9 Non-alcoholic 'Spirits' With All of the Fun and None of the Hangover
Surveys have shown that more than fifty percent of those who drink are looking to cut down on their booze consumption — making inventive alternatives the alcohol industry's fastest growing segment.
Below, our favorite boutique "spirits" for a zero-proof good time.
This range of nonalcoholic gins nods to the roots of founders Craig Hutchison and Maria Sehlstrom — flavored with botanicals from South Africa's Cederberg mountains and distilled in Sweden using pure spring water. The newest in the range, Pink Rose, combines classic juniper with sweeter, more floral notes, like hibiscus. cedersdrinks.com, $22.
Lily Geiger, who launched this aperitivo brand earlier this year, was inspired to explore zero-proof alternatives after losing her father to alcoholism. (Figlia means "daughter" in Italian.) Fiore, the company's first blend, is fragrant with clove and bitter orange — and a portion of every purchase goes to support the Partnership to End Addiction. drinkfiglia.com, $43.
Mediterranean ingredients like fig, acacia, and lemon balm come together in this brand's sunny crimson aperitif, which also contains a healthy dose of nervines — natural ingredients used in herbal medicine to soothe the nerves. If amaro and soda is your thing, you'll also love the just-released Le Spritz, available by the can. drinkghia.com, $33.
When founder Erika Ollén stopped drinking, she noticed a gap in the market — clear botanical distillates were all the rage, but there was little out there for those who preferred darker, more complex aged spirits. Gnista offers two compelling entries: Floral Wormwood, great for mixing into an aromatic cocktail, and Barreled Oak, smoky, smooth, and perfect on the rocks. gnistaspirits.com, $25.
Three carb-free flavors fill in for liquor-cabinet essentials: Bright, a vodka alternative with notes of lemon and tangerine; Fresh, with botanicals like jasmine and juniper for a ginlike character; and Smokey, which goes down like mezcal with warmth from cinnamon leaf, ginger, and Lapsang souchong. optimistdrinks.com, $35.
These batched drinks are the brainchild of John deBary, an award-winning mixologist who served as bar director of the Momofuku restaurant group. Both bottles are named after New York City streets: Rivington Spritz is refreshingly fruity and fizzy with a hit of vinegar, while Ludlow Red is a more savory blend that's great for pairing with food. drinkproteau.com, $20.
Just because you're cutting down doesn't mean you can't celebrate with something bubbly. Töst was created as a champagne alternative that feels just as special — a lightly sweet quaff rounded out with ginger and white tea. Also available: a summery sparkling rosé infused with elderberry. tostbeverages.com, $9.
Founder Chris Wilfred Hughes had one thing on the mind when designing this complex aperitif: the perfect summery spritz. He tinkered with more than 100 recipes until he hit the right combination of botanicals — including rosemary, rhubarb, hibiscus, and rose — to mingle just right with a good British tonic. (For the record, it also holds its own in a zero-proof Negroni.) wilfredsdrinks.com, $25.
Many of the products featured can be found at Better Rhodes, the largest U.S. online retailer for nonalcoholic beverages.
A version of this story first appeared in the July 2021 issue of Travel + Leisure under the headline The Zero-Proof Trend Is Here to Stay.