The low-alcohol drinks produced in and around north-west Essex
- Credit: Charlotte Bond/UnLtd/Pinkster
Cutting down on alcohol is one of Britain's most popular New Years resolutions.
According to Statista, 20 per cent of Britons making resolutions say they want to reduce their alcohol consumption from January 1.
There are even national challenges to encourage people to cut out alcohol for a month, such as Alcohol Change UK's Dry January.
If you are thinking of jumping on the "No/Low" trend this winter, there is a growing range of tasty tipples to try from producers in and around north-west Essex.
1. Mooze Booze
Mel Sims from Great Bardfield launched Mooze 12% in January 2021.
"I realised how much I and everybody else was drinking during the Covid-19 lockdown," Mel said. "But even before lockdown, I always wondered why it was the men who had good low-alcohol brands.
"I wanted to create something which I would drink with the mums, so I created a low-alcohol gin.
"I worked with a distiller in Great Yeldham and came up with a 12pc gin with plenty of botanical flavour.
"We are very much a quick, guilt-free drink for when you get home after a busy day, or for when you want to keep a clear head but enjoy a light kick.
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"It's about creating options for people who want to cut down for a range of reasons."
Mooze is online: https://moozebooze.com/
2. Pinkster Spritz
Pinkster Spritz is produced with raspberries and elderflower grown in the Cambridgeshire countryside.
It is part of the Pinkster range, which was created near Duxford in 2013 by marketing guru, Stephen Marsh.
The Spritz is 24pc alcohol by volume (ABV), but Stephen says a mixer can reduce the alcohol content to as little as two percent.
Stephen said: "During lockdown, we felt like we were drinking too much.
"My wife challenged me to develop something with a lower ABV - something which I could have at home."
He said that quality "low-no" projects are difficult to produce.
Stephen said: "Flavour sticks to alcohol, unlike water, so we set out to create something which didn't taste too diluted.
Stephen described the drink as light, refreshing, and said it is designed for picnics, gift-giving and quiet evenings at home.
Pinkster Spritz is online: https://www.pinkstergin.com/pinkster-spritz/
Hertfordshire brewer Johnny Johnson took on a teetotal challenge and abstained from alcohol for 111 days in 2019.
The following year, he created his own alcohol-free beer brand which could compete with drinks in pubs and clubs.
"I worked in The City. In my 20s, I was part of the drinking culture there," Johnny said. "When I hit 30, a couple of beers would lead to a hangover.
"When I went alcohol-free for three months, I discovered that there are loads of good drinks, but they often weren't in pubs - you had to order them online."
The company launched in June 2020.
Johnny said: "I missed the taste of beer.
"I wanted UnLtd to be a healthy brand which looks good and tastes right."
He added that peer pressure associated with works drinks was his greatest challenge in going alcohol-free.
"Ultimately, I slept better, got more done, and the positives outweigh the negatives," he said.
UnLtd is online: https://www.unltd.beer/