How to avoid a hangover? We’ve selected five fabulous non-alcoholic festive fizz to enjoy this Christmas. Wellness writer Charlotte Dormon shares her five tried and tested favourites.    

Hangovers. They quite frankly feel rather dreadful, yet often seem impossible to avoid when socialising over the festive season. It seems that this time of year, out of any other time, alcohol abundance is almost impossible to avoid and more socially accepted than ever. 

Whether it’s raising a toast with your work colleagues, family gatherings or celebratory dinners with friends, there always seems to be plenty of alcohol as part of the norm at these events. 

But what happens when you don’t want to drink or maybe can’t drink alcohol? 

I am a wellness-conscious woman in my 40’s. I spend most of my days writing about well-being and working with health and wellness brands. And when I’m not working, I usually spend a lot of my time doing things that are good for my well-being, such as yoga, long walks, fitness classes and cooking healthy meals.

I am also a morning person and love to get up early to enjoy my weekends to the max, especially doing stuff I enjoy in the mornings – like yoga classes or brunch out. 

When I was in my late 30’s and realised that alcohol was basically wiping out hours of potential happiness I could be having due to the hangovers I was having to ‘deal’ with on a Saturday or Sunday, I just one day had a sharp awakening that this was not the life I wanted to live my life anymore.  

Was I pregnant, an alcoholic or a bad drunk?

No, I was non of these things, which is why when I decided to give myself a break from alcohol, it did not seem to be well received by others and usually involved a lot of explaining along the way. As I was not pregnant, a bad drunk or have the ‘issues’ one might have with alcohol, most people wondered why on earth I would want to avoid this ‘fun’ drink.

For me, it was simple. I didn’t want to waste the precious time I had by feeling rubbish.  I wanted to still be social and enjoy my life but not miss out on my yoga class on Sunday morning instead of popping painkillers to reduce a headache. I also wanted to not wake up every few hours with my heart racing and feeling anxious due to the few glasses of fizz I’d had on a night out – really, is that worth it?  

I really never drank that much when I went out, but it seemed that all my hard work on eating well and looking after my health was just all wasted from the hangovers I got from alcohol I consumed on my office nights out, parties and events. So I chose to commit to going alcohol free to see how it would help me. 

Did it help, and if so, what benefits did I find? 

Where to even start on this one? WOW, the benefits were endless, from being able to pay off a £2k credit card debt thanks to saving so much money by not buying alcoholic drinks and the inevitable Uber trips home. I was also single at the time, so I found myself not ending up doing things I regretted the following day after going on a date.

When it came to my mental and physical health, that was really a big shift. I was already taking care of my health overall, but the days that followed after drinking left me feeling unbalanced emotionally, often struggling with hangxiety! And, of course, you end up eating foods that you probably wouldn’t have due to the blood sugar sabotage caused by rubbish sleep and too much sugar in the alcohol upsetting your hormones. So when I gave up, all these negative side effects went. I was feeling happier than I ever had. My waistline was almost as toned and trim as it had been in my 20s, and my skin looked radiant and hydrated all time time.   

What to drink when your not drinking? 

Okay, so I am not going to lie here. There were times when it was super tough to find anything that would be as good as a glass of prosecco or champagne. I often had to say “I’ll just have sparkling water, cheers” through gritted teeth as I was so fed up with not being able to get anything that even slightly resembled a nice drink as an alternative. Alcohol-free  beers were very easy to come by overall, and I enjoyed a few of them, but when going to friends’ houses for dinner, heading to a party, or turning up to a celebratory event, you really wanted to have a cold glass of fizz along with everyone else.  

So what did I do? I made it my mission to find some delicious alcoholic alternatives that wouldn’t give me a hangover. I searched high and low to find the very best alcohol-free drinks so I could come armed turning up to friends’ houses and ordered as many bottles as I could so I could taste them and work out which ones looked great and which tasted great.   So much so that eventually, people who were actually drinking were asking me to share my discoveries as they also wanted to try drinking less and seemed as impressed as I was with my fizzy finds. 

In no particular order, here’s my favourite selection of fizz for you to enjoy this season so that you can wake up with that super smug feeling that you don’t have a hideous hangover, and boy, does that look and feel great!

Carl Jung Organic Mousseux 

Carl Jung Organic Mousseux is made from organic wines and has long, fine pearls, subtle fragrance, spicy harmonious character and freshness. It is the ideal non-alcoholic sparkling wine for festive occasions and special moments. With only 17.2 Kcal per glass (100ml) it contains significantly fewer calories than ordinary sparkling wine and is no less festive.

Oddbird Spumante 

Grapes are sourced from the Glera from the Italian province of Treviso, located in the Veneto region, commonly known as the Prosecco region. This premium non-alcoholic sparkling wine has sophisticated notes of white pear, green apple, elderflower, and grapefruit, with a fruity taste and hints of pear, honeydew melon, gooseberry and citrus.

Oddbird Blanc de Blancs

This delicious non-alcoholic sparkling wine is made from 100% Chardonnay from the Languedoc-Roussillon region of France. It’s a premium, refreshing and well-balanced sparkling white wine with a crisp, clean finish. A delightful wine with food. It has sophisticated tones of Apple, Lemon peel, Lime, Honey and Almond. With a refreshingly fruity fresh taste from hints of apples, honey, pears and citrus.

Thomson & Scott Noughty Sparkling organic Chardonnay

Noughty non-alcoholic organic vegan sparkling Chardonnay has been dealcoholized to retain the rich flavour of this beautifully crafted bottle. With 2.9g of sugar per 100ml, it has almost half the sugar content of other non-alcoholic sparkling wine. And with just 14 calories per glass, it’s the perfect answer to a hangover-free celebration.

M&S Alcohol-Free Fizzero 

I feel M&S always come good with so many things and this non-alcoholic festive fizz is a prime example! This Alcohol-Free Fizzero is a refreshing and finely balanced non-alcoholic drink combining sparkling fermented grape juice blended with premium green tea.