Of all the non-alcoholic cocktails, the crisp, clean martini is the hardest to replicate.\r\n\r\nA classic martini is made with two key ingredients: gin and dry vermouth. If either isn\u2019t up to par, the martini won\u2019t be, either.\r\n\r\nBy comparison, highballs, which are lengthened with fizzy mixers, and sour-style drinks like daiquiris or margaritas that are flavored by a mix of tart and sweet components, can be forgiving. Though it may be accented by a dash of bitters or a twist of lemon peel, the austere martini offers nothing to hide behind.\r\n\r\n\r\nThe gin\r\nAn ever-widening array of non-alcoholic \u201cbotanical elixirs\u201d exist, styled after those used to flavor gin.\r\n\r\nYet, many miss the mark perhaps because they haven\u2019t been made by producers that understand or value gin.\r\n\r\nThat has slowly changed, as a number of legacy gin producers have rolled out non-alcoholic bottlings.\r\n\r\nEngland\u2019s Salcombe, Amsterdam\u2019s Damrak, and Amass, which makes gin in Los Angeles and elsewhere, have brought booze-free bottles to U.S. shelves in the past six months. Damrak was released in \u201cSober October,\u201d while Salcome and its New London Light (NLL) debuted during \u201cDry January.\u201d\r\n\r\nIn England, gin\u2019s spiritual birthplace, options are more robust.\r\n\r\n\u201cNon-alcoholic Gin\u201d was the top search term in the faux alcohol space by UK consumers on Amazon last year. In general, the UK has outpaced America in non-alcoholic offerings. According to a December 2020 study from Distill Ventures, the UK had 42 non-alcoholic spirit brands, while the U.S. had 29.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nIt might not be a surprise that martini lovers eye two London Dry-style zero-proofers, for now only available in England: Tanqueray 0.0%, launched in February, and Gordon\u2019s 0.0%, introduced in December.\r\n\r\nDiageo, owner of both brands, declined to specify when either bottling might be available in the U.S. That hasn\u2019t stopped bartenders stateside from buzzing about the Tanqueray offering, in particular.\r\n\r\nTo be clear, none of these non-alcoholic "gins" are exact replicas of the original. Martini enthusiasts should recalibrate expectations a bit.\r\n\r\nFor example, the citrus notes tend to be more pronounced, instead of piney juniper. Some use capsicum heat to mimic gin\u2019s alcohol bite. But they can also be pleasing.\r\n\r\nSalcombe\u2019s NLL, for example, hits the right aromatic notes, as it channels bright lemon peel and spice.\r\n\r\n\r\nThe vermouth\r\nThe only non-alcoholic vermouth I\u2019ve discovered is Blutul Bianco. It\u2019s excellent, but it\u2019s produced in Germany and can be a challenge to find in the U.S. It can be purchased in limited quantities via Amazon, however.\r\n\r\nSome non-alcoholic spirit experts like Chris Marshall, founder of Austin\u2019s Sans Bar, and Sam Thonis of Brooklyn\u2019s Getaway Bar, recommend Lyre\u2019s Ap\u00e9ritif as an alternative to wine-based aperitifs like Lillet Blanc.\r\n\r\n\u201cI have found Lyre's to be the closest at matching flavors of sweeter spirits [and] liqueurs, but it's still a far cry from the real thing, in my opinion,\u201d says Thonis.\r\n\r\nVermouth is just wine that\u2019s been aromatized and fortified, so a small measure of non-alcoholic white wine like Teetotaler Wines can pinch-hit in a martini, possibly supplemented with a splash of sweet-tart verjus.\r\n\r\nFor those who feel ambitious, follow the lead of Ryan Chavis, beverage manager at New York City\u2019s Union Square Caf\u00e9. He infuses spices, citrus peels and bittering agents into an alcohol-free wine to DIY a proper vermouth.\r\n\r\n\r\nThe build\r\nIn general, the same rules used to make a standard-issue martini apply to non-alcoholic variations.\r\n\r\nGo with whatever proportions please you. Two parts Salcombe\u2019s NLL \u201cgin\u201d to one part Blutul Bianco \u201cvermouth\u201d is my sweet spot. Marshall suggests a drier build, with two ounces of Lyre\u2019s Dry London Spirit to \u00bc-ounce Lyre\u2019s Dry Ap\u00e9ritif.\r\n\r\nA couple dashes of orange or grapefruit bitters can add complexity, particularly if you don\u2019t use a wine or aperitif with natural bitterness. Most bitters contain some alcohol. For those who seek zero proof, try those made by Dram.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nLike the full-proof version, the drink is best served extremely cold. That can be achieved via stirring with ice (or shaking, no judgments), it\u2019s even better pre-mixed and stashed in the freezer, which thickens the texture a bit. You can stash glasses in the freezer, too.\r\n\r\nBut don\u2019t leave your non-alcoholic martini in freezer too long. More than 20\u201330 minutes, and it will freeze solid.\r\n\r\nPresentation matters, as well. Some might argue it matters even more for a no-octane drink, so do it up with beautiful glassware and garnishes. In all its forms, the iconic martini deserves no less.\r\n\r\n\r\nThree Non-alcoholic Takes on Gin:\r\nSalcombe New London Light (England; $35)\r\n\r\nLaunched in U.S. in January, it\u2019s a distinctly lemony, light-bodied take that finishes with an exhale of dried sage.\r\n\r\nBotanicals: There are 15 in total, which includes juniper, cardamom, ginger, habanero capsicum, orange, sage, cascarilla bark (quinquina, a bittering agent) and lemongrass.\r\n\r\nDamrak Virgin 0.0 (Holland; $25)\r\n\r\nSweet spice leads this bracing gin alternative that finishes with a dusty tickle that suggests black pepper, coriander and anise.\r\n\r\nBotanicals: Juniper, Valencia and Cura\u00e7ao orange peels, ginger, angelica root, lavender, cinnamon, coriander, star aniseed and lemon peel.\r\n\r\nAmass Riverine (Canada; $35)\r\n\r\nCreated to channel \u201cthe towering firs and coastal mountains of British Columbia,\u201d this is notably earthy and lush, as it channels lemon verbena, pine and mint tones.\r\n\r\nBotanicals: Juniper, coriander, orris root, angelica root, lemon peel, cardamom, sorrel, cucumber, apple, mint, parsley, sumac, rosemary and thyme.