We’re Dreaming of a Bright Christmas
Samantha Manning, Founder of Monday Distillery, shares her favourite non-alc tipples that will be in prime position on her Christmas table this year.
Imagine an Aussie festive season with plenty of sun and minimal booze. Bright skies, bright minds, and long, fun-filled days. That doesn’t mean we have to sacrifice those delicious long lunches, end-of-year functions, and toasts to good cheer either. Switch your ritual sip with something that’s alc-free yet still full of taste.
With alc-free becoming a booming industry in Australia, we’re betting there’s something here you’re going to love. If you’re someone organising a considered, corporate Christmas Party too, take note. Australian companies like ours are doing big things with the alc-free movement, offering beer, wine and spirits that feel like the real thing, without the hangover the next day (or the New Year’s waistline). Here’s your guide to a truly bright Christmas - these are my personal favs to get me through the silly season.
About Samantha Manning and her career
I have always had a deeply ingrained love of style, creativity, taste, and experience.
I started with working with loose leaf tea and created a business that I ended up selling, called Cha Cha Tea. It was through this experience that my passion for creating beautiful beverages became truly apparent.
I developed the distilled botanical sparkling water brand Osun Sparkling, which has recently rebranded to Lunae, and Monday Distillery – a brand that has experienced exponential growth over the past 18 months, with growth continuing throughout the numerous COVID restrictions and lockdowns, due largely in part to it being a predominantly online business.
Myself and my partner Haydn, along with our 1-year-old son Paddy, operate Monday Distillery and Lunae Sparkling, showing that a small family business can make big ripples in the non-alc ocean.
I have a marketing degree which naturally lead into my passion for building brands. My love of flavour and taste experience has led to the development and subsequent growth of my brands in the non-alc space.
It’s hard work. Haydn and I are always working on the business– whether it be in our car or at our kitchen table. We have employed a publicist, moved into a beautiful office space and have a team of specialists behind us which is allowing us to reach new heights with our brands.
It is so fortunate that we have grown to the point of being able to move into a new office and employ people. My brainchild is a real thing, and it gives me goosebumps when I see the product running down the bottling line.
Christmas time is a chance for me to embrace the time with my little family, and really work on the style of the Christmas table – we will have a stylish table with my top non-alc drinks on full flow.
I love entertaining and styling, and this year we want everyone to stay safe. Stay bright and stay upright.
My top Christmas non-alc picks
Monday Distillery (naturally)
Your festive G&T tipple without the tears. Here at Monday we have some classic non-alc options as well as some summery cocktail alternatives that bring the taste to your table. Even better, all of our drinks are sugar free as well as being sans alcohol.
Monday’s Classic G&T goes amazingly with a seafood lunch. We also suggest the Dram & Dry for whiskey lovers wanting to shake things up, and the new Aperitz Spritz to pair with sunny afternoon graze plates.
Available at www.mondaydistillery.com. RRP $50 for 8 bottles.
Craft and non-alc beers have both been in everyone’s mouths in recent months, and Sobah will be a firm favourite on our Christmas table.
Sobah combines the best of both worlds with some positive indigenous culture as well. Their delicious Pepperberry IPA and Lemon Aspen Pilsner have beer lovers gobsmacked that they contain less than 0.5% ABV.
This Non-Alc Beer is epic for beach BBQs, backyard cricket matches, and Christmas wrap ups where you want to be best (and fairest) on ground. Sobah is leading a conversation surrounding Australian societal issues with alcohol consumption and breaking down the stigma of socialising sober.
Available at www.sobah.com.au. RRP $18 for 4 pack.
Plus and Minus Wines
Want to put a little rosé in your cheeks, while keeping the sparkle in your step? Plus and Minus wines have every wine lover’s favourite taste covered. There’s pinot grigio, pinot noir, rosé (of course) and even prosecco for those who might want to mix things up with a low-alc Aperol Spritz.
Great for pairing with, well, everything. Pick your favourite and sip knowing they’re made from premium South-Australian grapes by Aussie winemakers who know their stuff. An amazing option for a little bubbly, while still staying light and bright.
Available at Liquorland and other considered bottle shops. RRP $14 bottle.