Dry January challenge: Can the Reveller team tell when a drink is booze-free?


It’s kind of annoying, but sometimes I struggle with moral fortitude trying to indoctrinate myself. These dryout runs can be called January cases, but they rarely last a month. Some people just can’t survive lunchtime. But I’ll try. It’s not that important.

In one such run, I was invited to Lock In and accepted because it was a challenge. This pub doesn’t degrade by pulling pints that don’t offend people, so I bought a pack of Brewdog’s Punk AF hooked hastily off the shelf. Otherwise, even if you wink, it means that it does not contain alcohol. those rogues.

It’s likable enough and a convincing imitation of the real thing. “A little bit,” I laughed. “And somehow, I feel like I’ve been drinking. The real thing.”

And when I gave a fresh can a thumbs up in admiration and rolled it in my hand, I knew I had the right drink. 4 of them. 5.4 percent instead of 0.5 percent. For those in a hurry, Punk AF and Punk IPA are indistinguishable, blue and silver tubes, and about the same price. So I did the only sensible thing to do in that situation, other than go home immediately or ask for a glass of water. “Damn,” I said to the landlord. The landlord was now madly laughing. “I’ll have a Guinness.”

As a result, the Brewdog lot was ruled by a curse, but in the end I admitted that the fault was mine, not theirs. And while this hurts my ego, I also had to admit that I didn’t realize beer was boozy because of the taste. This is probably why I either order a dangerously dry martini or stick to scotch. Even with the increasingly unstable footing, you’re on firmer ground that way.

I mean, when Soma Bar in Soho said they thought no one could tell if a new cocktail was alcoholic or not, I swallowed my sneering instincts. It remains at the bottom of the experienced experience. One sip of your shoes and shirt must have smelled old-fashioned with no fun. But if my favorite drink is exclusively he mixes one alcohol with another (e.g. Vieux Carré), often the point of a decent mix is ​​to make the alcohol kick more. To cover it with something soft or sweet. And here, I thought, might the friction come.

It’s a perception that drinking alone isn’t miserable, but it’s what’s wrong with yourself that’s why I’ve worked with three other Standard food and drink writers — Josh Barry, Claire Finney, and Millie. Milliken — gathered to see how fair we all are. taste test. We each tried her 7 different Soma cocktails. His 3 others were behind a curtain and away from our ears and we drank individually. What followed was the video above. It’s a succession of second guesses, misguided bravado, and slowly eroding self-confidence. And for some reason I had a spiced martini around my neck for reasons that convinced me that the spice wasn’t the sauce. Thus ended this month’s enlightenment phase. That was probably for the best.

Here are the drinks we drank, as explained by Soma and their PR team:


  • A non-alcoholic spritz made with Everleaf Forest. A non-alcoholic aperitif that brings out the flavor of the forest. It was paired with a clear chai and peach and jasmine soda.


  • A twist on the classic Ramos gin fizz. Citrus, sweet, slightly creamy finish.


  • Sour non-alcoholic with the image of margarita. It uses Everleaf again, this time in a marine variant that brings the flavors of the sea.


  • Named after the cherry blossom tree, this low-alcohol cocktail combines Everleaf Mountain, house-made grenadine, vegan foamers, and slow gin to create a cocktail-like sweetness and tartness.


  • A riff on the classic Gimlet Soma, combining Makrut Lime Leaf and Curry Leaf flavors with Ophir Spiced Gin to create a perfectly balanced drink showcasing some of India’s big flavors.


  • A whiskey highball with the sweetness of Calvados and the bitter taste of amcho bitters (unripe mango). Marzipan notes stand out.


  • Our take on mules. Ginger is replaced with galangal. Ginger pine and citrus companion. The sweetness of honey and the mellowness of butter. A touch of saffron in the finish.

Soma Soho, 14 Denman Street, W1D 7HJ, somasoho.com

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