I can’t quite believe that I’m already half way through my sobriety challenge. The fact that the halfway point falls on Mental Health Awareness Week couldn’t have been timed any better if I tried (I didn’t). Sometimes it’s easy to forget why I started this challenge in the first place now that I’m so used to being sober. Life gets in the way and I have to stop and remind myself that I started it out of a deep respect and belief in the work that Mind do. I believe their services are so crucial, everyone should be able to access free help when they need it. So on day 2 of Mental Health Awareness Week I’m celebrating the money we’ve raised for Mind so far but I’m also celebrating all of my wonderful family, friends and even randomers who have given me so much encouragement and support. All of your kind words of praise in messages and in person (even in the wee hours in dimly lit bars, I remember the nice things you’ve said even if you don’t) have really kept me going. You have also opened up and shared your own experiences with me, for which I truly feel honoured and privileged. I aimed to have open and honest conversations to raise awareness about the relationship between alcohol and mental health and I really feel like it’s happening and also turning into something so much more than that. So, with that in mind, to encourage you to give your body and brain a break this mental health awareness week I’ve researched and drank my way through 6 months worth of bars and bottles to bring you my top 6 booze free bevvies.
1) Old Fashioned at Dishoom Carnaby Street
A hidden gem of a mocktail menu exists tucked away behind Carnaby Street in this Bombay restaurant. There’s not a Shirley Temple in sight as this sophisticated menu serves twists on classics that generally remain untackled by the booze free bartender. It’s also worth mentioning that the food is amazing. Go for the food and stay for the mocktails.
2) Nirvana Brewing Co Beer
I only came across one of these beers for the first time last week and I’m so glad that I did. Nirvana Brewing Co are an East London brewery and the only brewery in the UK dedicated to low percentage or non alcoholic beer. The range not only looks amazing but tastes it too. Plus, all their beers vegan friendly and, they also champion an environmentally friendly ethos. Brownie points all round! I found mine in Whole Foods.
3) The Bees Knees Rosé Prosecco at Redemption Bar Notting Hill
I was really apprehensive about trying an alcohol free wine, but one sip of these fruity bubbles put any worries I had to rest. I think the trick lies in not trying to mimic the usual dryness of prosecco, but instead they’ve focused on creating a refreshing sweet and fruity drink. I got mine for my 6 month celebration in Redemption Bar (its also available online) a completely vegan and alcohol free café. They have a full cocktail menu plus wine, beer and a dedicated section of gin cocktails which brings me nicely to my number 4.
4) Seedlip Alcohol Free Gin
Yep, what a time to be alive, or at least sober. Seedlip have created not one but 2 non alcoholic gins. One is spicy and one is more herbal, but both are delicious. I had mine with crushed ice and cucumber, but check out their website for some exciting serving suggestions. Some places that I’ve found in London that stock it include Redemption, Dandelyn, All Soho Houses, No 32 The Old Town. Get it online too!
5) Erdinger Alkohokfrie
I could do an entire post on non alcoholic beers alone and to be honest I probably will, but this deserves special mention as it has become my go to beer replacement. In my opinion one of the most convincing dupes available (not you Becks Blue) I stick mine in the freezer a few minutes before drinking to give it an extra crisp taste. Get it in Wetherspoons and Waitrose.
6) Kopparberg Alcohol Free
Just in time for summer, Kopparberg has turned everyone’s favourite tooth melting fruity ciders into an equally sweet alcohol free bevvy. Available in Mixed Fruit and Strawberry and Lime flavours these taste pretty much the same as the real thing. They’re not the healthiest of the alcohol free alternatives (10 grams of sugar per 100ml, help) but definitely delicious.
Extra advice for anyone tempted to try some non alcoholic beer. Although frustratingly it seems to be the most commonly available one, I really can’t get on board with Becks Blue. I think there are much better big brand alternatives like San Miguel 0.0%, Budweiser Prohibition Brew and Bavaria Alcohol Free that you can get in most supermarkets!
Don’t forget to donate to my Just Giving page for Mind – HERE
Happy 6 Months!!