As much as we love sipping on a glass of French wine or a stronger Cognac AOC French brandy, sometimes it’s nice to enjoy the party without the morning after. No longer limited to tasteless non-alcoholic beers, the low- and no-alcohol drinks are in high spirits - especially with young crowds. And it’s just the beginning!
According to independent UK charity Drinkaware, the level of ABV leads the labelling: alcohol-free alternatives must contain no more than 0.05%, whereas low-alcohol drinks contain a maximum 1.2% AVB.
However, ‘alcohol-free’ in Europe and in the USA means ‘anything under 0.5% ABV’, so watch carefully; as French products, for instance, can be labelled differently.
Moderation is the new cool
Fuelled by a general moderation trend and the successive lockdowns, the low- and no-alcohol drinks market is on the rise, claiming its own spot in your drinks cabinet.
From sophisticated cocktails in high-end bars to your supermarket shelves, you may have seen them pop over the past few years. And it’s not going to change anytime soon, with a market in the UK of no less than with £255 million in volume sales last year, according to a 2022 Mintel report.
The future is looking promising too : a study by alcohol-free brand Lucky Saint expects the UK low-and-no market to be worth upwards of £450m by 2024. And can you believe it, now a third of pub visits are alcohol-free!
Taste, taste, taste
Beer, gin, whisky, wine alternatives… You can now find every style of alcoholic beverage under the sun you can think of. Yes, they are all made within those ABV limits, but they’re all about the taste. Their biggest challenge? Seducing consumers with complex flavour profiles. Because in the end, it’s not because you’ve decided to cut down or totally cut back, that you should compromise on flavour and quality!
Well, good news: many of these products are a far cry from a classic soft drink, or a mock-up version of the real thing. Now let’s get you a proper drink, fun and innovative, with its own kick!
French brands making a name for themselves in the UK - Taste France Magazine’s selection
Creative French brands are entering the UK market, and we couldn’t be happier! From a cheeky Rosé-style sparkling to a non-alcoholic rum in the world made in the French Alps.
Here are some of multi-awarded French favourites…Santé!
French Bloom Le Rosé Organic French Bubbly
This organic bubbly is a glamorous party ally. It is made from organic white grape juice; sparkling spring water and fermented grape juice. You can expect minerality, freshness, touches of red fruits, white peach and rose petals. It was even awarded the ‘world’s best alcohol-free Sparkling’ at the 2022 World Sparkling Awards.
£32.99 from Selfridges
Pierre Chavin Merlot
Merlot, but make it zero! Made in Languedoc-Roussillon, this fruity red de-alocholised wine delivers aromas of ripe red fruits. A very aromatic and affordable alternative to its traditional counterpart!
£6.58 from Vinello
SOBER-Rum 0.0% - 50cl
Voted best non-alcoholic spirit in the world by the IWSC in London in 2021, it is made from authentic French rum, but with a 0.0%ABV. You can expect classic aromas of wood, caramelised dried fruits and a hint of vanilla. Your ideal mocktail partner.
£24.99, from Il Gusto