Today’s alcohol-free drinks market is a strong one. Gone are the days when the only alternative to booze was water or soda and lime, now the best non-alcoholic drinks come in all forms. The drinks industry has sat up and listened to the increasing number of Brits who don’t fancy an alcoholic drink but also don’t want to be stuck sipping tooth-achingly sweet juice at their next house party. With six million of us booze-free and one third actively reducing their alcohol intake, there’s never been a better time to join the sober society.
The choice of no and low alcohol drinks is vast. From convincing alcohol-free beers to genuinely delicious fizz and thoroughly grown-up soft drinks – not to mention the number of fabulous gin alternatives. If you want a bit more info on no and low alcohol drinks, our buying guide below goes through the basics. Otherwise, scroll on for our list of the best – there’s bound to be something that tempts you away from your next hangover.
READ NEXT: Best non-alcoholic beer
Best non-alcoholic drinks: At a glance
How to choose the best non-alcoholic drinks for you
How much should I spend?
Generally, alcohol-free alternatives are only nominally less expensive than their alcoholic counterparts. This might feel unfair considering the lack of ABV but given that is often a convoluted and tricky process to create non-alcoholic beers, wines and spirits, it’s understandable. Producers need to grow, brew, distill and/or ferment the drinks in the same way as the alcoholic version would be made, then any de-alcoholisation is a separate process. Of course, naturally alcohol-free drinks like sodas and tonics are often more affordable; it tends to be the drinks that are looking to mimic alcohol that are pricier.
Low or no?
There are hundreds of zero alcohol drinks out there but some that are marketed as alcohol-free may contain a tiny trace up to 0.5% ABV. Consider your motivations for avoiding alcohol in these cases: those looking to completely exclude alcohol from their lifestyle for health or religious reasons should always check the labels.
Similarly, anyone walking a careful line when it comes to alcohol might do better to avoid beverages which do look, feel and taste like the hard stuff and opt for one of the number of specifically designed soft drinks, spritzes and tonics on the market instead.
What should I look for?
The choice is good enough these days for you to shop around for your favourite flavours, styles, grapes and more. In the mood for a cider but got to drive later? No worries, there are loads of 0% cider styles to choose from. Do you have something to celebrate but an early start in the morning? Sparkling wines have really come on, so take your pick from alcohol free prosecco, sweeter bubbles or a crisp champagne-style sparkling wine. The alcohol-free world is your oyster now.
READ NEXT: Our favourite wine glasses
The best non-alcoholic drinks to buy in 2022
1. Three Spirit Nightcap: The best non-alcoholic nightcap
Price: £25 | Buy now from Three Spirit
Three Spirit are doing great things in the booze-free drinks arena and are really helping to change the way consumers think about drinking. Their range of plant-based elixirs are formulated to suit situations or moods where you might otherwise reach for an alcoholic beverage. We love this Nightcap iteration, which uses indulgent natural ingredients to help you relax and unwind of an evening.
Serve straight like a whiskey or mix with ginger ale to enjoy the upfront woody notes mingling with rich, round vanilla, black pepper and spices for a satisfying, adults-only nightcap. Even better, Three Spirit uses plant power to help you chill out, with adaptogenic ashwagandha and valerian root (both known sleep aids), as well as delicate lemon balm, which has been traditionally used to combat stress and anxiety; dreamy.
Key details – Volume: 500ml; Low or no alcohol: No
Buy now from Three Spirit
2. Belvoir Farm Botanical Soda Bitter Orange Spritz: The best non-alcoholic soda
Price: £1.75 | Buy now from Sainsburys
Not everyone wants a drink to mimic alcohol, which is why this new creation from Belvoir Farms is a brilliant booze-free option. Our favourite from its new range of botanical sodas, the Bitter Orange Spritz is an effervescent blend of Sicilian blood orange, pressed rhubarb, aromatic herbs and bitters, paired with sparkling water to create a ready-to-drink alcohol replacement. With just 4.5g of sugar and under 20 cals per 100ml, it’s truly refreshing to enjoy as a mocktail or soda that isn’t super sweet and feels as enjoyable and sophisticated as sipping an Aperol Spritz.
We liked the discernible bitter orange flavour, which was reminiscent of a natural, zesty marmalade, and the fact that it’s free from preservatives, flavourings, artificial colours and sweeteners. Serve perfectly chilled over ice with a slice of blood orange or a shaving of rhubarb for extra points. And if orange isn’t your bag then the Floral Fizz and Spicy Ginger Fizz are equally delightful.
Key details – Volume: 500ml; Low or no alcohol: No
Buy now from Sainsburys
3. Big Drop Brewing Paradiso Citra IPA: The best non-alcoholic beer
Price: £5 | Go to Source