One of the many fun aspects of going on a booze break or being alcohol free for any reason (or none at all) is the wide selection delicious nonalcoholic drinks now on the market. There’s truly something for everyone whether you are a beer lover, wine aficionado, cordial sipper or cocktail enthusiast. *Here are some of the beverages that top Drink Fit Club’s list of choices.
*(Note: This page is not sponsored, there are no affiliate links and Drink Fit Club and its founder make no money if you purchase something. These are simply our favorites, so we are sharing.)
The NA beer scene is growing by leaps and bounds with so much more to offer than even just seven or eight years ago when O’Doul’s dominated the market. (We aren’t knocking the OG nonalc beer though ya’ll. Fact: The O’Doul’s Amber is delicious.) National brands have taken note and are rolling out solid no and low options, including Heineken 0.0, Budwiser Zero, Busch NA, Buckler’s and Guinness Kaliber (and an NA version of the stout currently only available in the UK), to name a few. There are now however quite a few craft NA beers stealing part of the market share and we are here for it.
Athletic Brewing Company is what you might call the darling of the NA craft beer scene. It wins all of the awards and, as its name suggests, ingeniously markets to athletic-health-fitness-types with its low calorie, low sugar, high flavor options. We keep the Cerveza Atletica Lager on hand at all times at Drink Fit Club headquarters, but have yet to sip one of the Athletic selections that we don’t enjoy. It is available through the company’s website and at various Total Wine & More locations.
Bravus Brewing Company is also a major player on in the craft NA beer space. If, like our founder Melanie, you love Fat Tire, the amber ale by New Belgium Brewing, you’ll love Bravus’ amber ale. The caramel finish is where it’s at. Get Bravus from the company or at various Total Wine & More locations.
Brewdog is one for the IPA lovers among us. They have a lot to choose from in the category, so try them all! Available through the company and on Amazon.
Hairless Dog Brewing Company doesn’t have a large selection, but it does have tasty brews. We love the NA Citra Lager. Also the branding is just a lot of fun and we are suckers for that sort of thing.
Rightside Brewing is a woman-owned company currently offering two NA beers in its lineup, a citrus wheat and an American IPA. While we haven’t yet tried this one, both get rave reviews from everyone in the NA craft beer space and it’s a the top of our to-try list. It’s currently available directly from the company or at various locations in Georgia, where the company is headquartered.
Busty Lush is another woman-owned brew and one that has the most gorgeous branding to date. The artwork on the cans is by Charleston-based artist Chambers Austelle. The full line currently includes a tropical weisse, oatmeal dark and the brewer’s signature She’s Golden Blonde ale, which is available online at Better Rhodes and at select BevMo and Total Wine & More locations.
Now for our favorite category — wine. Mmmmm. Wine has always been the one thing our founder Melanie thought she’d miss most after going alcohol free. Even just five years ago, the first time Melanie did a Lenten booze break, the NA wine space was bleak. The sober curious movement has gained a lot of steam since then however and with winemakers, sommeliers and wine lovers uniting in the cause, it’s a whole new world and provides lots to pop some NA corks over in celebration.
Sovi Red Blend: A Cabernet that is on the light side but has body, is dry as a bone at the finish and just simply delicious, Sovi Red Blend alcohol-removed wine tops our list again and again. Enjoy it around the fire pit, with a juicy steak or while binging your favorite shows. It comes in cans, so it’s fabulous to bring along with you to gatherings. You will not miss the real stuff with your hand cupped around a glass of this beautiful blend. Get it directly from Sovi, at select bars, restaurants and bottle shops (see the company’s site), The Dry Goods Beverage Co. and The Zero Proof.
Ariel oak-aged Cabernet Sauvignon is the most tannic of the reds we’ve tried. It’s dry, but not as dry as Sovi. We really vibe the cherry and blueberry notes in this one. Bonus: It’s pretty easy to find. Get it direct from the company, on Amazon, at Total Wine & More and, in New Orleans, at Martin Wine Cellar.
Giesen Alcohol-Removed New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc is exactly what you want in a crisp, dry white wine. The acidity is also on point. We couldn’t love this one more and nearly cried when we found it at our local Whole Foods. The winemaker also offers a Pinot Grigio we are dying to try and a Pinot Gris. Online, Better Rhodes and Amazon carry it, and online or brick and mortar at Total Wine & More. (The store locator on the Giesen site also mentions bars and restaurants and other retailers so be sure to check for your area.)
St Regis Non-Alcoholic Shiraz Rosé is a light, smooth blend that is great for when you want to rosé all day with something that isn’t going to steal the show. It’s an easy sipper that is lovely on its own or with your favorite cheeses. Yum! Get it on Amazon or at Total Wine & More.
Sovi wins again with its delicious nonalcoholic sparkling rosé. As with its red blend, this bright shining star of the Sovi lineup comes in cans. We love that fact, because you don’t have to worry about only having one or two glasses out of a bottle and then end up potentially wasting the rest. Fresh every time, dry, bubbly and simply wonderous, this is our go-to sparkling rosé. Get it directly from Sovi, at select bars, restaurants and bottle shops (see the company’s site), The Dry Goods Beverage Co. and The Zero Proof.
Noughty Alcohol-Free Sparkling Chardonnay is hands down the best out there in its category. If you love Veuve, you’ll love Noughty. (We also love the punny name.) Organic, vegan, dry, crisp, bubbly, divine and sophisticated, we love this one at home or to bring to our favorite restaurants that allow BYO for a corkage fee. The brand’s sparkling rosé is also a winner. Get it directly from the company or via Better Rhodes.
Jukes is truly in a category of its own, both on this page and on the market, but they sort of feel like they should be in the wine section, due to the flavor profiles. Reminiscent of a shrub, because like a shrub they contain vinegar (of the apple cider variety), jukes are complex and intriguing. Mix them with club soda, tonic or sparkling water (our favorite) to make them more festive. There is a red, white and a rosé and they all come in tiny airplane-sized bottles, which means you can take them with you when you travel. I love to pop a couple in my clutch for a gathering or night on the town. It’s great to have something portable to have when I’m out at a bar that doesn’t have an NA selection. We can’t explain it, but there is something sexy about Jukes. Get it online directly from the company, from Better Rhodes and from The Dry Goods Beverage Co.
Seedlip Distilled Non-Alcoholic Spirits are another one that defies categorization. These botanically infused spirits are sophisticated, truly delicious and easy to fall in love with right out of the gate. Mix and match the three distinctive flavor options in your favorite cocktail recipes or tumble down the rabbit hole of the company’s recipe pages. We love the branding and packaging on this one, too. Get it directly from Seedlip, on Amazon and at Total Wine & More.
Ritual Zero-Proof is for anyone missing their favorite gin, tequila and whiskey cocktails. We don’t like them straight, but damned if they don’t get the job done in terms of flavor when we want a martini, margarita or hot toddy, respectively. Get them directly from Ritual, on Amazon, at Total Wine & More and at Whole Foods.
Kentucky 74 by Spiritless answered our Kentucky girl, bourbon loving founder’s dreams. Made by Kentuckians, Kentucky 74 nails the flavor profile of a fine bourbon. We don’t recommend sipping it straight, since it as created to be mixed in your favorite bourbon cocktails or used half-and-half with your favorite full-proof bourbon, but Kentucky 74 will scratch the itch you are feeling. Get it directly through the company or at Total Wine & More. (Texas Friends: The company relocated from Louisville, Kentucky to Austin, Texas, so a lot of places in your area have it, including Central Market. Enjoy!)
Mixers and Bitters
El Guapo Bitters is a woman-owned, New Orleans-based maker of bitters, syrups and mixers. All of the products are alcohol free, as well as non-GMO, gluten Free, vegan and there are no added sugars. The owner sent me a complimentary sampling of several of the bitters and mixers and everything is so flavorful. The combinations of flavors are intriguing, too. (the “Fuego” bitters has habañero, jalapeño, Thai chili, grapefruit and lime — these aren’t your mama’s bitters!) and are such an easy way to add complexity to your zero-proof drinks.
More to come!
There is so much more out there, so consider this list a jumping off point. Please experiment, share your finds and — most important — have fun! Cheers!