It would be an understatement to say that the last two years have been tough. While many people coped with their stress by taking up a hobby or attempting to create the ideal sourdough loaf, several people have turned to a different method: drinking.
With the start of the new year, it's no surprise that many people put "put a cap on the booze" at the top of their plans for 2022, especially following the previous two years. However, it may be time to take the cap off while still going alcohol-free!
The beverage industry has made it possible now to pour a less-than-stiff beverage. Today, you can get an alcohol-free version of almost every spirit — gin, tequila, whiskey, vodka, rum — as well as elixirs designed to improve your mood without any hangover symptoms. You can also get non-alcoholic beers or alcohol-free wines!
While you or your loved ones can certainly fix a boozy cocktail, it can make cutting back that much harder. The better alternative would be to fix a non-alcoholic cocktail (or mocktail) using a zero-proof version of your favorite liquor.
Do note that in the US, products labeled “non-alcoholic” can contain up to 0.5% alcohol, so if you’re looking for zero alcohol, choose “alcohol-free” instead. Do read the label carefully to see if your chosen drink is completely alcohol-free or is non-alcoholic.
Ready to find out where to buy non-alcoholic spirits? Read on!
Types of non-alcoholic spirits
Non-alcoholic spirits, as well as other zero-proof cocktails and mixers, have been more readily available in recent years, with more on the way. But before you can buy a non-alcoholic version of your favorite drink, let’s look at all the options we have.
When Seedlip debuted in 2015, it was one of a kind: a distilled non-alcoholic drink designed to be used for creating alcohol-free cocktails. There is no Seedlip Gin, Seedlip Tequila, or Seedlip Whiskey, and none of its variants fit well into pre-existing categories of alcohol. Despite this genre-defying approach, its longevity (and substantial financial support) makes it the most accessible of the bottles on our list. It also appears in recipe books and websites far more than other brands of non-alcoholic spirits. Make sure you mix Seedlip with tonic or another mixer to get the full effect. We also fell into the trap early on by drinking it straight from the bottle warm and did not understand what all the rave was about. It was not until we mixed it that the true flavors came out.
Now on to the non-alcoholic spirits that do have specific gin, vodka, rum, whiskey, and tequila variants!
Since Seedlip's advent, a host of other products have debuted that are more closely aligned with typical liquor categories. And now, in almost all flavor profiles that exist for gin, there's a substitute. You name it: citrusy, flowery, juniper-based, cucumbery. In terms of alcohol-free alternative spirits, gins are by far the most popular.
You can look out for the following brands:
- Free Spirits
- New London Light
- Sexy AF
While most manufacturers have almost perfected the herby botanical taste and flavors of gin, they haven’t been as successful with rums, whiskeys, or tequilas. However, there are still several brands that are pretty close to the original flavors. Here are some of the best non-alcoholic rum alternatives:
- Clean R by CleanCo
- Sexy AF
As much as manufacturers may have struggled to perfect the flavors of rum, whiskey, and tequila, CleanCo has come pretty close to the real thing with vodka. You can try mixing Clean V with a fresh lime juice-based cocktail or with cranberry juice to get all the flavors.
As with rum, you may not get the exact flavor profile with tequila, either. But here are the non-alcoholic tequila alternatives that come the closest:
- Free Spirits
- Clean T by CleanCo
The following non-alcoholic whiskey alternatives can be mixed into cocktails and taste best when mixed with other ingredients rather than on their own:
- Seir Hill
- Sexy AF
- Celtic Soul
While you can use all types of non-alcoholic spirits in cocktails, you might also want something you can sip on its own. Non-alcoholic wines and beers are perfect for that!
Non-alcoholic wine, or wine that has had the alcohol removed, is a rapidly increasing segment of the wine business that is advancing in terms of technology. Still, other manufacturers have taken a different approach, creating a beverage that mimics the tastes, acidity, and tannins of the wine. Of course, both types of nonalcoholic wines may be enjoyed on their own, but they can also be used as nonalcoholic cocktail components, providing body, brightness, and occasionally fizz to a cocktail. You can find non-alcoholic alternatives in white, red, rose, as well as sparkling wines.
Where to buy non-alcoholic spirits
Non-alcoholic spirits are becoming increasingly common and can be found at many shops and restaurants. However, the most convenient way to get the non-alcoholic alternative of your favorite spirit or wine is by ordering it online from Better Rhodes. You can have your order shipped across the US and Canada.
If you’d rather buy your fixings from a store, you can visit the Better Rhodes Showroom at New England and the CT Shoreline. It’s the only alcohol-free tasting room, bottle shop, and community space in the area. You can find the largest collection of non-alcoholic spirits, wines, beers, and even cocktails and mixers at the shop and buy your favorite alternative in person. Bookings are also open for visitors interested in booking tasting slots!
You’ve got your favorite non-alcoholic spirit. What next?
You can now mix it into one of your favorite cocktails by looking up a recipe online (or in a book, if you prefer!) and unwind with a drink that’s perfect for alcohol-free regimes. Alternatively, if your favorite restaurant does not serve non-alcoholic spirits, you can bring one of the spirits you got at Better Rhodes and challenge the bartender to mix up a fancy new cocktail!