Opinion: Why soft drink just doesn't cut it anymore

Soft drinks are no longer seen as an adequate non-alcoholic option.  

Take me back to when I was a kid and we were at the local pub with the family and were given a soft drink as a treat with dinner. My favourite was always the 'fire truck' or more commonly known as raspberry lemonade. It was packed full of sugary goodness and honestly, was my treat all the way up until my early 20s. 

Then alcohol took over and that was my go to when we went out for casual dinners at the pub with friends, fancy wine dinners and catching up with mates over a beer. Honestly by the time I was 25 I couldn't tell you when I last had a soft drink on its own - aside from when it was used as a mixer.. maybe? The only time I saw it was when I walked down the drinks aisle at the local supermarket. 

Fast forward to today and at 28 years old (yep, not that old for some of you reading), I've come to terms that I've drunk my body weight and more in alcohol and it was time to rein it in and moderate my intake. I began to notice the impact of regular drinking and what it meant for my physical health, mental health and my overall wellbeing. Now; before I go any further, I understand that everyone's relationship and experience with alcohol is different. So keeping this in mind, I took a break and decided to go 3 months without drinking. I'll be honest, I was ready to cold turkey and just drink soda water and avoid going out for 3 months as I thought my only other option was to sit there sad with a lemonade in hand. 

I was wrong. It was 2021 the non-alcoholic options that were emerging were amazing. I could have a beer with a mate or go to dinner and have a wine in hard. Nothing really changed, except that I wasn't getting 'buzzed' from alcohol. My overall health, sleep, focus all improved. I felt confident going out with friends, that I was still the same old Lisa with glass in hand. 

Now, I know what you're thinking. What does this have to do with soft drink? Well let me tell you: 

Non-alcoholic drinks as we know it today; which are predominately made up of non-alcoholic wines, beers & spirits, are statistically lower in sugar than soft drinks. That's a big tick from me as that was the reason why I had cut soft drinks out in the first place - way too sweet. Some non-alcoholic drinks also taste similar to their alcoholic counterpart, which for me helps me feel a sense of familiarity and to uphold the rituals I enjoy as an adult. Like many people, we chose to cut soft drinks out of our lives and to be offered soft drink as an alternative is almost disrespectful knowing there are so many amazing options available out there now that better suit the adult palate and is in line with what we mean by non-alcoholic drink. Can you imagine going to a seafood restaurant and being told, oh sorry the only non-seafood thing can offer you is chicken nuggets. I know it's an extreme example, but technically that is a non-seafood alternative. Would make you feel really awkward since you probably haven't had chicken nuggets since you were 8. 

Anyways, It's 2023 now and the range of alternatives is huge and continues to grow and improve. There's something for everyone now. With every new non-alcoholic drink that I try and that I like, the more I stand by my opinion that soft drinks just don't cut it anymore.


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