We have been told that having a glass of wine daily can be good for our health, but there are times you don’t want to indulge in alcohol but still crave the flavor of your favorite drinks. In the past, non-alcoholic beverages were pretty much limited to drinks you’d find on the kid’s menu or “near beer” products like O’Doul’s. And, frankly, O’Doul’s has always been kind of a joke. Fortunately, we’re living through a golden age of non-alcoholic drinks, 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. In 2021, the mocktail has officially gone mainstream, with many bars and restaurants offering a dedicated mocktails section on their menus. In addition, the proliferation of CBD-infused drinks has offered more grown-up sophistication to this product category. Here at Spy, we’ve also reviewed brands like Ritual Zero Proof, which offer non-alcoholic versions of your favorite spirits.
While nonalcoholic beverages like O’Douls, which contains less than 0.5% alcohol by volume, have been around for quite some time now, there are many new players. Some of these beverages contain very small amounts of alcohol (like Kombucha or near beer, while others are 100% alcohol-free. No matter your preference, the market has opened up in a big way. Some people simply want to imbibe without worrying about hangovers and designated drivers, while others are focused on their health or sobriety. 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 non-alcoholic drinks for you to try.
Bitter liquors can be oh so wonderful 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 non-alcoholic apéritif. Serve with seltzer or orange juice.
Lyre’s Italian Orange Non-Alcoholic Spirit
Monday Zero Alcohol Gin
There are two spirits that are generally used to make a martini. It is either vodka or gin. And if you 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 and is hand made in small batches in a Southern California distillery.
Arkay Alcohol-Free Vodka
Arkay Alcohol-Free Vodka Alternative is completely 100% alcohol-free. It is flavored as Russian vodka and blended with spring water sourced from Mexico’s countryside. In addition to zero alcohol but zero sugar, zero calories, zero carbs, as well.
Mingle Sparkling Mocktails
For those who love mojitos, Moscow mules, bellinis or cosmos Mingle Sparkling Mocktails are the way to enjoy them guilt and alcohol-free. Pour them over ice and enjoy.
Harry & David Mocktails
A Bloody Mary is often the day after drinking too much drink or an adult beverage to have with Sunday Brunch. Harry & David has a line of mocktails that includes a zero booze Bloody Mary drink mix that requires no work on your part. Or, if you are in the mood for something tart, try the Appletini drink mix combined with lots of ice and seltzer or mineral water.
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 Non-Alcoholic 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 non-alcoholic craft beer. Its NA Oatmeal stout is well touted for its chocolate and cocoa flavors delivered with a subtle smokiness.
Best CBD-Infused Drinks
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.
Wine coolers are reminiscent of long summer days, and though it isn’t one, Mad Lilly captures that same feeling with its low-dose cannabis-infused beverage. It has a ratio of 5 mg THC (tetrahydrocannabinol, the compound in cannabis that causes you to feel high) and 5 mg CBD surrounded by fizzy bubbles natural fruit concentrates. It has no preservatives or added sugars and is available in three flavors, passion fruit mango, raspberry hibiscus, and ginger pear.
Best Simple Seltzers
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 it was originally made from. Now instead of having a syrupy mix, you can instead have an adult-style spritzer from Rishi. The brand, which is 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.
You can also add a little sparkle to your life with Hop Tea. The Calm One is made with chamomile flowers and Citra hops. It is alcohol, caffeine and gluten-free and has zero calories. The other fun flavors worth a try are in their relaxed collection, The Royal Citra One and The Sprucey One.
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.
Red Wine Sampler
If you love red wine, then this sampler pack may be a good buy. It has a dealcoholized Ariel Cabernet Sauvignon, Lussory non-alcoholic red Merlot, Princess Rosso Dry, alcohol-free Élivo Cardio Red, and Senorio de la Tautila Tinto. Serve them with a burger or a steak.