20 Best Alcohol-Free Drinks To Ring In The New Year

Consumers are increasingly enthusiastic about the spectrum of booze-free beverage options available to them. According to The Drinks Business, non-alcoholic beverage sales in 2021 are estimated at over $3 billion. The classic New Year's Eve celebration seems to go hand in hand with bottles of sparkling wine and excess alcohol consumption. And while it's great to celebrate and let loose once in a while, the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control report that binge drinking is unfortunately a common and potentially deadly issue.

Instead of spending hours upon hours downing boozy drinks, these alcohol-free ideas will keep your taste buds satisfied while you actually enjoy your evening (and remember it the next day!). Whether you alternate between drinks with and without alcohol throughout the night or choose to skip the booze as you start the new year, you won't regret it thanks to these flavor-packed options. Don't worry, there's much more on the menu than Coca-Cola and juice boxes!

1. Flavored sparkling water

Carbonated water has come a long way in the past few years according to Beverage Industry, and an increasing number of options are available for interested consumers. We all know about LaCroix and Bubly by now, and the two naturally flavored sugar-free sparkling waters receive their fair share of sales. However, the market is not limited to these millennial favorites, and brands such as Spindrift make delicious drinks that incorporate real fruit flavors.

Instead of sipping away at mildly flavored blends of exotic fruit (that don't include any actual fruit), Spindrift is a pleasant option that will keep your taste buds satisfied and your thirst quenched. For maximum effect, serve it in a tall glass with a slice of fruit, and if you're feeling the cocktail vibes, add some fresh herbs to top it off. Whether you're chugging it down as a palate cleanser between hard drinks or savoring it (and your hangover-free morning to come), you'll love the variety: pineapple, lime, cucumber, and orange mango are favorites.

2. Sparkling coconut water

Coconut water undoubtedly gives off tropical vibes, and if you're spending New Year's Eve anywhere cold, you'll certainly appreciate it. While it might not be as easy to source fresh young coconuts to hack open during your celebrations, plenty of canned and bottled versions are making a splash. Not only can you effortlessly enjoy pure coconut water, but some brands  even offer sparkling versions to add a fun boost.

Vita Coco's slogan "Good for feeling good" is an indication of how you'll wake up in the morning after downing a few of these drinks. The flavors aren't lacking, so you might as well buy a variety pack — we're sure you'll have to share. Raspberry lime, lemon ginger, and blood orange are just some of the flavors you can enjoy from Vita Coco. Aside from tasting like a beach holiday, coconut water even comes with important nutrients including magnesium. It's a great option to stay hydrated, so be sure to keep a stack of cans chilled.

3. Snazzy soda

Soda tends to get a bad rap no thanks to sugar-laden mass-produced beverages served across the country. However, Statista reports that regular consumption of soft drinks is on the decline, perhaps because there are countless new alternatives on the market nowadays. Dry Soda is not your average pop, and it comes in a number of gourmet flavors that are perfect for a night of celebrating. 

The drinks are devoid of sugar, caffeine, sodium, gluten, and, of course, alcohol. Yet, each type is distinct and labeled based on the flavor profile: aromatic, bright/herbal, and sweet/spicy. Talk about a snazzy soda to sip on guilt-free! Whereas classic sodas focus on sweetness, Dry Soda enhances bitterness by pairing fruity and herbal aromas to create the perfect balance of taste. The drinks are clear so serve them with a couple of ice cubes and a garnish to match the underlying flavors within.

4. Fancy tonic

If you're on board with bitter flavors, tonic water has been on the rise with no signs of stopping, according to CDN Newswire. While the quinine-infused beverage makes an excellent mixer for alcoholic drinks, most famously the classic gin and tonic, sipping it solo can satisfy many a palate. There's far more to tonic than meets the eye, and the flavor profile can vary from citrusy to floral, with different levels of bitterness. Options are vast, including light, diet, and flavored drinks, as well as Indian tonic which is sweeter.

Artisanal tonic makers can be found with varying ease, however, Fever Tree is a brand that is generally well-stocked across the country. The company makes a number of tonic waters including classic styles, herbal infusions, and fruit flavors. Try sparkling lime and yuzu for a citrus twist, or the aromatic tonic water for a sweet and spicy profile (plus it's pink!). Serve your tonic in a tall glass with ice and a wedge of lemon, and sip away.

5. Ginger beer

Although the name points to the fact that ginger beer used to contain alcohol, nowadays (for the most part), that is no longer the case. Nonetheless, since the drink is often made by fermentation, a residual ABV of around 0.5% can remain. Therefore, if you are on a strict zero alcohol path, you'll want to be sure to double-check the label. Unlike ginger ale, ginger beer has a spicy zesty kick — not for the fainthearted.

While the classic flavor profile is pure ginger, flavored options are also sold. Different brands will also have varying levels of piquant, so try a few ginger beers before picking a favorite. Sip as is, or serve it with lime juice and a mint garnish for an alcohol-free take on a Moscow Mule cocktail (don't forget the copper mugs). Alternatively, add a splash of fruit juice for a spritzy step up to celebrate.

6. Shirley Temple

Named after one of America's most famous child actors, the Shirley Temple is a mocktail you might be familiar with from your own childhood. According to Time, both the origin and contents of the drink are up for debate. The actress herself was never fond of her namesake drink, even filing lawsuits on the matter. In any case, the drink can be referred to as you please so start off by deciding how you'll mix it.

Some leeway is allowed, but grenadine and a maraschino cherry are irrefutable elements in a Shirley Temple. Time adds that the rest of the drink can be made up of ginger ale, lemon-lime soda, or even a combination with orange juice. There's definitely lots of room to experiment depending on whether you want a sweeter or subtler flavor profile. Why not add a splash of ginger beer or citrusy tonic to top it off?

7. Kombucha

Here's another fermented beverage with potential minor levels of alcohol, though generally commercial kombucha tea shouldn't exceed 0.5% ABV (via Healthline). (Keep in mind that if you're sampling someone's homemade brew, the alcohol content might be greater.) Kombucha is fermented, sweetened tea, and added flavors are also commonplace. It follows that kombucha generally contains caffeine, which can be considered a bonus depending on your plans for New Year's Eve. If you're concerned about sugar intake, be aware that kombucha can vary widely as far as how much of the sweet stuff is in it, so a quick label check is a good idea.

Bottled kombucha comes in a dazzling rainbow of colors and flavors, so you're sure to find something to your liking. Health-ade boasts tempting options including pomegranate, cayenne, and mint limeade. Serve it up in a wine glass and savor the refreshing variety of flavors. Although floating SCOBY (the bacteria and yeast at the heart of the drink) might look unappetizing for many, it actually contains plenty of probiotics that are beneficial for your gut, so drink up.  

8. Shrubs

You might not think so, but a vinegar based drink might become your new favorite non-alcoholic go-to. Shrubs have a syrupy consistency and are made up of vinegar, sugar, and fruit. Don't worry, white household vinegar isn't usually a contender in this context. Served with sparkling water, the resulting drink is refreshing, tangy, and sweet. Plus, you can make your own pretty easily which is a fun idea if you are hosting and want to customize a celebratory New Year drink for the evening.

If you're less inclined to start mixing up your own ingredients, a number of companies produce the concentrated syrup or a premixed beverage. For example, Small Barrel Shrub combines the syrup with both sparkling and coconut water for a ready to drink option. Meanwhile, Siren Shrub Co. makes sparkling shrubs or the concentrated versions that you can dilute to your liking. Try basil, maple ginger, or rhubarb shrubs topped with seltzer to get the party started! Just because you're skipping the shot, don't miss out on a fruity or herbal garnish to complete your drink.

9. Spiced hot apple cider

Warm party drinks are kind of a winter thing, so take advantage of New Year's Eve celebrations to mix up a new favorite. It will be especially popular if your festivities are taking place outdoors. Hot apple cider is a solid classic, but throw in a handful of spices and you'll take the drink up a notch in flavor. If you're looking for a foolproof way to serve the warm drink to all of your guests, try making it in a slow cooker. It will stay warm throughout the evening and people can easily help themselves.

There are plenty of ways to enhance the drink, but a few slices of citrus fruit should balance out the sweetness from the apples. For a tart take, add fresh cranberries or a splash of cranberry juice to the cider. Depending on the apple juice's sweetness level, you may want to add some brown sugar, honey, or maple syrup. Next, if you want to add a hint of spiciness, ginger should do the trick. Warm baking spices are also ideal for hot apple cider; if you'd put it in an apple pie, then it will likely taste amazing in your drink. If possible, avoid using ground spices — they'll alter the texture of the drink and won't impart as much flavor. Cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, star anise, allspice, and juniper berries are all great options.

10. Cordials

Avoid buying cordial from a liquor store shelf because it very likely contains alcohol. VinePair explains that for the most part, the terms "cordials" and "liqueurs" (Kahlúa and sambuca to name a couple) are interchangeable. However, in the United Kingdom cordials refer to sweet fruit-flavored drinks, comparable in concentration — not quality — to Kool-Aid, according to The Guardian.

If you've got a major sweet tooth then add a couple of ice cubes to a glass, top it up with a fruit cordial, and you're set. However, a lighter take might be more enjoyable and prevent a sudden sugar crash the second the clock hits midnight. Try a cordial with some sparkling water and fresh herbs for garnish. Although cordials are not yet widespread across the USA, seek out craft producers such as Liber & Co. The company makes cordial in Texas, and both their blood orange and grapefruit flavors are extra tempting. Or, if you're feeling creative, try one of BBC Good Food's cordial recipes and serve it as the base for your New Year's Eve drinks.

11. Mindful drinks

You might steer clear of alcohol (or want a change of pace), yet perhaps you'd still like to feel something beyond a sugar rush. An increasing number of beverages targeted at mood enhancement, increasing feelings of calm, and physiological benefits have been released on the market. Some of these drinks contain adaptogens, herbs and plants with medicinal properties. These are the type of additives you actually want in your canned drink.

Drinks like Droplet are packed up in cute pastel cans with names like Pretty Bright, and promise to reduce stress while heightening energy — not a bad way to ring in the new year! Meanwhile, Kin Euphorics include a combination of adaptogenic and nootropics which are intended to boost mental clarity and stimulate your senses. If you want to skip the hangover yet still enjoy a slight mind-altering beverage, Kin comes in a bright flashy can, making it the perfect arm candy for your New Year's Eve event.

12. CBD Drinks

Drinks made with CBD are certainly popular, and with good reason. The compound is found in cannabis — no it won't get you high — and has even been approved by the World Health Organization for a number of treatment purposes. Drinks infused with CBD are intended to be consumed recreationally, and you may benefit from a decrease in anxiety. According to Best Health, the drinks also help facilitate sleep so you might want to choose it as your nightcap. The source also points out that many CBD drinks also contain small amounts of THC, the active compound that is ingested when people smoke marijuana. If you'd rather just stick to CBD, be sure to check the labels for dose amounts.

Recess drinks are made with hemp extract which contains minimal THC, so the effects will leave you feeling calm, cool, and collected as per the label. Recess also combines some adaptogens into their drinks to enhance the benefits. As for flavors, you're in for a treat: Coconut lime, blackberry chai, and pomegranate hibiscus are among the options found in these monochrome pastel cans. Sip on these at your New Year's Eve event and you're sure to have a few curious people coming over for a chat.

13. Canned mocktails

The most basic way to enjoy an alcohol-free drink at a party where people are mixing up all sorts of cocktails is to have a mocktail. Well, why not skip the part of having to make your own drink by showing up with a canned version. If you've been a cocktail drinker in the past, or continue to enjoy the wide range of options, you'll probably have an idea of your preferred flavor profile. Whether you enjoy a bitter, sweet, sour, spicy, or salty drink, there is a mocktail out there for you.

Spirity Cocktails covers all the hits, including negronis, margaritas, and Moscow mules. Go ahead and pour your mocktail into a fancy glass for the full ritual. If you're celebrating the morning of New Year's Day, you can't go wrong with a can of Fauxmosa. The cans themselves are bright and stylish, but if you want to add an element of glamor then serve your drink in a flute glass. Made with fruit and grapes, these fun drinks come in far more than just orange juice flavor. Meanwhile, Lyre's specializes in non-alcoholic spirits which they use to make zero-proof versions of all of your favorite classic cocktails.

14. Non-alcoholic aperitivo

Italians (and increasingly Americans) love their aperitivo — the word for both a drink and the time set aside to enjoy it. Akin to a happy hour but distinctly its own thing, aperitivo is served a few hours before dinner and often consists of a bitter drink meant to whet the appetite. Depending on the establishment, you'll have free reign over a bowl of chips or perhaps even a mini charcuterie spread. While the ritual regularly involves an alcoholic drink, non-alcoholic versions of bitter drinks are easy substitutes.

Why not start off your New Year festivities with an aperitivo drink and snacks? Crodino is a bitter botanical drink that has been around since the '60s. If you're familiar with the bright orange hue of an Aperol Spritz, Crodino will look equally appealing in your glass. The company recommends serving it up in a wide wine glass with ice, garnished with orange. If you prefer less bitterness, try Martini Vibrante, an excellent non-alcoholic version of the classic vermouth. Serve it with some tonic water, ice, and a slice of orange and be sure to pair it with a bowl of chips.

15. Non-alcoholic botanical spirits

A non-alcoholic spirit might seem counterintuitive, but in fact, many liquors are made using a blend of plants and spices. Skip the actual fermentation aspect and you end up with a beverage that has all the familiar flavors of a spirit, minus the intoxication. If you're eager to cheer in the new year with the botanical flavors of a gin and tonic, Seedlip has you covered. Notes of citrus, fresh herbs, and spices make up the trio of flavors. Try them with your favorite tonic or sparkling water with a drizzle of cordial or shrubs to round out the flavors.

Meanwhile, Lumette focuses on gin-inspired non-alcoholic spirits, and even offers a spiced "LumRum" drink if you want to try something different. This might be the moment to break out a can of Coca-Cola, or else try an artisanal cola or ginger ale to highlight the subtleties of the drink. Be sure to serve it in a nice glass and add a garnish for a true cocktail experience. 

16. Non-alcoholic wine

For a long time, there were limited alcohol-free booze substitutes available and 0% ABV wine was among the easier choices to find. Although alcohol is an essential element that provides body and a pleasant mouthfeel, non-alcoholic wine has come a far way. If your New Year festivities include food, you'll definitely want to pair your favorite wine. Non-alcoholic wine is just regular wine with the alcohol removed. So whether you are fond of a bold red wine or oaky white, you can find exactly that.

Ariel Vineyards in California specializes in zero alcohol wines, which have even won awards for their quality. Sip on their Cabernet Sauvignon or Chardonnay depending on the main course, and your dining experience will be instantly enhanced. If you're more of a rosé all day kind of person, try Pierre Zéro wine from southern France. You'll easily be the last person standing with this fruity, fresh, and light alcohol-free rosé.

17. Non-alcoholic bubbly

If you want to clink glasses of bubbly with your friends and family at midnight, you'll definitely want to bring a bottle of non-alcoholic sparkling wine. While other drinks can be substituted throughout the night, bubbles as the clock strikes midnight is a fun tradition to uphold. Unlike some alcohol-free wines which lack the mouth-coating sensation provided by alcohol, bubbles help amplify the beverage such that it doesn't really feel like a compromise.

Thomson & Scott make a classic white and rosé organic sparkling wine, and it might take you a few glasses to realize it's actually alcohol-free. Unlike some options that taste like a fizzy sugar-laden soda, their "Noughty" wines are low in sugar and high in flavor. If you're a fan of Prosecco, Secco (aka Nosecco) by St. Regis is a lightly sweetened option you'll love. Be sure to chill your bubbles and serve them in Champagne flutes — they deserve the full treatment!

18. Non-alcoholic beer

No-nonsense drinkers will be happy with a simple non-alcoholic beer to ring in the new year. Most large, well-known breweries produce their own version, so if you're unsure about what to select, opt for a familiar brand as an easy choice. Heineken makes a 0.0% ABV beer following their classic technique and flavor profile. Meanwhile, Clausthaler is a German brewery that has been making award-winning zero-alcohol brews for the past 40 years. There's nothing lacking when it comes to their beer, which comes in original, dry-hopped, lemon, and grapefruit flavor if you're looking for variety.

From start to finish, non-alcoholic beer will take you through your New Year's Eve party. Pour it in a glass if you want an added element of classiness, otherwise, there's nothing like sipping on a cold beer straight from the bottle. For an easy drink that can be enjoyed with or without food, alcohol-free beer is an obvious choice.

19. Hopped tea

If you like tea but aren't as fond of the flavor or floaties in kombucha, you'll want to try hopped tea. The interests of both craft beer lovers and tea drinkers overlap with this unique beverage. Tea is basically brewed as if it were a craft beer, with specific combinations of hops and herbs used depending on the taste. If you've been a beer drinker and find non-alcoholic lagers too bland, you'll likely enjoy the pronounced hoppiness of these drinks.

Hoplark is one company that is making a splash in the hopped tea scene, but many others are equally on board. If you like bold, bitter, citrus, and floral fragrances, there's a Hoplark tea for you. Sold in tall cans, these carbonated drinks will be a refreshing accompaniment for your New Year's Eve events. Drink it out of the can for zero clean-up or serve it in a tulip glass to amplify the aromas. 

20. Party punch

Every celebration should have a big bowl of party punch. This time, skip the jungle juice kitchen sink version with liquor combinations that should never see the light of day, and instead, let yourself be inspired by fruit. BBC Good Food lists plenty of tempting ideas that incorporate lots of the non-alcoholic drink options we've selected. Since you're eliminating the alcohol, you won't have to worry about accidentally making an atrociously strong punch.

Look for blends that enhance each other, such as elderflower and mint or raspberry and basil. Combining a fruit juice with a tangy element such as a shrub, or an extra syrupy cordial sets up a layered foundation for the punch. Next, you'll want to incorporate some fresh fruit and herbs to bring out the flavors. Finally, bubbles are always a great addition, so top the rest off with some sparkling water to keep the sugar balanced. Serve your punch in a large bowl with a ladle and the party is on!