Abstaining from alcohol because you're trying to get pregnant, currently pregnant or breastfeeding? Here are some of our top picks of alcohol-free beverages like beer and wine you can enjoy guilt-free.
Guidelines for drinking
For pregnant mums
Studies have shown that light drinking may or may not cause harm to the child. An article from the Independent advises to totally avoid alcohol, although it also states that light drinking (not more than two units, and not more than twice a week).
Hence if you really need a drink, try the non-alcoholic options below. Even though the non-alcoholic ‘beer’ and ‘wine’ may still contain a small amount of alcohol, they’re certainly much lower than the recommendation above. Otherwise, order a fancy mocktail and have peace of mind.
For those trying to get pregnant
Once again, the research on whether drinking will impact fertility is rather unclear. The article’s findings seems to indicate a more significant impact on those doing IVF, so if you’re looking to do that, avoid alcohol completely. Otherwise, we recommend having the occasional drink (perhaps once a fortnight or once a week) if you really really have to.
For breastfeeding mums
Breastfeeding mums who drink could impede your infant’s growth, development and sleep patterns. You can negate this by abstaining, or waiting two to three hours after drinking to express your milk. By this time, the level of alcohol in your blood will have receded, and have little impact on your infant.
While there is a wide array of non-alcoholic spirit options worldwide, only a smattering of them are available in Singapore. Beer drinkers are especially fortunate – fairly tasty and affordable options are easily available. For wine options, check out Amazon, and for all other spirit options, try Seedlip.
One of the latest options available in Singapore is the Heineken 0.0 beer ($13.90 for six one-pint bottles). It’s sweeter and maltier than its alcoholic counterpart, with less bitterness.
Another good option might be Krombacher Pils Non-Alcoholic beer ($23.80 for six 330ml bottles), which is like a medium-bodied flat beer. It’s slightly sweet, smooth with detectable hops.
For a beer that tastes pretty much like the real thing, try the Erdinger Alkoholfrei ($18.50 for six 330ml bottles) from Germany. This smooth beer has a rich wheat taste and smells legitimately like beer.
The highest-rated beer by The Guardian is the Brewdog Nanny State 0.5% ($6 for one 330ml bottle). Its treacle toffee colour and pine, tropical fruit smell is similar to a proper beer, although it does lack a bit of roundness in its flavour.
If you’re looking for a really great wine substitute, unfortunately, you might not be able to find one in Singapore. However, here are some top picks you can get from Amazon.
Ariel Chardonnay (Napa, CA) has a strong taste of the tropics, with hints of apples and butterscotch. The brand is renowned for its cold filtration non-alcoholic wines since 1985. Another great choice is Ariel Cabernet Sauvignon, tasting of raising, dark chocolate and black currants. Buy them together here.
Sutter Home Fre Brut Non-Alcoholic Champagne Wine, from S. Helena in California is as dry as its traditional sparkling wine counterpart. In addition, it has a deep fruity taste, and a light, earthy aroma. Buy it here.
The non-alcoholic spirit of choice
One great alcohol free alternative is Seedlip, which has no calories and no sugar. It is served in the top three cocktail bars in the world as well as in more than 100 Michelin-starred restaurants.
The brand has three non-alcoholic offerings: Seedlip Grove 42, Seedlip Spice 94, and Seedlip Garden 104. The ingredients include water, natural botanical distillates and extracts such as orange, lemon, ginger, rosemary, spearmint and thyme. Two caveats though: we researched and found rosemary, spearmint and cascarilla to be potentially unsafe, so drink in moderation.
Secondly, you may need to mix this with other flavours, as there are mixed reviews about the taste. To taste the best drinks made with these ‘spirits’, here are some recommendations for bars to go to.
Best bars in Singapore for alcohol alternative drinks
If the idea of mocktails leaves an unpleasant, overly sweet taste in your mouth, don’t fret. The mixologists at the following bars have taken the mocktail to new, delectable heights.
Pregnant mums can enjoy some refreshing mocktails at Botanico at the Botanic Gardens. These include the honey mint calamansi soda, lavender lemonade and the jasmine iced green tea ($10++ each). Kids also eat free on weekends, so it’s the perfect time for a relaxing brunch for the whole family.
Address: 50 Cluny Park Road, Level 2
Operating hours: 6pm to 10pm on Wednesdays to Sundays, and 11am to 3pm on Saturdays and Sundays
To book: Make reservations here.
These perfectly crafted mocktails are a far cry from the super sugary drinks we remember. At Atlas, try all the favourites – sans alcohol, such as Summer in Paris. This mocktail is a combination of chardonnay grape juice, lemon berry tea, and soda.
Other options are the Aviation and Prohibition G & T. The former features a botanical cordial mixed with butterly pea flower water and lemon. Meanwhile, the Prohibition G & T is a combination of a Mediterranean tonic, a spiced non-alcoholic spirit, juniper berry and grapefruit ($12++ for all these drinks).
Address: 600 North Bridge Road, Parkview Square
Operating hours: 10am to 1am on Mondays to Thursdays, and 10am to 2am on Fridays. Saturdays open from 3pm to 2am.
To book: Call 6396 4466 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Yet another example of ingenious mixology is at Gibson Bar, where they craft delectable, non-alcoholic versions of signature drinks. In particular, we think the Virgin Lobster Mary, with lobster tomato juice, spices, celery and tomato juice sounds fascinating ($15++ per cocktail).
Address: 20 Bukit Pasoh Road, Level 2
Operating hours: Opens at 6pm on all days except Sunday, and closes at 1am Mondays to Thursdays, and 2am on Fridays and Saturdays. Closed on Sundays.
To book: Call 6396 4466 or email email@example.com.
Want what’s been hailed as the perfect summer drink without the alcohol? Order a Nogroni at Caffe Fernet. Their concoction uses Seedlip 94, a Campari reduction where the alcohol burns off in heating, and verjus. Note that trace amounts of alcohol might still remain though.
The list doesn’t end there. Try two other Seedlip cocktails, Seedlip Spice 94 & Tonic and Seedlip Garden 108 & Tonic. Alternatively, if you’re looking for a more fruity taste, choose the Pink Moni, a combination of peach puree, grapefruit and tonic. Mocktails are priced from $14++ to $17++.
Address: 70 Collyer Quay, #01-05
Operating hours: Opens at 12pm on every day except Sunday, where it opens at 11am. Closes at 12am Mondays to Thursdays, 2am on Fridays and Saturdays, and 5pm on Sundays.
To book: Call 6396 4466 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
3 alcohol-free versions of popular drinks
Fill up a cocktail shaker with two ounces of cranberry and orange juice each. Next, add half a teaspoon of cherry juice, a quarter teaspoon of lemon juice and two dashes of orange bitters. Following this, shake all the ingredients in the shaker together with ice and then strain into a cocktail glass. Add a Maraschino cherry as a garnish. Recipe makes one cocktail.
You’ll need four bottles of non-alcoholic beer like Heineken 0.0, two lemons, two oranges and two limes. Slice the fruit thinly and place into a pitcher, followed by the beer and then stir the mixture together. Serve in glasses and enjoy. Recipe serves four.
Fill a pitcher with ice. Next, combine three-quarter cup of pomegranate juice with half a cup of mango and pineapple juice each. Add in two tablespoons of fresh lime juice, and stir until cold. Divide into four portions, then add two to three ounces of tonic water to each glass. Add mint sprigs as a garnish.