With Christmas creeping up, we’re all too aware of how important it is to plan. The festive season isn’t necessarily the easiest if you’re looking to cut down or quit your drinking, but that doesn’t mean you should give up. We’ve got some great suggestions for lovely non-alcoholic drinks you can take to a party, serve at your events or give as gifts to your non-drinking friends.
We were intrigued when we first heard of this drink, it’s a recipe that comes from medieval monks. In the 1980’s the owner of Welle Manor, a former monastery, rediscovered the recipe and thus Norfolk Punch was born. And it sounds like those monks just went crazy in the herb garden. It contains: Alder Leaf, Alehoof, Angelica, Bay Leaf, Camomile, Caraway, Cinnamon, Clove, Daisy, Dandelion, Dock, Elder Berry, Elder Flower, Fennel, Feverfew, Ginger Root, Grape Skin, Hops, Lemon Balm, Lime Flower, Lime Leaf, Liquorice, Meadowsweet, Nutmeg, Peppermint, Poppy, Rosemary, Samphire, Thyme, and Vervain.
Does that sound like it would be good?
We’re not sure that it does. As it turns out though Norfolk Punch is pretty tasty. It’s not bad at room temperature but the consensus seems to be that it improves dramatically when heated. Like a very good mulled wine. Perfect for winter evenings.
This is ‘Dickesian-inspired’ and thanks to Scrooge, Dickens will forever be linked with Christmas. It’s a ginger wine,
flavoured with raisin, cowslip and elderflower. The initial flavour doesn’t seem particularly intense but it follows up with a huge kick of ginger. It’s golden colour and wine-ish bottle make it look both festive and grown up. It would make a great addition to a Christmas hamper or a Christmas party! Available from Holland and Barrett, £4.99 725ml.
Sometimes you just need a glass of something fizzy to toast. This is basically sparkling apple and blueberry juice which is pretty lovely if you’re looking for something slightly different from the ubiquitous elderflower fizz. Originally it was only made for the Christmas period but it was so popular it’s now available all year round. That sounds like a ringing endorsement to me. Available online and from health food shops, £4.95.
Carl Jung are a German winery, who have been making de-alcoholised wines since 1908. They have a great reputation, and the wines are widely available. Sarah Stacey in the Daily Mail wrote: “Medium-dry and refreshing with peachy notes, this was a clear winner. Great for parties.” De-alcoholized wines can be a bit hit and miss but if you’re going to give them a try this is a good place to start! This sparkling wine is available from Delicious Drinks Shop (@Deliciousdrinks), £6.95 for 750ml.
Made with real elderberries, blackcurrants & orange spiced up with cinnamon, cloves & nutmeg this is basically distilled Christmas. It’s delicious warm or cold and looks very pretty, which is important if you’re gifting. If you find it a bit sweet add a little water and an extra slice of orange.