While many of us enjoy a glass of wine or pint of beer, especially when the summer evenings gift us extra warmth and light, most of us are aware that alcohol isn't the healthiest choice. Consuming alcohol on a regular basis can make it difficult to manage a healthy weight, and increases the chances of developing serious physical and mental illness.
A general trend towards healthier living means that more and more people are stepping away from alcohol globally, particularly younger people. Where binge drinking was once considered a problem of youth, unfortunately it is the older generation who are in danger of overstepping the recommended guidelines. The number of 16-24 year olds who drink regularly has decreased by 40% between 2005 and 2013. A fifth of under 25s in the UK are now completely teetotal, and this number continues to rise.
Bars and restaurants are catching on to this trend, with many offering more creative non-alcoholic options. Dry cocktail bar pop-ups have a growing market in UK cities. But when it comes to enjoying something other than water, tea, or a sugary soft drink at home with your dinner, the options remain sparse.
Botonique is a herbal drink, created by wine merchant Hilary Marsh who was frustrated at the lack of options available when she decided to cut back on alcohol. Slightly fizzy and pale coloured, it's designed to look like you're drinking wine, but in fact it's a 0% alcohol, low calorie drink specifically created with wine lovers in mind. Blended sparkling water and pear juice with herbs and spices results in something that taste rather like dry white wine or vermouth, but saves you the silly antics and the hangover. It also contains a blend of vitamins and minerals, giving it anti-oxidant and hydrating properties.
A bottle of Botonique isn't cheap at £6.99, but then it's made from top quality ingredients and is still cheaper than many wines. You can find it at Tabl.com and Ocado.com.
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