There are plenty of reasons why alcohol may not be for you right now. Whether you’re taking a break from alcohol for a month (think: Sober October), you’re living a sober lifestyle or you simply don’t feel like dealing with a hangover, alcohol isn’t for everyone – but that doesn’t mean you can’t partake in the celebratory feel and refreshing flavours of a cocktail or special (though spirit-less) beverage.
Whether you’re abstaining or you just want to drink a little less alcohol (while still serving up something sophisticated), we’ve got you covered. From zero-proof spirits to liquor-free bubbles and beyond, these sober-friendly home bar ideas are worth raising a glass for.
Non-Alcoholic Gin Alternatives
When it comes to classic cocktails, gin — with its botanical flavour — is a go-to base for many recipes. Alcohol-free alternatives, like FLUÈRE’s non-alcoholic distilled gin alternative, make use of similar flavours like juniper, lime, coriander and lavender. FLUÈRE’s option also features a touch of sweet raspberry for a fresh taste (and a pretty pink hue).
Non-Alcoholic Gin Alternatives
Another alcohol-free spirit to consider for your sober-friendly bar? Statera’s award-winning non-alcoholic spirit is distilled with gin botanicals like juniper berry, ginger and lemongrass for a peppery, floral flavour. And, if you want to stay extra hydrated while enjoying your non-alcoholic beverages, this spirit is enhanced with electrolytes to help promote hydration.
Non-Alcoholic Rum Alternatives
Perfect for non-alcoholic mojitos or coladas (we’re partial to this tropical colada recipe), white rum alternatives are an essential for a sober-friendly bar at home. This white rum-style spirit from Lyre’s showcases tasting notes of citrus, oak and sugar cane and is considered non-alcoholic with less than 0.5% ABV.
Non-Alcoholic Tequila Alternatives
If tequila is more to your taste, then a non-alternative tequila alternative like this award-winning option from Ritual Zero-Proof should hold a place of pride on your sober home bar cart. Crafted to replace traditional tequila 1:1 in the cocktail recipes you already know (it would be delicious in this Brazilian Lemonade Margarita), this alternative makes non-alcoholic swaps simple.
Seedlip Non-Alcoholic Spirits
Not all non-alcoholic spirits are designed to mimic the same flavours as alcohol, either. Instead of trying to taste like traditional spirits such as gin or vodka, for example, Seedlip’s sugar-free selection of non-alcoholic spirits each features a unique flavour profile: Garden 108 is herbaceous, Spice 94 is aromatic and Grove 42 is citrusy. Not sure where to start? Seedlip also has a book of non-alcoholic recipes, Seedlip Cocktails, to get the sober-friendly ideas flowing.
Bitters – AKA those little bottles of bitter flavour that you add to enhance the depth and taste of cocktails – are a simple way to elevate any drink. While you generally only use a tiny amount of bitters in a beverage, it’s important to note that many varieties of bitters are made with alcohol – so if you want a truly non-alcoholic drink, be sure to opt for non-alcoholic bitters, too. Stirrings’ Blood Orange Cocktail Bitters says that it’s a non-alcoholic cocktail mix right on the bottle – and the mellow blood orange flavour is ideal for creating orange mocktails or alcohol-free Manhattans.
Love a cold brew? Good news: in 2022, there are plenty of non-alcoholic (up to 0.5% ABV) and alcohol-free (0% ABV) beer options to enjoy. Brewed in Canada, Partake’s non-alcoholic beers contain just 0.3% ABV.
Celebrating a special event? Craving an alcohol-free version of a champagne cocktail? Bubbly – like this alcohol-free Brut from VIN ZERO offers refreshing, zesty bubbles along with fruity notes.