Until recently, going without alcohol was a tough ask, mainly because of the lack of genuine alternatives. But these days, with the flood of amazing non-alcoholic alternatives arriving in shops across the country, it’s quite easy to swap out the frustration for a sense of adventure. The modern drinker, no longer determined to have a beer or wine with every meal, can set out on an exploration of new breweries and intriguing flavours. There are some amazing options out there, so this week we thought we’d have a look at the world of non-alcoholic cider alternatives.
“Non-alcoholic cider alternatives” is a bit of a mouthful, certainly, but there’s a reason for that added last word. When people are looking for non-alcoholic drinks, there’s a tendency simply to look for the most obvious replacement. Non-alcoholic wine, non-alcoholic beer, non-alcoholic cider – these are all straight swaps. As modern drinkers ourselves, we’re keen to look beyond that habit and find things that offer an amazing taste experience in their own right.
REAL’s non-alcoholic alternatives to wine
Kombucha, of course, is one of those drinks we’ve just mentioned. It’s patently not a cider, given that it’s not brewed from apples. However, some kombucha's have a flavour profile that can really please a cider drinker. It’s that complex fermented bite that does it, lingering long on the taste buds and giving the hint of something alcoholic while remaining at around the 0.5% mark. If you’re keen to give a kombucha a go, we’d recommend our own Dry Dragon, which ferments to reveal notes of citrus and green apples, which makes it most similar to a non-alcoholic cider. It’s a wonderful drink to pair with a meal, too, really ticking the boxes when you’re plating up fish or green salads.
Sheppy’s Low Alcohol Classic Cider
We were lucky enough to discover this delicious non-alcoholic cider at a festival last year when we swapped a couple of bottles for a bit of muscle (they were having trouble with an oversized fridge… it’s a long story). One difficulty we’ve found with some so-called non-alcoholic ciders is that they tend to taste like fizzy apple juice. Not so with Sheppy’s. There’s that bite that we mentioned earlier – that sense of something having been brewed rather than mixed.
This is a regular addition to our fridge, but where do you find this delicious non-alcoholic cider? We usually get ours from the Dry Drinker website. Well worth stocking up on for a sunny day.
Stowford Press Non-Alcoholic Cider
What marks a good non-alcoholic cider from a glass of Appletiser is the level of sweetness. Stowford Press have been making cider since 1878, so they know a thing or two about what tastes right, and here they’ve hit the sweet spot (excuse the pun) in terms of sugary balance. Wonderfully crisp and full of moreish bite.
Again, we tend to get ours from Dry Drinker. You can find it here.
Braxzz Oaked Cider 0.0%
When it comes to this Dutch non-alcoholic cider, we’re particularly taken with the fermented apple taste – again, something that really sets it aside from a traditional soft drink. There’s a hoppiness to it, too, and the oak finish gives it a complexity that really pleases the palate.
You can find Braxzz non-alcoholic cider on their website.
The Good Cider of San Sebastien
For those that like their cider a lot lighter and sweeter, try this juicy option from the North coast of the Spanish Pyrenees. A traditional Basque cider, this comes from a 3-generations old brewery working out of their own orchard. Very popular in Spain, it is brewed in an apple and a peach flavour. Something for a sun-splashed drinking occasion.
We get our Good Cider from Light Drinks. You can find it here.