Cracking open a bottle of wine after a hard day. Enjoying a relaxing beer on the beach as the sun goes down. Popping the Champagne cork to celebrate some good news. Alcohol is oft associated with some of life’s biggest occasions, however, an increasing focus on health and wellbeing has caused many to re-evaluate their relationship with alcohol.
This growing trend for a no-alcohol or low-alcohol life has inspired the creation of viable non-alcoholic alternatives, which offer those opting out of booze a tasty and healthier alternative. Rather than going all-out with a glass of sparkling water, non-drinkers can now enjoy craft spirits and aperitifs that are just as (if not more) delicious as alcohol. Some of the key players are already available in Singapore.
With over a decade of experience within the Asia Pacific drinks industry, Lyre’s Regional Asia Manager Rachel Ling is optimistic about Singapore’s growing non-alcoholic drinks movement: “While there is still some level of education to be done both with consumers and in the industry, we’re seeing an increasing number of great bars offering non-alcoholic cocktails that differ significantly from your standard mocktail. Far from a sugary drink that tastes nothing like a cocktail, non-alcoholic Lyre’s cocktails look, taste and sashay around the palate just like the original alcoholic version. Bartenders in Singapore are becoming increasingly comfortable with whipping up non-alcoholic cocktails, especially as you don’t have to change the recipes at all when you use Lyre’s spirits. Through the amazing non-alcoholic drinks that the bars come up with, consumers are then presented with these unforgettable taste experiences which is enough to educate and convince them.”
Crafted from 26 individually selected Asian botanicals, Singapore-based Melati was designed as a restorative non-alcoholic aperitif. A complex palate-setter, Melati is at once refreshingly fruity, floral, and spicy. With a classic spritz serve, drinkers can build one-part Melati and one-part tonic or soda water in a wine glass over ice, garnishing with an orange slice. Melati can also be combined with alcohol to create a low ABV cocktail.
Non-alcoholic spirits brand Lyre’s has crafted the world’s most comprehensive range of alcohol-free spirits and liquors, revolutionising the way we drink. Whether it’s a boozy brunch, laidback happy hour or a special celebration, the Australian-based brand places emphasis on the freedom of being able to opt for a low or no ABV tipple, no matter the occasion. With that in mind, Lyre’s has teamed up with some of Singapore’s favourite drinking spots – Manhattan, Ah Sam Cold Drink Stall and DON HO – to create inspiring non-alcoholic cocktails and offer guests an entirely different drinking experience. Indulge in the Vega from Manhattan which showcases the Lyre’s American Malt mixed with clarified apple juice, chamomile ole Saccharum and lapsang souchong tea, the Isn’t Life Grape, which is a mix of Lyre’s Aperitif Rosso, white grapes, red wine vinegar, egg white and soda or the Grapefruit Spritzer with Lyre’s Italian Spritz, grapefruit, grapefruit soda and olives.
Whether you’re looking to cut down, cut out or just try something new, Big Drop has crafted a great beer for any beer lover. These alcohol-free craft beers are of the highest quality of care, skill and innovation. Known for having bolder, hoppier flavours, it’s all about thinking outside the box to brew what beer drinkers love. Opt for the alcohol-free craft lager, which is vegan-friendly and gluten-free. The libation features light herbal and floral hop aromas, a hint of caramel with peppered spiciness on the palate and a touch of orange at the end.
Responding to global moderation trends and consumers seeking alcohol-free alternatives, McGuigan’s winemakers set out to find a way to make generous fruit-forward and balanced wine, just with the alcohol removed. The result is McGuigan Zero, a range of zero-alcohol wines featuring the same high-quality and varietal characteristics you would expect from full-strength wine, free from alcohol yet full in flavour.
On Friday 7th February, Lyre’s Non-Alcoholic Spirits hosted a preview event in Singapore for their exquisite range of lovingly crafted alcohol-free, classic spirits.
Ruby Warrington, author of Sober Curious and founder of the movement, was present to share her personal experiences, assess the history of drinking, and help re-evaluate our perception of alcohol.
The sober curiosity movement has seen a sharp increase in traction over the last few years, as people have become more in-tune with their own personal wellness journeys. It has been increasingly reported that Gen Z is the least-boozy generation to date, with more pressure at school and work being cited as the main reasons behind this change.
But what exactly is sober curiosity?
According to Ruby, it’s exactly that – to be curious about sobriety:
“[Being sober curious] means, literally, to choose to question, or get curious about, every impulse, invitation, and expectation to drink, versus mindlessly going along with the dominant drinking culture.”- Ruby Warrington
Often, Ruby argues, we drink on autopilot, with the expectation to drink at social occasions being firmly rooted in society. The sober curiosity movement encourages a judgement-free exploration of one’s relationship with alcohol and conscious drinking.
Drinking is socially ingrained
From weddings and birthday parties to work events and holidays, we commemorate many of life’s greatest moments or achievements with alcohol, with Champagne in particular being synonymous with celebration. Often, people declaring that they are abstaining is met with resistance by other members of the party, or else it is assumed that there is an underlying reason – namely pregnancy or alcoholism – behind the decision.
A rise in month-long sober social experiments such as ‘Dry January’ and ‘Sober October’ are becoming more commonplace, suggesting that people are looking for an ‘excuse’ not to drink, but how can the movement shift these mindsets and allow sober curiosity to become accepted, as opposed to reinforcing the notion that you either drink or you don’t.
So, what’s the alternative? Living sober curiously
The movement towards sober consciousness has inspired the creation of and market for viable non-alcoholic alternatives, which offer those opting out of booze a tasty, ‘grown-up’ tipple to enjoy. Brands such as Lyre’s are paving the way, lowering the ‘barrier to entry’ for the sober curious club and creating a talking point, bringing the questions of sobriety to the forefront of the conversation.
Every Lyre’s spirit is designed to look, taste and sashay around the palate just as its alcoholic counterpart might, whilst allowing drinkers to remain clear-headed and in control. Lyre’s will be available in Singapore from mid-March, and we can’t wait!
For more information on Lyre’s, and to take a look at their full range and recipe suggestions, visit their website.