Best Non-Alcoholic Drinks And Spirits That Pass For The Real Deal

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Non-alcoholic drinks have come a long way since the days of one or two beer choices – and nothing else. 

Today, you’ll find non-alcoholic gin, rum, vodka, prosecco and espresso martini alternatives available to buy. And the beers have come on a bit, too.

It’s no surprise that businesses are investing in alcohol-free drinks. Almost one in three (32%) UK drinkers now “semi-regularly” consume low and no alcohol products, according to research by mindful drinking movement Club Soda. 

And interestingly, alcohol drinkers are the main buyers of non-alcoholic products, rather than people who are 100% teetotal. 

Whether you avoid booze all year round, you’re trying Dry January, or you just want to cut down a little, there’s plenty of options to fill your drinks cabinet. To help you stock up on the best ones, we’ve reviewed some of the more intriguing options out there. 

Lyre’s Espresso Martini Set, 70cl each, £44.65 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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“An espresso martini might not be the most obvious drink of choice when you’re not drinking, but hear me out. Picture this: you’re at a gathering and it’s getting late. You’re not drinking but your friends have been on the sauce all day (or night) and it’s starting to get loud. Very loud. Your energy levels are starting to wane; their voices start to grate. You need a miracle to stay up any longer. This is where the espresso martini comes in.

“Lyre’s espresso martini set features Coffee Originale (to replace the coffee liquor) and White Cane Spirit (a non-alcoholic rum alternative which has been chosen to replace the vodka). An interesting choice, but it works. The Coffee Orginale is rich with a gorgeous mix of spice and caramel, perfectly offset by the orange and coconut in the cane spirit. The recipe is simple to follow too: you need to add your own espresso or cold-drip coffee and vanilla syrup (but I leave the latter out as I don’t have any in the house). Delicious.

“For me, this may not be the non-alcoholic drink I have on tap, but for the right occasion and moment it would be a life saver.” – Brogan Driscoll, senior editor, commercial partnerships

Buy the set via Lyre, or both spirits separately on Amazon

Nozeco 75cl, £4.15 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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“The Nozeco has the same sleek look as a bottle of prosecco, making it a great alcohol-free option to bring out at parties where people aren’t drinking.

“The first time I tried this was at a bridal party where none of the attendees were drinkers and it went down a treat. It still tastes good, like you’re drinking the real thing, but without the kick. I would definitely use in future for parties and gatherings.” – Faima Bakar, Life reporter

Buy the Nozeco here

Everleaf Mountain Non-Alcoholic Pink Gin 50cl, £19  ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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“Call me basic, but I’ve got a soft spot for pink gin, though I usually consume it via a tinny in the park on a warm summer’s day, instead of at my desk in January. Still, the Everleaf version is low calorie and vegan – as well as non-alcoholic – so I decide that’s acceptable.

“When I take a swig to try it neat, I’m a little alarmed by how soapy it tastes. But when mixed with tonic and garnished with berries as recommended, the gin is transformed. Flavours of cherry blossom, rosehip and strawberry come through, but they’re perfectly balanced with piney juniper, and avoid being too sweet. I would never guess it’s alcohol-free. 

“The classy bottle gets extra points from me, and I can imagine offering it to teetotal pals with hors d’oeuvres on the patio, or taking it along to a baby shower. I drain the glass and am dreaming of summer for the remainder of the afternoon.” – Rachel Moss, Life editor 

Buy the Everleaf Mountain pink gin here.  

Clean.Co Clean T Tequila Alternative 70cl, £16 (was £19) ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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“As someone who loves tequila based drinks – margaritas are my summer go-to – I feel unsure as I pour my first glass of this clean tequila alternative, drizzling the clear liquid over ice. 

“However, when I catch a whiff of the agave-based ‘blanco tequila’, I feel I’ve judged too quickly and my first sip confirms it’s a real treat that closely mimics alcoholic tequila. I didn’t imagine an alcohol-free spirit could have such a similar taste. 

“The green agave combines with aromas of oak and olive, sweet melon and subtle mixed fruits, all with a dry, peppery finish that catches in the throat just like my favourite tequila. It’s not only low calorie and free from sugar and sweetener, but vegan, and lactose and gluten free. For an alcohol-free margarita – or other tequila-based drink – this alternative works perfectly.” – Beth Mahoney, HuffPost Shopping reporter

Buy Clean T tequila alternative here

Caleno Dark & Spicy Non-Alcoholic Spirit 50cl, £15 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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“Rum is by far my favourite alcoholic beverage. White rum and pineapple juice? That’s a bit of me. While I planned to do Dry January this year, I failed on the first day, but I’m still intrigued to see what a non-alcoholic version tastes like.

“The Dark and Spicy alcohol-free spirit from Caleno has a very rum-ish smell to it. If I closed my eyes and opened the bottle, I would have sworn it was alcohol. And there’s an almost alcoholic kick to the taste, too. I drink it with apple juice and it’s almost as good as the real deal. Overall, I’m very impressed and would drink this again.”  – Habiba Katsha, Life reporter

Buy Caleno non-alcoholic ‘rum’ here

Clean.Co Clean R Rum Alternative, 70cl for £16 (was £19) ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Clean.Co Clean R rum alternative

“I adore spiced rum and have high hopes for this ‘clean’ spiced rum alternative. Boy, am I impressed (as is my spiced rum loving fiancé who can be rather picky). When I unscrew the lid, we’re both note how warming and spicy it smells – much like a traditional Caribbean spiced rum. 

“When poured over ice, the flavours of golden caramel, cayenne pepper and other (apparently secretly guarded) spices pack a powerful punch. It’s mildly sweet and wonderfully spicy; it works well drunk neat over ice or – as I found out – mixed with Coca-Cola or ginger beer for an extra kick.

“Like other Clean.Co drinks, it’s lactose and gluten free, and made without sugar or sweetener. In fact, the only downside is that it’s too easy to drink – somehow we managed finish off the bottle in just a few days.” – Beth Mahoney, HuffPost Shopping reporter

Buy the Clean R rum alternative here

Strykk Not V*dka Non-Alcoholic Spirit 70cl,£12 (was £18) ⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2

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“Who needs a real voddie when you’ve got Not V*dka? It’s got a serious kick to it! Sip this non-alcoholic vodka neat and it leaves a ferocious, fiery tingle on your tongue that lingers for an age. It’s like drinking your auntie’s homemade ginger beer, the one that burns (in a nice way!).

“Not V*dka delivers a heat akin to pepper sauce and after it’s finished with your tongue, the fire nestles deep down in your throat. For that reason I wouldn’t suggest mixing it with ginger beer. Coke, orange juice, cranberry and sprite as chasers – all of which I tried – will all add much needed flavour. With no artificial colours, no fat, no sugar it’s perfect if you’re watching your alcohol and calorie intake. And if you’re looking for subtle sweetness, Not V*dka Vanilla which has undertones of cream soda, might hit the right note too.

Buy the Strykk Not V*dka here

Big Drop Brewing Co. Galactic Milk, 12 x 330ml cans £19.20 (£1.60 per can) ⭐️⭐️⭐️

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“I have only really had Guinness when in Northern Ireland, where (according to the rumours) it tastes best. It’s never really been up to scratch when I’ve had it elsewhere. But I did find myself repeatedly sipping this low-alcoholic version, which was a surprise, especially since I am usually more of a gin ‘n’ tonic person.

“Significantly less bitter than the more mainstream version, it really does have ‘chocolatey notes’ – as per its online description – although the honeycomb elements don’t particularly come through.

“It’s definitely not as heavy as the original beverage, and it seems like it’s somewhere in between a soft drink and an alcoholic one in taste. Despite calling itself ‘alcohol-free’, the drink is actually 0.5% ABV, (so it does have a little alcohol in). It might just about satisfy any Guinness drinkers who have opted for a slightly damp January.” – Kate Nicholson, senior trends reporter  

Buy the Galactic Milk stout here. 

Sea Arch Alcohol Free Distilled Spirit 70cl, £19 ⭐️⭐️

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“I’m sorry to say that this drink most definitely does not taste much like the real deal, even though it does come in a beautifully designed bottle.

“While relatively enjoyable – if you like botanical beverages – it lacks the really tasty punch I associate both with alcoholic gins and successful non-alcoholic substitutes. The unusual flavours of kemp, blood orange, coriander and cardamon do come through, but there’s nothing more substantial in the drink meaning it does end up a little too watery, in my opinion.

“If you were looking for a substitute for Dry January, this drink might just miss the mark – whereas if you’ve never really been into anything that tastes too alcoholic, this might be up your street.” –  Kate Nicholson, senior trends reporter 

Buy the Sea Arch alcohol-free gin here. 

Birra Moretti Zero Alcohol Free Beer, 3 x 330ml, £10.99 ⭐️⭐️

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“I am no fan of beer, the last time I tried an alcohol-free beer was nearly a decade ago and I’ve not looked back since. But I gave this one a go and was pleasantly surprised. It didn’t have the same bitter taste I remembered. It’s quite oaky and flat, the taste feels muted. So while I could keep drinking this without any unpleasantness, I’d probably choose not to. My partner who is an avid beer drinker however really enjoyed it and said he could be fooled into thinking it’s the real thing.” – Faima Bakar, Life reporter 

Buy the beer here. 

Abstinence Non-Alcoholic Blood Orange Aperitif 75cl, £12.79 (was £15.99), ⭐️⭐️ 

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“Just like the drink itself, trying this zero-alc Aperol alternative was a bittersweet experience. Let’s face it, sipping this on a chilly January afternoon, dressed in four layers is not what this particular beverage is made for. That said (here comes the sweet bit), it was an uncharacteristically sunny day when I tried it out – and the packaging is beautiful. The drink itself, less so.

“The instructions suggest mixing 50ml of the aperitif with 200ml of soda water or tonic. I opted for soda water but the result was way too bitter for my palette. The boozy version includes Prosecco, which brings the sweetness – so adding a dash of Nozeco might improve things. I haven’t quite given up on being transported to a sunny terrace on a hot July afternoon minus the hangover, but when that day actually does arrive, Dry Jan will be all but a distant memory. – Matt Bagwell, Head of Entertainment

Buy the Abstinence Blood Orange Aperitif here