Best non-alcoholic bottles for 2021
Instead of rolling your eyes at the thought of booze-free days, why not consider dipping your toe in sobriety’s waters? These non-alcoholic drinks prove that you don’t need alcohol to have a good time. Who knows, the clear-headedness and energy-boost may even convince you to stay dry longer term. Have a browse through our pick of 2021’s best booze-free bottles.
If your favourite alcoholic tipple is an Aperol spritz, then Wilfred’s is the one for you. The taste is deceptively like the real thing, with notes of rosemary, bitter orange, rhubarb and cloves – it reminded us of Cynar. This would be delightful served as your Friday night knock-off, an aperitif, or as your Sunday afternoon pick-me-up. Wilfred’s is not only free from alcohol, but also allergens, artificial colours, and it’s vegan and naturally low-calorie. It’s three yeses from us. Available from Wilfred’s Drinks (£18/500ml).
Serve with: ice, tonic and a slice of orange. Simply heaven!
Æcorn’s range of non-alcoholic aperitifs is designed for spritzing, and has Sussex-grown sparkling wine grapes at its base. The grape base gives each of the drinks a bright and refreshing quality, akin to wine. Æcorn is blended with its namesake acorn as well as other bitter botanicals to create three unique aperitifs: Æcorn Bitter, Æcorn Dry & Æcorn Aromatic. We were very taken with all three, and particularly loved Æcorn Bitter with a blood orange soda in a Negroni-style cocktail (it honestly tastes like the real thing). Available from Æcorn Drinks (£19.99/50cl).
Serve with: your favourite tonic or soda water.
GIMBER is an alcohol-free ginger concentrate that really impressed us. Ingredients are simply organic ginger, citrus fruit and herbs, so this aromatic cordial is still one to go for if you’re on a health kick. It can be used as the base for many a mocktail – think a mojito, dark ‘n’ stormy or margarita – but is also a great in a morning pick-me-up or tea, or even a chai latte. It’s a little on the pricier side, but is unique in the alcohol free market in being suitable to drink at any time of day. Available from GIMBER (£27.50/50cl).
Serve with: sparkling water and the garnish of your choice. Or try one of GIMBER’s recipes here.
Everleaf was launched by conservation biologist and bar owner Paul Matthew who truly knows his stuff when it comes to botanicals. With ingredients such as vetiver, cassia bark and gentian (don’t worry – the delicious. team were stumped too), the long list of (natural) flavourings used in the three Everleaf expressions certainly amount to complex-tasting drinks. Everleaf Forest is bittersweet in flavour, sunshine yellow in colour and has an overarching dryness that tastes almost alcoholic. Everleaf Marine has a savoury salinity from dulse and kelp seaweeds, with a piney juniper and bergamot base. Everleaf Mountain is the sweetest of the three, with fragrant cherry blossom, rosehip and wild strawberries – try it with tonic and fresh strawberry for a simple cocktail. Available from Everleaf Drinks (£18/50cl).
We loved Everleaf Marine for its crispness, served with tonic and lime.
Serve with: a good tonic water or use it as a base to a cocktail.
There’s a reason we go back to this bottle time and time again. The first in a long line of non-alcoholic spirits, Seedlip paved the way for booze-free drinks. In fact, they made not drinking cool. Garden is our favourite of their three flavours, with notes of spearmint, rosemary and thyme. Available from Seedlip (£26/70cl).
Serve with: your favourite tonic.
Calling all gin drinkers! As ‘fake’ gins go, CEDER’S is one of our absolute favourites. It’s the perfect swap to get you through a dry spell. Fragrant, subtle and slightly sweet, this takes the title for making the first non-alcoholic cocktail we’ve downed in seconds. Classic gin botanicals such as juniper and coriander are combined with hints of geranium and Cape floral fynbos (us neither!). The classic is hard to beat, but CEDER’S comes in 3 other varieties: Crisp, Wild and Pink Rose. Available from CEDER’S (£25/70cl).
Serve with: try in a cocktail with kombucha, elderflower cordial and agave syrup! Otherwise it’s also wonderful with simply some tonic and fresh lime.
If it wasn’t virtuous enough going alcohol-free for a month, now you can do so while still drinking the cocktails you know and love. Fluère’s range of four 0% spirits includes Fluère original, Fluère raspberry (wonderful in a gimlet), Fluère spiced cane (great in a dark and stormy – or simply with cola), and Fluère smoked agave (lovely in a mock-margarita). With ingredients such as smoked agave nectar, fresh raspberries, and sugar cane molasses, we were really impressed with these spirits which are made with the same steam distillation techniques used to produce spirits like gin, mezcal and rum. Available from Fluère (£19.50, 70cl).
Serve with: tonic, soda, or check out their recipes here.
Unusual, sophisticated and full of flavour, Belvoir’s Passion Fruit Martini has a light, cloudy orange colour and is gently sparkling, with some sediment. The taste was unexpected – a fresh, fragrant true passion fruit flavour, with just a hint of vanilla that made us think of sugar cookies. This would be delightful served as an apertif or even as a substitute for dessert wine with pavlova or trifle. Available from Sainsbury’s (£2.70/750ml).
Serve with: a slice of orange and a cinnamon stick to stir.
Attention G&T lovers! ZEO comes in a beautifully weighty cork-stopped bottle, and uses 9 natural botanicals to create a flavourful spirit with citrus notes. For your weeknight gin and tonic substitute, we recommend Botanical Dry. It also makes a beautiful Martini chilled with a twist of lemon. ZEO also offer a dark spirit, Spiced Oak, which is lovely in an Old Fashioned style cocktail. Available from ZEO (£18/50cl).
Serve with: tonic, ice and a wedge of lemon.
Presented in a chunky cork-stopped bottle, Caleño is a zero-alcohol spirit with sweet notes of pineapple, coconut and vanilla. It’s zero-sugar, low in calories and gluten-free. If you like dark rum, this is for you! Available from Caleño Drinks (£12/20cl).
Serve with: We’d recommend pairing this one simply with soda water and lime, given its seriously sweet flavour. But this is a subtly fruity drink, so can even be drunk neat on ice.
When an award-winning gin brand announces they’ve developed a non-alcoholic spirit, you know it’s in the right hands. And they really do mean business: 90% of the ingredients that go into Warner’s new Botanic Garden Spirits are sourced directly on their farm and the drink is 100% natural. The results are very close to a real gin and – providing you’ve got the right mixer and garnishes to hand – can great a pretty great non-alcoholic G&T. Available from Warner’s (£18/70cl).
Serve with: ice and tonic, and your choice or garnish.
Is red wine your typical drink of choice? Let Nine Elms stand in its stead at your next dinner party or gathering. We’re huge fans of the tall and sleek bottle, which gives it a ‘grown-up’ feel. The drink itself looks like any other type of red – deep, plummy and rich – and tastes a little on the tart side so is perfect for those who prefer a lighter wine. Nine Elms is designed to complement food which we think is good enough reason to make steak tonight. Test it out – go on. Available from Master of Malt (£19.95/70cl).
Serve: at room temperature on its own. Check out our collection of non-alcoholic drink recipes, from mocktails to smoothies and a proper ginger beer recipe.