If you are introducing your friends to the wonderful world of non-alcoholic drinks then consider these tips.
1. Overcoming the myths
It's easy to understand why some people still confuse non-alcoholic wine with grape juice. 10 years ago, most "alcohol-free wine" was grape juice! But those days have long gone.
If you have a cynical friend, a good place to start is by telling them a bit about how non-alcoholic wine is made. The same winemaking techniques that go into regular wine are used to make alcohol-free - with alcohol-removal a final step in the process.
2. It doesn't have to be all or nothing
Australia is well-known for having a strong drinking culture, so it's not a huge surprise that some people are highly resistant to alcohol-free drinks - so much so, that I was trolled on social media when I opened my Freshwater store.
Tell your friend that you're not trying to make them give up alcohol forever. The beauty of alcohol-free drinks and the mindful drinking movement is that it allows you to experience the best of both worlds. It's not about forcing anyone to be teetotal, it's about enabling people to enjoy drinking in a healthier way.
3. Encourage your friend to read our reviews
If you have been a Sans Drinks customer for a while you may have noticed that we have a customised review platform that allows reviewers to indicate whether they're a non-drinker, a regular drinker or somewhere in-between.
This information is absolute gold when it comes to converting regular drinkers to alcohol-free because these reviewers are comparing the alcohol-free drink to the alcoholic equivalent, whereas non-drinkers compare non-alcoholic drinks to other non-alcoholic drinks.
4. Entice your friend with the numerous health benefits of non-alcoholic drinks
I'm not here to take away anyone's alcohol. But I am here to wave the flag for alcohol-free. The truth is that alcohol is bad news for our health. In fact, there have been numerous studies that show the negative side effects of alcohol.
When your friends embrace non-alcoholic drinks they will notice immediate benefits such as improved sleep, increased energy and better mood. Plus, they can wave goodbye to hangxiety.
5. The most convincing alcohol-free drinks
At the end of the day, the best way to convert your friends to alcohol-free drinks is to let the drinks do the talking.
Here are my top picks for getting a sceptical friend over the line.
The product: Of all the alcohol-free drinks out there, Spritz alternatives are the closest in taste and mouthfeel to the alcoholic original. And Lyre's premix is one of the most popular on the market.
The taste: Lyre's Amalfi Spritz features bittersweet orange and Mediterranean flavours. Best served chilled with a slice of orange and a green olive.
What customers are saying: "I am a fan of spritz and this product really hits the mark. I can barely notice the difference to the real thing and it is hard to believe that it is alcohol-free and low calorie."
The Product: I've lost track of how many people I have converted with this best-selling sparkler. It's so good that both BBC Good Food and The Independent newspaper rated it the best non-alcoholic wine on the market. In fact, the Independent writes, that Noughty is "the closest you'll get to a champagne without the alcohol."
The taste: Featuring a crisp and ripe apple scent, Noughty has a dry, Champagne-style flavour profile.
What customers are saying: "This has to be the best AF sparkling I’ve had to date - not too sweet, and honestly, I couldn’t tell the difference. Loved it."
The product: I created the Ms Sans collection to fill a gap in the market. Ms Sans allows people to experience the celebration and style of a perfectly mixed, premium cocktail at home - without the need for a shopping basket full of ingredients.
The taste: Carrie Bradshaw eat your heart out. Made with alcohol-free vodka, this Cosmo is tart and zesty with a hint of juicy orange.
What customers are saying: "This Cosmopolitan cocktail is shockingly good for being alcohol-free. It is not actually a mixer, it is the entire Cosmo, love that I don't need to find any AF spirit to add to it."
The product: There is a reason that 98 per cent of Sans Drinks customers would recommend Heaps Normal to a friend. It's seriously good. Made in Australia, this beer has won an array of awards including Country Winner at the Worlds Best Beer awards.
The taste: Heaps Normal is full-flavoured XPA featuring tropical and citrus notes along with a satisfying finish and a refreshing mouthfeel.
What customers are saying: "I recently ordered a mixed dozen non-alcoholic beers from all around the world, and this one stood out head and shoulders above the rest. It has a fantastically refreshing taste and so like alcoholic beer you wouldn't know the difference. I could happily drink this beer forever!"
The product: 1920 Wines is a new kid on the block, but has quickly become a best seller - I guess good news travels fast! This wine has been made with a meticulous process involving traditional winemaking and cutting edge alcohol-removal. The result is a wine that smells and tastes just like a traditional wine.
The taste: This authentic-tasting Pinot Grigio features notes of Nashi Pear, apple and lemon along with a dry flavour profile and full mouthfeel.
What customers are saying: "I am a Pinot Grigio drinker and this was very nice. Smells and tastes like a regular Pinot Grigio, I will recommend this to friends."
The product: Naked Life was born when founder David Andrew gave up sugar and wanted sugar-free, non-alcoholic drinks.
The taste: This award-winning mocktail is an alcohol-free take on the iconic Pimms and lemonade. The complex flavour profile features a fruity, bitter gin along with a carefully balanced blend of Tahitian lime, Nigerian Ginger, distilled botanicals and lemonade.
What customers are saying: "I bought this after watching Irene's social media video about how she 'tricked' her mum who loves Pimms. I agree 100%. It is really refreshing and not too sweet."
The Product: Created by a chef, NON is different from other non-alcoholic drinks because it's not trying to replace an existing drink. Instead, NON seeks to redefine the wine occasion. This is an important distinction, especially for people who are new to non-alcoholic drinks. Your sceptical friend won't be able to compare NON to their favourite wine, which will make them more open-minded about this alcohol-free gem.
The taste: Featuring a complex mix of raspberries, chamomile and Murray River salt, NON 1 has a dry profile with lengthy fruit tannins, perfectly balanced by a floral aroma.
What customers are saying: "Loved this as bubbly alcohol-free alternative. The raspberry flavour is beautiful and the salt really helps with any sweetness. My current alcohol-free go to."