Whether you’re cutting back on your alcohol intake or just fancy something new, there’s a whole range of soft drinks and non-alcoholic beverages to enjoy…
Whether your New Year resolution is to give up alcohol, cut back, or branch out into trying new drinks, one easy way to do all of that and more is to turn to non-alcoholic alternatives.
From artisanal lemonades made using local fruit, to a Scottish version of cola, not to mention a variety of non-alcoholic beers, spirits and cocktails, there’s lots to be discovered this year in terms of alcohol-free drinks.
With trends showing non-alcoholic drinks are on the rise, be ahead of the curve and find new favourites before everyone else.
Artisan soft drinks
Summerhouse Drinks – Fraserburgh, Aberdeenshire
Run by Claire Rennie at her farm in Fraserburgh, Aberdeenshire, Summerhouse Drinks boasts a whole range of delicious flavours of artisan lemonades.
From lavender to mint, not forgetting her raspberry flavour which she uses local berries to make, the brand is definitely worth trying if you love traditional lemonade.
Bon Accord – Edinburgh
Founded in Arborath in 1903 by the Robb family, soft drinks firm Bon Accord has witnessed two world wars, financial crashes, not to mention a global pandemic in its time.
Now based in Edinburgh, the business, which closed in 2000, relaunched in 2016 and has been producing the much-loved drinks ever since.
With flavours such as cloudy lemonade, rhubarb, ginger beer, pink grapefruit and cream soda there’s plenty to try out.
Alba Cola – Glasgow
Made with Scottish water and heather extract, this refreshing take on the original drink is lightly carbonated with a buzz of botanicals. Alba Cola is made in Glasgow with all-natural sugars and is also suitable for vegans.
It also makes a mean coke float!
Rapscallion Soda – Glasgow
Rapscallion is best known for its unique flavours and using raw ingredients from local Scottish farmers.
Established in 2016, the soft drinks firm boasts a whole range of sodas including rhubarb, burnt lemon, lime, strawberry, cranachan and more, and organic raw cane sugar helps bind all the flavours together, plus a little vitamin C to stop any oxidisation.
Once carbonated at their premises in Glasgow, they are good to be sold and enjoyed by the masses. Perfect on their own, you can also add them to any non-alcoholic, or alcoholic beverage as a mixer.
Feragaia – East Neuk, Fife
One of Scotland’s first distilled alcohol-free spirits, Feragaia recently signed a deal with luxury UK retailer Harrods, which will see the product now in more than 100 outlets across the country.
Run by Bill Garnock, the entrepreneur gave up a successful career in America to return to the East Neuk to set up his own drinks frim.
Developed over 18 months, Feragaia uses 14 land and sea botanicals including chamomile, seaweed, blackcurrant and bay leaf.
Old Curiosity – Edinburgh
Distilling six gin botanicals to create the flavour profile of their non-alcoholic spirit, Old Curiosity has created a product which is a great substitute for gin and can easily be enjoyed with a range of tonic flavours.
Using juniper, coriander, cardamom, lemon balm, yarrow and calendula which is grown and hand-picked at the distillery’s own herb garden on the outskirts of Edinburgh, the spirit is completely natural and contains no preservatives or flavourings.
Boasting everything from a non-alcoholic rum to non-alcoholic vodka and gin, Stryyk has captured the flavours of the different spirits and created beverages which may mirror the tastes of them, but don’t boast the additional calories or alcoholic units.
Creating products you can use in place of their alcoholic counterparts, Stryyk products are excellent in mocktails and can also be enjoyed with other soft drinks/mixers.
Irn-Bru owner AG Barr acquired a 20% stake in Elegantly Spirited, producer of zero-alcohol ‘spirit’ Stryyk, for £1 million in 2019.
BrewDog – Ellon, Aberdeenshire
The Ellon-based beer giant is not only on a mission to give every single one of their customers a beer they can enjoy, but they’re also trying to save the planet while doing so with their new campaign tackling carbon emissions.
For those who are looking for non-alcoholic beers, BrewDog offers three currently, including the brand’s popular Punk AF, Nanny State and Lost AF, all of which sit at 0.5% ABV.
Jump Ship Brewery – Edinburgh
Scotland’s first alcohol-free beer brewery, Jump Ship Brewing specialises in offering up refreshing brews with all of the delicious taste of beer, and no alcohol.
The firm brews in small batches, with no beers more than 0.5% ABV, and the range is also gluten-free and vegan. Yardarm lager was the flagship beer and is a crisp, refreshing lager.
Jump Shop Brewing has also committed to give at least 10% of its profits to charity, too.
Harviestoun Brewery – Alva
While the majority of Harviestoun Brewery‘s products are alcoholic, the firm launched its Wheesht dark ale which is 0.0% ABV to ensure it appealed to another market, so that everyone who liked their beers has something they can toast with.
The dark ruby ale boasts aromas of roasted chocolate, sweet biscuit and dried fruit, and is packed with flavour.
Eden Mill’s Eden Nil – St Andrews
The non-alcoholic version of Eden Mill‘s original gin and tonic comes in a 250ml can and can be enjoyed like any other beverage.
Working with the Secret Herb Garden in Edinburgh and their expert botanists, the team behind the St Andrews distillery and brewery has created a non-alcoholic distillate using only water, juniper, coriander, lemon balm and cardamom. Pairing it with tonic, the alcohol-free version doesn’t compromise on taste and boasts the same quality of any of the other drinks.
Sparklingly Sober – Glasgow
These range of non-alcoholic cocktails are inspired by famous Champagne cocktails and are made using soft Scottish water.
Sparklingly Sober wanted to give those who love cocktails the opportunity to drink them without all of the alcohol, and each one has less than 65 calories per 330ml serve, too.
Based just outside of Glasgow, the team of six work to develop a whole range of different flavours and products including a Nomosa, Kir Refusal, and Sparklingly Sober’s Nose to name a few.
Bad Gal Boocha – Ladybank, Fife
Heather Blair has been running Bad Gal Boocha since July 2019, bringing all sorts of flavoured kombucha to the local market.
They include plain, ginger, lemon, rosemary, coffee, apple blossom and spiced apple, and all of her products are vegan, too.
Making around 300 bottles per week, the nursing student has worked hard over the past year to bring an eco-friendly drink to customers, showing that sustainability is at the heart of her business by ensuring every part of her packaging is recyclable.
Ace Kombucha – Cairngorms
Based in the Cairngorms National Park in the north-east, Ace Kombucha partners Lisa and Ewen Riddell have been working for the past four years to raise the drink’s profile.
Making small batches, the pair ferment the tea-based drink and have now produced a range which features a whole array of flavours.
From hibiscus to jasmine, not to mention Darjeeling and oolong, there’s plenty to sample.