Here’s a short guide to buying your first non-alcoholic spirits: brief rundown of the following product competitors:
Gin seems to be the most popular non-alcoholic spirit swap, and it’s no wonder why. The distinctive bite of gin provides an interesting challenge for non-alcoholic distillers. Seedlip, a pea-based spirit (it tastes more appealing that it sounds, we promise), is also breaking into the space. Branded as the perfect “what to drink when you’re not drinking,” Seedlip takes it credo from a 17thcentury manual on non-alcoholic distillery and roots its legacy in 320 years of family farming history in the North of England. If that doesn’t inspire you to give it a go, Seedlip’s intense flavor will. Currently available in three different variants, Garden 108, Spice 94 and Grove 42, which will appeal to different botanical preferences.
Ceder’s is a distilled, non-alcoholic gin product that is crafted with varieties of South African botanicals and pristine Swedish water (did you expect anything less?). Ceder’s offers three different flavors to purchase, each emoting taste that correspond to a specific vibe: classic, crisp or wild. Testers will pick up on hints of juniper and coriander, suggestions of citrus and notes of ginger, clove and rooibos. To sample Ceder’s products, go for a classic “gin” and tonic or opt for a lighter remake of one of your old favorites (such as a Tom Collins, Smokey Wild or a valley Spritz). We think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
Champagne dupe TÖST allows for celebratory bubbles without the morning-after slump. Appealing to a variety of cuisines, pairing with a diverse array of proteins and mixing well with a host of other mixers, juices or alcohols, TÖST is a great alternative for champagne-style drinks. Hate the sugary aftertaste of most sparkling non-alcoholic products? Consider that TÖST is low calorie, naturally sweetened and low in carbs and sugar content, producing a crisp, fresh taste.
Of all of these products, Element Shrub is the only one that doesn’t attempt to imitate actual alcohol. Labeled (somewhat unappealingly) as “drinking vinegars,” Element Shrub is brewed from crab apples and produces a lovely effervescent drink that’s unbelievably pleasant on its own or mixed with alcohol. With a slight tang, a bite of sweet and a finish that’s never overpowering, Element Shrub is a must-try.
Fortunately, these products are doing more than providing a cheap, sugary alternative to our traditional boozy favorites. When paired thoughtfully with other beverages, they create elaborate, complex and intriguing drinks. So whether you’re eschewing alcohol to embrace social sobriety or just looking to get a little healthier, you can say goodbye to the much maligned mocktail and hello to this new world of non-alcoholic spirits.