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FOOD & DRINK

The Best Alcohol–Free Drinks to Try If You're Doing Dry July

From hangover-free negronis to gose-style hibiscus drinks and tinnies made with native Australian ingredients.
By Libby Curran
July 14, 2020
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The Best Alcohol–Free Drinks to Try If You're Doing Dry July

From hangover-free negronis to gose-style hibiscus drinks and tinnies made with native Australian ingredients.
By Libby Curran
July 14, 2020
  shares

Breaking up with booze for a month to raise some funds for cancer research? Perhaps you want to reset after a few too many couch vinos in iso? Or maybe you're simply looking to embrace a more liver-friendly lifestyle overall? Whatever your reason for axing (or just relaxing) that alcohol intake, Dry July's as good a time as ever to dive in. And helpfully, you've got a swag of creative-thinking Aussie bars and locally-made booze-free tipples on your side.

From zero-hangover beers crafted on native ingredients, to botanical-driven mocktails packing just as much of a flavour punch as their boozy counterparts, here are a few alcohol-free goodies to check out during Dry July.

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Image: Demetre Minchev

SOBAH

Booze-free beer is nothing new, but one Gold Coast company is taking the concept to a whole new place. Aboriginal-owned Sobah is whipping up a range of non-alcoholic tinnies heroing sustainably-sourced native ingredients like davidson plum and finger lime. And these cans will quench your thirst for a cold, fizzy brew, even while that alcohol content clocks in at less than 0.5 percent. Right now, you can get your hands on crafty drops like a lemon aspen pilsner, a pepperberry IPA and a zesty finger lime cerveza, each housed in a bright, arty tin you'd be more than happy to whip out at that next barbecue.

Sobah's also doing its bit to raise awareness and conversation around mindful drinking and healthy lifestyle choices, throwing support behind organisations like 101 Tokens.

Find four-packs from $18 available at select bottle shops and online.

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MONDAY DISTILLERY

If you fancy limiting carbs as well as that ABV, this premix tipple is about to become your new best mate. Port Fairy's Monday Distillery has created a series of non-alcoholic riffs on classic mixed sips like the gin and tonic and the dark and stormy. And not only are these beauties free from alcohol, but they're crafted with zero sugar and come packaged in some pretty elegant kit. A sophisticated step up from standard mineral water or super sweet soft drinks, if ever there was one. Right now, the Monday range runs from a classic dry G&T to a ginger-spiked rum-style concoction, though we're told you should stay tuned for more vodka and whisky-inspired goodies to come.

Find four-packs from $24 from Victorian Dan Murphy's and online

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LYRE'S SPIRIT CO

Need some reassurance that ditching the booze needn't also mean ditching flavour and creativity? Contemporary drinks brand Lyre's is all the proof you need, with its 13-strong stable of non-alcoholic concoctions, each nodding to a different classic spirit or liqueur. This broad-ranging lineup opens up a world of possibility for those wanting to nix, or limit, the alcohol, allowing you to create endless variations on much-loved mixed drinks and cocktails. There's a bitter orange creation reminiscent of Campari, a signature Dry London Spirit modelled on a classic gin, and even an homage to the Green Fairy. Swap out your usual booze of choice with one of these Lyre's drops and leave the FOMO far behind. And, if you buy a bottle now, you'll score a free private virtual bartending class.

Find 700-millilitre bottles for $45 at select bottle shops and online.

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NON

If you're breaking from the booze and looking to fill a wine-shaped hole in your life, you'll find a worthy alternative in Non — a series of alcohol-free drinks created in Melbourne by ex-Noma chef William Wade. The brand currently makes five different 0 percent ABV sips, carefully crafted with premium ingredients and rocking some grown-up flavour combinations. Featured in the lineup are a couple of wine-inspired creations — a salted raspberry and chamomile number that's similar to a pét-nat, and a nod to a sparkling shiraz with flavours of roast beetroot and sansho pepper. Otherwise, you can answer your cider cravings with the caramelised pear and kombu blend, opt for the gose-style hibiscus drink, or hit aperitivo hour armed with Non's toasted cinnamon and yuzu concoction.

Find 750-millilitre bottles for $30 from select wine stores and online

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Dry Negroni at Gin Lane

DRINKING OUT IN SYDNEY

GIN LANE, CHIPPENDALE

Over in Chippendale, the botanical enthusiasts at Gin Lane are flexing their creativity with a whole lineup of non-alcoholic creations heroing the Lyre's stable. Here, some of your favourite gin drinks have been given a booze-free makeover, with options like the dry southside, a dry martini with a twist or olive, and a hangover-free riff on the negroni.

TOKO, SURRY HILLS

Sake might be the natural match to Toko's elegant Japanese fare, but if you're off the booze, you'll find the bar's lineup of signature non-alcoholic cocktails also stand up pretty darn well. Expect crafty creations like the Kodachi Spritz, made using Seedlip's Grove 42 blend, with coconut, lychee and salted grapefruit soda.

THE BOTANIST, KIRRIBILLI

This Kirribilli bar's botanical theme extends right through the drinks list to a selection of lively, alcohol-free sips that are every bit as satisfying as a regular weekend cocktail. Hold your own against the boozers with something like the Kirribilli Highball: a fruity fusion of Cedar's non-alcoholic gin, smashed pineapple, lime and basil.

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Booze-free G&Ts at Covent Garden

DRINKING OUT IN BRISBANE

COVENT GARDEN, WEST END

West End bar Covent Garden might be best known for its sprawling gin selection, but it also makes a pretty mean mocktail. The kind that'll impress your taste buds and your Instagram followers alike. Signatures include the likes of the We're Out Of Rum — a blend of apple, mint and lime — or you can play mix and match with the bar's extensive range of specialty tonics.

JUMPING GOATS, MARGATE

A champion for all sorts, this neighbourhood bar not only boasts a hefty selection of gluten-free goodies, but is serving up a truly impressive list of non-alcoholic liquid treats. Head in for a range of booze-free brews, alongside house mocktails like the Margate Sunset: orange, bitters and fresh lime, finished with a splash of ginger ale.

MECCA BAH, NEWSTEAD

Mecca Bah is serving up a full-flavoured drinks offering to match its modern Middle Eastern and Mediterranean eats. Including a handful of fruit-forward mocktails that'll have you feeling as sophisticated a sipper as the rest of them. Join in the fun with the likes of the Iced Apple and Cinnamon Turkish Tea, or the Pink Fez, spiked with lychee, pineapple and vanilla.

Published on July 14, 2020 by Libby Curran

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