The very existence of Sans Drinks, a super-store for all things alcohol free, shows that Australian drinking culture is changing. Right now, there are more non-drinkers than ever before, there are more alcohol-free drinks available and we’re starting to see more bars and restaurants adding serious non-alcoholic drinks to their menu – it’s a great time to be a non-drinker.
What is mindful drinking?
Mindful drinking is about having a healthy relationship with alcohol – it means that when you decide to have an alcoholic drink you stay present and in control of your drinking decisions rather than being swept away by the situation. For example, mindful drinking is going for after work drinks and sticking to one or two alcoholic drinks rather than feeling pressured to have another, and another.
Mindful drinking can be a positive way to cut back on alcohol consumption – you inevitably drink fewer units meaning you sleep better, have more energy, help boost your immune system and avoid unnecessary weight gain.
How do you begin?
So how do you begin practicing mindful drinking? Start by being super honest with yourself about your drinking habits – don’t be too hard on yourself, this is definitely not about judging. Ask questions like; ‘why do I drink?’ ‘How do I feel when I drink?’ And ‘what do I want my drinking habits to look like?’
Next, set some intentions – some people start by sticking to the recommended alcohol units (the current Australian guidelines recommend no more than 10 standard drinks a week and no more than 4 standard drinks on any one day), or set personal guidelines such as only drinking alcohol at the weekend or having at least three alcohol-free days a week.
Be flexible with yourself – your guidelines are not set in stone.
How can non-alcoholic drinks help?
When you plan to have alcohol free days, consider an alcohol alternative such as alcohol-free beer, wine or spirits. At Sans Drinks, our range of alcohol-free drinks is so good that I can almost guarantee you will find an alcohol-free version of your favourite drink.
These drinks can be used as a straight swap for your usual drink and will give you something to order (or take with you) something to hold and crucially, something to enjoy so that you don’t start to feel like you are missing out.
Alcohol-free drinks can also help you cut down the number of alcoholic units you consume during a night out. Try alternating an alcoholic drink with a non-alcoholic drink or switching to alcohol free when you have finished your allocated mindful drinks.
Stay in the moment – pause to enjoy the different flavours of your drink, appreciate the glassware, notice how the drink makes you feel. Afterall, the key to doing anything mindfully is to pay attention.
Popular non-alcoholic drinks to try
If you haven't tried alcohol-free drinks before then you might feel a bit overwhelmed with choice. Here are some of my best sellers to get you started.
Made in the UK, this sparkling wine has delicate champagne-like bubbles and packs some impressive plant power in terms of added vitamins and antioxidants. With a rounded, mineral palate and aromas of juicy strawberry and Cornish orchard fruits, Wild Life Sparkling Blush is also vegan, and low in sugar and calories.
This acclaimed sparkling Chardonnay is one of our best sellers, and one of the closest in taste, mouthfeel and aroma to a premium French Champagne. Made from Chardonnay grapes, this sparkling wine is pale in colour with an extra dry, crisp taste. It is also Certified Organic, Certified Vegan and very low in sugar, making it one of the best non-alcoholic options available.
Created in the Marlborough wine region of New Zealand, this non-alcoholic Sauvignon Blanc is the alc-free version of the traditional Giesen Sauvignon Blanc. It has everything you would expect from a classic Sauvignon Blanc with flavours of fresh lime, juicy redcurrant and blackcurrant, smooth passionfruit and zesty lemon shortbread with a long dry finish.
Our best selling ready to drink mocktail, the Lyre's Amalfi Spritz is a convincing alc-free version of the classic Spritz. With bittersweet orange and Mediterranean flavours, this drink is also vegan and made in Australia. Just chill and serve over ice.