Sober in Scotland – an Alcohol-Free Trip

30th June 2024

Scotland is a country known for its pub culture: It is the communal space to go to meet a friend, enjoy live music, or relax after work. The pub is a warm, dry place to come in from the rain or to sit outside and enjoy the evening sun. It is somewhere to enjoy watching the rugby with your friends, bring in the bells at New Year, and a debriefing spot after weddings and funerals. The pub is essentially the backbone of Scottish society. But what if you don’t drink? Well, fear not. More and more people are enjoying the complex flavours of thoughtfully created non-alcoholic beverages. The result of this is that there are now many exceptional drinks being crafted right here in Scotland which offer an alternative to the traditional spirits and beers. We have compiled a collection of examples in this blog post of delicious alcohol alternatives that are made right here in Scotland. 

Jump Ship

Jump Ship Beer is an innovative Scottish brewery dedicated to crafting exceptional non-alcoholic beers that don’t compromise on flavour. It was founded by a beer and sailing enthusiast frustrated with the taste of the non-alcoholic beers on the market. Jump Ship, offers a range of brews that capture the complex taste of craft beer while providing a refreshing, low-alcohol alternative. They use high-quality ingredients and brewing techniques, to deliver a full-bodied taste with the depth of conventional beers. Perfect for those who enjoy the social and sensory aspects of beer but prefer to steer clear of alcohol.

Glen Ochus

Glen Ochus is a whisky-style non-alcoholic spirit that brings the essence of the Scottish Highlands to your glass. Crafted with a blend of locally sourced botanicals, Glen Ochus offers a rich and complex flavour profile that captures the nature of its origins. Ideal for those seeking a sophisticated alternative to traditional spirits, it can be enjoyed neat, on the rocks, or as mixed with any number of ingredients. Its refined taste makes it an especially good choice for people who like a whisky cocktail but would prefer not to consume alcohol.


Feragaia is a fragrant, non-alcoholic spirit crafted in Scotland, offering a delicious and healthier alternative to hard liquor. Made from a blend of 14 carefully selected botanicals, including seaweed, bay leaf, and chamomile, Feragaia delivers a rich and layered flavour that recreates the essence of the Scottish coastal landscape. Free from alcohol, additives, and artificial flavours, it provides a pure and mindful drinking experience. It holds its own in mixes, providing the perfect base for cocktails that may traditionally feature gin or other light spirits.


A dark spirit alternative that works as well on its own as it does in cocktails, Talonmore offers a warming and fiery taste that replicates the mouth feel of alcohol. The creators of Talonmore have carefully curated the flavour experience to provide a welcome alternative to traditionally darker spirits like whisky, bourbon and rum. For the many people looking to cut down on their alcohol consumption, this can be swapped into a favourite cocktail so that you can enjoy your evening.

Irn Bru

It would be amiss to write about alcohol-free drinks without mentioning Irn-Bru, Scotland’s iconic soft drink. Known for its distinctive bright orange colour, this carbonated beverage has been a beloved staple in Scottish culture for over a century. There have been lengthy debates about what flavour Irn Bru actually is, with no cohesive agreement from the Scots other than it tastes like Irn-Bru, and is “phenomenal”. Whether enjoyed as a mixer or as a refreshing pick-me-up, Irn-Bru provides a sweet and tangy flavour profile that will excite your tastebuds and satisfy your thirst.

If you are a non-drinker travelling in Scotland and find yourself in a pub, don’t be shy to ask what alcohol-free options they have.  There will always be something you can drink and enjoy. A trip to Scotland is almost guaranteed to feature at least one pub, and you can rest assured that there are many alcohol-free options. Catch live music or a sporting match on the telly and experience an important part of Scottish culture, without the alcohol. And, if coffee is more your thing, check out our coffee recommendations from the team here at Away from the Ordinary.

If you would like any guidance on visiting Scotland alcohol-free, get in touch with us here at Away from the Ordinary to start booking your trip. We have had many sober travellers travel with us over the years and can assist you with a plethora of ideas for things to visit and see. 

For more food and drink recommendations in Scotland, read: