Booze Alternative: Old Mout Alcohol-Free Berries & Cherries

When I discovered the booze alternative shelf of the booze aisle in Sainsbury’s 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.

Old Mout Alcohol-Free Berries & Cherries
Old Mout Alcohol-Free Berries & Cherries.

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.

2018 Ciders #36: Old Mout Berries and Cherries

I believe this is a new flavour of Old Mout – it’s certainly not one I’ve had before.

Old Mout Berries and Cherries
Old Mout Berries and Cherries.

This is a lovely fruit cider with that typical perfect Old Mout level of sweetness.  It’s also divinely brambly (brambles = blackberries if you’re not Scottish), which gives it one of the best tastes of any new cider I’ve tried this year.  It’s not quite up there with Kiwi and Lime, but it’s definitely a strong contender for my second favourite Old Mout flavour, which is impressive after just one bottle.

2018 Ciders #25: Old Mout Passionfruit and Apple

This one was a bit of an accidental cider.  Yes, I know.  My life’s just like that.

Basically, during the intermission at the Kim Wilde gig on Monday, Geth went to the bar to get us another round.  He asked for an Old Mout Kiwi and Lime (already logged), which is the variety I usually drink, but when he brought it back to me in the venue, I discovered that it was instead an Old Mout Passionfruit and Apple:

Old Mout Passionfruit and Apple
Old Mout Passionfruit and Apple.

Oh well, means another cider to log!

Passionfruit and Apple is similar to Kiwi and Lime in that it’s just the right sweetness for a fruit cider in my book – not cloying like Kopparberg or Rekorderlig, but sweet enough that I can down it if I have to.  The flavours are lovely together, and I’d drink this variety a lot more often if I didn’t like Kiwi and Lime so much!

2018 Ciders #8: Old Mout Kiwi & Lime

Another cider I had a week ago:

Old Mout Kiwi & Lime
Old Mout Kiwi & Lime.

Old Mout Kiwi & Lime is one of my favourite fruit ciders.  It sort of suddenly appeared in British pubs around the summer of 2014 and has been ubiquitous ever since; for me, it’s my go-to ‘we only have fifteen minutes left in this pub but I want another pint’ drink, as it’s just the right level of sugary-sweet (not cloyingly so like Kopparberg or Rekorderlig) that I can down it like juice.  I like the other Old Mout flavours as well, but Kiwi & Lime is my favourite by a country mile.