According to a study, the kids are more than OK and stone, cold sober…shunning alcohol like never before. A recent study by University College London found that the proportion of 16 to 24-year-olds who don’t touch the booze has increased from 18 per cent  in 2005 to 29 per cent in 2015. So much for the right of our own passage that required a 5 litre bottle of White Lightning cider – bought illegally from the local shop by the oldest looking in our group – and getting trashed in the park. Or in my case, a round-about in rural Oxfordshire. Don’t ask – I can’t really remember.

Interestingly, it has been found those shunning alcohol come from a wide and varying background; rich and poor, northern and southern, white and non-white, in work and education or not…it really is the biggest shift in society in more than a decade. Some see it as ’embarrassing’ to get drunk and some simply can not afford alcohol – gone are the days when a night out cost £20, and that included the loss of dignity.

Similarly it is estimated that just under 1m people will be taking part in Stoptober, that whilst officially a driver to reduce smoking but includes stopping drinking meaning over 2m people will be abstaining from a vice. So is giving up the booze temporarily or permanently a tedious endurance? Well, I do like to drink and I had to give up temporarily over New Year and into March so here is what kept me wet but dry-lipped over three months…

Seedlip Garden 108; Berry Bros & Rudd – £29.95 

I really enjoyed Seedlip as for me provided a great alternative to the G in my T. The world’s first distilled non-alcoholic spirit, the fresh and greenly aromatic aroma of Garden 108 was a refreshing drink that gave an interesting bite to a boring tonic water.


Purple Touch Non-Alcoholic Sparkling;  Fortnum & Mason – £14.95

Perfect for Halloween but also the everyday, the amethyst tones sitting in a glass are both impressive and spooky. I quite liked this; yes it was sweet but clean, fresh, very fruit and floral, recalling aromas of violets, red fruit and tropical fruit. In the mouth it is spicy yet fruity with a long and intense aftertaste. Not for everyone but a great sweet alternative to Prosecco. Bubbles all round!


San Miguel 0.0%; Waitrose – £3 for a pack of four. 

For me, this is the best zero percent beer on the market as the most common *ahem, Becks* tastes over-hoppy and too heavy whilst the Peroni does not retain the flavour of its naughty brother. Best served chilled, it still tasted good straight from the pack – perfect after a stressful day whilst relaxing on the sofa.


Torres Natureo De-Alcoholised Spanish Rose Wine; Waitrose – £5.99 

With a Spanish boyfriend, and one who was being very supportive, we gave this a try one day and were very, pleasantly surprised. Torres is a winery behind Barcelona that is very easily found in Spain’s supermarkets but rarely in the UK – but three times the price. Whilst the price is a little steep for what I would call ‘grape juice’,  Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon Grapes make this rose no different from an alcoholic Torres.

Claridges Bar Garden 108; Claridges Hotel – £10 

Just because you don’t drink doesn’t mean you can’t treat yourself to a nice drink. Mocktails are huge business and this was my favrouite from Claridges; delicate floral and herbal flavours of Seedlip Garden 108 are mixed with cucumber, bayleaf, apple and lime juice. Fresh, tasty and moreish – but the only headache was from my bank balance after more than two.



Written by Danhasbyoliver

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