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  • Writer's pictureThe Bone Guys

11 Non-Alcoholic Spirits You’ll Drink Long Past Dry January and How to Use Them

Updated: Feb 1, 2021




Please excuse us. That’s the sound of our holiday hangovers.

And just in time for Dry January, this heralds the arrival of our exploration of the newly emerging trend of alcohol-free spirits, aperitifs, and ales, ringing out in a vast array of new products that are liquor-free but no less enjoyable for being so.

Join us now as we delve into the exciting, brave new world of non-alcoholic beverages, which have improved vastly over the last two years, enabling you to take a short break from boozing, or to cut it out completely.

The Name: Wilderton

The Breakdown: Our favorite of the new guard of alcoholic spirits, Wilderton comes in two complex blends of botanicals. There’s the floral, herbaceous Lustre, and the fragrant, spice-packed Earthen, pulsing the nag champa section of our sense memories. Both offer the sophistication and multifaceted nuances of a distilled spirit whether sipped solo over ice or mingling with your chosen cocktail companions.

How You’ll Use It: The crisp Daybreak cocktail, which finds .5 oz. of lime juice shaken with 2 oz. of Lustre and 3 oz. of coconut water shaken together with ice then strained into a glass.

The Name: Artet

The Breakdown: For anyone who prefers the non-belligerent buzz of cannabis to a stiff drink, Artet is a refined, family-owned aperitif made with eight botanicals and marijuana terpenes for a delicious sip that comes in at 2.5 mg of THC per serving with an onset time of 15 minutes. The brand also recently introduced its own line of canned cocktails. Both are perfect when you don’t want to drink alcohol but aren’t necessarily trying to stay sober.

How You’ll Use It: Try Artet’s canned Rosemary Jane, a stony, summery splash of Italian grapefruit juice, rosemary simple syrup, and sparkling water.

The Name: Aguas Locas

The Breakdown: When the pandemic shuttered the trendy Venice restaurant where he was general manager, Pablo Murillo pivoted to concoct these all-natural, healthier, bottled aguas frescas while holding down double-duty as a stay-at-home dad. And while these handcrafted drinks do come in boozy recipes, too, his non-alcoholic aguas are more flavorful, refreshing, and pure than any others we’ve tried at a taqueria, sweetened with agave in concentrated flavors like cinnamon-spiced, lime-and-mint-twisted jamaica, and watermelon, lemon and chia seed. Plus, they deliver.

How You’ll Use It: Next time you’re hunkering down for a few days, go ahead and get a whole growler of one of his aguas for $25.

The Breakdown: Another all-natural favorite of ours, this “mindful” brand of canned cocktails—with the elephant mascot to prove it—ferments and distills tea leaves to endow complexity and a slightly bitter backdrop to its non-alcoholic iterations of classic cocktails like the negroni, margarita, and mule.

How You’ll Use It: Stick one in your purse or briefcase and drink it anytime you require something harder than a soft drink but softer than a hard drink.

The Name: Optimist Drinks

The Breakdown: Made in and inspired by Los Angeles and its many cultures, Optimist is botanicals-based and proudly free of not only alcohol, but also sugar, carbs, calories and additives. The certified B Corporation—awarded to companies with sound ecological and ethical practices—comes in three varieties: citrusy, Venice-inspired Bright; tequila-reminiscent Smokey, with High Desert tones; and the gin-like Fresh, which takes its inspiration from Topanga.

How You'll Use It: 1 part Smokey to 2 parts ginger ale or tonic, and a garnish of jalapeno or scorched orange peel for a simple, satisfying afternoon refresher.

The Name: Bevey

The Breakdown: Two exceptional, non-alcoholic cocktail bases, pre-mixed and offering extreme versatility. Meaning you can blend them with an equal amount of liquor to make an instant, two-ingredient cocktail, or just as easily blend it with a fresh juice or two to make a quick, kickass mocktail. We told ourselves we weren’t going to say “mocktail,” but there it is, folks.

How You’ll Use It: Mix and match different juices, infusions, and ingredients. Bevey rewards your funky kitchen experiments.

The Name: Wunder

The Breakdown: When you need a break from White Claw but La Croix won’t cut it, try this tasty low-dose sparkling cannabis drink that comes in cans and four dynamic flavors: Lemon Ginger Lift, Blood Orange Bliss, Grapefruit Hibiscus, and Watermelon Wave, each with 2 mg of THC, 4 mg of CBD, and 2 mg. of Delta-8.

How You’ll Use It: Someday you may return to the movie theater. And on that day, you may want a drink that fits into your purse that you can’t find at the concession stand to make the movie just a little bit more meaningful.

The Name: Seedlip

The Breakdown: The first non-alcoholic spirit we’d ever heard of, Seedlip is a pioneer in the emergent game. It’s a plant-based, distilled spirit available in three fairly intense flavors, including the citrus-tinged Grove 42, smoky/spicy Seedlip Spice 94 and botanical-laden Seedlip Garden 108.

How You’ll Use It: Seedlip might not be our top-pick of these brands for flavor, but the O.G. does give backbone to almost any non-alcoholic combination you add it to.

The Breakdown: If anyone is going to change the reputation of non-alcoholic beer, it will be someone like Athletic, one of a new generation crafting booze-free beers with more mindful brewing methods, resulting in their own IPAs, brown ales, coffee stouts, and Mexican lagers.

How You’ll Use It: You’re craving a beer with your lunch at noon, but alas, you’ve got that 1pm root canal surgery coming up.

The Name: Homebrew Sodas

The Breakdown: We’re not only in the midst of a growing trend of non-alcoholic spirits, beers, and cocktails, but sodas are also being reborn as people increasingly ditch the stuff on the shelves to make their own.

How You’ll Use It: Northern Brewer is a sound resource for making your own colas, cream sodas, orange sodas, and self-driven versions of Sprecher’s root beer.

The Name: Frost Popsicles

The Breakdown: Here you have both alcoholic and non-alcoholic paletas in delicious, all-natural combinations like vanilla-coffee, peach-strawberry-banana, and pomegranate-grapefruit-and-hibiscus.

How You’ll Use Them: By the beach on a hot day. By the fire on a cool day.

The Name: Good Drinks

The Breakdown: This newly released, 176-page book comes from James Beard-nominated writer Julia Bainbridge, who walks you through oodles of non-alcoholic cocktail recipes you’ll want to make and revisit, even for those who do go back to the hard stuff.

How You’ll Use It: By now you’ve got many excellent choices for non-boozy beverages and bases you can utilize with these great-looking recipes.

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