Dry July is upon us, and for thousands of Australians, it’s time to go without alcohol for a month. Most of us choose to abstain from alcohol for health reasons, others to save money, and some do it because they had one-too-many at the most recent staff party.
But life doesn’t stop for Dry July. There are still social gatherings and spontaneous nights out ahead that aren’t going to taste the same without your favourite alcoholic tipple. If you’re looking to get the party started on a Friday night but don’t want to wake up feeling like death on Saturday morning, there are heaps of satisfying alcohol substitutes that have got your back.
Up until very recently, alcohol-free drinks carried the stigma for being straightforward, bland and limited. Those days are over — the options are endless, and alcohol-free drinks can be just as flavourful and fun as their alcoholic counterparts. So, what happened? Why all of a sudden did we start seeing decent non-alcoholic beverages on the shelves? It all comes down to one thing: a shift in consumer preferences toward healthier, higher-quality products. The non-alcoholic movement is here, and it’s here to stay. Whether you’re a wine, beer, cider or spirit drinker, it’s never been a better time to be ‘sober-curious’ with these celebrated alcohol alternatives. Read on to discover the best non-alcoholic drinks to sip on if you’re going dry for an evening, a month or full-time.
Heaps Normal (non-alcoholic beer)
Heaps Normal is a new kind of beer that helps you party smarter, not harder. Whether you’re taking a night off, partaking in Dry July or ditching the booze for life, Heaps Normal is normalising mindful drinking by brewing beer that tastes so good, you won’t miss the alcohol.
If you’re someone who drinks beer for the taste, this industry-disrupting, super satisfying non-alcoholic beer passes the pub test. In fact, Heaps Normal is creeping into more and more bars and pubs as the non-alcoholic movement gains momentum. Next time you’re at your local, it’s more than likely you’ll see more than one person sipping a Quiet XPA in between standard drinks.
The bestseller: Heaps Normal Quiet XPA Cans – Winner of the 2021 World Beer Award, this is a full-flavoured, refreshing XPA without the downsides. You can expect a tropical and citrus aroma with a lingering and unmistakably ‘beery’ finish, securing its place as one of the best non-alcoholic drinks out there.
Where to find it: BWS, Liquorland, independent bottle shops, your local pub
NON (non-alcoholic wine)
This is not your ordinary bottle of wine. Aptly named, NON is a series of non-alcoholic wines beloved by world-famous chefs, restaurants, bar owners, and self-proclaimed foodies from around the globe. Presented in an eye-catching and undeniably trendy bottle, the NON flavours ranging from light to bold are as intricate and thoughtful as their alcoholic equivilent.
At NON, their philosophy is simple: wine is for everyone, on any occasion. As a result, they’ve created something truly special and outside the bounds of what you might expect from a glass of non-alcoholic vino. The best non-alcoholic drinks won’t make you feel like an outsider as soon as you pour a glass, and NON achieves the exact opposite. Made to enhance the wine experience without the hangover, NON is anything but conventional and can be found in unexpected locations from your local wine bar to wine lists at fine-dining restaurants.
The bestseller: NON3 Toasted Cinnamon & Yuzu – This non-alcoholic, still white wine alternative is bright, tart and balanced with a savoury undertone – perfect for everyday drinking. Ideal as an entry point to the world to the world of non-alcoholic wines.
Where to find it: Restaurants, wine bars, independent bottle shops
Lyre’s (non-alcoholic spirits)
Lyre’s is a new way to experience spirits — imagine drinking a clean, crisp cocktail with all of the class but none of the guilt. Lyre’s doesn’t contain any alcohol but still delivers all the flavour of your favourites. With a unique process for producing their spirit alternatives, Lyre’s has created something that will make you fall in love with spirits and cocktails all over again.
Many years in the making, Lyre’s exquisite range of lovingly crafted non-alcoholic spirits pays homage to the classics they imitate, sealing their fate as one of the best non-alcoholic drinks available. From humble gin to a cheeky tequila, explore an extensive range of non-alcoholic spirits made from all-natural essences, extracts and distillates sourced from across the globe. If you’re not ready to commit to a whole bottle of imitation liquor, Lyre’s offers pre-mixed cans which serve as an excellent sample.
The bestseller: Dry London Spirit – They’ve combined the best of both worlds: the creativity of cocktails and the sophistication of spirits with an approachable, easy-to-drink gin alternative that’s sure to please. Enjoy it as a classic gin and tonic or whip out those cocktail shakers and get creative.
Where to find it: BWS, Liquorland, independent bottle shops, bars
Bilpin Cider Company (non-alcoholic cider)
Are you a responsible drinker who enjoys a good cider but doesn’t want to overdo it? Lucky for you, the kind folks at Bilpin Cider Company have just as many non-alcoholic varieties as their alcoholic cider range, so you can enjoy the same great taste without having to worry about getting tipsy.
It all starts from the humble apple — and that’s where Bilpin comes in! The Bilpin Cider Company is located in the heart of NSW’s Blue Mountains, one of Australia’s premier apple-growing regions. The family-owned and operated company uses premium apples from their orchard to bring the crispiest ciders, alcoholic or not, to your lips.
The bestseller: Bilpin Non-Alcoholic Apple & Ginger Cider – Bilpin-grown Granny Smiths, Pink Lady and Red Delicious apples are the base of this product. Blended together with freshly crushed ginger juice, the flavours combine to deliver a spicy, peppery, lemony and somewhat sweet flavour with a distinctive ginger zing.
Where to find it: BWS, Woolworths, Liquorland, independent bottle shops
If you’re abstaining from alcohol this Dry July or any time of year, don’t despair — dozens of yummy non-alcoholic drinks out there can offer you just as much hydration, mirth and flavour without the booze. So go on, drink up, and cheers to a worry-free time of year with the best non-alcoholic drinks innovative Australians have to offer.
Dry July is all about supporting a great cause. If you’d like to donate or find out more about this wonderful initiative that raises funds for those affected by cancer, please visit the Dry July website.