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'Goodbye festive hangovers.' The best non-alcoholic drinks to try this Christmas.

I’m dreaming of an alcohol-free Christmas...

But it’s not like the ones you used to know!

Yep, gone are the days of sugary mocktails or soda water as your only options. Now the sober and sober-curious are spoilt for choice when it comes to alc-free choices. 

The concept of Christmas without some bubbly or beers may seem daunting to some, but the alternatives currently on the market taste so good, the only thing you’ll be missing is the hangover. 

I stopped drinking two years ago and while I’ve always dabbled in the teetotaling drink space, I’ve never been more excited about the range of options that are available right now.

From spirits that taste like the real thing, to mood-enhancing drinks, and cold-pressed juice mixers, here’s my curated edit of the best booze-free bevs for the festive season.

Sparkling

Lyre's Classico Grande

Image: Supplied.

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A glass of bubbly is a staple for any celebration so thankfully the good people over at Lyre's dropped their first non-alcoholic Sparkling wine, Classico, just in time for the silly season. If you're not acquainted with Lyre's, they're an award-winning non-alcoholic brand that has made a name for themselves in the non-alc spirits world (more on that later!) 

While the Classico could be compared to a Prosecco, it has a distinctive and contemporary taste - think peach, apple and musk, allowing it to stand on its own as a premium bottle of bubbly. Enjoy as is, or add it to a non-alc Aperol Spritz if you're feeling particularly summery!  

Monceau Co. Monte Stella Sparkling Vermentino

Image: Supplied/Photographer Credit: Annika Kafcaloudis

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If you've ever wanted to tap into the hype that is natural wine but couldn't find anything in the alc-free space then look no further. Monceau Co. It's a craft microbrewery based in Melbourne that makes no and low alcohol kombucha, beer and now a Sparkling Vermentino wine, Monte Stella. 

If you're a newbie to natural wine (aka the official bev of our time) it's basically grape juice that's fermented into wine with nothing added and nothing taken away. For the Monte Stella, this means it tastes lighter, brighter and fresher because it has no artificial carbonation, preservatives, sulphites or sweeteners. 

This wine screams sunshine, picnics and rooftop bars and if that sounds like something you're into, the legends over at Monceau Co. have given us an exclusive link to purchase before they officially launch this weekend. Plus, they've hooked us up with a discount code to try it out for yourself. 

Use the code 'montemia' for a 10% discount. 

Plus & Minus Prosecco

Image: Plus & Minus.

Plus & Minus Prosecco really ticks all the boxes if you're looking for a vibrant and full-flavoured glass of fizz. It's crisp, refreshing and has a great, light fruity flavour. 

It also has a slight acidic finish which is great when served chilled as an aperitif before Christmas meals or BBQs. The best thing is, you'll want to keep coming back for another glass and you can, without the head rush!

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Fun fact: the added 'Plus' in Plus & Minus refers to the addition of grape-skin extract giving the additional benefit of all the naturally occurring antioxidants normally found in wine. 

Make sure to also check out their other wines like the Blanc de Blancs and Pinot Noir.

Polka Lilly Pilly Cuvée Sparkling

Image: Instagram/polka_drop

New kids on the Polka from South Australia are here to show that not-drinking can still be glamourous. They've created a sparkling cuvée which includes a specialised blend of 11 white wine varietals and wild-harvested native Lilly Pilly. 

Each white wine varietal was selected to balance the flavour and texture once the alcohol was removed, so you won't be drinking any fizzy grape juice here! The notes of Lilly Pilly allow for a dry, full-flavoured experience that pairs well with seafood (hello Xmas prawns!).

Make sure to also check out their stunning Botanical Spirit, aka a great alternative to pink gin. They use botanical extracts including pink grapefruit, juniper berry, finger lime, pepper berry, cardamom, fennel and cassia. It's perfect over ice for a G&T!

Wines

McGuigan Shiraz

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The whole McGuigan range is an essential part of the Australian non-alcoholic scene and when you find out they retail for just $12 a pop, it's easy to see why. They're a great entry-point for sober-curious people wanting to try different types of AF wine, especially because you can buy them at your local Coles or Woolies.

Their Zero Shiraz is particularly great and delivers that beloved Shiraz flavour through removing the alcohol after the fermentation process. It also has aromas of plum and berries with a subtle spice and vanilla flavour throughout - how festive!

You're also meant to serve it chilled, which is unusual for a Shiraz but well worth it once you give it a go. 

Giesen Pinot Gris

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New Zealand winery Giesen's new Pinot Gris is the perfect refreshing summer drink. It tastes so much like alcohol, despite being 0%. 

It has a beautiful balance of crispness and sweetness with delicate floral notes of white blossoms, lychee and red apple. On the palate, you'll get classic Pinot Gris flavours like apple and pear, with a hint of muscat. It's perfect for lunches or whenever you're feeling like something light. 

TÖST Rosé 

Image: Instagram: @tostbeverages

TOST non-alcoholic Rosé is an all-natural sparkling wine with a blend of white tea, ginger and elderberry. It's not your typical sparkling rosé though, it's more akin to a cider but with the feel of a bottle of bubbly. It's a sophisticated drink that feels elegant and summery - perfect to bring to dinner parties. 

Paradox Sauvignon Blanc

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What's in a name? Well, Paradox wine presents an enticing paradox. It's possible to be the life and soul of the party while being more conscious of your alcohol intake. Catering to millennials, their Zero range was created to help wine lovers be their best selves while still enjoying the party season. 

Their Sauvignon Blanc helps you do just that as it's comparable with regular Savvy B flavour-wise, so you won't be missing out. It features light passionfruit and tropical aromas and a clean aftertaste.

Spirits

Lyre's Agave Reserva Spirit and Agave Blanco Spirit

Image: Lyre's

Who's got their limes ready? Because Lyre's have finally launched their range of non-alcoholic tequila alternatives just in time for margarita season, the Agave Blanco Spirit and the Agave Reserva Spirit. 

The Blanco and Reserva are crafted with a range of flavours like citrus, peppers, pine, spices and oak. The range also contains natural essences, extracts and distillates that match the aromas and tastes that you find within their alcoholic counterparts. 

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Use these to whip up a classic marg or paloma - both pack a serious punch!

Seedlip Grove 42

Image: Seedlip

Seedlip is a staple in any sober bar cart and has been one of my go-to's since day one. It's a distilled non-alcoholic spirit that’s most similar to gin, but is in a class of its own. It has a combination of botanicals that lend themselves well to a refreshing grown-up drink. 

My personal pick for summer is the Seedlip Grove 42 which is a zesty, citrus-centric blend. I like to serve mine with some tonic and a dehydrated orange slice. 

Kin Euphorics

Image: Kin Euphorics

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It was only a matter of time before a company tried to recreate the mood-enhancing effects of alcohol in a non-alcoholic drink and Kin Euphorics was one of the first. Kin includes mood-boosting and mind-calming ingredients to make you euphoric and energised. 

It features all-natural adaptogens, nootropics and botanicals which are functional ingredients to help uplift your mood.

There are two varieties, 'High Rhode' which is made with Rhodiola Rosea, 5-HTP, and GABA, which help balance cortisol and elevate serotonin, and then 'Dream Light', which is made with Reishi mushrooms, melatonin, and L-tryptophan, which help calm the mind and signal your brain to rest, making it the perfect drink to enjoy after dinner. 

Brunswick Aces Spades Sapiir

Image: Brunswick Aces

Brunswick Aces is the first non-alcoholic bar and distillery in Australia. Located in Brunswick, Melbourne the team distil and sell their own gin alternatives as well as serving up inventive non-alcoholic drinks in their 150-seater bar. 

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Their gin alternative, Spades Sapiir, is in the London Dry style so pairs perfectly with tonic for a classic G&T, however its savoury and citrus notes pair well with a variety of other mixers like cranberry juice or ginger ale. 

RTDs

Yes You Can

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This small, Bondi-based mum and dad business was born out of two needs. Mum Sophie's cravings during pregnancy and dad, Tyler (ex-Olympian), noticing that alcohol just wasn't working for his gruelling schedule. Together, they've launched a range of delicious RTD cocktails.

They've perfected that slight back of throat burn you typically only get from real alcohol and also that mouthfeel that's on par with the real deal too. There's a Spritz, Dark & Stormy and a G&T so far in the range. 

I love the ease of these cocktails, they're perfect for bringing to events or just cracking open at home when you don't want to fuss. 

Monday Distillery

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The Monday Distillery range of boho-chic RTD cocktails take locally sourced spring water and distils botanicals to bring out their flavour profile. Then, they add in common ingredients in mixers to give it that classic RTD taste. 

Their range is sugar-free and preservative-free and some of my favourites include their Dram Sour, Aperitz Spritz and their most recent additions, the Paloma and the Mezcalita. 

Wise Craic

Image: Wise Craic

Seltzer is all the rage right now. You know - the flavoured soda water with alcohol in it. Non-alcoholic brand Wise Craic say they're 'taking the piss' out of hard Seltzers and to be honest, I reckon they even one-up them with their interesting flavours. 

There's Acai Punchbowl Sour, a mix of Acai and elderflower, and also their second flavour, Pickle Juice tang, which tastes exactly how you'd expect. It's a sweet and savoury sensory experience and will definitely be a conversation starter at any event you bring them to. 

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Naked Life

Image: Naked Life

Naked Life create health-conscious booze-free cocktails and their range really has it all. It's centred on a 'no-nasties' philosophy and includes flavours like Wimbledon Sprtiz, Yuzu Sake, Spiced Caribbean, Scottish Sour and Australian Cane Spirit. 

My go to is the Wimbledon Spritz which tastes like the classic English summer drink and combines a fruity and bitter gin taste. 

Beers

Parc Pils

Image: Parc Pils

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Delicious and sophisticated, this non-alc craft pilsner-style beer uses natural and local ingredients and was born out of a desire of wanting a crisp, uplifting beer at the end of a WFH day. We feel that. 

It's brewed with high-quality Carapils and Munich malts and fresh Saaz hops and is literally indistinguishable from a regular alc-filled beer. It has a refreshing taste that really quenches your thirst and definitely satisfies that end of day beer feeling they were going for. 

Poolside Double Dry Hopped IPA

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Non-alc favourites Big Drop Brewing Co. have launched their first limited-edition season release, the Poolside Double Dry Hopped IPA. 

The name is everything to go off - it's a craft beer perfect for those summer days by the pool. It features tropical flavours like mango, pineapple and citrus and is underpinned by a pine and herby bite. 

Sobah

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Sobah is a purpose-led business and exists to raise awareness for First Nations' culture, arts and history. It's proudly Aboriginal owned and led and all their ingredients and knowledge are ethically sourced. You can find out more about the work they do here with various foundations surrounding the space of mindful drinking and sobriety.

As for the brews themselves, well, they're delicious. They're light and fruity and my favourite one is the Pepperberry IPA which has a distinctive hoppy and citrus flavour. It's also a bit spicy from the Australian native Pepperberry which gives it a bit of a kick. 

Mixers

Mixer by Nectar Cold Pressed

Image: Nectar Cold Pressed

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Gone are the days of only mixing your AF spirits with sugary soft drinks. These cold-pressed juice mixers use real fruit juice and are really changing the way we can entertain and drink this summer. 

Flavours include lime and agave, orange, lime and pineapple and a watermelon, lime and raspberry one that's perfect to mix a fruity punch with. Just add your favourite AF spirit, like Seedlip, and some soda water.

Presents

Do you have a sober or sober curious friend? Or just want to treat yourself to some alcohol-free goodies? Here are some ideas that will make great Chrissie presents. 

Craft Zero Advent Calendar

Image: Craftzero

The folk at Craftzero have compiled an advent calendar to help you sleigh festive hangovers this Christmas period. The calendars are available as either an assortment of ready-to-drink options or solely a selection of craft beers - all alcohol free of course!

Distillery Tour of Brunswick Aces

Image: Brunswick Aces

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Live in Melbourne or wanting to make the trip? Book in for a distillery tour of the first non-alcoholic bar in Australia, or check out some of their other cool experiences such as cheese and wine tasting, beer and burgers, or a cocktail class! 

Sober Girl Society Handbook

Image: @sobergirlsociety/Instagram

This Instagram account was the first sober resource I followed on my sober journey and it was such a lifesaver. It taught me everything I needed to know about how to succeed on the AF journey, thanks to founder's Millie Gooch's easy to follow, motivational tips. 

Now, she's launched a book offering all her tips and tricks to empower you to transform your relationship with alcohol. 

Feature Image: Mamamia.

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