The low down: the best low and non alcoholic drinks for summer sipping
Toast the heatwave with a milder tipple that won’t challenge your centre of gravity before the evening’s out
Want to enjoy the summer without falling off the wagon, too? Here are some of the best low or non alcoholic drinks to enjoy on a lazy afternoon in the sunshine...
Stop and smell the rosé
Perle Blanc de Chavin (left), Torres Natereo Muscat (centre), and Le Petit Chavin Rosé (right)
Finding low-alcohol wines that aren’t sickeningly sweet can be a challenge, but the Torres Natureo Muscat, 0.5% ABV, is as aromatic as they come – warm, silky and robust, it’s an excellent accompaniment to seafood and rice dishes.
Those counting the calories should take note of Marks & Spencer’s Sumika range of tipples that promise to be as virtuous as wine can be. The elderflower, passionfruit and peach-infused Sauvignon Blanc contains less than a third of the calories of a regular bottle of wine – just 50 calories per 100ml glass.
For special occasions, Languedoc-Roussillon wine producer Pierre Chavin has a Zéro line, including the excellent Perle Blanc de Chavin – a sparkling, frothy chardonnay – and the fruity Le Petit Chavin Rosé, because nothing says summer quite like sipping a glass of pink wine.
Top of the hops
Nirvana Brewery's low alcoholic ales
Beer producers are leading the way when it comes to low-alcohol beverages with small beers, session ales and table beers. Here in London, Leyton-based Nirvana Brewery produces two completely alcohol-free beers among its roster of low-ABV liquor, including the Tantra Pale Ale, made with lightly-roasted barley to give the session sip a distinctive caramel body.
Also in East London, Big Drop Brewing Co.’s pale ale (0.5% ABV) is dry hopped and satisfyingly refreshing, while its seasonal Sour has a tart, citrus taste, perfect for pairing with strong cheese and lemon-drenched seafood.
If aromatic American hops are more your poison, try BrewDog Nanny State at 0.5% ABV, or for something lighter still, Danish brewery Mikkeller produces the 0.3% Drink’in The Sun, a tangy peachy wheat beer that’s just 50 calories per bottle.
Square root half cheeky
Fancy something a bit fruitier? Soda makers Square Root have collaborated with craft brewer Pressure Drop on Half Cheeky, a low-alcohol shandy that reminds us of a slightly spiked Um Bongo, infused with kiwi juice, mango pulp and orange juice.
Meanwhile Bermondsey-based Small Beer Brew Co., pioneered by two former Sipsmith gin producers, takes its moniker from the weak beer quaffed in the 18th century when water was too dangerous to drink – stay hydrated with its crisp and refreshing – and sustainably produced – 2.1% lager.
Mr Fitzpatrick's Rhubarb & Rosehip Cordial (left) and Seedlip's Garden 108 (right)
For those abstaining from alcohol altogether this summer, Mr Fitzpatrick’s Rhubarb & Rosehip Cordial makes the perfect addition to any picnic hamper – just add ice-cold sparkling water for a refreshing cooler.
If you’re after something a little more tart, Square Root also makes a small-batch seasonal rhubarb soda from Yorkshire’s finest fruit.
But, for the most refreshing of soft drinks, look no further than Seedily. Add lashings of tonic water to its Garden 108, a floral blend of hand-picked peas, spearmint, rosemary and thyme grown on owner Ben Branson’s farm – and serve with a handful of peas (trust us, it’s a taste sensation).