The legality of the sale of non- or low alcohol drinks in the UK seems to be poorly understood. The references I have read are forum/discussion posts which are so often contradictory, and blog-type posts from industry types, that sound convincing but have no referencing.
I want to know when a drink becomes ‘alcohol’, and so becomes restricted by licensing and age restrictions.
It’s easy to see when alcohol is restricted, from government pages like https://www.gov.uk/alcohol-young-people-law but such guidance doesn’t define ‘alcohol’ up front. Meanwhile I have read the low alcohol descriptors guidance (though these have changed slightly since the majority of the blog-style pages were written.)
It is almost implied in that guidance that alcohol free (0.05%) and de-alcoholised (0.5%) drinks would be not considered alcohol and so would not be restricted in law, but I haven’t seen this written explicitly. Possibly this is why there is mixed understanding of the issue.
So my question becomes, at what level of alcohol does a drink become “alcohol” for the purpose of licensing/restricting its sale?