12 Expert-Recommended Non-Alcoholic Drinks

Discover delicious zero-proof products to sip this Dry January and beyond.

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Updated on October 11, 2023

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Photo by: Photo courtesy of All The Bitter

Photo courtesy of All The Bitter

It used to be that Dry January and Sober October were the only times the sober-curious considered non-alcoholic beverages. But now, more consumers are looking to moderate their consumption or abstain from alcohol, whether for sobriety, religious, health or personal reasons. As a result, the non-alcoholic beverage market has grown significantly in recent years.

According to IWSR Drinks Market Analysis, a data and insight provider to the global beverage alcohol industry, the no-alcohol market includes the following sub-categories: no-alcohol beer, cider, spirits, wine, ready-to-drinks (RTDs) and alcohol adjacencies, such as those infused with adaptogens. IWSR reports that the total no-alcohol market in the US grew 28 percent in 2021 (in volume terms), and it is forecasted to grow by a volume CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 25 percent from 2022 to 2026 (up from 22 percent from 2018 to 2022).

With this kind of projected growth, producers are expanding their non-alcoholic offerings and more brands have entered the zero-proof space. “I’m so excited at how far the industry has come. When we first started, there were only a handful of alcohol-free brands around and now it seems every week, a new brand emails us trying to get us to sample their drinks,” says Lorelei Bandrovschi, who founded her alcohol-free Listen Bar in Brooklyn in 2018. “Not gonna lie — it feels pretty great to have brands fighting for our co-sign. It wasn’t that long ago that people were laughing in my face when I said I was opening a bar with no alcohol!”

The proliferation of quality products has prompted traditional bottle shops to expand their offerings and the number of dedicated zero-proof bars and shops has soared too. “What an amazing time it is to be a non-drinker or even someone who just wants to drink less. There is something for everyone at this point. I’m constantly discovering new brands and the research is one of the best parts of my job,” says Aqxyl Storms, founder and co-owner of Minus Moonshine, a non-alcoholic beverage shop in Brooklyn. “It even seems like the shame or embarrassment that so many non-drinkers feel is slowly going away. The normalization of non-alcoholic adult beverages is changing people’s lives.”

With the ever-expanding assortment of alcohol-free products on the market, there’s never been a more delicious time to discover non-alcoholic beverages. We polled experts from coast to coast on their favorite zero-proof products.

$79.50 $74.5
All The Bitter

All the Bitter has a line of non-alcoholic bitters that has become the foundation for many of our cocktails. As scientists, we really respect their innovation process because in zero-proof cocktail curation, it can be very difficult to ‘pack the punch’ into the glass. All the Bitter manages to create very potent aromatics that complement the brighter notes in our cocktails. The bitters don’t carry a texture into the cocktail, making them very versatile. We love their Aromatic bitters for their robust, classic flavor but our customers love their New Orleans bitters for the unique, zesty and crisp flavor that activates their taste buds. Lately, we’ve been loving the Lavender Chamomile in our morning coffee.”
-Chirasmita Kompella and Priyanka Kompella, Co-Founders of Zero Proofed, Los Angeles

$29.99
Amethyst

“I have been really impressed by Amethyst NA alternative. Both varietals offer a light complexity that offers an incomparable depth both neat and mixed. The Blueberry Ginger Mint is a nice balance between robust ginger notes, herbaceous mint undertones, and subtly sweet blueberry. The Serrano Cucumber Lemon is refreshing and smooth on the front and then the warmth of the Serrano pepper offers a nice kick on the back. Both possess a smooth mouthfeel that satisfies. I’m all about low/no sugar cocktails and I absolutely love that you can make a spicy gin and tonic alternative with the cucumber Serrano or add a bit of Amethyst to ginger beer and lime for a mule alternative.”
-Chris Marshall, founder of Sans Bar, Austin

$39.99
BARE Zero Proof Spirits

“One product we’ve recently been blown away by is by a newer brand, BARE Zero Proof. We connected with them online and were able to try their full line of spirit alternatives. All their spirits were delicious, but we knew immediately that we needed their zero-proof tequila on our cocktail menu. It has a viscosity that a lot of products seem to lack, and a nice kick resembling that of a traditional tequila. That, combined with its deep agave flavor, makes it the closest to a traditional style Reposado that we’ve tried. Like most spirit alternatives, it’s not made for drinking straight up, but we love using it in any of our riffs on margaritas.”
—Savannah Rainey and Lissa Eubanks, Co-Founders of Zilch Market & Bar, Atlanta

$75 $59.5
De Soi

“One of my favorite new releases of the past year has been De Soi. The sparkling aperitifs brand comes from Katy Perry and Master Distiller Morgan McLachlan, who also created AMASS [a non-alcoholic spirit]. All three of the brand’s flavors feature big, bold flavors and feel-good adaptogens like L-theanine, reishi mushroom and ashwagandha. Golden Hour is a mood booster with flavors of warm citrus, lemongrass and leafy herbs. Champignon Dreams is juicy and balanced, with notes of strawberries, bitter grapefruit and earth. Purple Lune is the perfect nightcap with notes of blackberry nectar, vanilla, oak and rose petals. Since they’re sparkling, they’re easy to drink at any time of the day.”
—Nick Bodkins, Co-Founder & CEO of Boisson, NYC

$55.99
JAS

“I’m currently really digging JAS Paloma Libre. It is a ready-to-drink canned cocktail with ashwaganda, an adaptogenic herb. The founder, Cecilia Rios Murrieta, and I were speaking on the same non-alcoholic panel at Bar Convent Brooklyn this year — before her lifestyle changed to grow beyond alcohol, Cecilia owned a mezcal brand. I used to love mezcal so, knowing that I was eager to try JAS. Its profile is bubbly grapefruit with a touch of cinnamon for some zang. It really does taste like a paloma! JAS is great poured over ice or used as a mixer for tequilas or mezcals. I used nonalcoholic spirits but I'm sure it would be just as fantastic with alcohol for those who drink it.”
—Aqxyl Storms, Founder, Co-Owner, Curator & Creative Director of Minus Moonshine, Brooklyn

$32
Delmosa

“One of my best friends doesn't drink but has one of the most tuned-in palates I’ve ever encountered. A few years back, she introduced me to Jörg Geiger's non-alcoholic line of products and I have carried various cuvées from them. The Birnenschaumwein is probably my favorite out of the lineup. As a committed bubblehead, this non-alcoholic sparkling wine is made from pear must that has been fermented for three years, developing intoxicating and complex aromas of dried pear, brioche and white flowers. It’s like pear cider with a finer, persistent mousse — any non-alcoholic drinkers would not feel like they’re missing out at all.”
—Paula de Pano, owner of Rocks + Acid Wine Shop, Chapel Hill, N.C.

$11
Drizly

“I came across Lagunitas Hoppy Refresher as an alternative to our non-alcoholic beer selection. The aromatics are hop forward with notes of pine, tangerine, lime and a touch of sweetness. The pine on the palate is a bit more subdued allowing the acidity of the lime to pop. The carbonation level falls somewhere between Topo-Chico and San Pellegrino. As much as I enjoy this product on its own, we are able to incorporate it into our beverage program to provide effervescence and flavor to a drink. Our bestselling spiritless offering is in the style of a French 75 featuring Seedlip Grove 42, raspberry, lemon and a splash of Lagunitas Hoppy Refresher. The aromatics of pine and citrus provide a layer of depth to the cocktail that emulate gin and the tropical fruit notes on the palate help the acidity of the raspberries pop.”
—Taylor Mann, Head Bartender at Lucky, Roanoke, V.A.

$17.99 (Pack of 4)
The Zero Proof

“I’m a big fan of Lyre’s and all their non-alcoholic products — all are really well made and delicious. We don’t sell any Lyre’s products at Bacchanal yet, but we do at our sister concept, The Elysian Bar. A few of their products actually have a taste where you feel like you’re actually drinking alcohol and they’re enjoyable to drink even if you’re not trying to taste alcohol. Their gin and tonic is crazy — it tastes just like a regular gin and tonic. Their prosecco is also super enjoyable and refreshing, nice and bubbly. I usually just drink them as is — the prosecco super chilled, or one of their cocktails on the rocks with a lime or lemon.”
—Joaquin Rodas, Co-Owner and Founding Chef of Bacchanal Fine Wine & Spirits in New Orleans

$24.99
The Zero Proof

“Oddbird Blanc de Blancs, a French sparkling wine made from Colombard and Chardonnay grapes. It’s a wonderful, dry sparkling wine with notes of apple and lemon, best enjoyed chilled in a flute. I first discovered Oddbird, a Swedish company, 2.5 years ago. They sent me samples and I was blown away by the quality of their wines. The non-alcoholic wine space is already estimated at $1.6 billion annually and expected to double in the next decade! And Oddbird is one of the premier brands in the space. In addition to their core portfolio, they’re constantly innovating, working with different winemakers around the world, different grape varietals and different processes to stay on the cutting edge of non-alcoholic wine production.”

$39.99
The Mindful Drinking Co

“I love herbal amaros. When I first started making non-alcoholic cocktails, I found a lot of great new products but no one at that time was doing a non-alcoholic herbal amaro. So, I was very excited when I first heard about The Pathfinder. Its predominant flavors of hemp, pine, wormwood and angelica root definitely won't appeal to everyone, but if you like herbal flavors, you'll love it. My two favorite ways are on a large rock with orange All The Bitters and as the amaro component of a non-alcoholic MonteNegroni. For that cocktail, I typically use equal parts Monday gin, Roots Divino Rosso and The Pathfinder, plus an expressed orange peel.”
—Douglas Watters, owner of Spirited Away, NYC and Dry Atlas

$40
Rasāsvāda

“One of our very first finds and favorite products is Rasāsvāda's Black Ginger Restorative Spirit because of its bittersweet and herbaceous flavor that pairs well with complex cocktails, and the medicinal use to promote digestion and cleanse the liver. Aromatic bitter roots and barks such as black ginger, dark roasted chicory and cinchona are complemented by cardamom, saffron and red turmeric that add a piquant intensity and depth of long-lasting flavor. Completely plant-based, there are no sugars or syrups — instead, founder Connor W. Godfrey uses rarified mushrooms, fermented lemons and pomegranates to deliver viscosity and a citrus bite. It is extremely versatile and makes amazing alternative or traditional drinks, including Espresso Martinis!”
—Emily Heintz, Founder of Sèchey, Charleston, S.C.

$32.95 $29.99
Ritual Zero Proof

“Lately, I’ve been really loving Ritual's alcohol-free tequila because it’s the key ingredient of my go-to alcohol-free cocktail for when I have guests over. We tapped Ivy Mix to create a cocktail with their tequila during lockdown and it was one of our first cocktail recipes that feels just as sophisticated as a cocktail you’d get at the bar, yet with zero prep involved and using almost entirely pantry ingredients. The first thing I noticed about the Ritual Tequila Alternative is that it’s got a slight burn, which is what inspired the name of our alcohol-free cocktail, Slow Burn. There’s also a smokiness and nice consistency to it that mixes really well into cocktails.”
—Lorelei Bandrovschi, Founder of Listen Bar, NYC

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