An alcohol-free guide to Christmas: Lyre's, Melati, Seedlip and Carlsberg

An alcohol-free guide to Christmas: Lyre's, Melati, Seedlip and Carlsberg

Ho ho ho(ld the booze)

Text: Cheryl Lai-Lim

Christmas lights are strung up around town. Aggressively cheery festive jingles plunder your ears in shopping malls, and there's an abundant invasion of holiday movies currently available on Netflix. All of the above indicate one undeniable fact: festive season is fast-approaching. With the holiday spirit comes packed calendars with days marked for multiple gatherings, parties and catching up to do over merry meals.

Be it Christmas brunch or dinner, there's often an ever-present guest at the table  a boozy drink that's deceptively innocent. Whether your holiday poison of choice is spiced eggnog, mulled wine or a simple glass of champagne, knocking back those tipples throughout the festive season will soon turn your liver into the Grinch. But finding an appropriate alternative to holiday spirits is no easy feat either. Water  essential and refreshing as it might be  is definitely not a drink befitting the festive season. A fizzy drink might incite eyebrow arches from dinner counterparts due to its infantility, whilst a decent traditional mocktail that doesn't taste like sugary fruit punch with an exorbitant price tag is hard to come by. Enter Buro. Singapore's list of artisanal non-alcoholic drinks that replicate the look and taste of alcohol, sans ABV. There's a drink for everyone  whether you're teetotaling due to heath and religious reasons, or you're just looking to wake up without angry Christmas gnomes pounding your head in the form of a hangover this festive season. Who says you can't have yourself a merry Christmas without any alcohol?

For the health-conscious nut

Abstaining from sprits this holiday season due to health reasons? A glass of Melati's non-alcoholic aperitif is sure to satisfy you (and your doctor). Hand-crafted from 26 healing botanicals with mood-boosting and detoxifying compounds, each botanical in the drink has been traditionally cold-extracted to help retain its restorative benefits. This booze-free health drink will bring about a refreshing start to your Christmas meal. Best yet, the health botanicals infused into the drink even helps spark digestion and detoxify the liver, which means your doctor will never know how many servings of turkey you managed to chow down during Christmas.

For the one seeking warm, fuzzy feelings

If you prefer spending Christmas curled up on the couch binging on cheesy holiday flicks that promise you magical seasonal romances, you might want to get your warmth by knocking back some of Seedlip's Spice 94 instead. Compromising an elevated blend of allspice berries and cardamom, this flavourful non-alcoholic drink with aromatic spices will deliver a spicy kick that's sure to warm your stomach in a way those seemingly heart-warming Christmas movies can't. Grab a cozy blanket, turn on the electric fireplace (it might be snowing in those films but it certainly isn't in Singapore), and prepare to hibernate in front of your television with a glass of this alcohol-free drink by your side.

For the curious drinker

Always wanted to try absinthe but never quite wanted to risk living out your life as though you're in a Euphoria simulation due to the purportedly hallucination side-effects? Lyre's non-alcoholic version of the Green Fairy is probably your answer. The booze-free spirit contains the same distinct anise aroma and ingredient that makes up the body of the drink. Combined with verbena and other fine herbs with a touch of sweetness, you can safely embark on your absinthe journey without seeing pink elephants. Plus, the lush greenness of the elixir will also make for a highly appropriate pretty Christmas drink.

For those looking for a faux tipple of sorts

If you've got that one pesky family member who's bent on getting everyone tipsy this season, crack open one of Carlsberg's alcohol-free beers and take a pointed gulp. The beer giant's first foray into alcohol-free beers in Singapore has two products in their line-up: the Pilsner is refreshingly crisp and reminiscent of the brand's iconic Danish Pilsner, while the Wheat is said to be light and sweet with a citrusy note. Hopefully, the giant Carlsberg logo emblazoned over the can will put an end to the incessant barrel of questions.

Find out more about wine appreciation from these top sommeliers in Singapore.