Reducing your alcohol intake? Excellent! There are a whole new range of drinks to explore. Even top local restaurants are now fully on board – Restaurant Mosaic outside Pretoria offers a non-alcoholic drinks pairing feautring juices and consommés, and at The Test Kitchen in Cape Town you can opt to pair teas with the tasting menu.
With less than 0.5% alcohol by volume, Lautus dealcoholised wines by winemaker Reg Holder are a great option for anyone cutting down. The Savvy Red has fine tannins and juicy fruit flavours, while the Savvy White boasts tropical fruit and lime notes.
Also look out for Woolies’ non-alcoholic Sparkling Rosé 100% grape juice. Serve chilled with a ball of berry sorbet for a fizzy, festive float.
Take your tonic
Invest in a good-quality tonic such as rooibos-infused sparkling tonic water from Coco Safar’s botanical microbrewery in Sea Point, or Woolies’ sparkling cucumber tonic (add a squeeze of fresh lime, slices of cucumber or orange and you – almost – won’t notice the difference). Coco Safar also makes sparkling drinks from tea and coffee sweetened with tiny quantities of maple syrup – try the coffee-citrus cold brew.
MORE THIRST QUENCHERS
Cordials and syrups, readymade and home-made, are a must for adding refreshing flavour to sparkling water. Try Woolies’ elder ower-flavoured syrup, or make your own raspberry cordial using 400 g raspberries and 240 g caster sugar. Boil for 3–4 minutes, then strain. Serve with loads of ice, sparkling water and a sprig of mint.
Kombucha is not completely alcohol-free, though commercially sold versions generally contain only trace amounts. The flavour is similar to cider but it’s also available in many delicious flavours. Try Woolies’ batch-brewed kombucha made with beetroot juice and rooibos tea, and sparkling raspberry and Ceylon.
Make a sober cocktail
Made with distilled water and botanicals, Ginifer’s SOBER gin is infused with juniper, angelica root, mint and sweet orange peel. Make a strawberry SOBER smash by muddling 2 chopped strawberries, 3 raspberries and 25 ml simple syrup in a gin glass. Add ice, 50 ml Ginifer SOBER gin, and top up with ginger ale to taste. If you don’t mind a small quantity of alcohol, add a dash of bitters. (Also try VerGin from Vermont in the Overberg.)
Try it in this rainbow peppercorn and basil-spiced gin cloud