The 8 Best Non-Alcoholic Drinks of 2021

For the sober and sober-curious

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This non-alcoholic drink shines as an alternative to celebratory beverages.
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Infused with CBD, these sparkling waters aim to uplift and refocus without overhyping your body.
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Natural botanicals and flavors create playful canned mixers.
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Each can has only 30 calories and is sweetened with organic, plant-based ingredients.
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This aperitif is one of the most complex non-alcoholic drinks on the market.
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If you’re a cocktail fan looking for a hangover-free alternative, this option is for you.
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Curious replicates the flavors of classic cocktails using organic juices, spices, herbs, roots, and barks.
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Sip it neat as a nightcap or chill it down with a few ice cubes.
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Once upon a time, non-alcoholic drinks were relatively boring. If you were skipping the booze, you were stuck sipping sugary mocktails, saccharine sodas, or simply water. Thanks to a fantastic range of new non-alcoholic drinks producers, going dry has never been more exciting. Now, there are alcohol-free Proseccos, hemp-infused drinks, and upscale sodas made from artisanal grapes. 

Whether you’re sober or sober-curious, there are many benefits to stocking your home bar with no-proof options. Taking a break from alcohol can help align with new wellness resolutions, aid in sleep, and give your body a moment to reset. In the NA world, there’s something for everyone: bottles for cocktail lovers, booze-free bubbly for mimosa fans, and zero-proof botanical spirits for sipping.

Here are the best non-alcoholic drinks.

Best Overall: Gruvi Non-Alcoholic Bubbly Rosé

Even rosé season can shift to sober, thanks to this Canadian line of booze-free bubbles. Gruvi first released an excellent Prosecco riff a few years back, but this take on our favorite blush wine is particularly exciting. The semi-dry sparkling rosé is delicious sipped alone or mixed in a spritz with fresh juice. Think of it as the love child of rosé and soda. It has bright, effervescent bubbles packed in single-serving bottles, compact enough to haul to parks or elsewhere on the go. One 10-ounce bottle can be poured into two Champagne flutes and contains 0 percent alcohol with just 60 calories.

Gruvi really shines as an alternative to celebratory beverages. Toast to a new year or pour it in orange juice to keep your brunch mimosa tradition without the buzz. You can even squeeze in lemon juice with a few bitters for a non-alcoholic version of a French 75.

Best CBD: Recess Infused Sparkling Water Variety Pack

This CBD-infused sparkling water from Recess aims to uplift and refocus without overhyping your body. Plus, the matte pastel cans are incredibly chic. Looking to leave drinkers "calm, cool, and collected," the line of artisanal sparkling water uses natural hemp and adaptogens, like the L-theanine amino acid, to help soothe anxiety and improve sleep. Each one is made with all-natural, organic ingredients with low calorie and sugar content, making it an ideal alternative to overly sweet sodas or midday coffees. 

Currently, Recess offers six adaptogen-infused flavors, including blood orange, coconut lime, pomegranate hibiscus, blackberry chai, peach ginger, and black cherry. The 12-ounce cans contains under 30 calories, 4 to 6 grams of carbs, and under 6 grams of sugar. One can contain 10 milligrams of cannabidiol, a non-psychoactive cannabis compound.  

Best Soda: DRY Non-Alcoholic Botanical Bubbly Sparkling Water

DRY Non-Alcoholic Botanical Sparkling Water is specifically crafted with the non-drinker in mind. The canned mocktail company highlights natural botanicals and flavors to create playful canned mixers, each made with just four simple ingredients, including cane sugar to sweeten. There are nine different flavors, such as cooling cucumber, tart Rainier cherry, vanilla, juniper berry, lavender, and more. All are low in sugar for a light, refreshing taste. 

If you do plan on drinking, these drinks make great mixers, too. Simply add your favorite spirit—the cucumber flavor pairs well with gin and the ginger option is great with whiskey. Keeping these on hand at home will please both drinkers and non-partakers.

Runner-Up, Best Soda: United Sodas of America Toasted Coconut 12-Pack

toasted coconut soda

Gone are the days of overly sugary soda pops. United Sodas of America's better-for-you pops are made from a fruit basket of organic flavorings. Launched by two Coca-Cola vets who wanted to give the saccharine soda of our childhood days an organic makeover, each can has only 30 calories and is sweetened with organic, plant-based ingredients. Twelve different flavors suit every type of drinker, from strawberry basil and lemon verbena to sour blueberry and cherry.

Sip them alone or try mixing the flavors in a mocktail or cocktail. Test out a zero-proof bloody mary with the lemon verbena soda (add tomato juice and seasoning) or a berry mojito with the blueberry flavor. Just add a squeeze of lime and hint of mint.

Best Aperitif: Ghia Non-Alcoholic Apéritif

ghia-non-alcoholic-apertif

“Ghia is one of those products I think will become a bartender staple for non-alcoholic drinks,” says Derek Brown, spirits expert and the owner of D.C.’s The Columbia Room. The spirit-free aperitif is made with natural juice from the riesling grape and a selection of herbs, extracts, and botanicals. It’s one of the most complex non-alcoholic drinks on the market with layered, nuanced flavors of gentian root, yuzu juice, fig concentrate, elderflower, orange peel, ginger, and rosemary.

This spirit-free drink is inspired by Mediterranian dinners. Sip it after supper, preferably with a seaside sunset—if only on your TV. The storied, thoughtfully designed bottle will sit pretty on your home bar.

Best Versatile: Fluère Non-Alcoholic Distilled Spirit

Crafted in the Netherlands, Fluère replicates the world’s most storied alcoholic spirits, from gin and whiskey to a smoky mezcal. By mimicking the distilling techniques of spirits makers, the company is able to create a drink that tastes just like a real spirit; if you’re a cocktail fan looking for a hangover-free beverage, this option is for you. 

Fluère’s original flavor is an excellent alternative to gin or vodka, with elegant notes of juniper and lime peel. Try it poured with tonic water and a squeeze of citrus. 

"The floral blend of botanicals is gentle and easy to approach," says Domenico Di Bucchianico, formerly of the Ritz Hotel London and creator of the cocktail blog and learning platform Dedycated. "It opens up with ginger, black pepper, and a bit of chili, leading to a long and persistent aftertaste of botanicals that are typical of gin."

Best Mocktail: Curious Elixirs No. 1 Booze-Free Cocktail

curious-elixirs-non-alcoholic-cockatils

Hudson Valley-based Curious Elixirs creates restorative, non-alcoholic cocktails, each packaged in charming single-serve bottles. These elixirs check off all the right boxes, too. They're gluten-, dairy-, GMO-, and nut-free, and fair trade.

This company swings for the fences by replicating flavors of classic cocktails using organic juices, spices, herbs, roots, and barks. No. 1 is a take on the Negroni, made using pomegranate and rhodiola extracts. Another good one, No. 3, combines lemon, cucumber, alpine herbs, and ashwagandha to mimic the flavors of a cucumber Collins. Old-fashioned fans will love No. 5, made with elderberry and ginger.

Best Sipper: Proteau Zero-Proof Botanical Drinks, Set of 2

proteau-zero-proof-botanical-drinks

Proteau is the brainchild of award-winning bartender John deBary, who cut his teeth running the bar program at Momofuku and New York’s PDT. After wondering why the non-alcoholic world felt lacking, he spent years studying and playing with the flavors of different kinds of vinegar and botanicals before he landed on the recipe for Proteau, a new zero-proof botanical beverage. 

Proteau’s first release, Ludlow, is incredibly elegant, made with complex layers of fig vinegar, blackberries, rose flower, roasted dandelion root, chrysanthemum, and blackberry juice. Sip it neat as a nightcap or chill it down with a few ice cubes. 

The second release, Rivington Spritz, is a more refreshing, albeit tart take on the no-ABV aperitif, made with hibiscus, chamomile, strawberry, and Champagne vinegar. The 750-milliliter bottle of Ludlow contains just 30 calories per serving and has no added sugar. Rivington Spritz, available in the same size, has only 20 calories per serving.

Final Verdict

For a low-calorie, zero-proof beverage reminiscent of rosé, pop a bottle of Gruvi Non-Alcoholic Bubbly Rosé (view at Amazon). If it's CBD you're looking for, chill out with Recess Infused Sparkling Water (view at Amazon).

Why Trust The Spruce Eats?

Kate Dingwall is a freelance writer whose work focuses on food, drinks, and travel. She is based in Toronto and holds a Wine & Spirits Education Trust Level III qualification.

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