Stocking up for a sober-curious Christmas

Sales of no- and low-alcohol drinks are snowballing in the run-up to the festive break

Sarah Drumm
Three Spirit, launched in 2018, sells functional non-alcoholic drinks.

How will the "sober curious" movement, where people experiment with sobriety without completely cutting alcohol out of their lives, fare over the festive period?

While the pandemic has resulted in an overall increase in alcohol consumption (up 14% year-on-year in the US according to the JAMA Network Open), for many people it has also been an opportunity to reflect on how healthy their current lifestyle is.

Brands selling alcohol-free alternatives have, as a result, seen their sales soar. Nielsen says sales of alcohol-free beers have risen 38% during the pandemic, while Athletic Brewing claims its sales have grown by more than 400%.

As the festive period approaches, this trend does not appear to be slowing, with plant-based, alcohol-free spirits brand Pentire saying that its sales for November were also up 400% year-on-year, and functional drinks brand Three Spirit seeing average sales orders increase to £65 (its bottles cost £25 a pop) in the same month. "Lockdown has been super magnifying [for the no-alc sector] as it has made us sanity check some of our habits – and one of those is alcohol consumption," Alistair Frost, Pentire's founder says. "[Over the Christmas break], people who are moderators might have a ceremonial one or two, but a few days off isn't going to change that."

Indeed, according to a recent survey from British supermarket chain Tesco, almost half of those aged under 35 plan to serve no- or low-alcohol drinks this Christmas, up 16% from last year's survey.

"December can often be better than January [in terms of sales]," Three Spirit's co-founder Tatiana Mercer says. "There's this notion of pacing. It's not like people are getting smashed every day at Christmas. [There's now] less of a stigma around having someone at the table who's not drinking."

21 brands making interesting alternatives to booze


Aplós is a plant-based, non-alcoholic spirit, infused with broad-spectrum hemp for a gentle calming and uplifting effect.

Caleno Drinks

Caleño are distilled non-alcoholic spirits inspired by the sun-drenched spirit of Colombia that take you seamlessly from day to night.

Jukes Cordialities

Sophisticated non-alcoholic drinks. Blending the finest, fruit, vegetables, herbs and spices with organic apple cider vinegar.


A line of botanical drinks from John deBary - mixologist, author and hospitality expert.

Kin Euphorics

A new kind of nightlife beverage for conscious connection. Kin Euphorics offers alcohol-free beverages with a kick.


Freestar is a IPA-style lager with a citrus edge. It's unique production process emits 90% less Co2 than other beer production methods.


NON has been developed to raise the bar on non-alcoholic drinking. Developed by chefs, NON beverages are complex, irreverent and delicious.


Non-alcoholic spirits with punchy, all-natural flavours. Made by distilling exclusive high-quality herbs. No additives. Made in Antwerp.


Ghia is a non-alcoholic apéritif packed with only pure, natural extracts. Each glass promises to kick up the energy and calm down the mind.

Lucky Saint

Lucky Saint is a 0.5% Pilsner-style lager made with 4 natural ingredients. It is left unfiltered for maximum flavour, without the alcohol.


Seedlip, changing the way the world drinks by solving the dilemma what to drink when you're not drinking, with The World's First Distilled Non-Alcoholic Spirits.

Gnista Spirits

The first non-alcoholic spirit truly resembling a fine spirit. Hand-made & Swedish.

Curious Elixirs

Curiously complex booze-free cocktails? Curious Elixirs makes craft cocktails without the booze.

Three Spirit

A healthy booze alternative? Three Spirit makes functional plant-based alternatives to alcohol, designed by bartenders and plant scientists.


socially-dosed cannabis products for cocktail moments.


an LA-based futurist bev co. crafting the first ever alcohol-free alchemy spirit packed with natural stimulants for a new way to cheers :)

Sun Chaser

Sun Chaser is the alcohol-free drink designed to give you a buzz. 60 calories, 0% ABV, no caffeine, and of course, hangover-free!


Botanical non-alcoholic spirit, made by distilling unique plants native to the Cornish Coastline

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