he trend for non-alcoholic drinks has stretched far beyond Dry January and Sober October.
In the year that first brought us the pandemic, 2020, more than 13.5bn litres of non-alcoholic drinks were downed in the UK according to data firm Statista. You need only look at the heaving non-alcoholic drinks shelves in supermarkets across the country to see that there’s still a raging thirst for booze-free drinks.
A more mindful mindset coupled with greater choice in alternatives has led to many switching to a lifestyle that embraces moderate drinking. And it’s not just a white knight for those looking to cut back, either - those abstaining for health or faith-based reasons no longer have to make do with a feeble mocktail or soft drink at parties or after-work drinks. The tide has turned: booze-free no longer has to mean fun-free.
Established brands as well as new companies are coming to the virtual bar armed with bottles of alcohol-free spirits that act as a stand-in for the naughtier, stronger stuff. You can now get booze-free drinks across almost every category, from beer to wine - and even gin.
Housed in gorgeous bottles with pretty packaging you’ll most definitely want to show off at your next dinner party, they’re flavoured to give the experience of gin without any of the drawbacks. Drink as much as you want, safe in the knowledge that there will be no hangover to reckon with come the morning.
Whether you’re giving up booze completely or you’re on the hunt for a booze-free spirit to have in-between serves of the bona fide serve, we’ve rounded up the best gin dupes and gin alternative to whet your whistle.
Shop our selection below
The new launch from gin experts Sipsmith is called the FreeGlider and not only is it booze-free but it’s vegan too. Talk about a high achiever. Treat the refreshing non-spirit as you would a regular gin - just mix with tonic and add a garnish for a faux G&T so good you can practically see its halo.
Gordon’s Alcohol Free Gin 70cl
If only Gordon’s will do in your G&T, there’s no need to forgo your favourite glass - a simple switch to Gordon’s Alcohol Free Gin will slash the alcohol content to zero while still retaining the same taste you know and love. Perfect for anyone looking to cut back or abstain completely, keep it classic with a measure over ice cubes, a fat wedge of lemon and fridge-cold tonic water.
CleanCo Clean G
Founded by Made In Chelsea’s Spencer Matthews, CleanCo is a line of non-alcoholic drinks that look and taste like the real thing. One of the OG varieties is the Clean G, an award-winning gin alternative housed in an emerald-hued bottle with a punchy hit of real juniper berry flavour. Best with ice, slice and a splash of tonic, we were hard-pressed to tell the difference from our usual tipple.
There’s also a pink version available for the same price.
Fluère Original Original Floral Blend of Botanicals Non-Alcoholic Distilled Spirit
Housed in a bottle that will no doubt take pride of place on your drinks trolley, Fluere isn’t all fur coat. There’s plenty to enjoy within: think bursts of freshness from the coriander and lime, softened with a touch of lavender and of course, the ubiquitous juniper playing a starring role. It performs best in cocktails like Gimlets, Collins and Bloody Marys and you can make a smashing ‘Lowgroni’ with it too.
Salcombe Distilling Co ‘New London Light’ Non-Alcoholic Spirit, 70cl
A classic London Dry (minus the alcohol, natch), Salcombe Distilling Co’s New London Light is made by the bracing shores of the south west coast. It’s a sweet-spicy concoction with ginger, habanero, orange and lemongrass all in the mix, making it superbly versatile for virgin cocktails.
Lyre’s Premium Dry London Non-Alcoholic Spirit
Stick this in your drinks cabinet and ask your mates to spot the non-alcoholic odd one out the next time they come over for a session. We bet it’d be a while before they pick out Lyre’s, despite the clever name. The brand offers all sorts of booze-free delights from American Malt “whiskey”, to the faux gin, modelled on a classic London Dry. Though you may be tempted to have it neat or with tonic, its flavour is best savoured when mixed into a cocktail - and there are plenty of recipe ideas online to try.
Warner’s Pink Berry and Juniper Dry 0 per cent Botanic Garden Spirits
Alcohol-free and made using natural botanicals from Warner’s Fall Farm in Northamptonshire, Warners new gins - Pink Berry and Juniper Dry - will bring a smile to anyone looking for a healthy gin alternative.
Both have won awards from industry bodies, and we can attest to the superiority of the booze-free dupes. We reached for one without properly checking the label and didn’t realise until the following day that it contained no alcohol. All the pleasure, none of the pain. Pretty bottle designs too.
As one of the OG zero-alcohol players, Seedlip has a loyal following. The trailblazing spirit is made for a generation that shuns excessive drinking but that still wants to join the party. Choose from three varieties; Garden 108, Spice 94 and Grove 42.
Using botanicals plucked from North Cornwall, Pentire brings a hint of salty dog to your cocktail hour. We’re not sure what spirit it’s supposed to recreate, but we’ll put our money on gin thanks to Seaward’s notes of pink grapefruit. Draw the flavour out with ice and a juicy wedge of the fruit for best results.
With 0.5 per cent alcohol, ATOPIA is the latest kid on the low-alcohol block with an ABV of 0.5 per cent. Made with botanicals and fruits, it’s an ideal replacement for gin and vodka at happy hour.
Everything from the bottle designs to the taste is designed to take the moderate drinking experience to the next level.
Ceder’s Wild Non-Alcoholic Spirit
Hailing from South Africa’s Western Cape, Ceder’s is a non-alcoholic gin with a slew of awards under its well-presented belt. Botanicals used have been harvested from the Cederberg mountains and there are four flavours to choose from: Classic, Crisp, Pink and Wild, which brings together juniper with clove and rooibos for a tasty spirit you’ll love to reach for come cocktail hour.
Amplify Zing & Zest Non Alcoholic Spirit
‘Alcohol free and free of spirit’ is the top line at booze-free brand Amplify, where the sole product, Zing & Zest, scooped the gold award in the low and no category from The Spirits Business 2021.
Serves are designed to swerve hangovers and focus instead of soaking up the moment. It’s filled with a complex blend of botanicals; think citrus fruits with pops of lemongrass, ginseng and juniper. Great over ice or in a cocktail.
The Driver's Tipple Non-Alcoholic Spirit
Missing your weekend gin? You can still enjoy a dry G&T with The Driver’s Tipple which recreates the flavours of the classic drink.
It’s distilled in London and is led by juniper notes followed by a host of other botanicals and fruits. Not only is it sugar and gluten free, but it’s vegan too - welcome news to anyone with Veganuary as well as Dry Jan ambitions.