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In the past, nonalcoholic beverages were pretty much limited to drinks you’d find on the kid’s menu and a small selection of near-beers. Fortunately, we’re living through a golden age of nonalcoholic beverages as the mocktail renaissance continues full steam ahead.
In cities like Los Angeles and New York, you can even find craft mocktail bars that don’t serve any alcohol at all. The mocktail has officially gone mainstream, with many bars and restaurants offering a dedicated mocktails section on their menus. Here at Spy, we’ve also reviewed brands like Ritual Zero Proof, which offer nonalcoholic versions of your favorite spirits.
While nonalcoholic beverages like O’Douls, which contain less than 0.5% alcohol by volume, have been around for some time now, there are many new players. And the options extend well beyond just zero-proof beers. You can find amaro aperitifs inspired by classic bitter drinks like Campari and Aperol. Or, some brands make zero-proof spirits like gin, whiskey and even tequila. The market has never been so expansive, so whether you’re sober, cutting back, or partaking in Dry January, there’s bound to be an option out there for you.
So for those times when craving the malty taste of your favorite stout or the brine of a Bloody Mary, we have curated a list of the best nonalcoholic drinks for you to try.
Bitter liquors can be excellent as they blend well with many things. If you have ever had a Negroni, you know what we mean. Campari is one of the most well-known apéritifs there is, and the spirit of its infusion of herbs and fruit is captured in Ghia, a nonalcoholic apéritif. Serve with seltzer or orange juice.
Lyre’s Italian Orange Non-Alcoholic Spirit
Lyre’s Italian Orange Non-Alcoholic Spirit is the perfect complex mix of citrus, maraschino pomegranate and cassia. Serve it with club soda or tonic.
Kin High Rhode
Kin High Rhode is a nonalcoholic drink inspired by classic amaros, down to the bright red color of a bottle of Aperol or Campari. Likewise, High Rhode has bitter and floral flavors mixed with soda or juice for a refreshing drink. And while Kin isn’t going to get you drunk, the unique blend of ingredients is designed to give a euphoric boost, minus the bad stuff.
Many alcohol-alternative companies have cropped up in the last few years, but Crodino is different. The Italian drink has been around since the mid-1960s, and it’s an excellent option for anyone looking for a nonalcoholic aperitif. It has herbal and citrus flavors and is a great option to drink over ice. It’s somewhat hard to find in the US, but it’s available on Amazon and SupermarketItaly.
Zero Proof Spirits
Monday Zero Alcohol Gin
Two spirits are generally used to make a martini: gin or vodka. If you’re part of the James Bond club, then zero alcohol Monday Gin shaken, not stirred is the way to go. It’s a blend of juniper, botanicals, citrus, and spices. It is hand-made in small batches in a Southern California distillery.
Seedlip – Non-Alcoholic Spirits Trio Bundle
Rather than making a one-to-one replacement for gin or whiskey, Seedlip offers nonalcoholic beverages inspired by familiar flavors found in spirits. This three-pack includes Garden 108, which is herbal; Grove 42, which is citrus-inspired and Spice 94, which is aromatic. Seedlip recommends enjoying its spirits over ginger ale.
Ritual Tequila Alternative
In our review of Ritual’s offerings, their Tequila Alternative performed best, performing well in Palomas and margaritas. It’s formulated to replace tequila 1:1 in cocktails, and it has a slightly spicy edge that stands in for the kick of alcohol. In addition to being zero proof, it’s also low-calorie.
Sexy AF Friski Whiskey
As the branding suggests, there’s no need to take yourself too seriously when it comes to nonalcoholic spirits. This whiskey alternative replaces booze with spices like allspice and cinnamon for a slight kick. Friski Whiski is also gluten and sugar-free, and it’s also Kosher and vegan.
Budweiser, Budweiser Zero
Budweiser has been brewing beer since 1876, so they know a thing or two about hops. One of the latest additions to the brand’s lineup is Budweiser Zero. It’s made with milled rice, hops, filtered water and barley malt from regional growers across America.
Anheuser-Busch, O’Doul’s Nonalcoholic Beer
This well-known faux- Irish lager was launched in 1990, allowing folks to drink without really imbibing. And though it is in the near beer category, Anheuser-Busch O’Doul’s does contain alcohol, be it only 0.5% ABV. According to the Associated Press, in the United States, any product 0.5% ABV can be labeled alcohol-free. This is based on the idea that you won’t get drunk on that small amount of alcohol. Still, even though that may be ok for most of us, pregnant women and those in recovery should check in with their healthcare provider before sipping on its malty flavor.
Athletic Brewing Running, Wild Non-Alcoholic IPA
If you love a good craft beer with a heavy malt flavor, Athletic Brewing Running Wild IPA is a good option. Brewed in Connecticut with a blend of five Northwest hops, the brand also offers NA stout and ale.
Bravus, Non-Alcoholic Oatmeal Stout
Stouts tend to have a very distinctive taste. They are generally medium to full-bodied, and the good ones go down smooth. Founded in 2015, Bravus is a brewery that specializes in nonalcoholic craft beer. Its NA Oatmeal stout is well touted for its chocolate and cocoa flavors delivered with a subtle smokiness.
Sparkling Botanicals By Rishi
If you have ever had a Shirley Temple as a kid, you know the absolute joy that comes from that mix of tart and sweet indicative of the pomegranate juice from which it was originally made. These days, instead of having a syrupy mix, you can have an adult-style spritzer from Rishi. The brand, known for its teas, also offers seltzer and fruit-flavored drinks called Botanicals. They are made without anything artificial, no added powders, flavors, extracts, or sugar, and are available in six flavors. On the days that you feel like having a Moscow mule, pop open the dandelion ginger, pour it over ice and add a twist of lime.
HOP WTR Variety Pack
HOP WTR lets you know what’s up, right in the name; it’s a sparkling water infused with Centennial and Columbus hops for an alcohol-free drink that evokes the best flavors of beer. Plus, it has Vitamin C and adaptogens, which can potentially have a soothing effect. This 12-pack includes four cans each of blood orange, mango and classic.
Crafted with real fruit and adaptogens — herbal substances typically from plants — Recess offers six flavors: coconut lime, blood orange, and black cherry. Each can is labeled calm, cool, and collected, delivered through a pop of can and sparkling water. You can find Recess for sale in many grocery stores and health food stores around the country.
You can also add a little sparkle to your life with Hop Tea. The Calm One uses chamomile flowers and Citra hops to create an exquisitely flavored beverage. It is alcohol, caffeine and gluten-free and has zero calories. The other fun flavors worth trying are in their relaxed collection, The Royal Citra One and The Sprucey One.
Hiyo variety pack
If you’re looking for something bubbly but without the buzz, consider Hiyo’s sparkling “social tonics.” They’re uplifting enough to let you get loose, minus the “what did I say last night?” effect that booze can bring. Flavors include blackberry lemon, watermelon lime and peach-mango. This variety pack contains one case of each, and each case has four cans.
Alcohol-free St. Regis Chardonnay
Chardonnay wines tend to be crisp, dry, yet medium-bodied with fruity notes. Alcohol-free St. Regis Chardonnay embodies much of that with touches of apples and pears balanced with the oaky goodness one expects from a good Chardonnay white wine. Serve it with fish or pasta as you would the alcohol version.
Alcohol-removed Fre Sparkling Brut
If you love bubbly Champagne, then chill alcohol-removed Fre Sparkling Brut with its crisp notes of green apple and ripe pear. Serve it whenever you want to celebrate. Like sparkling wines, this goes well with just about anything from cupcakes to sushi or chocolates.
Buonafide 0.0 Bianco Sparkling
While many nonalcoholic beverages could be pretty easily confused for the real deal, Buonafide makes it abundantly clear that their drink is booze-free, thanks to the large “0.0” on the label. Buonafide offers a wide range of wines, including this extra dry sparkling white made with Passerina grapes in Italy.