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Non- alcoholic alternatives for the festive period

5 mins read

Not everybody drinks, and just because you don’t drink, shouldn’t mean you are stuck with boring alternatives. Christmas is the time to indulge and you don’t need alcohol to do so. Here are Brig’s top non alcoholic alternatives.

Ginger Beer

Ginger beer is a fantastic alternative, its aromatic with a spicy kick and can be jazzed up with a squeeze of fresh lime. It’s a Christmas classic. You can get a variety of brands from local newsagents and supermarkets. Top brands include Barr, which is still just 39p for a can, Fentinam’s which is slightly dearer but really delicious and the classic Old Jamaica also around 39p and can be found in all good newsagents.

Freshly squeezed lemonade

No not the stuff that’s fizzy and comes in a two-litre plastic bottle. I’m talking real fresh lemonade. A couple of lemons squeezed into a glass, so you have 50ml-75ml of fresh lemon juice, mixed with water and a little sugar. You can also buy freshly squeezed lemonade from Lidl, Sainsbury’s and M&S. A beautiful, bittersweet and super refreshing beverage to bring some sunshine into your festive holidays.

Fresh orange juice and lemonade

A Scottish classic even if the juice is never actually “fresh”. If you are looking for an alcohol-free dupe and missing your Bucks Fizz, a nice orange and lemonade is incredibly refreshing and tastes more or less the same. Super easy, all you need to do is choose the rations of orange juice to lemonade. Personally, I enjoy, 60% orange juice with just 40% lemonade.

Non-alcoholic beer, wine or cider

Easy, shop bought and requires zero effort. Most supermarkets now have a fantastic range of non-alcoholic beers, wines and even gin. If you are used to drinking real wine and enjoy it a lot, the alternatives aren’t the greatest. But for beer you get many that taste really good. Heineken’s non-alcoholic beer is probably the best for a lager.

Nosecco

Clever name, it’s Prosecco without the alcohol… Probably the best alternative to fizz, its cheap, widely available and tastes lovely and delicate. Add a 25ml shot of Ribena or similar non-alcoholic berry liqueur and you’ve got a festive tee total Kir Royal.

Non-Alcoholic Cocktails

The best non-alcoholic cocktails are the ones where the original recipe doesn’t rely too much on spirits and liqueurs. A Margarita for example, you just couldn’t do it justice. Focus on recreating cocktails with strong natural flavours from fruit such as a Mojito or Piña Colada.

For a Mojito mocktail get a handful of mint, clap it in your hands to release the flavour. Add a couple drops of sugar syrup or a teaspoon of sugar, squeeze a half a lime in and stir. Add plenty of ice and top up with soda.

Mulled non-alcoholic cider or wine

Finally, the most Christmassy alternative of all. You can mull anything! – a useful Christmas skill I have learnt. Everybody’s mulled wine / cider recipes differ. Depending on your taste preferences you can add more or less of certain ingredients.

For this you will need one bottle of non-alcoholic red wine or bottle of non-alcoholic cider. Pour in a pan and heat on a medium heat. Add cloves and one fresh orange squeezed in, chuck the whole thing in after you have squeezed out the juice. Next add cinnamon sticks, and pomegranate seeds. You can buy pomegranate seeds packaged in the supermarket if you don’t want to deal with the mess of cutting and separating the seeds. Be warned pomegranate juice stains everything!

Simmer for 30 minutes, pour and enjoy – voila a perfect non-alcoholic winter warmer for any festive occasion.

Film Media and Journalism student at the University of Stirling. Film and comment editor at Brig Newspaper. Edinburgh / Stirling

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