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For some, Dry January is a chance to reset health priorities after over-indulging during the holidays. For others, abstaining from alcohol is everyday life.
This past year, alcohol-free, alcohol-removed and lower-proof wine, beer, spirits and liqueur options expanded like never before.
The non-alcoholic spirits store Boisson, which started in New York, expanded into several Los Angeles locations, while Soft Spirits anchors the Silver Lake area. If you can’t find your favorite zero-proof tipple at a local store, you can also order direct from the companies or from websites like BeClink and The Zero Proof.
Celebrity entrepreneurs are diving into the non-alcoholic market with an array of new options. Katy Perry’s De Soi, a line of sparkling ready-to-drink non-alcoholic apéritifs with natural adaptogens, is available in single-serve cans or colorful, giftable bottles. Blake Lively’s Betty Buzz mixers work on their own or mixed with either conventional or zero-proof spirits. Meanwhile Bella Hadid is an investor in Kin Euphorics, while RuPaul’s House of Love mocktails come in flavors like ginger mule and colada.
With new choices coming on the scene every month, there’s no excuse for thinking alcohol-free means boring. Here are a few of the established and brand-new ways to nail Dry January, and the rest of the year, too.
With its old-timey label and herb-forward flavor, The Pathfinder could easily be mistaken for some arcane liqueur. Liquor industry insiders got together to create this highly-rated non-alcoholic sprit that can be enjoyed with a mixer, straight up, or even in coffee. Ingredients include hemp, wormwood, ginger, sage, juniper, orange peel and Douglas fir.
“Here’s to a life less wasted!” is the slogan of CleanCo, a line of non-alcoholic spirits in deluxe faceted hexagonal bottles. Choose from tequila, gin, apple vodka and spiced rum alternatives, all alcohol-free with no sugar added. These versatile spirits can make zero-proof versions of all your favorite cocktails, whether you prefer bloody Marys, Dark and Stormys or gin and tonics.
Ritual Zero Proof Rum Alternative
Ritual’s rum alternative, with ginger and apricot notes, makes a terrific Dark and Stormy, and was recently named one of the best spirit alternatives by the L.A. Times. Also available in gin, tequila and whiskey alternatives.
Three Spirit Club Elixir
Available in three functional blends — Social Elixir, Livener and Nightcap — Three Spirit’s herbal elixirs incorporate exotic herbs and flavorings, some with properties that help relax or energize.
Hand on Heart
Hand on Heart’s alcohol-removed wines come from California vineyards and provide a great alternative beverage that’s perfect for pairing with food. As with most alcohol-removed wines, the chardonnay and rosé varieties come closest to a traditional wine experience, while the cabernet sauvignon is a little more grapey-tasting.
Sovi Sparkling Rosé
Since Sovi was created by former Napa Valley winemakers, it’s not surprising that the alcohol-removed sparkling rosé tastes much better than other wine alternatives. Also available in a red blend.
Parch Agave Spirit
Parch says it’s the first non-alcoholic, agave-based canned cocktail. Packed with botanicals and adaptogens like ashwagandha, L-theanine, ginseng and GABA, Parch is then blended with desert botanicals, fruits and herbs to create flavors like Spiced Pinarita and Prickly Paloma. Come for the great vintage-looking branding and packaging; stay for the calming yet uplifting effect of all those adaptogens.
Spirity Non-Alcoholic Cocktail
Spirity’s mocktails come in flavors including Mindful Mule, Mindful Margarita and Mindful Negroni, providing a sophisticated, low-sugar way to enjoy familiar cocktail flavors.
Beers and Hop Waters
Sparkling water flavored with hops has become the drink of choice for many former beer lovers, and HOP WTR is one of the foremost entries in this category. With zingy flavors like blood orange and peach, plus ashwagandha and L-theanine, this drink punches above its weight, considering it has no calories.
Athletic Brewing Co. Non-Alcoholic Brew
The San Diego craft brewery won silver in the 2021 Great American Beer Festival’s non-alcohol category with its Closer by the Mile IPA, and also offers golden and amber ales, lagers and hefeweizens.
Brooklyn Brewery Non-Alcoholic Beers
One of the first and most prominent craft breweries started making non-alcoholic Special Effects beers in 2019, which have become one of the top choices for drinkers ready to move beyond the earlier wave of boring brews.
De Soi Non-Alcoholic Apértif
Katy Perry partnered with Master Distiller Morgan McLachlan to create culinary and adaptogenic tonics that help relax and revitalize the mind. Take your pick between the citrusy Golden Hour, the floral Champignon Dreams and the tart Purple Lune, all of which are vegan, gluten-free and and contain no artificial flavoring.
Ghia aperitif’s complex flavor comes from a heady mix of notes including fig, gentian root, rosemary and yuzu. Also available in a soda-like spritz, in case you want to keep the retro-chic bottle intact on your bar.
Casamara Club Alta
The adult-oriented “leisure soda” comes in flavors like Sera (grapefruit), Alta (aperitivo) and Onda (wild lemon), with high-style, colorful bottles and cans.
Betty Buzz Mixers
Made from all-natural ingredients and low in sugar, Blake Lively’s line of mixers includes Tonic Water, Sparkling Lemon-Lime, Meyer Lemon Club Soda, Sparkling Grapefruit and Sparkling Ginger Beer, and work equally well on their own or mixed with alcoholic or zero proof spirits.
Lyre’s Coffee Original
Mix up an espresso martini or a White Russian with this liqueur from an Australian company whose takes on Aperol, Campari, tequila and triple sec are also musts for zero-proof cocktail recipes.
Libby sparkling wines are lower calorie and lower alcohol, with no added sugars. Try the rosé on a warm day or the red blend with a meal, for a drink that’s fun and fizzy and perfect for day drinking. The white, rosé and red bottles all have less than 8% ABV with just 70 to 80 calories per serving.
Body Vodka has 25% less alcohol than standard vodka, but still packs a clean, crisp taste. With 73 calories a serving, it’s a lighter way to enjoy your favorite vodka-based cocktails. Light ‘n dirty martini, anyone?