Four South Australia-Made Non-Alcoholic Alternatives To Try This Dry July

Photo: Courtesy of Mischief Brew
Photo: Courtesy of Mischief Brew
Photo: Courtesy of Mischief Brew
Photo: Courtesy of Mischief Brew
Photo: Courtesy of Mischief Brew
Photo: Courtesy of Mischief Brew
Photo: Courtesy of Mischief Brew
Photo: Courtesy of Mischief Brew
Photo: Courtesy of Mischief Brew
Whether you’re hopping on the wagon for a cause this Dry July or you’re just sober-curious and looking for some standout non-alcoholic beverages, these locally made drops are a great place to start.

Whether you’re a teetotaller all year round, just dabbling with sobriety or just a sucker for a well-balanced bevvy, some of the best non-alcoholic drinks are made right here in South Australia. Gone are the days of non-drinkers being relegated to juices and diet coke – these sophisticated sodas, non-alcoholic wines, spritzes and spirits, and ultra-low alcohol beers are perfect for anyone looking to sip on a fun bevvy and walk away without a hangover.

Here – in alphabetical order – are four local drops to pick up.

Mischief Brew

With cute little cans and a seriously strong taste, these small-batch South Australian-made sips are elevating the non-alcoholic game. The label has a trio of tonics which draw on different flavourings, including one with citrus and rosemary; another with green olive, herbs and salt; and a third with grapefruit and pimento. There’s a non-alcoholic Italian spritz with a tart grape backbone and citrus zing which tastes just as good on its own as it does with a slosh of gin. A sophisticated softy is the Pina Picante soda made in collaboration with Mat’s Hot Shop; the flavours echo hot sauce and it uses pineapple, ginger, lime, coriander and a lick of habanero. A grapefruit soda has pops of finger lime and South Australian pink lake salt.

Two sodas are made in collaboration with Flinders Food Co, who pick fruit on Adnyamathanha Country to make Mischief’s Quandong and Golden Wattle sodas. There are also ginger ales, lemonades and colas that would have your supermarket-standard soft drinks shaking.

Polka

When founders Ben and Emma Mellows launched Polka in 2021, their goal was to create non-alcoholic alternatives that didn’t feel like they were missing something. Polka’s five-strong low-sugar range features true representations of dry red wine, sparkling white and rosé wines, a blood orange Italian aperitif and a “gin”. Products range from $19.95 to $39.95.

The sparkling white is made with wild-harvested lilly pilly, while the rosé is made with native botanical Davidson’s plum. Last year the team released a non-alcoholic dry red made using SA cool-climate shiraz with natural extracts of Tasmanian pepperberry, and notes of plum, cherry, vanilla and French oak. In terms of “spirits” there’s a blood orange Italian aperitif that balances sweetness and astringency with orange, rhubarb and lemon myrtle. It pairs well with soda water, non-alcoholic sparkling or a splash of the real stuff. There’s also a pink grapefruit botanical soda served with tonic.

South Coast Pale Ale Ultra Low, Pirate Life

For South Australian drinkers, Pirate Life needs no introduction. The ultra-low pale ale was released a year ago after the team made a move to embrace wellness and moderation. It’s the same flavour profile as the typical South Coast brew but with a little less malt and a quicker mash. It has a vibrant yellow pour with a thick frothy head. A four-pack will set you back $10 and a case is $38.

Vitis

Available in both full-sized bottles and in party-sized cans, Vitis makes sophisticated drinks you can enjoy at any time of day. Both founders – Daniel Zuzolo and Richard van Ruth – worked in McLaren Vale’s wine scene, Zuzolo as a winemaker and van Ruth in marketing. The drinks are naturally alcohol-free and are made using unfermented grape juice. The juice being unfermented means Vitis can avoid the harsh and energy-intensive de-alcoholising process.

There are two flavour profiles. The first is a crisp and refreshing Adelaide Hills spritzer made with water from the Piccadilly Valley and sauvignon blanc grapes from Woodside. The second is a Fleurieu Peninsula drop made with spring water filtered through the rock beds of Mount Compass and shiraz grapes form McLaren Vale’s Sellicks district with the skins giving the drink a pink hue and flavours of wile berries and spice. They are all vegan-friendly and made without any added sugars or sweeteners.

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