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The Best Non-Alcoholic Spirits and How to Use Them

We tested dozens of products to find the best matches for cocktails and more.

Non alcoholic spirits guide

Liquor.com / Laura Sant

Making a sophisticated alcohol-free cocktail has never been easier, thanks to a growing number of complex non-alcoholic bottlings made with interesting botanicals and flavorings. With global sales currently at just under $10 billion, IWSR projects that the low- and no-alcohol space will have a compound annual growth rate of 8% from 2021 to 2025.

As the category expands, alcohol-free spirits are becoming increasingly diverse and experimental. While several brands tout themselves as direct replacements for the likes of gin, whiskey, rum, or tequila, others avoid such specific comparisons, letting their unique profiles speak for themselves. The best of these present complex, sometimes unfamiliar flavors with balance and harmony, just as a traditional spirit would.

We tried more than 75 zero-proof spirits, testing them in a number of ways—neat, with simple mixers, and in complex shaken and stirred cocktails—then rounded up our favorites for each application.

Although the bottles we tasted varied widely in flavor and ideal usage, we noted some best practices across the board for working with non-alcoholic spirits. Because N/A spirits contain a higher proportion of water than their alcoholic counterparts, they require less dilution when mixed. As such, we generally found that cocktails made with zero-proof spirits benefited from shortened shaking and mixing times. 

Unlike traditional spirits, which are usually shelf-stable for extended periods of time, the products below all have expiration dates, making it important to check the labels. Once opened, most are recommended to be consumed within 3–6 months, and some require refrigeration. In addition, many are not as filtered as full-proof spirits, lending them a cloudy or even turbid appearance; gently shake these before using. 

Finally, most non-alcoholic spirits are intended for mixing and generally shouldn’t be served on their own. However, we do recommend neat pours of some of the bottles we tasted, including Dromme Calm, the Everleaf portfolio, Figlia 001. Fiore, For Bitter For Worse’s The Saskatoon and Smoky No. 56, Ghia, Pentire Adrift and Seaward, The Pathfinder Hemp & Root, and Wilderton Bittersweet Aperitivo. 

The products selected below all showcased unique flavors and mixability. Many are as versatile as traditional spirits like gin or rum, shining in a variety of applications and deftly adapting to traditional cocktail recipes, albeit with a tweak or two. Treat this list as an introductory guide, and enjoy experimenting.

Best non alcoholic spirits for mixing with tonic water

Liquor.com / Laura Sant

The Best Non-Alcoholic Spirits to Top with Tonic

Gin substitutes and other botanical zero-proof spirits are a natural fit for tonic water, complementing the mixer’s bittersweet bubbles. Varied flavor profiles, from floral sweetness to maritime salinity, fit a range of palates and open up creative garnish potential. Unlike true gin, which must include juniper, many of these products explore uncharted areas of the botanical spectrum, making for pleasantly surprising sipping.

Bax Botanics Lemon Verbena ($37; 500 ml)
A refreshing mint and citrus profile strikes a perfect balance between simplicity and liveliness.

Caleño Light & Zesty ($30; 500 ml)
Tropical and bright with notes of pineapple, guava, and white grape juice, this would also work well in a Pimm’s Cup–style drink.

Cut Above Zero Proof Gin ($35; 750ml)
When mixed with tonic water, this created the closest simulacrum of a Gin & Tonic we could find—it also does great in a Gimlet.

Everleaf Mountain ($35; 500 ml)
A mingling of chamomile, honey, and citrus provides the perfect foil for bitter tonic.

Figlia 001. Fiore ($43; 750ml)
Tart red berries meet warm baking spices, giving this aperitif-esque beverage a mulled wine profile that welcomes a thick orange peel.

Lyre’s Apéritif Rosso ($36; 700ml)
Simulating a sweet vermouth, it pairs well with tonic and an orange twist. It’s also refreshing with soda water.

Monday Zero Alcohol Gin ($46; 750ml)
Fresh garden herbs and a zesty spritz of citrus make this another close replica of the classic G&T when combined with tonic water.

Pentire Adrift ($40; 700ml)
Prickly with sage and pine, with saline sea spray, it’s refreshing and unique with both tonic and soda water. It also works well in more complex cocktails like the Shot in the Dark.

Seedlip Grove 42 ($32; 700ml)
Notes of freshly peeled orange and grapefruit practically eliminate the need for a garnish, though a fresh wedge of either fruit wouldn’t hurt. Also try it in a Berry Smash.

Wilfred’s Aperitif ($32; 500 ml)
Rosemary, thyme, and clove notes give this amaro-like beverage unexpected depth.

Best non alcoholic spirits for mixing with soda water

Liquor.com / Laura Sant

The Best Non-Alcoholic Spirits to Sip with Soda Water

Products with stronger flavor profiles and a touch of sweetness, such as non-alcoholic amari and aperitifs, make an ideal match for soda water’s blank canvas. However, be aware that your usual proportions may need adjusting—for most of these spirits, a 1:1 ratio of spirit to soda works best to balance flavor with refreshing fizz. Feel free to experiment to find the proportion that best suits your tastes.

Amethyst Lemon Cucumber Serrano ($30; 750ml)
A touch of lemon oleo saccharum sets off the fresh cucumber and chile pepper notes.

Dromme Calm ($37; 750ml)
Maple syrup gives body to this botanical blend, while warm baking spices, dried orange peel, and toasted nuts add further dimension.

Everleaf Forest ($34; 500 ml)
Woodsy flavors, vanilla, molasses, and dried herbs are balanced by a pleasant bitterness in this non-alcoholic aperitif.

Ghia Apéritif ($38; 500 ml)
A bite of spice and lively botanicals meet dark fruit in this bittersweet aperitif. Try it with a grapefruit peel garnish.

The Pathfinder Hemp & Root ($40; 700ml)
A standout among the zero-proof field, this amaro-like beverage also works well with ginger ale and in cocktails that would benefit from bittersweet notes.

Pentire Seaward ($40; 700ml)
Using soda water as a blank canvas allows this bottle’s delicate notes of oyster shell, grapefruit, and kelp to shine; it also shows strongly in more complex cocktails.

Spiritless Kentucky 74 ($36; 750ml)
This versatile whiskey analog has prominent oak, vanilla, and raisin notes that also work well with ginger ale, or in cocktails like a Whiskey Sour

Wilderton Bittersweet Aperitivo ($37; 750ml)
Pair with soda water to make a simple spritz that would fit right in at an Italian café. This red bitter-style aperitivo shines in more complex cocktails as well.

Best non alcoholic spirits for mixing with soft drinks

Liquor.com / Laura Sant

The Best Non-Alcoholic Spirits to Mix with Soft Drinks

We tested these products with typical mixers for rum, tequila, mezcal, and whiskey: cola, grapefruit soda, and ginger ale. The added sugar of soft drinks complements aromas and flavors that fall on the stronger end, eliminating any worries about a drink tasting watered-down.

Caleño Dark & Spicy ($30; 500 ml)
Toasted coconut and grilled pineapple notes are a natural fit for cola, and shine in a Daiquiri, too.

Cut Above Zero Proof Mezcal ($35; 750ml)
Though its agave notes verge toward the uncanny at times, the spirit goes down easy with grapefruit soda and a pinch of salt. It also works well in a non-alcoholic Spicy Margarita.

Free Spirits The Spirit of Bourbon ($37; 750ml)
Cinnamon, cloves, and herbal notes mesh well with the spice of ginger ale.

Ish Rumish Dark Spiced Spirit ($35; 500 ml)
A surprisingly true rum profile marries well with both ginger ale and cola, and makes a great Daiquiri, to boot.

Tenneyson Black Ginger ($39; 750ml)
Amaro-like artichoke, ginger, and orange notes make this bottle a delightful pairing with ginger ale.

Best non alcoholic spirits for sour drinks

Liquor.com / Laura Sant

The Best Non-Alcoholic Spirits for Sour-Style Cocktails

The sour family of cocktails—which includes the Daiquiri, Margarita, and Gimlet—is an ideal canvas for experimenting with alcohol-free spirits. Sugar lends body to the drink, while the incorporation of lemon and/or lime juice brings needed acidity and helps to balance the base ingredient’s rough edges. Bear in mind that sours made with non-alcoholic spirits will generally benefit from shortened shaking times in order to dilute the drink less and compensate for N/A spirits’ higher water content. A quick shake to incorporate the ingredients should be sufficient.

Aplós Calme ($48; 575 ml)
Basil, rosemary, and herbal hemp notes add depth to the classic Gin Sour, as well as a non-alcoholic Tom Collins.

Clean Co. Clean R Spiced Rum Alternative ($30; 700ml)
More reminiscent of an aged rum than a heavily sweetened spiced one, this spirit’s molasses and vanilla flavors round out a Daiquiri.

Cut Above Zero Proof Agave Blanco ($35; 750ml)
Grapefruit, green pepper, and a pleasing earthiness make a convincing Margarita; it also works well with grapefruit soda.

Rasāsvāda Ruby Artemisia ($75; 750ml)
Notes of tea leaf, raisin, and earthy botanicals characterize this bittersweet aperitif. The spirit’s natural earthiness grounds a classic sour, made in a 2:1:1 ratio with 2 parts spirit, 1 part lemon or lime juice, and 1 part simple syrup.

Ritual Tequila Alternative ($30; 750ml)
A complex nose of jalapeño and agave aromas allows the bottling to provide extra dimension when utilized in a Margarita.

Sobrii 0-Tequila ($36; 750ml)
Though it yields a nontraditional profile, this spirit’s honeyed notes play well in a Margarita recipe.

Wilderton Lustre ($37; 750ml)
Prominent floral notes marry well with the lime-based zestiness of a Gimlet, and present fun possibilities for additional cocktail experimentation.

Best non alcoholic spirits for Old Fashioneds

Liquor.com / Laura Sant

The Best Non-Alcoholic Spirits for an Old Fashioned

Although their lack of body and alcohol make most zero-proof spirits a poor match for the Old Fashioned, a few work surprisingly well. When you’re making a non-alcoholic Old Fashioned, try experimenting with a few different sweeteners, like maple, agave, and simple syrup. Mixing-and-matching traditional Angostura with other bitters, like plum, mole, or chocolate, can also yield added depth and flavor. (Keep in mind that most bitters contribute a scant amount of alcohol to a cocktail, although alcohol-free brands exist.)

Ceder’s Wild ($23; 500ml)
Its cloves, juniper, and woodsy incense flavors pop when paired with maple syrup and Angostura bitters.

Spiritless Kentucky 74 Spiced ($36; 700ml)
Meant to stand in for cinnamon-flavored whiskey, it’s shockingly good as an Old Fashioned base, but pull back on the sweetener.

Monday Zero Alcohol Whiskey ($52; 750ml)
A quirky profile of mocha latte limits the spirit’s other possible uses, but it shines with chocolate bitters and simple syrup.

Rasāsvāda Black Ginger ($75; 750ml)
Cacao nibs, molasses, and an earthy mushroom flavor make for an unorthodox but compelling Old Fashioned.

Best non alcoholic spirits for cocktail experimentation

Liquor.com / Laura Sant

The Best Non-Alcoholic Spirits for Experimental Cocktail Creations

Given the limitless ingredient combinations, alcohol-free spirits have the potential to succeed in a range of drinks—many bartenders are now even including them in alcoholic cocktails to contribute new dimensions of flavor. We found these non-alcoholic spirits to be some of the most compelling when trying to create new and innovative drink characteristics. 

As noted above, zero-proof cocktails generally don’t require as much dilution as traditional shaken or stirred drinks made with alcoholic spirits. We recommend shortening your shaking and mixing times to avoid watered-down flavors.

Feragaia ($40; 500 ml)
This Scottish product, whose name means “wild earth,” employs 14 botanicals including pink peppercorns, blackcurrants, and sugar kelp, to create a complex flavor profile. Try it in a Gibson variation or one of the brand’s custom cocktails.

For Bitter For Worse Smoky No. 56 ($28; 750ml)
The sweet-smoky profile makes a surprising match for tropical cocktails, and also works well in an Old Fashioned.

For Bitter For Worse The Saskatoon ($28; 750ml)
Berry flavors that stay on the dry side give this elegant aperitif-like drink a winning role in a non-alcoholic Negroni, and also pair nicely with spiced and fruit-forward ingredients.

Free Spirits The Spirit of Milano ($37; 750ml)
On the sweeter side of bittersweet, this bottling’s grapefruit, lime, and blood orange flavors open up many possibilities, from a classic spritz to a Pimm’s Cup.

Seir Hill Durangold ($40; 750ml)
This bottle is meant to be an agave spirit replacement, but its coconut and almond flavors suggest that rum-based tropical cocktails, like a Piña Colada, might be a better fit.

Slow Luck ($28; 750ml)
Citrus and floral notes are combined with subtle spice, making this bottling well-suited to cocktails that incorporate citrus and a sweetener, such as a Gold Rush or Army & Navy variation.

Wilderton Earthen ($37; 750ml)
Also good with a simple ginger ale mixer, the spirit’s complex spices and hint of smoke and pine provide a solid base for a Penicillin, Old Fashioned, or Negroni variation.