Sure, zero-proof drinks are alcohol free, allowing the body to avoid being exposed to its toxins (fyi the World Health Organization refers to alcohol as a toxin), but some non-alcoholic drinks can be loaded with added sugars and nothing more.
Thankfully, there are plenty of choices out there that help people either avoid or limit their alcohol consumption, are free from (or extremely low in) added sugars, and taste great. Many alcohol-free drinks also have additional ingredients that support our health in various other ways, like by adding prebiotic fiber or adaptogens (herbs that can help your body cope with stress and boost overall health).
Among the plethora of alcohol-free choices out there, here are my top picks that I enjoy recommending to my clients who are embarking on an alcohol-free or reduced-alcohol journey.
11 alcohol-free drinks an RD recommends
Adaptogenic drinks are rising in popularity across the globe as their properties and benefits become widely known and further studied. Moment contains ingredients like ginseng and L-theanine, which combat fatigue1 and aid in focus2 respectively. At a base level, these adaptogens simply help you “adapt” to stressors, quite like alcohol does in those first few sips (although we all know how quickly that feeling can pass). The best part is that Moment Drinks contain no added sugars or artificial flavors, so you can rest assured that you’re only drinking the good stuff.
Moment Cherry Hibiscus is an effervescent option made with hibiscus tea and sweetened with bright black cherries and a dash of cinnamon. The addition of ashwagandha helps manage stress, and the l-theanine may help improve mental clarity.
Wildwonder combines herbs and botanicals with luscious fruit flavors that are inspired by the healing tonics the founder’s grandmother would brew for her in China. It’s the first sparkling drink to contain both prebiotics and probiotics to support gut health, and it makes for an excellent, alcohol-free, effervescent option to pour into your champagne or wine glass.
Lightly sweetened with agave nectar and monk fruit for only 6 grams of sugar, this drink is USDA Organic, vegan, and GMO-free. It’s also AAPI- and female-founded.
Wildwonder Strawberry Passion offers the taste of perfectly ripe strawberries and tart passion fruit juice for a naturally sweet and juicy refresher. Balanced with freshly brewed hibiscus and elderflowers, this variety makes for a satisfying pre and probiotic-containing mocktail drink choice.
With the look and boldness of certain red wines, POM Wonderful pomegranate juice is a great alternative to your nightly glass of vino. Made with 100-percent pomegranate juice—so no added sugars—each serving of this juice provides 10 percent of your daily potassium needs, approximately the same amount contained within a single banana. Additionally, this juice is packed with antioxidants, as the pomegranates have been whole-pressed from the rind, pith, and arils. In fact, there are 700 mg of polyphenol antioxidants per cup of this juice.
Instead of drinking traditional ginger ale, Olipop’s version can satisfy that desire for a gingery drink with only 5g of added sugars (compared to 36g of added sugar found in a can of original). Olipop’s is also free from anything artificial, and it contains a whopping 9g of prebiotic fiber to support gut health. It’s also infused with sweet lime, tart quince, and real ginger root for a sharp, sophisticated flavor that makes it the perfect swap.
White Claw is known as one of the most popular hard seltzer brands in the world, and they’ve just introduced their first non-alcoholic option. This seltzer contains the same great taste as their original line plus hydrating electrolytes with only 2g of sugar per can—minus the cruddy hangover the next day.
Kin Euphorics has revolutionized the non-alcoholic game as they offer a vast plethora of drink alternatives that are made to look like the real thing. These drinks are infused with adaptogens instead of alcohol, and their drinks range from their “High Rhode” blend, which infuses caffeine and 5-HTP (an amino acid that can boost serotonin in the body) to induce sociality all the way to their “Dream Light” blend, which utilizes adaptogens, Reishi mushroom, and melatonin for a calm, sleep-inducing chill. They have a little something for everyone.
Aplós spirits come in “Calme” and “Arise” varieties that do just what their titles say. Their Calme variety contains broad-spectrum hemp to calm the body (so if you’re avoiding hemp products, watch out for this), while Arise contains a blend of adaptogens to aid in smooth conversation and social settings.
Inspired by the French ethos of both pleasure and restraint, De Soi drinks are a non-alcoholic, sparkling alternative to your traditional aperitif. Created by both Katy Perry and master distiller Morgan McLachlan, these drinks contain—you guessed it—natural adaptogens to make you calmer, more focused, and less likely to react to stress during social situations. Their drinks really are alternatives to that well-loved aperitif as they come in four different mouth-watering flavors: Très Rosé, Golden Hour, Champignon Dreams, and Purple Lune.
Yes! Apples is a network of 50+ family-owned farms located in New York’s Upstate region, and they have officially collaborated with Avec to create a mouth-watering sparkling beverage. This drink is made with NY Fuji apples and world spices including cardamom, lemon verbena, tarragon, vanilla, and orange blossom to really capture that cozy winter taste. With only 5g of sugar per can, you don’t have to worry about overdoing it in terms of sweetness.
Longbottom Bloody Mary mix is so delicious that it can be enjoyed without vodka and still be satisfying. It’s is made with quality ingredients like real tomato juice, onion puree, and capers. Bonus? This bloody mary option only contains 50 mg sodium per serving, which is far less than what other leading brands provide.
This dealcoholized wine gives the same satisfying bubbles and tart flavor as rosé, but minus the booze. Made with organic Spanish grapes, it truly tastes like the real deal.
- Arring, Noël M et al. “Ginseng as a Treatment for Fatigue: A Systematic Review.” Journal of alternative and complementary medicine (New York, N.Y.) vol. 24,7 (2018): 624-633. doi:10.1089/acm.2017.0361
- Giesbrecht, T et al. “The combination of L-theanine and caffeine improves cognitive performance and increases subjective alertness.” Nutritional neuroscience vol. 13,6 (2010): 283-90. doi:10.1179/147683010X12611460764840
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