Ingredients: 35ml Borrago #47 Paloma Blend; 25ml Pink Grapefruit Juice; 20ml Charred Lemon Juice; 15ml Basil Syrup; Double Dutch Pomegranate and Basil tonic
Method: Measure everything apart from the tonic into an ice filled shaker Mix well adn strain into an ice filled wine glass Top up with the tonic
Garnish: A dehydrated blood orange or pink grapefruit slice A borage flower if you have one
Designed by Joshua Saunders of the Michelin starred Manor House Hotel, Castle Combe
CEDER’S Classic & Tonic
Ingredients: CEDER’S Classic 50ml; Premium Tonic 150ml
Method: Build over ice, Sit back and escape. Garnish: A slice of lemon and sprig of rosemary.
Ingredients: 50ml Sea Arch; 30ml lemon juice; Mediterranean tonic
Method: Bash a sprig of rosemary in a cocktail shaker; shake with a couple of ice cubes, 25ml of tonic and lemon juice; strain into a glass of ice and add Sea Arch; top with premium tonic
Garnish: Fresh sprigs of rosemary; a couple of charred lemon slices
Join the mindful drinking movement
Club Soda supports people to rethink their drinking habits and has built an online guide featuring the best pubs and bars for mindful drinkers.
The organisation brought Scotland’s very first alcohol-free drinks festival to Glasgow in 2018 which saw hundreds of people turn out to taste the new wave of alcohol-free drinks, such as beers and spirits, kombuchas, shrubs and elixirs, hitting the market.
If you are having a few tipples this year, try to alternate your drinks with a glass of water to slow down your consumption and stay hydrated.
But, if all that goes out the window, here are a few tips to get you back on the road to recovery:
- Get your blood sugar levels back on track by grabbing some breakfast. Something along the lines of jam and toast is perfect.
- Have a glass of orange juice for a dose of vitamin C.
- Don’t go for the hair of the dog, which just delays the hangover.
- Don’t drink again for at least 48 hours to give your body a chance to recover.
Love your liver
It won’t help your hangover but you may be able to support your liver’s health with a good supplement, such as Health Plus Liver Kind, which contains a combination of vitamins, minerals, key amino acids and artichoke.
Artichokes are related to milk thistle, which has been used in safe-guarding the liver for many years.
Taking a supplement containing artichoke could help discharge bile from the system by moving it onwards to the gallbladder to lessen the risk of liver damage.