Want to drink less rather than give up? These drinks have a lower abv

4th Jan 19 | Lifestyle

Check out these 'low' tipples to refresh the taste buds in between those dry days, says Sam Wylie-Harris.

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We’ve all been there. You want to cut back on your alcohol content but don’t want to go the whole hog. Especially when you know you’ll need a little bit of exhilaration and a drop of deliciousness to rescue you through the dog days of January.

Well, how about mixing up your drinks repertoire with something a little less strong, still as tasty, that won’t make you feel guilty… or too tipsy to stick to your new year’s resolution of turning to ‘low’?

Here’s how to cut down on the booze, but still get a round in…

No need for fizz-fanatics to feel flat when you can crack open a bottle of Martini Asti (£9.36, 7.5% abv, Ocado) which boasts a lower abv than prosecco, and just a touch more welcome sweetness with fresh pear and pineapple at the fore.

A timeless Italian tradition, an aperitivo (pre-meal drink) is light on alcohol and bitter on taste, and while we all love a classic Aperol Spritz – an easy 3-2-1 mix of prosecco-Aperol-soda water, which tots up at 11% abv – why not keep it fresh and dry with Jacobs’ Creek Aperitivo Spritz (£11, 8.5% abv, Asda). Simply pour over ice and savour the zesty notes of sweet blood oranges mingling with bitter-sweet citrus notes.

Tesco Low Alcohol G&T
(Tesco/PA)

It may not be crafty enough for serious gin lovers, but if you fancy a bunch of botanicals – including juniper berries, citrus peel and angelica root – blended with Indian tonic water to create a sparkling sip with similar aromas of a classic G&T, try Tesco’s Low Alcohol G&T (£1, 0.5% abv, Tesco).

Why pass on a Bloody Mary when you can have a Virgin Bloody Mary – or the closest thing to it? All the salt and spice with plenty of kick, but if you do want a cheeky shot of vodka, simply half the 45ml measure.

Head to the German wine aisle, in particular the riesling section, and you’ll find a plethora of light bodied white wines ranging in styles from bone dry to very sweet. Food friendly and a sommeliers’ favourite, a medium dry riesling pairs beautifully with spicy, Asian food and with an average 8.5% abv, what’s not to love about this fragrant white wine?

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Keep it simple with a low abv cocktail such as a white port and tonic. Pick a sweet, fruity white port such as Martins de Sa’ from the picturesque Douro Valley and simply pour 50ml into a tall highball glass, fill with ice and top with a bottle of Franklin & Sons Natural Indian Tonic Water. Serve with orange zest and dried rosemary and you’ll have a thirst quencher with approx 3.9% abv for a 250ml drink. Replace with a half measure of 25ml and you’ll be looking at just under 2%. Ta-da!

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