As the sober-curious movement grows, many people are reaching for a tasty alcohol substitute. These individuals may be seeking a healthier lifestyle, curious about the options out there, or just hate that hangover the morning after.
No matter why you’re reaching for the non-alcoholic drinks, there are alcohol alternatives that taste great and bring the party while staying booze-free.
The mocktails of today aren’t limited to grenadine and maraschino cherries.
They’re sophisticated takes on classic cocktails featuring non-alcoholic spirits that resemble your favorite whiskey, tequila, or gin. With fresh ingredients and garnishes, even a little fizz if you’re celebrating, mocktails can be a tasty alternative to an alcoholic beverage.
Come up with your own blend featuring your favorite seltzers, club sodas, and fruity add-ons, or pick up pre-blended mixes to make things even easier at your next gathering. We’ve gathered up a few recipes to try, or you can create your own using Surely’s non-alcoholic wine.
Try Curious Elixirs, a booze-free craft cocktail brand that offers options inspired by what you’d see at your local cocktail lounge. The ingredients in these are meant to promote a target vibe, like balance or relaxation.
Mingle Mocktails are another alcohol-free option. Their variety packs come with flavors like Cucumber Melon Mojito and Cranberry Cosmo, perfect for your next sober night in or out.
Non-Alcoholic Wine & Beer
Wine fans rejoice. You can have your wine and sleep well, too, with non-alcoholic wine that tastes like the real thing.
The best non-alcoholic wines — including our varieties at Surely — are nothing like the sparkling grape juice you’d find at the grocery store.
Our beverages are styled after your favorite wines to give a satisfying depth of flavor and aroma. Interested in some bubbles or sparkling wine? There are plenty of non-alcoholic champagne options for you.
In most non-alcoholic wines, the alcohol is removed as part of the process, leaving you with all of the flavor and none of the side effects.
Non-alcoholic beers are also on the rise. The offerings have to have less than 0.5% ABV to be considered a non-alcoholic beer. Many resemble traditional beer styles, and many are fermented in the same style, only with the alcohol removed.
Try Athletic Brewing Company’s IPA, hazy IPA, blonde ale, or their latest, a Mexican lager. Bravus Brewing is a brewery focused solely on non-alcoholic beer. Their beers come in a variety of styles and are all low-calorie, which is an added perk!
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a natural chemical found in Cannabis sativa plants, and more recently, all kinds of infused beverages. High-quality CBD contains restorative and relaxing endocannabinoids without any of the psychoactive components.
What can I drink to relax instead of alcohol? CBD-infused beverages have become a go-to for those seeking a drink they can relax with instead of alcohol.
The compound is considered by some to be a key component of regular rest and improved mental health without the added effects of marijuana.
The Recess brand of CBD-infused beverages comes in a variety of styles, from sparkling waters to supplement drinks to powders you can add to your favorite alternative drinks.
Sprig is another CBD-infused sparkling beverage that can replace your favorite seltzer in all of those mocktails you’re testing out lately. This bubbly alcohol substitute has zero gluten, zero sugar, and a great taste.
The roots of kava are all-natural and come from a plant found in the Pacific islands. It comes in pill form as an herbal supplement, a root powder, or liquid drops that you can mix into your favorite seltzer water.
What can give you the same effect as alcohol? Some people find that Kava can give you almost the same effect as alcohol. It’s been said to send your brain those same feelings of relaxation and happiness that you may get after that first cocktail’s buzz. Scientists are even looking at kava as an anxiety treatment.
The plant does some with some disclaimers. It’s been linked to liver inflammation and possible dependency in some people. Pregnant women should not use kava. If you’re going to make kava a regular habit, talk to your doctor first.
We’re not expecting you to forage for anything here! Hailing from the 15th century, shrubs are an alternative for those seeking a little something tangy in their beverage.
A shrub, or drinking vinegar, is a fruity syrup that you can drink on its own or add to your favorite mocktail or carbonated soda. It’s relatively simple to make, and depending on the flavor, can even resemble some liqueurs.
They’re simple to make at home: Mix your favorite vinegar, fruits, and sugar in equal parts. Create a simple syrup by boiling your mixture, then straining it to get rid of any floaters.
You can also find ready-made shrubs online to make things even simpler. Try Pok Pok Som drinking vinegar for that signature blend of sweet and sour. The Twisted Shrub is another option that comes with a side of prebiotics.
Kombucha has become the subtly fizzy, somewhat funky drink of choice for many seeking a healthier alcohol substitute.
The tea is made from a blend of black or green tea, a sweetener, and SCOBY. This is the live culture you get in the fermentation process of bacteria and yeast.
Kombucha fans say it’s rich in probiotics that can improve outcomes for various health conditions, but the evidence is mixed on how beneficial it truly is.
Read labels carefully if you’re seeking beverages entirely without alcohol, too, as some mainstream kombucha brands fall above 0.5% ABV, the standard to be considered non-alcoholic.
Try the variety pack from Remedy for a bubbly beverage without alcohol or added sugar but all of the funk you’d expect from a good kombucha.
When abstaining from drinking alcohol, your options were once limited to a glass of water or perhaps a Cherry Coke for the adventurous.
However, the craft sodas showing up in bars and restaurants today are far more sophisticated, perfect for more discerning palates.
Whether you’re seeking a classic cola or ginger ale, something more exotic, or even sugar-free soda, there is a fizzy beverage out there to suit your fancy.
Try Fever-Tree’s offerings in the soda department if you’re interested in more subtle flavors like lime and yuzu. They’re often used as mixers but are also great on their own if you crave something light and refreshing.
Tea has been popular for hundreds of years as a morning luxury, afternoon pick-me-up, or a treat before bed, thanks to its rich taste, aroma, and variety.
High-quality teas come in a wide range of benefits and flavor profiles and can provide everything from a boost to your immune system to the relaxation associated with a sip of red wine.
Explore caffeine-free herbal teas if you’re looking for drinks during pregnancy.
Green tea is perhaps the most classic. It’s loaded with antioxidants and a dose of caffeine that will perk you up while promoting good health. Try this Organic Sencha Green Tea to kick off your healthy habit.
Pu'er, or pu-erh tea, is a fermented tea similar to kombucha that offers a caffeine boost as well. Its signature funkiness is accompanied by added flavorings. Numi has a chocolate version sweetened with organic cocoa and a blend of fruits and spices.
Fermented kvass, or “black bread,” has been around Russia and other Eastern European countries since the Middle Ages. It’s made by soaking a bread of choice — traditionally rye — with yeast and other flavorings. Nature does the rest, resulting in a tart and refreshing beverage.
Modern kvass is much sweeter, as the process to make the real thing is quite time-intensive. You’re most likely to find versions of it in shops that cater to Eastern European populations, but there are imports available online, too.
Disclaimer: Some brands of Kvass contain up to 1.5% alcohol, so you’ll want to read the label to find one with under 0.5% to ensure it’s considered alcohol-free.
Monastery Kvass is made without added yeast, but the taste is comparable to the real thing if you’re not interested in fermenting your own.
Other Ways to Relax Without Alcohol
If the reason you’re reaching for an alcoholic substitute is to relax without the adverse side effects of alcohol consumption, you may not even need a beverage to do so.
You don’t need to use alcohol to relax. Here are a few other ways to chill out without the booze:
- Practice yoga or meditation
- Have a deep stretch
- Reduce caffeine
- Talk to a friend
- Pick up a new hobby
No matter your reason for cutting back on the booze, there’s an alcohol substitute to suit you.
Keep the party going with Surely’s options for alcohol-removed wine. Crafted by a team of winemakers, our non-alcoholic wines will leave you feeling refreshed while offering delicious flavor. You'll thank us when you’re hangover-free the next day.