If you’ve imbibed a little too freely over the past few months and are looking to cut back on or take a break from alcohol this July, there are plenty of ways you can drink creatively while still maintaining your booze-free resolve.
For a zero-alcohol wine alternative, Melbourne label NON is a great place to start. Created just over a year ago by ex-Noma chef William Wade, there are five different flavours currently available including salted raspberry and chamomile, toasted cinnamon and yuzu, and lemon marmalade and hibiscus. Find it on lists in Australia’s best restaurants as well as boutique bottle shops including Blackhearts and Sparrows.
Beer drinkers will love Sobah (the name is both a play on “sober” and a nod to the Yugambeh language of south-east Queensland where "bah" indicates place), a range of non-alcoholic craft beers owned and brewed by Gamilaraay man Clinton Schultz. Brewed using Australian indigenous ingredients such as lemon aspen, finger lime, Davidson plum and pepperberry, the resulting flavours are so complex you won’t even notice there’s no alcohol. Like NON, find them at boutique bottle shops.
If you can’t bear the thought of skipping your afternoon aperitivo, products like Seedlip, the world’s first distilled non-alcoholic ‘spirit’ available in Garden 108, Spice 94 or Grove 42 varieties, can easily be used in place of gin or other clear spirits to create non-alcoholic versions of classic cocktails. They even have a newly released ready-to-drink Seedlip & Tonic range that you can find in bottle shops all over the country.
If you’d prefer to mix your own, their website is packed full of alcohol-free cocktail recipes that you can try your hand at. Make your own ‘G&T’ substitute by mixing 50ml of Seedlip Grove 42 with your favourite tonic water over ice. Negroni drinkers will love Seedlip’s NOgroni, made by mixing equal parts Seedlip Spice 94 with an alcohol-free bitter aperitif and an alcohol-free sweet vermouth (try Lyre’s if you can’t find Æcorn) and garnishing with an orange twist.
Our picks are Seedlip’s CosNOpolitan and Espresso MartiNO cocktails. The former, made with the citrus-forward Grove 42, is the perfect accompaniment to a Netflix binge. The latter, made by combining the complex, woody Spice 94 with local favourite ST ALi’s cold brew concentrate and a dash of sugar syrup, could be enjoyed alongside eggs at brunch or as fuel to kickstart a night out.
We’ve included recipes and instructional videos below to get you started.
50ml Seedlip Grove 42
30ml cranberry juice
15ml lime juice
10ml sugar syrup
Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker. Shake three times then fine strain into a chilled coupe glass and garnish with an orange twist or a lime leaf.
50ml Seedlip Spice 94
50ml ST ALi cold brew concentrate
15ml sugar syrup
Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker. Shake well to combine, then double strain into a chilled coupe glass and garnish with fresh coffee beans.
By Anna Webster