As interest in drinking less continues to grow, producers are becoming increasingly innovative in the way they approach the alcohol-free drinks category. Whether you’re taking a break for the start of the year, looking to accommodate someone else who’s laying off, or just want to try something different, a slew of new nonalcoholic spirits is bringing the fun. Here are three to try that don’t offer a buzz.
Gnista Floral Wormwood Batch #5
This is a complex nonalcoholic spirit from Sweden. Caramel in hue, it’s a blend of botanicals including wormwood, of course, as well as juniper, lovage and citrus. Sweet at first with a bitter finish, it’s meant as a base for mixing, but it’s great over ice and topped with tonic water, too. Gnista Spirits, the producer, also makes a smoky barrel-aged version meant to channel evenings spent by the campfire.
Dry Botanical Bubbly Blood Orange
What appears to be another brightly packaged seltzer is actually a zero-proof alternative to sparkling wine. There are several flavors, but the blood orange offering strikes the right balance between dry and fruity. It’s intended to be enjoyed on its own, like a glass of wine, but it also makes for an interesting nonalcoholic mixer with shrubs and other syrups. The best part? It’s available at most well-stocked grocery stores.
Produced by the same British company that created Seedlip, said to be the world’s first distilled nonalcoholic spirit, this is set to launch in the U.S. this spring. Aptly named, the bitter aperitif-style mixer is perfect for spritz lovers. It’s made from a base of wine grapes grown in Sussex, England, that’s blended with botanicals like grapefruit, bay leaf, orange, oak and quassia (bitterwood). Citrusy in flavor, its scarlet red color is a dead ringer for that of Campari or Aperol.