When I discovered the booze alternative shelf of the booze aisle in Sainsburys the other week (it’s a magic shelf that only becomes visible after you get sober), I couldn’t believe my luck to find that there were not one but TWO alcohol-free ciders on offer. One of them was the sickly sweet Kopparberg Pear that I already knew about (I drank a fair few of those during the time I gave up alcohol for Lent in 2010), but the other, to my great joy, was an Old Mout, one of my very favourite brands of cider.
Could this really be as good as it seemed? Could I really stay sober and still drink something that tasted like cider?
Well, yes and no.
On that first sip, it felt like I was onto a winner. It didn’t taste exactly like its alcoholic counterpart, but it was close enough, and the sweet berry flavour was nice even though the alcoholic tang was missing. But as I drank more of the bottle, it just started to feel really sad and empty, and I found myself drinking faster and faster, my brain getting more and more confused at the lack of buzz, and it made me really, really anxious and actually quite shaky.
And when I finally finished the drink, I didn’t just want another, like what had happened with San Miguel 0.0.
Instead, I desperately, desperately wanted a ‘real’ Old Mout.
So, not a safe drink for me, then. It’s a shame, as I find the taste so delicious…but, well, there’s a reason for that, and that reason is that my brain associates it with getting drunk. One to avoid, sadly.