In 2021, the global non-alcoholic (NA) spirits market generated $281 million in sales—none of which came from me. This isn’t from a lack of interest in non-alcoholic products (I’ve dabbled in NA beer), but rather from the general belief that non-alcoholic spirits were nothing more than well-packaged, non-carbonated kombucha. Then, earlier this year, in a moment of true boredom, I tried some of the NA spirits we had in our office. I liked them—a lot. Shocker: This thing that millions of people like…is actually good. It turns out, I’m not alone here: The non-alcoholic spirits market is expected to do $642 million in sales in 2031—nearly triple its 2021 volume. So, odds are, some of you NA skeptics will eventually become believers, too.
In hopes of learning more about this trend that’s likely to stick around—and because they’re occasionally quite delicious—our editorial team taste tested 24 different non-alcoholic spirits. These were our findings.
The Spirits We Chose
We tasted 24 non-alcoholic spirits from 13 different brands. Many different types and flavor profiles were represented in our lineup, including clear spirits and dark spirits, aperitifs, and ready-to-drink cocktails. Here’s a list of everything we tasted.
Caleño Dark & Spicy
Curious Elixirs (Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8)
Kally Berry (Both Fennel & Orchard Sage)
Pentire (Seaward, Adrift, & Coastal Spritz)
Ritual Gin Alternative
Sacre Zero Proof
Seedlip (Garden 108, Grove 42, & Spice 94)
The Hudson Standard
How We Tested Them
Our team of five editors each tasted every spirit. The spirits were sipped neat. We then rated each spirit on a scale from zero to five (five being the best), declared whether or not we would drink it, listed all of the flavors we tasted, and then described each in only a word. We then took the average rating for each spirit and ranked them from best to worst.
Notes & Trends
Across all 24 spirits, the average rating was 2.4 out of 5.
Clear spirits performed worse. Of the nine clear spirits tasted, only three received stamps of approval: Pentire Adrift, Pentire Seaward, Seedlip Garden 108. In each case, only one of the five editors said they would drink it again. For clear spirits, the average rating was 1.7. For dark spirits, the average rating was 3.1.
The Hudson Standard received unanimous praise under one condition: You mix it with seltzer. However, for the sake of consistency, we drank it straight up. Although unpleasant to sip neat, it’s great when diluted with carbonated water.
Like the Hudson Standard, we recognize that some of these spirits may test better when combined with other ingredients. Please share those ingredients with us in the comments below—we’re rooting for all of these to be delicious.
6. Kally Orchard Sage
This bright, acidic, sage-forward wine alternative from Kally is made from young, California-grown chardonnay grapes. Is it technically a spirit? No. Do we care? Not really, because it’s good. Our tasting notes included: “apple,” “fall,” “SAGE,” “orange,” and “breakfast sausage.” We’d sip on this during flannel season. Average Score: 3.2/5
Founded by New York City native Lily Geiger in 2021, Figlia is a canned, effervescent aperitif. Our tasting notes included: “cranberry,” “clove,” “licorice,” “rose,” and “kombucha.” The can—particularly its size and convenience—makes Figlia perfect for gatherings. Average Score: 3.3/5
4. Curious No. 1
One of their eight ready-to-drink, glass-bottled mocktails, the No. 1 from Curious Elixirs is a self-described “riff on the negroni.” While it’s not exactly that, we did enjoy the flavors we recognized, like “pomegranate,” “fennel,” “cherry,” and “plants.” It’s complex, bitter, and worth savoring—we’d happily crack one of these open after a long day. Average Score: 3.4/5
3. Curious No. 2
If we swapped this with your favorite ginger beer you’d never know. Tightly carbonated and carrying a profound ginger flavor, we described No. 2 with the following phrases: “ginger beer,” “Moscow Mule-ish,” “Natural ginger ale,” and (my favorite) “Ginger city.” You get it by now: If you’re pro ginger (who isn’t?), you’ll dig this. Average Score: 3.6/5
Wilfred’s tagline—Reinvent The Spritz—sounds ambitious, but the supreme quality of their aperitif warrants its use. Our notes were what you’d expect: bitter, Aperol, clove. We know this is supposed to be diluted with seltzer (and that it’s delicious this way), but our team will happily drink it straight. Average Score: 4.0/5
1. Pentire Coastal Spritz
Pentire’s bright, bitter, deftly sweet spirit was our clear favorite. While our tasting notes were all over the place—orange, bourbon-ish, bitter rum, salt—we agreed on one thing: It’s worth sipping—often. If you’re looking for an NA-spirit to drink straight, start here. Average Score: 4.1/5
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What’s your favorite NA spirit? Let us know in the comments below!