Zero to Lower Alcohol Alternatives for The New Year

Zero to Lower Alcohol Alternatives for The New Year

By Laura Fagan Published December 2022

You’ve celebrated the holidays, stuffed your plate, filled your cup and enjoyed all the merriest moments. Now it’s time to start thinking about the upcoming year and your goals, right? We’re all for manifesting and investing in your best self for 2023. So, if you find yourself contemplating a dry January or being more mindful of your alcohol intake, we have everything you need to shake up delicious mocktails or lower alcohol alternatives.

The demand for zero to lower alcoholic alternatives have gained momentum over the years and we’ve seen a huge uptick in the number of brands innovating and offering new options. For those wanting to focus on wellness and drinking lighter, these emerging brands offer high quality options for mindful drinking.

Zero Alcohol Options

Consumers who are intrigued by craft cocktails but don’t wish to dabble with the booze have been turning to mocktails. Mocktails are non-alcoholic drinks that are meant to replicate the taste and flare of bar crafted beverages. They're typically made with a non-alcoholic spirit alternatives, fruit juices and other natural ingredients like herbs and spices. Recently, they have been showing up big to the sipping scene with sought-after flavors and unique add-ins.

The brands blazing trails in the mocktail arena, like Ritual, whose portfolio includes zero-proof tequila, whiskey, gin and rum alternatives, or other recognized brands like Seedlip and CleanCo, are redefining the zero-alcohol lifestyle. Even the most loyal spirit enthusiasts can find a spirit alternative worth swapping. For instance, try a new take on a traditional margarita with CleanCo’s Tequila Alternative or browse through all our mocktail recipes to find a new favorite.

For our wine enthusiasts who are cutting out alcohol, we carry non-alcoholic wine from Ariel, Artis, Zilch as well as alcohol-removed wines from Fre and Freixenet. These bottles make opting out of alcohol easy with desired flavors and pairing opportunities.

For our beer fans, we stock plenty of established and esteemed brands that produce non-alcoholic options. Beers like Heinkeken 0.0, Athletic Upside Down Golden Ale, Samuel Adams Just the Haze, Erdinger, Beck’s and Clausthaler could easily fool even the most seasoned beer drinker. These non-alcoholic beers are so tasty and well-made that even our beer experts were challenged in picking out non-alcoholic versus alcoholic beers in a blind taste test. Watch the video of our friendly beer guy competition for tasting notes and results.

You can also check out our non-alcoholic spirits taste test below for some expert alcohol-free feedback and a peek at a break-down of the winning spirits recipe:

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Now that you’ve got the low-down on how these alcohol-free spirits stack up, try grabbing one to mix up one of our other non-alcoholic mocktail recipes below:

Non-Alcoholic Seedlip Spice PaNOma

Non-Alcoholic Seedlip Spice PaNOma

The Recipe:

In a shaker with ice, add Seedlip Spice 94, grapefruit juice, simple syrup and lime juice. Shake and strain into a glass with fresh ice. Top with club soda and garnish with grapefruit peel.

Non-Alcoholic Clean Apple Sling

Non-Alcoholic Clean Apple Sling

The Recipe:

In a tall glass, add Clean V, lime wedges and sparkling water. Fill glass with ice and add dashes of bitters. Mix and garnish with a fan of apple slices.

Non-Alcoholic Fre Devil's Margarita

Non-Alcoholic Fre Devil's Margarita

The Recipe:

Non-Alcoholic Margarita Mix*:

For the non-alcoholic margarita mix: In a mixing bowl, combine lime juice, agave and orange juice. Stir to dissolve agave. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two weeks.

For the mocktail: Combine margarita mix and ice in a blender and blend until smooth. Fill a margarita glass ¾ of the way with margarita mix. Float Fre Red Blend on top. Garnish with a charred lime.

Non-Alcoholic Pomegranate Martini

Non-Alcoholic Pomegranate Martini

The Recipe:

In a shaker with ice, add gin alternative, lemon juice, simple syrup, triple sec and pomegranate juice. Shake and strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with a dehydrated orange wheel and a star anise.

Looking for additional mocktail recipes featuring award-winning spirit alternatives? Check out all of our mocktail recipes online and shop all non-alcoholic items below.

Lower Alcohol Alternatives

If your goal is to cut back rather than cutting out alcohol, we have some helpful tips and recipes. One way is to pour ‘half-proof’ or swap the measurement of a distilled spirit in a cocktail recipe for a half-and-half option (half distilled spirit and half spirit alternative). You can also just lighten up your normal pour or reduce the amount of alcohol that your cocktail recipe calls for. These easy tips allow you to still sip on your favorite drinks while also cutting back.

Check out some of our favorite lower alcohol alternatives to traditional cocktail recipes below.

Baileys Deliciously Light Iced Coffee

Baileys Deliciously Light Iced Coffee

The Recipe:

Add Baileys to iced coffee. Stir to combine.

Kimmy C's Cup

Kimmy C's Cup

The Recipe:

  • 1, 750mL bottle Kim Crawford Illuminate Rosé

  • 1/3 cup lemon juice

  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced

  • 8 strawberries, thinly sliced

  • 1 small cucumber, thinly sliced

  • 4 basil sprigs

  • 4 mint sprigs

  • 2 cups sparkling pink lemonade

In a large pitcher, add rosé, lemon juice, lemon slices, strawberries, cucumber, basil and mint. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour and maximum 4 hours. Stir in the pink lemonade before serving. Pour into 4 to 6 glasses and garnish with herbs and fruit slices from cocktail mixture.

Cucumber Mint Lemonade

Cucumber Mint Lemonade

The Recipe:

In a glass with ice, add vodka and lemonade. Stir to combine. Top with club soda and garnish with a mint sprig.

Los Rijos Ranch Water

Los Rijos Ranch Water

The Recipe:

Rim glass with lime wedge and dip in salt. Add tequila, lime juice and top with sparkling water. Stir to combine and garnish with a lime wedge.

If you are limiting alcohol and wine is your preferred pour, make sure to watch this video. Our wine experts, Nathan Dale and Paul Quaglini share and discuss the best lower alcohol varietals and labels to try.

Visit your local ABC store to grab some stand-out spirit alternatives or shop our full selection of zero alcohol and lower alcohol drink options online.

Interested in learning more? Visit our ABC Blog page.