Earlier in the summer I had some routine surgery and before I have surgery I like to stop drinking so my body is strong for the operation and of course afterwards you can’t really drink for a while. I will be honest and say that I enjoy drinking however I despite eating healthily I was finding I couldn’t shift a bit of stubborn weight which didn’t please me. I am also generally a bit of an anxious person by nature and this often affects my sleep.
After my op I listen to the audio book version of Mindful Drinking by Rosamund Deane. Something she says in the book hit home with me – a large glass of wine (and I was probably drinking around two to three bottles of wine over the week) is equal to a cornetto ice cream and she asked would you sit and eat four of those in a row? I am not a stupid person and I know that wine is calorific but in more of an abstract way. This analogy really hit home and I realised this was why I was still not losing weight and even perhaps slowly putting more on. In her book she recommends that you go alcohol free for 28 days and then reintroduce alcohol in a mindful way.So I started, as is the way in the modern world, I downloaded an app to keep track (you can also discreetly track your alcoholic drinks) and also to gamify the process a little. I have now been six weeks alcohol free and I have lost almost a stone in weight, I feel healthy, my skin is better, my anxiety levels have dropped a lot and I am sleeping much better (even with the heatwave). Last night was my first challenge of going out in a situation where I would usually have a couple of glasses of wine or an Aperol spritz but I had the homemade lemonade and it was fine.Now, unlike a lot of people who like to drink beer for the effects of alcohol, I actually like drinking it for the taste. When we were in Berlin earlier in the holidays I was very impressed by the huge selection of alcohol free beers (they are called this but have a very tiny amount of alcohol usually under 0.1%) but coming back here I was a bit disappointed, initially, with the range. I asked my community on Instagram for some recommendations and I was amazed by how many people I know (and some who I considered to be fairly big drinkers) had also taken the plunge. It spurred me on and also gave me some recommendations of beers and places to get them so here we go.
Top budget (I found these in Føtex, Meny, Kvickly and Nemlig.com)
Erdinger – this is a golden wheat beer and has a lovely flavour. You don’t feel that the taste is compromised by the lack of alcohol. This is a German beer and one I liked in Berlin.
CPH All Night from Skands brewery – this wasn’t one of my favourites simply because the beer style, pale ale, is not one I like. It is however a good example of this beer style in a non alcoholic form.
I was recommended trying the Mikkeller non alcoholic beers but warned they were expensive. When we were at Reffen I bought a bottle of Energinbajer, another wheat beer. It was lovely and refreshing. Then when I was at the SMK in Kafeteria I tried Drink’In the Sun, which is a light summer beer in a can.
Cheap and cheerful
You don’t have to pay a fortune for non alcohol beers – two popular ones here in Denmark, which are cheap as well, are Nordic by Carlsberg and Royal Free by Royal Unibrew. The latter is my preferred one of the two. These are available in every supermarket and is bars.
There are a few others around such as Heineken and San Miguel but as I don’t like their normal beers, I’ve not tried these.
When I was pregnant I tried non alcoholic wines and hated them so haven’t bothered this time around but if anyone can recommend a decent dry white or rose I would be willing to try.
I spotted some bottles of Copenhagen Sparkling Tea in Yum Yoga last week and I am going to give this a go. I have no preconceptions as to what this will be like so if nothing else it was be an interesting experience and as it is produced by an award-winning sommelier I am guessing it should be ok.
From my Instagram post this lovely lady (who was also my very first relocation client) recommended a non alcoholic spirit called Seedlip from the UK but she tells me you can get it in Juuls wine shop on Værnedamsvej.
As more people are looking to cut back on alcohol and with more products available and groups like Clubsoda (The mindful drinking movement) running courses and festivals amongst other things there is a lot less stigma attached to not drinking and also there is a growing demand for grown up non alcoholic drinks rather than just a fruit juice or cola.
I would love to hear any recommendations you may have and also any experiences of going alcohol free you’d like to share.