In 2020 my partner and I ended up giving up alcohol. We were not massive drinkers to begin with (at least not since we left uni about 5 years ago!) and we have never been the type of people who enjoy drinking a glass of wine in the evenings and really only drank at social gatherings or dinner parties. When the lock downs were put in place then, we couldn’t ‘go for a drink’ because we weren’t able to meet up with any of our friends. So 2020 was actually a pretty dry year.
We have decided to keep this up now, with there being an exception for very special occasion glasses of champagne. But with Christmas and New Years we fancied a little treat and we also wanted to see if there was any real difference between the alcohol free versions of our favourite drinks.
Now Kopperberg is a confusing one. Their website says that none of their ciders are vegan due to the way that cider is made (they use gelatin during the filtration process) but they did also release a statement recently that said that all of their products with a sell by date of past April 2021 would be vegan friendly. I can no longer find this announcement online and there seems to be a lot of conflicting information. BUT…their alcohol free products are suitable for vegans and vegetarians also according to their website. A really useful website to use for checking which alcohols are vegan is the Barnivore website.
Taste wise there is absolutely zero difference in taste between the alcoholic and alcohol free version. This used to be one of my favourite drinks but it has been about a year and a bit since I last had one. It has not aged well. Maybe it’s because I’m not used to having it so often or I just forgot that this is what cider does, but my god is it sugary. It’s nice for all of about half a pint and then it just becomes super sickly. It also makes me bloat like no ones business, so I then just spend my evening feeling sick, uncomfortable and really sleepy. I really don’t know why I enjoyed these so much…
On a more serious note too, the alcohol free version do still contain a tiny amount of alcohol (about 0.1%). While this does mean that by all legal and regulatory definitions this is an alcohol free drink, it is in reality not 100% free of alcohol. If you ever have any doubts as to whether you should be drinking something alcoholic, it is probably safer to simply not drink it and stick to a fizzy drink or something.