The low and no-alcoholic drinks industry has boomed over the last few years. While early attempts might have failed the taste test, they’ve come a long way. Not only is the flavour on a par with some of your favourite alcoholic beverages, but you’re spoiled for choice. Wine. Beer. Gin. You name it, there’s a low or no-alcohol version of it.


But what are the subtle differences between beverages in this category?

  • Non-alcoholic beverages, rather confusingly, may in fact contain trace amounts of alcohol, but no more than 0.05% alcohol.

  • De-alcoholised drinks have had their alcohol removed. It’s a very tricky process to remove all the alcohol, so it will contain no less than 0.05% ABV and no more than 0.5% ABV.

  • Low alcohol drinks typically refer to drinks with a lower ABV (alcohol strength by volume) of between 0.5% and 1.2%. Keeping in mind that beer is typically around the 5% to 6% mark, switching to a low alcohol equivalent could make a big difference.

  • Reduced alcohol drinks will have an alcohol content lower than average. Make sure you read the label though, because some reduced alcohol drinks may still pack a punch. Reduced alcohol just means it’s not quite as “heavy” as its peers.

The benefit of having all these options is you can pick and choose which you prefer from a flavour point of view, and which will help you meet your drinking goals.

Lower strength drinks are a great alternative at home or on a night out as you can continue to have as many drinks as you want, you just won’t consume as many units of alcohol as you used to. And we know that has benefits.

If I’m wanting to cut down won’t low alcohol drinks trigger me to drink?

This is a tricky question and one that only you are going to be able to answer. If you find that low alcohol options tempt you to have their full strength equivalents, then these aren’t for you. But don’t stop exploring alternatives that you will enjoy. Try some fancy tonics, flashy cordials, mocktails or even pimp that coffee. Whatever you replace your alcohol with, make sure it’s something you want to drink and enjoy drinking.

And if you find that low alcohol drinks keep you on track with your drinking goals and help reinforce the positive change you’re looking for, well, keep doing that.

Find out more about low and no-alcohol beers and wines or try some of our mocktail recipes.


If you regularly drink more than 14 units of alcohol a week, switching to low alcohol alternatives is a great way to help you cut down.

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