NoLo (no and low alcohol), ‘sober curious’ and ‘mindful drinking’ are trends from the USA that are also in tune with the mood over here. In all honesty, up to now, non-alcoholic parties have been a sobering experience. Sure, no-alcohol beer is available everywhere, occasionally wine or sparkling wine as well, but apart from that you’ll just get overpriced water, juice, soda and sugary mocktails: not really much of a pleasure for adults. But all that’s now a thing of the past. Non-alcoholic spirits can now be found in most drinks aisles – from both online and bricks-and-mortar stores – everywhere.
There are plenty of reasons to choose alcohol-free drinks: you might be on medication, you’ve brought your car or bike, you have an important appointment the next day, you don’t want a hangover, you’re having a dry month, you’re pregnant or – one of the most important reasons – you’re thinking about your health.
What exactly are no-alcohol spirits?
The word “spirit” is derived from the Latin “spiritus” (spirit – in the ghost sense) and means an alcoholic beverage with a minimum alcohol content of 15% ABV – and that’s actually regulated by law. Strictly speaking, that means that non-alcoholic spirits don’t exist, and the correct term is actually non-alcoholic alternatives to spirits. That’s why you’ll always find fanciful names on the bottles that refer to the alcoholic equivalent but never use it outright.
No-alcohol beer is produced by stopping fermentation prematurely, creating a compromise between alcohol content and taste. Adding more flavor requires removing the alcohol from the beverage after the typical fermentation period. Alcohol-free wine is made in a similar way, but the process for spirits without alcohol is not so easy. This is because the botanicals that give the flavor cannot be dissolved with alcohol and then distilled. The exact secret of how non-alcoholic gin, rum or other spirits are produced, for example, is only known to the manufacturers in question. In general terms, they have to extract the different aromas of the plants individually and blend them so they recreate the desired taste. However, hardly any of these drinks are completely alcohol-free, so describing them as very low alcohol would usually be most appropriate.
All the Benefits of Alcoholic Spirits
Why are more and more people actually opting for the no-alcohol variants? The answer is that the benefits simply fit seamlessly into a healthy lifestyle and our modern times. Here’s an overview of all the advantages for you:
- They perfectly complement your training plan! Learn more about the effects of alcohol on your muscle building goals.
- You can start the next day without a hangover.
- No mental blackouts, no loss of control, no difficulty concentrating.
- You can still drive a car, or bike home.
- They offer a form of adult pleasure that has nothing to do with child-friendly drinks and won’t sent your blood sugar soaring.
- They may even fit into a diet plan (depending on the product: the calorie content can be very low, while alcohol, on the other hand, has significantly more calories).
- They have none of the negative effects of alcohol on your body (such as liver damage, dehydration, brain damage, etc.).
- 0.0% drinks are fine even during pregnancy and when breastfeeding.
- And there’s now an alcohol-free version of almost every spirit: gin, whiskey, rum and vodka are popular variants.
Are there also disadvantages associated with these trendy non-alcoholic drinks?
From a health point of view, of course, water remains the best drink, so no-alcohol spirits will have minor drawbacks – but these are significantly lower than with alcoholic drinks. The disadvantages at a glance:
- Although the alternatives taste very similar to the original, they are not exactly the same because the taste of alcohol cannot be recreated. This means non-alcoholic spirits are ideal for mixed drinks and cocktails. The resulting drink also tastes great, but it’s still not quite comparable to the original.
- If you’re hosting a party at home or you’re invited to a friend’s house, you can order the non-alcoholic alternatives online beforehand. But getting hold of them without a little forethought might not so easy. You can find what you are looking for in well-stocked beverage or food stores
- but, so far, there are only a few bars that offer cocktails and drinks with the alcohol-free alternatives.
- If you look at the ingredient list on a NoLo drink, you’ll see acidity regulators, preservatives, natural flavors and more ingredients that you might be avoiding if you’re keeping to a healthy diet. However, the ingredients are not actually harmful to your health.
- The price of some non-alcoholic spirits is on a par with gin, whiskey and the rest, so they’re not exactly cheap – and that’s because production is expensive. If you find a slightly cheaper product , it’ll simply be a blend of artificial flavors.
Mocktails, Desserts and More – Experimentation is Allowed!
In principle, you can mix all your favorite cocktails and tall drinks with the corresponding no-alcohol variants. Looking for recipe ideas? Here you go:
You can reduce the alcohol content and still enjoy the full flavor experience by replacing the alcohol component of your existing recipes with 50% non-alcoholic and 50% alcoholic spirits.
But that’s by no means all. As well as drinks, you can also prepare delicious non-alcoholic desserts, cakes and ice cream. Here are some ideas for you to try:
- Vegan Coffee Ice Cream with Chocolate Swirl
- Cherry Colada Protein Popsicles Recipe
- Individual Vegan Chocolate Amaretto Cakes
- Raspberry Gin And Tonic Cake Recipe
- Vegan Chocolate Mousse Recipe
Our raspberry mojito for the summer – alcohol-free, of course.
Conclusion: The Benefits of No-Alcohol Spirits
Non-alcoholic spirits are bursting with flavor and have won us over as a tasty alternative. Whether you’re completely abstaining from alcohol, looking to reduce your consumption, or simply the designated driver for a change, these new on-trend drinks are the ideal choice. Compared to previous non-alcoholic variants, they have that adult taste and aren’t overly sweet. The alternatives also deliver health benefits, since they have none of the disadvantages of alcohol, such as liver damage. We think they’re a great option if you’re adventurous, health conscious, and love cocktails.
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