If you’re staying off the gin in January, or attempting to do so, you’re not alone – this year an estimated 6.5 million UK adults are taking part in Dry January, up from 3.9 million who took part in the event last year.
Completely avoiding alcohol for a whole 31 day stretch can be a testing time, especially when it gets to the end of a long week and you’re more than ready for a little tipple of something to take the edge off.
However, it’s not all bad, as many drinks brands are now offering fantastic alcohol-free alternatives – which may be lacking in alcohol, but not in the flavour department. So, when could be a better time than Dry January to sample what’s on offer?
Taking a break from alcohol can be beneficial for both the body and the mind, and although gin is one of the healthiest spirits ever created and has a number of health benefits, it is still an alcoholic beverage, nevertheless.
So, we’ve rounded up 6 of the best non-alcoholic gin alternatives to try – and just like gin, each one can be added to tonic water to make an alcohol-free G&T or used as a base in a number of delicious mocktails!
1. Three Spirit – The Livener
The name says it all! – if you’re in the need of a pick-me-up, this non-alcoholic elixir is the perfect remedy, providing a stimulating effect from its plant-based ingredients. It is made with a combination of guayusa (a naturally caffeinated holly tree), guava leaf, green tea, rosewater, hibiscus and other vibrant ingredients such as schisandra berries, ginseng and cayenne chilli. Packed with flavour, it combines notes of fiery exotic heat and fresh floral, balanced with herbaceous undertones.
How to serve: Pour 50 ml over ice, top with tonic water and garnish with a slice of fresh grapefruit or watermelon.
2. Seedlip Spice 94
If you love a drink that leaves you with a warming sensation, this expression from Seedlip will do just that. It is made using a blend of allspice berries, cardamom, grapefruit and lemon peel, oak bark and cascarilla bark. It offers spicy notes of cardamom and nutmeg balanced with top notes of citrus. The finish is long with a slight bitterness from the oak and cascarilla barks. How better to enjoy, than on a cold dark January evening all cosy by the fire.
How to serve: Pour 50 ml over ice, top up with tonic water and garnish with a grapefruit twist.
3. Caleño Light & Zesty Tropical Non-Alcoholic Spirit
Are you counting down the days until your next summer holiday? Well, this exotic infusion will transport you to warmer climates with its delicious blend of tropical, citrus and spice botanicals. It is made with the likes of juniper berry, lemon peel, coriander, papaya, pineapple and the sweet, tart South American Inca berry. Founder, Ellie Webb, was inspired to create a drink that captures the sunny and energetic culture of her Columbian heartland whilst also bringing joy to ‘not drinking’.
How to serve: To make a Caleño & Tonic – pour 50 ml over ice, add 200 ml of Indian tonic water and garnish with an Inca berry.
It can also be enjoyed as a base in a range of tropical cocktails, as an alcohol-free alternative.
4. Seedlip Grove 42
Another offering from Seedlip, this Grove 42 expression is citrus-forward and delightfully refreshing, featuring orange as its star ingredient. It is made with a blend of blood orange, bitter orange, mandarin, lemongrass, lemon and ginger – creating a bright, zesty and complex drink that is perfect for any lover of citrus flavours.
How to serve: To make a Grove and Tonic – simply pour 50 ml over ice in a highball, top with Indian tonic water and garnish with orange peel.
5. Salcombe New London Light
Multi award winning Salcombe Distilling Co. are the makers of this refreshing, full bodied non-alcoholic spirit offering a complex flavour profile. Firstly, a base spirit is made by distilling juniper, ginger and habanero capsicum to which 15 more carefully selected botanicals are added including orange, sage, cardamom, cascarilla bark and lemongrass. The result is a warming combination of ginger and habanero on the palate with aromatics of rosemary and sage. Sweet notes of orange with anise and lemongrass appear on the finish.
How to serve: Pour one large measure into an ice-filled highball with three parts light tonic water. Garnish with a slice of orange and a sage leaf.
6. Amplify Distilled Alcohol-Free Spirit
Created for those looking to make the best of every moment, without the hangover, Amplify is a unique blend of invigorating botanicals that awaken all the senses with vibrant orange citrus leading the way. Botanicals include juniper berries, coriander seeds, angelica root, lemon peel, lemongrass, ginseng root and a good measure of punchy orange citrus. Fragrant sweet orange on the nose with notes of fresh lemon and bittersweet orange, accompanied by earthy, warming juniper and ginseng.
How to serve: It is best served over ice with Mediterranean tonic water, garnished with fresh orange peel.