How to drink a soft brew for maximum smugness
Soft Drinks for Grown Ups
When it comes to hanging out in the local, we don’t really want to be drinking the same stuff as the kids. Somehow what we drink needs to separate us from those not legally allowed into a pub without an adult. More importantly, we need a talking point.
Laura at Club Soda never likes to be outdone by those who talk about the delicate nose of the wine, or the deep flavour of the artisan craft ale. One day she will bore you on ‘how to out-do the wine snobs with a tiny bit of knowedge about tea‘, but today we thought we would make some suggestions of grown-up drinks that you can get from the supermarket or buy in the bar, and how to make the maximum impact when drinking with friends.
How to drink them:
1. Taste them just like wine (roll a little around your mouth) and gargle a little. With a wide smile, boast about how much your sense of taste has improved with a few less GnT’s this month.
2. Expand on the taste (do this by taking a sneaky look at the label on the back – it tells you all you need to know). Words like hoppy, fruity, or excotic botanicals will bamboozle your mates.
3. Explain with surprise how few calories there are in the bottle, and hint (not very subtly) at how you won’t need to work hard to burn these calories up tomorrow. In fact, the short walk to your car/the tube/to unlock your bike should do it.
4. Don’t forget to depart the evening with a spring in your step and an announcement about how much you will get done tomorrow, now that you have cut out those after-work drinks: “It’s amazing how only a few drinks saps your energy – toodle-oo“.
Childish – maybe? Fun – oh yes!
Here are our tips:
Alfresco produce their non-alcoholic Softbrew as a fruit-infused beer, “born in a brewery”. Three flavours are available: apple, lemon, and lime and elderflower. The apple one satisfies Laura when she gets her west-country lass cider cravings.
Available from @Sainsburys at £1.20 for a 275ml bottle
Fentimans Traditional Ginger Beer
Fentimans drinks are botanically brewed using ginger roots, and have been around for a number of years. They look dead posh and use lots of long words on the back that will make you look very impressive.
Comparing the transition from ordinary ginger beer, @PlanetVictoria in the Guardian wrote: “I have graduated to the far more grown-up version made by Fentimans. It is very superior, with a real kick and a very full flavour.”
Available from most major stockists, prices in @Tesco are £3.75 for four 275ml bottles
German natural drinks manufacturer Bionade have been producing high quality, naturally fermented drinks for years, and now export them all over Europe and the world. How cool would your pub look with these on the shelves. Why not give them the tip off.
Bionade is available from the Delicious Drinks Shop (@Deliciousdrinks), and is priced at £0.95 for a 330ml bottle.
Fever-Tree Ginger Beer
Fever-Tree specialise in mixers, but their high quality drinks actually double as amazing alcohol-free alternatives. The ginger beer is particularly loved and guess what – it can be mixed with other non-alcoholic drinks adding a nice kick to most things. I like this non-boozy Moscow Mule.
From @abewallin’s website 2outofthree.com: “No ginger beer strikes a better balance between sweet and spicy than Fever Tree.”
Available in most major supermarkets, @Waitrose is selling a four pack of 200ml bottles for £3.05.
Curve-ball alert! (actually, that would be a great name for a mocktail). In Japan Amazake means ‘sweet sake’, but it’s actually a fermented product that is sold by the jar. Diluted with hot water, and with added ginger, it makes a delicious alternative drink.
@jHYtse summed it up: “Last night I tried amazake (甘酒) for the first time, and it is damn delicious! I want to drink it all year round.”
Sold directly by @ClearspringFood, as well as health food shops and Plant organic, a jar costs £3.89 and will make a number of drinks.