The spirits landscape is growing and changing, with teetotalers no longer limited to club soda or ginger beer. New alternatives aim to replicate the flavor of alcohol or explore a different profile, as well as vermouths and liqueurs that help craft complex zero-proof cocktails.
It’s important to note that many of these products are not meant to be sipped straight from the bottle, as they are geared for mixing. That said, some do stand out.
One big reason to try non-alcoholic spirits is that they have fewer calories than traditional drinks. A shot of an alcoholic spirit can contain nearly 100 calories, which rises when you add mixers. By comparison, many of these non-alcoholic alternatives have 0 calories per shot.
Whether you’re on a permanent sober streak or drinking less as part of a health kick or lifestyle change, booze-free spirits are gaining popularity. Here’s what you should know about them.
Alcoholic spirits dehydrate you, but non-alcoholic spirits provide essential electrolytes. This makes them ideal for sipping at a party, on the beach, or even behind the wheel. They also taste better than water or soda, especially if mixing them into cocktails.
As more people opt for a sober lifestyle, they find that spirits and mixers don’t have to be full-strength to deliver flavor and intensity. This has led to a flood of new products that can add the same complexity and intensity to drinks as their alcoholic counterparts.
These non-alcoholic options are available at bars and liquor stores across the country. They’re also showing up on the menus of many restaurants and cocktail bars.
The alcohol-free spirits market has seen enormous growth in recent years, with more brands entering the scene than ever. Many new drinks are much healthier than their alcoholic counterparts, free from sugar, and containing no more than a moderate amount of calories.
They’re also loaded with antioxidants, courtesy of the berry and spice botanicals used as flavorings. This is especially beneficial for health, as antioxidants have been proven to protect against various illnesses and conditions, including heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and more.
Some non-alcoholic spirit brands have even less than a single calorie per serving. This is because many of the ingredients used in these drinks, such as herbs, spices, and fruit, are naturally low in calories. They are, therefore, the ideal choice for anybody trying to cut back on their regular caloric intake.
Alcohol-free spirits are also the best choice for avoiding high-calorie mocktails. You can enjoy these cocktails without feeling guilty, whether at home or at a party. You can even use soda water or club soda as a mixer with these non-alcoholic spirits for versatility and refreshing hydration. You may be wondering is soda water the same as club soda? While they have similarities, soda water is regular carbonated water with no flavourings or added ingredients. Club soda however, if infused with minerals with gives it a distinct flavour which you may prefer when adding to a mocktail or as a mixer. Both options are low in sugar and calorie content, and are an ideal staple for social situations where alcohol is not preferable.
They’re better for your health
Whether you’re doing Dry January, committed to living a zero-proof lifestyle or just looking for alternatives to your favorite cocktails, non-alcoholic spirits are a healthier option. And because they’re often brewed with herbs, spices, and fruits, many also have antioxidants, which help fight disease and slow the effects of aging.
Alcohol can harm our bodies, leading to irreversible organ damage and chronic diseases like cirrhosis, fatty liver, heart disease, high blood pressure, and pancreatitis. On the other hand, non-alcoholic drinks are much easier on our organs, contain fewer calories, and can help regulate blood sugar levels.
Another reason why non-alcoholic spirits are becoming increasingly popular is because they’re better for the environment. The production of alcoholic drinks uses up a lot of energy, water, and land, whereas non-alcoholic spirits are made from natural ingredients that are less resource-intensive.
They’re socially acceptable
Many people living sober or new to it struggle with feeling left out of the party. Drinking a cocktail can be a great social activity to get the conversation flowing, and it’s no longer just a matter of picking club soda or ginger beer to drink.
Thankfully, there’s now an influx of alcohol-free spirits designed to look and taste like the real thing. Booze-free distillates have been popping up nationwide and, with them, a whole new world of cocktail possibilities.
Caleno, Seedlip, and Ghia are just a few of the brands that have recently hit the market. Their names and branding aim to mirror their full-strength counterparts to appeal to the sober curious. And they’ve been getting a lot of attention, too.
These non-alcoholic spirits may not contain any booze, but they do have to comply with the same rules as their full-strength counterparts. This means they must still be labeled as gin, rum, or whisky to meet EU regulations. And that’s one of the reasons why they are priced so much higher than juice or soda.
But despite the price tag, more and more people are buying these new low- or no-alcohol spirits. They want to enjoy cocktails without worrying about driving afterward or saying something they might regret the next day. And now, with the help of these brands and others, living a sober lifestyle is cooler than ever.