Non-alcoholic spirits for Dry January
January is the beginning of a new year and the time for a fresh start. Many people participate in Dry January, where they abstain from drinking alcohol for the entire month. The days of sipping on a ginger ale or Sprite while everyone else is drinking their cocktails and beers are over. The non-alcoholic spirits market is booming, as companies see the growing demand for alcohol-free beverages. Whether you are sober curious, looking for some alcohol-free beverages for the non-drinkers in your life, or trying to give your body a break from all of the holiday drinking, here are three non-alcoholic spirit companies to test out:
Spencer Matthews founded CleanCo in November 2019 as he was tired of the lack of quality non-alcoholic beverage options. The UK brand’s line first started with Clean G (gin alternative) and now also includes Clean T (tequila alternative), Clean R (rum alternative) and Clean V Apple (spices apple vodka alternative). These drinks contain no more than 0.5% ABV, which qualifies them as non-alcoholic.
According to the company’s website: “the average person spends 252 hours a year hungover.” They want to help consumers “live a life less wasted.”
Try one of these non-alcoholic spirits for Dry January
Although these spirits can be used in place of the traditional alcohol in your favorite cocktails and mixers, the website has several clean cocktail recipes for additional inspiration. I sampled the Clean G in a gin and tonic and it was pleasantly smooth with a nice flavor.
All varieties of these spirits are packaged in 23.7 fl. oz bottles and can be purchased on the company website, retailing for $29.99 each.
Dhōs Spirits is a product of Ransom Spirits. The Oregon distillery was founded in 1997 by Tad Seestedt and has been making its award winning whisky and gin since. The company has since expanded into non-alcoholic spirits.
The company prides itself on using only pure and clean ingredients. They are certified pesticide-free and Clean Label Project approved. The spirts are made in small batches using natural ingredients and botanicals which are mixed to replicate the taste of traditional alcohol.
There are three different varieties of Dhōs Spirits:
Dhōs Gin Free – This is a sugar-free and zero calorie non-alcoholic spirit. It can be used in place of gin in a mixed drink.
Dhōs Bittersweet – This is a low calorie non-alcoholic aperitif with flavors of bitter rhubarb and cinchona. It has a bright reddish orange color that stands out in the bottle. Mix this aperitif with soda water and pour it over crushed ice for a “Bittersweet Spritz.” I enjoyed the Bittersweet mixed with tonic water served over ice. I found it to have layers of spice and fruit with a slight bitterness and an orange sherbet aftertaste.
Dhōs Orange – is sugar-free and only 5 calories per serving. Dhōs Orange can be used in place of triple sec to make margaritas and other cocktails.
All three varieties come in 25.4 fl. ounce bottles. They can be purchased online from the company website or Amazon and at select liquor stores throughout the country, retailing for $24.99 each.
Martini & Rossi:
For over 150 years, Martini & Rossi has been making vermouths and sparkling wines. The Italian spirits company has recently introduced two new non-alcoholic aperitivos to their line: Floreale and Vibrante.
In a press release, Fabio Raffaelli (MARTINI & ROSSI North American Brand Ambassador) noted: “awareness is growing that you no longer have to compromise on taste to enjoy no-to-low proof cocktails.”
Martini & Rossi have used the same process in making Floreale and Vibrante as they do their other spirits. The alcohol is slowly removed from the wine and then, in Floreale, botanicals like Artemisia and Roman Chamomile are added to create a floral Aperitivo. The Vibrante is bright red in color and botanicals like Artemisia and Bergamot are added. This gives the drink a citrusy flavor.
Floreale and Vibrante can be enjoyed on their own, poured with soda water over ice or mixed as a mocktail. Recipes for a MARTINI & ROSSI® Non – Alcoholic Vibrante Spritz and a MARTINI & ROSSI® Non – Alcoholic Floreale Spritz can be found on the brand’s website.
I was able to sample these aperitivos, trying them both mixed with tonic water and served over ice. I found both to be light and flavorful. These aperitivos are sold in 750 ml. bottles and retail for $19.99 each. They can be purchased online and in select markets.