We’ve celebrated the holidays, stuffed our plates, filled our cups and enjoyed all the merriest moments. Now that we’ve set some goals for manifesting and investing in our best selves for 2023, it’s time to level up! Now that I am doing Dry January and being more mindful of alcohol intake, I have found zero to lower alcohol alternatives out there to shake up delicious mocktails for Dry January and beyond.
The demand for zero to lower alcoholic alternatives have gained momentum over the years and we’ve seen a huge uptick in the number of brands innovating and offering new options. For those wanting to focus on wellness and drinking lighter, these emerging brands offer high quality options for mindful drinking.
Zero Alcohol Options
Consumers who are intrigued by craft cocktails but don’t wish to dabble with the booze have been turning to mocktails. Mocktails are non-alcoholic drinks that are meant to replicate the taste and flair of bar-crafted beverages. They’re typically made with a non-alcoholic spirit alternatives, fruit juices and other natural ingredients like herbs and spices. Recently, they have been showing up big to the sipping scene with sought-after flavors and unique add-ins.
The brands blazing trails in the mocktail arena, like Ritual, whose portfolio includes zero-proof tequila, whiskey, gin and rum alternatives, or other recognized brands like Seedlip and CleanCo, are redefining the zero-alcohol lifestyle. Even the most loyal spirit enthusiasts can find a spirit alternative worth swapping. For instance, try a new take on a traditional margarita with CleanCo’s Tequila Alternative or check out these mocktail recipes to find a new favorite.
For wine enthusiasts who are cutting out alcohol, try non-alcoholic wines like Ariel, Artis, Zilch as well as alcohol-removed wines from Fre and Freixenet. These bottles make opting out of alcohol super easy!
For beer fans, try non-alcoholic brews like Heinkeken 0.0, Athletic Upside Down Golden Ale, Samuel Adams Just the Haze, Erdinger, Beck’s and Clausthaler. My new favorite is Hop Water IPA! They could easily fool even the most seasoned beer drinker and even the IPA snobs like myself. These non-alcoholic beers are so tasty and well-made that even beer experts were challenged in picking out non-alcoholic versus alcoholic beers in a blind taste test.
Now that you’ve got the low-down on how these alcohol-free spirits stack up, try grabbing one to mix up one a non-alcoholic mocktail recipe:
- 2 ounces Seedlip Spice 94
- 1 ounce grapefruit juice
- ¾ ounce simple syrup
- ½ ounce fresh lime juice
- 3 ounces club soda
- Grapefruit peel
In a shaker with ice, add Seedlip Spice 94, grapefruit juice, simple syrup and lime juice. Shake and strain into a glass with fresh ice. Top with club soda and garnish with grapefruit peel.
- 2 ounces Clean V Apple Vodka Alternative
- 2 lime wedges, squeezed
- 4 ounces sparkling water
- 1 to 3 dashes aromatic bitters
- 3 apple slices
In a tall glass, add Clean V, lime wedges and sparkling water. Fill glass with ice and add dashes of bitters. Mix and garnish with a fan of apple slices.
For the non-alcoholic margarita mix: In a mixing bowl, combine lime juice, agave and orange juice. Stir to dissolve agave. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two weeks.
For the mocktail: Combine margarita mix and ice in a blender and blend until smooth. Fill a margarita glass ¾ of the way with margarita mix. Float Fre Red Blend on top. Garnish with a charred lime.
- 1 ½ ounces Ritual Zero Proof Gin Alternative
- ½ ounce lemon juice
- ¼ ounce simple syrup
- ½ ounce non-alcoholic triple sec
- ¾ ounce pomegranate juice
- Dehydrated orange wheel
- Star anise
In a shaker with ice, add gin alternative, lemon juice, simple syrup, triple sec and pomegranate juice. Shake and strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with a dehydrated orange wheel and a star anise.
Lower Alcohol Alternatives
If your goal is to cut back rather than cutting out alcohol, here some helpful tips and recipes. One way is to pour ‘half-proof’ or swap the measurement of a distilled spirit in a cocktail recipe for a half-and-half option (half distilled spirit and half spirit alternative). You can also just lighten up your normal pour or reduce the amount of alcohol that your cocktail recipe calls for. These easy tips allow you to still sip on your favorite drinks while also cutting back.
Check out some of these lower alcohol alternatives to traditional cocktail recipes:
- 1 ounce Baileys Deliciously Light Irish Cream
- 7 ounces iced coffee
Add Baileys to iced coffee. Stir to combine.
- 1, 750mL bottle Kim Crawford Illuminate Rosé
- 1/3 cup lemon juice
- 1 lemon, thinly sliced
- 8 strawberries, thinly sliced
- 1 small cucumber, thinly sliced
- 4 basil sprigs
- 4 mint sprigs
- 2 cups sparkling pink lemonade
In a large pitcher, add rosé, lemon juice, lemon slices, strawberries, cucumber, basil and mint. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour and maximum 4 hours. Stir in the pink lemonade before serving. Pour into 4 to 6 glasses and garnish with herbs and fruit slices from cocktail mixture.
- Lime wedge
- Salt (optional)
- 1 ounce Los Rijos Silver Tequila
- 1 ½ ounces fresh lime juice
- Liquid Death Sparkling Mountain Water
Rim glass with lime wedge and dip in salt. Add tequila, lime juice and top with sparkling water. Stir to combine and garnish with a lime wedge.
In a glass with ice, add vodka and lemonade. Stir to combine. Top with club soda and garnish with a mint sprig.
My friends at ABC Fine Wine & Spirits have everything I need to stick to my goals and help me maintain throughout the year.