Last Updated on December 8, 2020 by The ‘Noms.
We have some great non alcoholic spirit brands for you to check out. If you are sober curious, or just wanting a zero proof cocktail, here are some great choices for spirit alternatives.
You know us, you know our site, and you know we love cocktails, and all things booze. But, we have had quite a few of you ask about other alternatives, and we are happy to bring them your way. We want to make sure we are inclusive of everyone that wants to have a good time, and have a fancy AF cocktail in a fancy AF glass, even if it doesn’t have alcohol in it!
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Photo Credit: Anthropologie.com
We went to a cocktail class last December in DC at the Columbia Room, and Derek Brown had us make a zero proof cocktail, and it was delightful. Not that we hadn’t been making them before that, but he really showed the artistry that can go into a non alcoholic drink, and make it something that people want and is fun to drink!
So in honor of that, what do you call a beverage that claims to be a spirit but doesn’t contain alcohol? There are a number of names, including zero proof, nonalcoholic spirit, alcohol free, mocktail (I really hate that one, but google likes it!) just to name a few. In the last few years, there has been a sober curious movement, and there are a growing number of brands that have entered the market, some as nonalcoholic replacements for traditional spirits (i.e. whiskey, rum, gin), and others representing themselves as something completely new.
Nonalcoholic spirits are not spirits, although they are designed to be used the same way: making a complex drink with them, or to be sipped over ice. Surprisingly non alcoholic spirits are the same price as the boozy stuff.
Distilling of Zero Proof Alcohol
One way to make non alcoholic spirit is to distill the product with alcohol and then remove the alcohol. Seedlip was the first to use this method, borrowing the technique from 17th century ways. Seedlip individually distills each botanical with alcohol and then distills again to remove the alcohol.
Spiritless’ Kentucky 74, a bourbon alternative, uses neutral grains and wood char under heat and pressure control to extract flavors you could expect from barrel aging a whiskey. Spiritless runs the extraction process with alcohol, then the spirit has a second distillation to remove alcohol.
Another distillation process is with water. Damrak, spent many years developing Damrak Virgin in Amsterdam. The company wanted to make their virgin gin with the same qualities as its gin. They got it as close as they could, they added flavors to their virgin gin to be like their gin, more bitter components, and the result is an almost gin, but nonalcoholic spirit described as a bit of a kick.
Compounding is also an option for these zero proof spirits. It is a process that involves mixing extracts, preservatives, acids and sugar with water. Lyre’s went with compounding because they believe it made a better taste in the products.
However it is done, we find it a fascinating read on how these zero proof spirits are made.
Photo Credit: Amazon.com
How to use Non Alcoholic Spirits
You can use them as stand alone ingredients in zero proof cocktail, or added in with regular spirits to make your cocktail lower ABV. They can also just be an added ingredient into your cocktails, by using the aromatics and flavors that are in them to enhance alcohols. Anyway you use them, make sure to find something you like, and has a great flavor profile.
We haven’t tried all of these, but we have looked at reviews online and seen what people have had to say about them, and this is the info we can bring you. We have added them all to our list, and we hope to try them all someday soon! Also, not all of these are equally alcohol free, no matter the legal claim that is being made. Legally, in the US, and other countries, any product with 0.5% ABV can claim it is alcohol-free. We tried to note this where we could.
If you want something completely alcohol free, make sure to check that the product is 100% alcohol free when choosing one. These are also not all of the brands that I have researched. But, some we cannot get in the US at all as of yet, and I am hoping to add to this list as time goes on, as there are some interesting ones out there!
Not sold outside of the UK right now, but they sound really intriguing to us, so we are keeping tabs on it! It’s a British take on the traditional aperitivo. Æcorn is the sister company of Seedlip. They have English sparkling wine grapes at its base, grown on a vineyard in Sussex. They encourage these to be mixed as spritzers. For a great write up about it go here.
Bitter: acorn, bitter citrus, gentian, Sancho pepper, bay leaf & coffee
Aromatic: smoked Cherry wood, Vanilla, Cola, Oak
Dry: Black tea, Clary Sage & Chamomile, seaweed, Maldon salt
Launched in Dubai, their zero proof beverages are flavored to resemble all the alcohols you may be familiar with. Brandy, vodka, rum, gin, whiskies and more. Started in 2011, there are no carbs and no sugar in their products. They have a huge array of non alcoholic spirit options! From the main liquors:
Arkay Alcohol Free Gin
Interesting Rums: Spiced Rum, White Rum, Coconut Rum
Comes from England. A very botanical non alcoholic spirit.
#47 Paloma Blend Alcohol Free Spirit: No alcohol, sugar, fat or calories. Floral at first, with coriander and lemon afterwards.
A brand from Amsterdam, this Gin brand has an alcoholic version and a virgin version. Choices for all!
Damrak Virgin Gin: Distilled from 10 botanicals, citrus flavor.
Photo Credit: flueredrinks.com
Fluère contains only the best ingredients and finest botanicals; Casablanca coriander, sugar cane molasses from Dominican Republic, juniper berries from the Himalayas, lavender from the Provence and Mediterranean lemon peel.
To get the best out of every branch, leaf and berry, all botanicals, spices and fruit are individually distilled through so called hydrosteam distillation. The essential oils derived from the distilling process.
Original – Floral Blend of Botanicals
Amber – Spiced Cane Dark Roast
Pink – Raspberry Blend
Agave – Smoked Agave
Free Spirits aren’t flavored, spa-water placebos. They believe a cocktail should have a benefit beyond the taste. No fermentation to make alcohol, they skip that step and infuse the source liquid with B Vitamins and Amino Acids. They source natural ingredients like American White Oak, European Juniper, and Mexican Blue Agave and distill their essential flavors.
Spirit of Tequila: earthy, spicy nose and a smoky, agave-forward palate
Spirit of Bourbon: malty, brown sugar palate
Spirit of Gin: nose of juniper, followed by notes of citrus, coriander and cardamom
Photo Credit: winemag.com
Started in Australia. Lyre’s strides to not just provide an alternative to those who don’t wish to imbibe alcohol, but to ensure everyone can enjoy a party! They craft their spirits to taste just like the classics. Sourcing all natural essences, extracts and distillates from the four corners of the globe.
American Malt Non Alcoholic Spirit – Bourbon Style
Dry London Non Alcoholic Spirit – Gin Style
Vibrante – Non Alcoholic Aperitivo: A Non Alcoholic red vermouth
Photo Credit: CB2.com
MONDAY was created to please your palate and squash social stressors. ZERO CARBS, NO SUGAR, 0 CALORIES, VEGAN
Monday Gin: aromatic blend of juniper, botanicals, citrus, and spices like a classic London Dry, finishing with the familiar kick of your favorite spirit. It is bitter, so plan accordingly.
Check out our Non Alcoholic Cranberry Gin and Tonic!
Ritual was made, not as a replacement for liquor, but as an extra use in your bar. Their flavors are all natural with no allergens. Peanut and tree nut free.
Ritual Zero Proof Tequila Alternative: Ripe guava, black peppercorn, charred oak and mesquite smoke. Lime gives way to a clean, spicy finish, with sea salt.
Ritual Zero Proof Gin Alternative: English cucumber and juniper berries, botanicals, mint and basil.
Ritual Zero Proof Whiskey Alternative: American Oak, sugar floss and vanilla with a finish of organic peppercorn and hemp for a pleasant inner warmth.
Photo Credit: forbes.com
Inspired by nature, Seedlip is on a mission to change the way the world drinks with the highest quality non alcoholic options. They say they are “what to drink when you aren’t drinking”.
Spice 94 Non Alcoholic Spirit: Allspice berries & Cardamom
Garden 108 Non Alcoholic Spirit: Peas & Hay with traditional garden herb
Grove 42 Non Alcoholic Spirit: Mediterranean Orange, Ginger, Lemongrass & Lemon peel, Japanese Sancho Peppercorn
Caveat: it does contain 0.5% alcohol. Distilled non-alcoholic spirit for bourbon cocktails. Like bourbon, but better.
Kentucky 74: notes of caramel, vanilla and oak
Developed to be proper zero proof spirits that let you enjoy your night without compromising on taste, experience or calories.
Strykk Not Rum: clove, oak wood and grapefruit, 100% natural with no sugar, no fat, no carbs and no artificial flavors
Strykk Not Vodka: cucumber, coriander and apple. 100% natural with no added sugar, no artificial flavors and no allergens.
Strykk Not Gin: juniper, basil and rosemary. 100% natural with no sugar, no fat, no carbs and no artificial flavors.
Photo Credit: Amazon.com
Xachoh – Enlightened Spirit of Persia
Uses exotic Silk Road botanicals, distilled and blended in Xachoh spirits for moments of enlightenment. Made in London.
Xachoh Blend No 7: ginger, mace, cinnamon, star anise, saffron and sumac. Has a warm spiced nose.
Xachoh Blend No 5: Star anise, ginger, chamomile, pepper, turmeric, barberry and rosemary
Has a wide catalog of specialty beverages and wines that are non-alcoholic. Wines range from reds, whites, roses and sparkling!
Ginsin 12 Botanics Gin Alternative: 12 botanicals and orange
Ginsin Strawberry Gin Alternative: botanicals and strawberry
Ginsin Tangerine Gin Alternative: botanicals and tangerine
Whissin Whiskey Alternative: barley, maize, and wheat
Ronsin Rum Alternative: woody and molasses flavor
Versin Vermouth Alternative: cloves, cinnamon, ginger, citrus
As most bitters are alcohol based, and are used in zero proof cocktails, as well as cocktails, and if you are avoiding all alcohol, might we suggest Dram Apothecary?
They have glycerine based bitters with no alcohol, and we love to use them!
Zero Proof Cocktail Recipes
Here are some of ours, and ones that we enjoy! Cheers!
- Grapefruit Ginger Fizz
- Sparkling Tropical
- Coconut Lime Italian Cream Soda
- Grapefruit Spritzer
- Sparkling Fall Cocktail
- Cranberry Moscow Mule
Also, don’t forget to follow us on Instagram and tag #gastronomcocktails so we can see all the wonderful recipes YOU recreate from this site!
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