In our December newsletter (out today) we bucked the festive trend and considered no- and low-alcohol drinks with the insight of Alex Norwood Hill AKA The Sober Sommelier. Here, we get the lowdown on the Sober Somm’s brands and drinks to watch in 2020:

Somerset Shrubs

The Swirl ladies are partial to a shrub – delicious infused drinking vinegars which give a moreish complex tang to drinks. Usually, we need to prop up the bar to taste these concoctions in our cocktails, or take a gamble on homemade, but Matilda Temperley (sister of Alice, and part of the family biz, Somerset Cider Brandy), has done the hard work for us with the divine sounding Somerset Shrubs. A must try come the 2020 launch.


Ginger is a cure-all at Swirl towers. But we never imagined it could form the basis of such an intoxicating-sounding alcohol-free drink. Packed with potent herbs and spices, we’re betting that it’ll give you a hit as powerful as any shot of alcohol. The Sober Sommelier loves it in a mojito – “one of the most delicious non-alcoholic cocktails I have ever tasted”. Make ours a double.

Senser Spirits

We kind of love the heart of Senser Spirits’ origin story: “when monks first performed distillation, they believed they were extracting the ‘spirit’ of the plant and they worked laboriously to preserve the active properties of the plants for healing and medicinal purposes”. There’s real romance and acknowledgement of the power of nature there – not to mention the raft of rave reviews they’ve garnered since launching including this from the bar manager of Harvey Nichols: “non alcoholic drinks tend to be lacking. These surprised me. They’re complex, with fabulous length and flavour”. Pour us a glass.

Lyres Spirits

Demonstrating the range of non-alcoholic drinks which are possible, the Sober Sommelier tips Lyres Spirits for big things come 2020. Currently with thirteen options in their range, we’re particularly keen to try their American Malt in the intriguing sounding ‘Penicillin’ at The Hoxton Southwark – which the Sober Somm reckons has one of the best no/low lists in the country!


He didn’t recommend it himself, but we couldn’t not note the Sober Sommelier’s own contribution to the no/low bar cart: Cordus. Launching in 2020, it’s billed as the perfect option for those who typically find non-alcoholic drinks a bit thin.

For more, check out The Sober Sommelier’s Instagram page – with a site curating the very best of no/low drinks coming in early 2020.