15 Best Non-Alcoholic Drinks of 2023: All the Fun and Flavor Without the Booze
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Many people start the year with Dry January, which is a month-long effort to abstain from alcohol. This is where the best non-alcoholic drinks come in: you can mix non-alcoholic spirits with juices and sodas or opt for a beer alternative that tastes just like the real thing. Some people use the month as a time to reset, assess priorities, and reconnect to their health. Others like to take sobriety for a spin, which can lead to additional “dry” months. One of the best parts about Dry January is that brands and bars have more non-alcoholic options—benefiting both temporary and more permanent non-drinkers—than ever before so the only option isn’t just a soda or seltzer water. Whether you’re foregoing alcohol for just Dry January or you’re exploring the sober-curious lifestyle, we’ve got all the best non-alcoholic drinks you’ll want to keep on hand.
What’s the difference between a non-alcoholic beverage and a beverage that just doesn’t have alcohol?
This is a common (and excellent) question. Plenty of drinks don’t have alcohol: ginger ale, orange juice, water, coffee. They’re non-alcoholic by default, but when we say non-alcoholic (especially during Dry January) we’re talking about drinks that have complex flavors and are made with the intent of ritualized drinking. In this case, a non-alcoholic drink is a zero-proof version of an alcoholic beverage or a similar alternative, intentionally created to be consumed in place of alcohol.
Why should I drink non-alcoholic beverages?
Everyone’s reason for opting for a non-alcoholic drink differs. Some people avoid alcohol for health concerns or general predispositions to alcoholism. Some people don’t drink because they simply don’t like the taste. Others take periodic breaks to reconnect with their body and mind. And, what causes someone to stop drinking, even briefly, might not be the reason they continue.
Non-alcoholic beverages are a great alternative to beer, wine, and liquor. You can drive yourself home from an event and go to bed without fear of a hangover. This makes them a great drink choice for nights before an early wake-up or important presentation, and designated drivers don’t need to miserably nurse a seltzer all night long.
Another pro is that non-alcoholic beverages still feel special; they aren’t the same as going to a bar and ordering a cup of water or a Sprite. These NA options can be crafted into delicious cocktails and flavorful alternatives that still feel celebratory. If you’re not sharing your reasons for going with non-alcoholic options, many of these drinks poured into a glass look like the alcoholic versions, so you can keep your choice to yourself.
Will non-alcoholic beverages help me stop drinking alcohol?
Choosing non-alcoholic drinks is often beneficial for your health, however they aren’t a holy grail. Many non-alcoholic beers and liquors have more gluten or sugar than alcoholic options. If you think you have an alcohol addiction, you may need help outside of a switch to non-alcoholic drinks, though it could be a good start start if you’re able to manage the swap on your own.
Many people use Dry January or Sober October as a reason to cut back on drinking, and you may find that non-alcoholic drinks are just as flavorful and fun. If you find yourself craving a drink and not the hangover, NA options could surely help you lower your alcohol intake. However, if stopping altogether is your goal you may need to distance yourself from all alcohol-like drinks and seek expert support.
Athletic Brewing is the current leader in making NA beer in American craft styles like IPAs. The company’s operations are entirely dedicated to non-alcoholic options, so it has more flavors and styles of beer than a brewery that does both alcohol and non-alcoholic brews. Your options include golden ales, IPAs, stouts, lagers, what ales, and even a line of sparkling waters. Athletic Brewing has monthly subscriptions, or you can order by the six pack.
Seedlip makes non-alcoholic liquors that are flavorful and sugar-free. Seedlip has three flavor profiles: Garden 108 (pea, hay, spearmint, rosemary, thyme), Spice 94 (all Spice, bark, citrus, berries, cardamom, lemon and grapefruit peel, oak), and Grove 42 (three types of orange, lemongrass, and ginger). The NA liquors are perfect for creating classic cocktails (or, mocktails), including an espresso martini, toddy, and apple highball.
Ghia is a spirits-free apéritif created for our modern times and for those who want a leisurely drink without alcohol. Ghia is made of plants and botanicals that have “potent” and “heady” flavors. The aperitif is Mediterranean-inspired and is meant to kickstart your appetite, making it a welcoming drink and a conversation starter. Ghia also has three canned spritzes: Ghia Ginger, Ghia Soda, and Ghia Lime and Salt, all of which take the OG Ghia and turns it into a ready-to-drink booze-free cocktail.
Brewdog is a global brewery that started in Scotland and now has locations all over the world. It’s known for a wide range of beers, but it is also Certified Carbon Negative and has an Employee Ownership Program and 50% Bars Profit Share, meaning employees are part-owners. The beer is great too, and Brewdog created non-alcoholic versions of its most popular brewers: Elvis AF, Punk AF, and Hazy AF. There is also a non-alcoholic shandy, coffee cream brew, hazy IPAs, and a personal favorite, the Hawkes NA Wild Streak. Brewdog ships to most of the continental US states, though you’ll want to check the shipping map to make sure your state is included.
What to try: Zero-proof margarita
How to drink: Pour into a glass that has a salt or sugar rim (or straight from the can)
Recess is known for adaptogenic sparkling drinks. They make a perfect mocktail mixer or afternoon pick-me-up. Recess’ newest launch is a zero-proof margarita, a sparkling mocktail made with lime, agave, lemon & orange zest. It offers a refreshing and light margarita-like flavor without the alcohol or hangover. The lemon lime marg is a limited edition flavor though, so get it before it’s gone!
California-based Sovi is a premium non-alcoholic wine brand making sophisticated blends sourced from a single estate. There aren’t many non-alcoholic wines out there, so Sovi fills the void for many people who love wine but don’t want the alcohol. Sovi has two main wines: a 2021 chenin blanc and barrel-aged multi-vintage red blend. There are also canned wines: a sparkling white, a red blend, and a sparkling rose, and you can try all three in the convenient sampler pack.
What to try: Visitor makes one beer—it’s easy to drink, a bit like a craft lager.
How to drink: However you like to drink beer! But we will say that it’s refreshing and great for chugging after a run on a hot day.
Brand-new visitor makes a crisp take on beer-flavored beer—just without the alcohol. It’s also gluten-reduced, if that’s something you’re worried about. If, like us, you find yourself drinking a lot of these, good news: cases ship for free.
De Soi makes non-alcoholic aperitifs with adaptogens to embrace “pleasure and restraint” when it comes to drinking. De Soi’s drinks are perfect for a drink ritual without alcohol or any of its lingering effects. There are three aperitifs: Golden Hour (a citrusy flavor with maca and L-theanine derived from green tea), Purple Lune (a richer, deeper drink with ashwagandha, cherry, vanilla oak, and rose petals), and Champignon Dreams (a summer-ready mixture of reishi mushroom, passion flower, and strawberries). You can try all three in the De Soi Variety Pack.
Acid League Proxies
What to try: The New Tasting Set
How to drink: The New Tasting Set has a white wine, a rose, and two reds with varying tastes. Sip them leisurely with company or on your own for a self-care ritual.
Proxies are non-alcoholic wine alternatives made “by blending wine grapes, fruits, teas, spices, and complex ferments.” The result is a wine-like drink that you can have any day of the week. Acid League Proxies aren’t a one-to-one wine replacement in terms of flavor, but with white, rose, and red categories you’ll get an idea of what you’re shopping for.
Wilderton Spirits makes bold non-alcoholic spirits that are vegan and gluten free. The spirits have rich and dimensional tastes like the citrusy Lustre, sultry Earthen, and the Bittersweet Aperitivo. They are somewhat syrupy and have tea-like flavors that are aptly earthy and bitter. You can drink each spirit on the rocks, try a Cosmo Not or Wild Rose Spritz from the Wilderton Spirits catalog, or mix up a simple spirit and tonic.
What to try: Fiore Frizzante
How to drink: Poured over ice with an orange peel to garnish
Another aperitif is Figlia, a non-alcoholic pre-dinner drink with a “floral, bitter, aromatic” flavor profile. Though there are only two Figlia drinks (so far), they are widely loved as replacements for a glass of wine or a cocktail. Figlia can be served over ice or mixed into a drink like a Sour Flower. The Fiore Frizzante is a canned version of Figlia’s main aperitif with extra lemon.
What to try: Solo Garnacha
How to drink: Garnacha wines are juicy and sweet, so drink it in a glass with a flavorful meal or salty snack
Studio Null is a collection of high-quality, non-alcoholic wines from European vineyards. Its selection includes the Solo Garnacha, Sparkling Verdejo, Blanc Bergunder, Sparkling Rose, and Prickly Red. Studio Null makes wine for everyone—casual drinkers, non drinkers, and the sober curious alike.
Monday is an award-winning zero-proof liquor maker. The brand has a non-alcoholic whiskey, gin, and mezcal. These spirits make creating your favorite cocktails easy, and you won’t need to alter any recipes. There’s even a Monday Trio if you want to try all three liquors.
Betty Buzz is Blake Lively’s non-alcoholic mixer brand. The sparkling tonics and sodas are ideal mixers and are made with clean ingredients and real juices. They make refreshing drinks on their own but also serve double duty as mixers for alcohol or non-alcoholic liquors and spirits.
Untitled Art has beautiful cans of beer, including craft styles like sours and goses. The wide range of beers includes a range of non-alcoholic options including numerous fruity varieties. You may find several non-alcoholic lagers or pale ales from other brands, but it’ll be hard to find an equivalent to the Lychee Sherbet and Watermelon Gose. These lighter drinks are a great option for those who are looking for beers without alcohol or gluten.
Melbourne-based NON has recently entered the US market, and Americans can finally get their hands on a bottle of these exceptional wine alternatives. Like Proxies, NON does not make alcohol-removed wine. Rather, these are chef- and sommelier-approved blends of seasonal produce, cooked in various ways to elicit the types of flavors you’d experience in a glass of wine. The fun and bold flavors aren’t too different from what you’d find in a bottle of natural wine, and these offerings make wonderful complements to all meals and sober days and nights.