My books | How to Drink without Drinking

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How to Drink without Drinking

There’s always been a significant minority who don’t drink but it’s been growing exponentially, particularly among young adults. Over a quarter of 16-24 year olds - and half the world’s population - don’t drink at all for a variety of reasons - mainly religious and the desire to follow a more healthy lifestyle.

Others may take a temporary break - when they’re pregnant, unwell or taking a particular kind of medication or abstaining for a period like dry January or sober October, for example.

Then there are those, including me, who do drink, not necessarily to excess, but like to take two or three of days off a week to enjoy the added sharpness and focus of being clear-headed. It all adds up to a growing interest in and market for alcohol-free drinks.

Barely a day passes without some celeb or chef talking about how they’re they’ve gone sober. There is even such a thing as a sober coach - someone whose job it is to keep A listers on track.

For the rest of us it’s more similar to becoming flexitarian. We still eat meat but not so much. We enjoy wine but not every day. And that becomes progressively easier as more and more quality alcohol-free products come on to the market and we learn to devise new and delicious drinks to replace the alcohol-based ones we’re used to.

So my new book How to Drink without Drinking is for everyone who doesn't drink for whatever reason or period of time.

Inside you'll find delicious homemade drinks making the best of seasonal produce such as Quince, Honey and Lemon Cordial and Bergamot Lemonade together with more special occasion (but still simple) cocktails such as an alcohol-free Breakfast Martini, Hibiscus and Rose Cosmopolitan and Kaffir Lime Mojito. There are also recipes to make the most of alcohol-free spirits, ciders, beers and wines, drinks based on tea, coffee and milk - including a number of dairy-free options as well as guidance on how to make your own shrubs and ferments plus a list of my favourite ready-made alcohol-free drinks.

You can buy the book from any good bookshop or, of course, online from the Guardian Bookshop, among others.

"Beckett delivers an especially tempting set of non-alcoholic cocktail recipes and the photography, by Nassima Rothacker, is beautiful. It's the book all non-boozers (temporary or otherwise) have been waiting for." Susy Atkins, Delicious

"This almost persuaded me to go dry for January! It’s full of non-alcoholic drinks, plus recipes (I like the rhubarb cordial) and a review of 0.5% and below beers. There are also drinks to suit red and white wine drinkers." Victoria Moore, BBC Good Food.

"If you want some homemade alcohol-free divine drink inspiration, I heartily recommend my friend and fellow wino Fiona Beckett’s new book, How to Drink Without Drinking. Dry definitely doesn’t have to be dull." Helen McGinn Knackered Mother's Wine Club.

"Exciting alternatives for alcohol-free drinking" Chef Tom Kerridge

"Simple creative ideas on what to drink when you are not drinking from the queen of drinks" Guardian food writer Anna Jones

How to Drink Without Drinking wants to open up new vistas, not close down old ones. She doesn’t ban alcohol – she adds non-alcoholic options, spiced up with common sense. Nina Caplan, New Statesman

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And for more hot tips and recommendations check out my Substack Eat This, Drink That, Live Well.

Comments: 2 (Add)

Anne Lawton on May 14 2021 at 09:06

I can’t cope with sweet soft drinks either. I prefer something quite dry and tangy. Fevertree Sicilian Lemonade is the only thing I’ve come across which is tasty but not too sweet so far.

Lynne Edwards on February 19 2020 at 21:24

I wonder how many of the options are sweet - the usual problem for me with non-alcoholic drinks

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