2020 has begun. A new decade is before us.
We've already helped you with the making and keeping of New Year's resolutions...Here in case you didn't get the memo.
The biggest resolution for most of us is a wish to be healthier, and the solution to that can often be found in less booze. Around 4million of us in the UK are taking part in Dry January, or at least attempting it. And out of that 4million, a significant percentage continue into February to cement their achievements.
So in this Year of the Rat, if you feel that getting rat-arsed is taking its toll, we at GSHQ have put together some gentler options for your liver...and your wallet.
Here are five low-alcohol alternatives from beer to spirits.
Brew Dog, Nanny State, 0.5%ABV
Having overtaken Erdinger Alkholfrie in popularity, Nanny State's pale
ale is now the go-to non-alcoholic beer. Even former hard-core lager lovers (alcoholics) swear by its authentic solid body. It pours a deep golden amber colour with a fluffy white head that doesn't disappear after one sip. With a light, bitter body and flavours of citrus and pine, it's a bankable low alcohol beer.
Compared to Punk IPA's 160 calories per 330ml bottle, Nanny State boasts only 26 calories, so there's a greater chance you'll feel bloated before overindulging.
And with the rise of the various alcohol-free beers most bars and supermarkets stock it. So you won't be left with holding a bottle of Beck's Blue. Jesus.
Nosecco, less than 0.5%ABV
Reviews of this sparkling wine tend to use the same two words: refreshing and light.
Regular Processo hits the brain like a hit of pure oxygen and though Nosecco
has the bubbles, you may feel like you're missing out on that dizzying rush.
But when it comes down to it, a non-alcoholic Processo is tough to create without tasting overly sweet. It's similar to the flowery Gerwutztraminar...not too sweet with a clean, dry finish.
Atopia Spiced Citrus Ultra Low Alcohol, 0.5%ABV
A go-to replacement for when you want a cocktail. Atopia
is best suited with your favourite tonic, ice and a slice of orange. A glass (with tonic) contains 75 times less alcohol than a standard gin and tonic. That means that with each drink you're 75 times less likely to say something foolish.
With Botanics of juniper, orange and coriander, craft gin is an obvious inspiration. In taste, Atopia is citrusy with a touch of aromatic spice. It's refreshing, rounded and zesty.
Torres Natureo De-Alcoholised Muscat, 0%ABV
Unlike many 'de-alcoholised' white wines, which are often no better than cold fruit juice, this one
has a real depth of flavour and a good aftertaste. It is on the sweet side, but it is a Muscat so that's to be expected.
Served with ice and a dash of sparkling water it makes a very solid spritzer. Wine lovers on the wagon say it's got the edge over the well-known alcohol-free Eisberg Savignon Blanc and Leitz Eins Zwei Zero wines.
Rawsons Retreat Cabernet Sauvignon, 0.5%ABV
Looking at bottle and colour, this
wouldn't look out of place sitting alongside reds on the shelf at your local supermarket.
The smell is almost jam-like, with juicy blackcurrant aromas. And the taste is fresh, bright and more-ish. All that's missing is the warm hug of alcohol to help remove any feelings of guilt or regret.
Speaking of guilt, with only 28 calories per 175ml, you can drink it with cheese and crackers without feeling quite as greedy.
On the grapevine:
The laws and terminology of what constitutes an alcoholic drink varies depending on where you are in Europe.
For the purpose of simplicity, we deemed anything below 0.5%ABV as alcohol-free and anything up to and including 1.2%ABV as low alcohol.
As of 2009 the UK Food labelling regulations state:
Alcohol-free beer = no more than 0.05%ABV
De-alcoholised beer = no more than 0.5% ABV
Low-alcohol beer = no more than 1.2%ABV
Alcoholic beer = contains more than 1.2%ABV