I put non-alcoholic vs boozy Christmas drinks from Aldi, Asda & M&S to the test – there was a clear winner | The Sun

CHRISTMAS is nearly here – and the supermarket shelves are filled with all sorts of delicious tipple.

It was recently revealed British women were some of the biggest binge drinkers in the world – with 26% saying they enjoyed six or more drinks in one night at least once a month.

And while there is a certain pressure to accept a glass of fizz in the lead up to Christmas there's are plenty of delicious non-boozy alternatives on the market too.

So we decided to put them to the test and see which non-alcoholic versions live up to alcoholic ones in terms of flavour and price.

Fabulous reporter, Leanne Hall, who has also spent years in the hospitality sector as a bartender and waitress, was on hand to give her verdict of the classic festive drinks from a Hot Toddy to a glass of Champagne.

She tested each alcohol and non-alcoholic drink blindfolded to see if she could tell the difference.



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Fabulous reporter, Leanne Hall, tried seven alcoholic and nonalcoholic drinks from the supermarket
M&S, Asda and Aldi were in the line up, but the winner might surprise you

Marks & Spencer beer

M&S Czech Pilsner 500ml 5%ABV £2.30

M&S Czech low-alcoholic Larger 500ml 0.5% ABV £1.80

Both beers taste like a blonde larger.

The low-alcoholic version had a slightly more hoppy flavour – making it taste almost like an IPA (Indian Pale Ale) if that's your thing.

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Because of the flavour impact on the low-alcohol version, I thought it was alcoholic and was pretty shocked when I took my blind fold off.

Not only was it genuinely really beer-y, it's also 50p cheaper than the alcoholic version and I personally wouldn't feel like I would be missing out having this while comatose after a Christmas feast.

  • Taste 5/5
  • Price 4/5
  • Total 9/10

Marks & Spencer mulled wine

M&S Mulled Wine 750ml 11% ABV £6

M&S low-alcoholic Mulled Wine 750ml 0.5%ABV £4.75

These mulled wines were very different in flavour profile making it pretty easy to decipher which was which even when blindfolded.

The alcoholic version had a strong taste of red berries while the low-alcoholic version had strong notes of cinnamon.

I could instantly tell who the impostor was, although I wasn't mad forthe strong spicy flavour which is perfect for those cold winter nights.

I was disappointing by the price of the low alcoholic version and would have expected it to be slightly cheaper.

  • Taste 4/5
  • Price 4/5
  • Total 8/10

Marks & Spencer gin

M&S London Dry Gin 700ml 40% ABV £20

M&S Low Alcohol Lemon & Rosemary Botanical 700ml 0.5% £15

For transparency, I am not a big Gin and Tonic lover, but as it is UK's favourite long mixed drink it would be rude to not include it.

We kept the cocktail simple with one shot of each of the gins and topped it up with tonic water.

The first I tried was the alcoholic version, which I grimaced at as soon as I took a sip.

But when trying the non-alcoholic version, I barely made a face and actually quite enjoyed the lemon flavour coming from the botanical drink – leading me to believe it was non-alcoholic.

I much preferred the flavour of the non-alcoholic version and as a self-confessed gin hater, would much rather reach for it over a normal gin but that being said, it means it doesn't taste much like gin at all.

The price is a little steep for a non-alcoholic version, being just £5 cheaper, but the flavour is definitely worth it.

  • Taste 3/5
  • Price 3/5
  • Total 6/10

Aldi prosecco

Aldi Castollore Organic Prosecco 750ml 11.5% ABV £7.99

Costellore Zerozecco 75oml 0% ABV £2.99

Whether you want a straight up glass of prosecco or a bucks fizz – a little bit of bubbly is always on the cards at Christmas.

Trying these blindfolded was probably the most difficult – the low-alcoholic version seemed to be much bubblier making me initially think this was the alcoholic version.

However, after then trying the alcoholic version, I realised the flavour was a lot more dry with hints of pear as a typical prosecco would be.

I was totally unsure as to which one was which, and ended up giving up guessing as I couldn't really tell the difference.

If I was handed the Zerosecco I wouldn't think twice about what it was – plus the £2.99 price tag is brilliant bang for your buck.

  • Taste 5/5
  • Price 5/5
  • Total 10/10

Asda flavoured gin

ASDA The Distiller Apple & Blackberry Flavoured Gin Liqueur 500ml20% ABV £8

Asda non-alcoholic Summer Berries Botanical 700ml 0% ABV £10

I was more hopefully of the flavoured gins compared to the classic ones.

However, I could immediately tell which of the two was the alcoholic version, which tasted much more bitter than it's non-alcoholic counterpart which was a lot smoother and lighter in taste – but again, didn't taste much like gin.

I wasn't a big fan of the flavour but if you do like a gin and are looking to cut down on alcohol than it's a great price point.

  • Taste 3/5
  • Price 5/5
  • Total 8/10

Marks & Spencer Champagne

M&S Delacourt Champagne Brut 700ml 12.5% ABV £25

M&S Frizzantea Brut £8.50 750ml 0.5% ABV £8.50

Both of these definitely aren't playing around with bubbles.

Champagne is tough to replicate on a good day – and their alcohol free Darjeeling tea fermented drink was no match.

The main issue I had was the smell, not knowing what I was drinking, the fermented tea smelt like a stale ash tray.

Whereas the Champagne was everything it should be – light, bubbly and crisp.

I was also stunned by the price and definitely recommend the Aldi Zerosecco over the fermented tea.

  • Taste 2/5
  • Price 3/5
  • Total 5/10

Asda rum

Asda Caribbean Spiced Spirit Drink 700ml 20% ABV £12.85

Asda non-alcoholic Dark Spiced Drink 700ml 0% ABV £10

We decided to go for a classic winter cocktail using the rums in the shape of a hot Toddy using honey and hot water.

The alcoholic version was a lot sweeter in taste, whereas the non-alcoholic drink had a much smokier and deeper flavour.

I was surprised to learn I'd picked the later version as the alcoholic one after taking my blindfold off.

The flavour has lots of depth and works perfect in a Hot Toddy and I can imagine it working well mixed with Coca Cola.

The price was also worth it, costing almost £3 less but having 200ml more liquid.

  • Taste 5/5
  • Price 4/5
  • Total 9/10

Final thoughts

I was pleasantly surprised by how well the non-alcoholic versions stood up in terms of flavour.

My favourites were definitely the M&S low-alcohol lager and the non-alcoholic rum from Asda – both of which I preferred to the alcoholic versions.

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The Aldi Zerosecco is a brilliant prosecco dupe, so much so that I genuinely couldn't tell the difference.

ALWAYS DRINK RESPONSIBLY – for help and advice, call Drinkline on 0300 123 1110.

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