Alcohol-free alternatives look like alcohol, their names sound like alcohol but they don’t give you that lovely fuzzy buzz of the first glass of Gavi, writes ALEXANDRA SHULMAN (pictured)
It’s not often that I’m on the same page as the Chancellor of the Exchequer. Rishi and my thoughts on lower-alcohol drinks are the same.
I drink alcohol because it gives me a good feeling. That slight blurring of life’s worries is a heavenly lift.
But I don’t like to be drunk or unhealthy.
My alcohol intake does not cause me any problems. However, there is evidence to suggest that I should reduce my alcohol consumption.
Hopefully Rishi’s Budget tweaks – increasing tax on drinks above 12 per cent ABV (alcohol by volume) and cutting it on those below that level – will help.
I’ve always drunk a fair bit. Some would say it was a lot, but others would say it was a reasonable amount. I enjoy a few glasses each evening of wine or vodka.
On holidays, sometimes on weekends (and very rarely on weekdays), I will also have a few glasses of wine at lunch.
The best part of a bottle of rosé is no problem for me – often with the hangover to go with it. (By the way, all those saying rosé would be low-tax have obviously never drunk the heavenly Whispering Angel or Brad Pitt’s equally fine Miraval which both measure a tax-hiking 13 per cent ABV.)
On the lower-alcohol wine front, I’m forever squinting at ABV levels on bottles in Majestic where there’s a case of Kent red at a paltry ten per cent waiting to be opened, which is practically Ribena for a red wine.
There are a number of alcohol-free alternatives available today, from a gin that isn’t gin but a ‘botanical’, a cocktail aperitif called Sprigster and Wilfred’s, a spicy golden liquid
I know it’s unlikely that one or two per cent less ABV really makes much of a difference on the health front – it just might slow down the moment when you start to slur your words.
But, like rinsing out plastic bottles before recycling, it makes me feel I’m doing my bit. Low alcohol is one thing, but not enough alcohol is another.
Over the past few weeks our gin, vodka and tequila bottles have begun sharing space with an array of new non-alcoholic ‘liquors’.
There’s a gin that isn’t gin but a ‘botanical’, a cocktail aperitif called Sprigster which tastes like the kitchen garden it comes from, and Wilfred’s, a spicy golden liquid that tastes like a Christmas potpourri.
I’ve tried slicing lemons and limes into them, adding mint and tonic water, pouring them short and long, but as much as I will myself to think they are acceptable substitutes to a G&T or a nice glass of Gavi di Gavi, I might as well be drinking Coca-Cola or lemonade.
They do look like alcohol and their names sound like alcohol.
But they don’t give you that lovely fuzzy buzz of the first glass of Gavi. And bottom line, there’s the rub.
Although Downing Street is not known as a target fashion demographic, Rishi Sunak is the perfect men’s style influencer
Interest soars with sliderman Rishi
SPEAKING of Rishi, I suspect that Palm Angels – an Italian brand with a heavy metal Goth logo – hadn’t put the Chancellor on their list of must-get celebrity influencers.
Their leather sliders, which he wore to pre-Budget photos have earned the brand hundreds of thousand of pounds worth of publicity.
Palm Angels also stock the kind of expensive ‘athleisure’ wear he and Mrs Sunak enjoy – their camo track jacket comes in at £410, placing it a reassuring distance from a bog-standard top from JD Sports.
Although Downing Street is not known as a target fashion demographic, Rishi is the perfect men’s style influencer.
Nothing pale and stale about him – he’s zinging with money, power and relative youth but relatable, not posh.
Yes, for work he’s usually dressed in a slim cut, slightly spivvy, faintly shiny suit, but his wrists are covered in the kind of ethnic bracelets that gap-year kids wear, but also Jeremy Clarkson. This covers all bases.
His Bambi eyes conceal his ambition, and he knows how important it is to have a dog in a photo.
My personal opinion is Nova, the Labrador, lilting by his side, reduced the potential harm from being seen in sliders and white socks.
Men often distrust men who seem too perfect or too cool. Rishi seems to be avoiding that bullet by being a bit on the small side (are you allowed to say that? Or am I treading into Tilly Ramsay waters?) admitting to a Twix habit, and a love for Mariah Carey.
Nasa’s down to earth attitude is due to a leaky loo
Is there anywhere in the universe that plumbing problems aren’t present? It’s scarcely bearable that Nasa’s Space X capsule is suffering a leaking loo issue. Space travel is supposed to be the new frontier. Outer space is – literally – out of this world. It’s not meant to stink like a graffiti-plastered, urine-spattered concrete underpass…
Last week, the Duchess and Duchess of Cornwall gave a powerful speech about domestic violence
Globetrotting’s great – just not for my son
I have just sent my son off to New York for a work trip. It’s wonderful that the world is opening up again for us all and especially for young people starting their careers. At least that’s what I think about everyone else’s children. My own child is the most important. I would prefer to live just a block away. You need to worry less.
My spineless university is so shameful
As a Sussex University alumnus, I was horrified to hear that Professor Kathleen Stock, a highly respected professor, has been forced out of her position because of her views on trans rights.
And I’m ashamed that my university should ultimately have been so unsupportive, allowing a valued philosophy academic to be so tormented that she had no option but to pack up and go.
Committed Camilla shows she’s ready
Last week, the Duchess of Cornwall made a powerful speech on the subject of domestic violence at a Women Of The World event, celebrated her Reading Room initiative along with Charles Dance, Dame Judi Dench and Sir Tom Stoppard, and launched this year’s British Legion Poppy Appeal.
I’ve heard her speak on several occasions and she always sounds committed and knowledgeable.
It’s some reassurance then that, as the Queen reins back on appearances, we have a good woman stepping up to the plate.