23 Premium Alcohol Alternatives, Ranked

There's so much more to the world of alcohol alternatives than nonalcoholic beer or bright pink, saccharine Shirley Temples. In recent years, many different types of complex, carefully-made nonalcoholic options have entered the market. You can find beverages like dealcoholized wine that try to closely mimic specific alcoholic drinks, but many of the new alcohol alternatives try to replicate the depth of flavor of quality alcohol while also coming up with entirely new taste experiences.

High-quality alcohol alternatives aren't only for sober people or dry January, either. Tasting Table spoke to Ben Branson, the founder of nonalcoholic spirits company Seedlip, and Nick Bodkins, the co-founder of the NYC-based premium alcohol alternative boutique Boisson, and both told us that the majority of their customers are people who drink alcohol but are looking for options for when they don't feel like drinking (or drinking as much). Branson said he has noticed a real attitudinal shift in the years since he first introduced his product, noting that more people are accepting of the idea of nonalcoholic drinks than ever before.

These premium alcohol alternatives don't come cheap. Like the craft cocktails and spirits they're based on, these beverages are made carefully using high-quality ingredients, and that level of craftsmanship is reflected in their price. If you're willing to shell out for them, however, some of them do taste truly incredible. We tried a lot of them and ranked them so you know which ones are worth seeking out.

23. SpritzIsh

Ish is a Danish maker of alcohol alternatives with a wide range of products. It sells non-alcoholic wines, spirits, and canned cocktails with names that all end in Ish: Château delIsh, RumIsh, etc.

SpritzIsh is a riff on an Aperol spritz, that classic combination of Italian herbal liqueur and sparkling wine. While Aperol lends a certain mild bitterness to a classic spritz, SpritzIsh leans into the bitterness, with quinine and gentian hitting that flavor note quite hard. The drink has a citrus taste as well, but, once again, it's more of a bitter citrus peel flavor than sweet citrus juice. It lacks the balance of a traditional spritz because of its emphasis on the bitter side of the equation.

Another odd thing about SpritzIsh is that it includes capsicum extract (aka hot chili pepper flavor), in an attempt to mimic the burn of alcohol. An Aperol spritz is a relatively low-alcohol beverage to begin with, so we're not looking for a burn from a spritz. The spiciness in this drink was pretty strange, and, combined with the bitterness, it made our mouth feel weird and gave us heartburn.

22. For Bitter For Worse The Saskatoon

For Bitter For Worse is a company that makes three different bottled cocktails. The Saskatoon was the one we liked least out of the three, though it was quite interesting. The description on the website name-checks negronis, but, to our palate, the Saskatoon didn't seem like it was trying too hard to replicate any existing beverage. We enjoyed the originality, but, taste-wise, The Saskatoon didn't resonate with us.

The Saskatoon is made with saskatoon berries, a native North American fruit that looks like a blueberry but tastes kind of nutty. The drink also contains citrus, grape juice concentrate, a variety of herbs and spices, and Douglas fir needles.

The smell of The Saskatoon promises berry flavors, but the taste was surprisingly bland. It was neither sweet nor tart, and the most prominent flavor note was a kind of tannic bitterness. It felt quite dry in the mouth and finished with a black pepper kick. Without sweetness to back them up, the bitter and spicy flavors felt out of place.

21. Giesen sauvignon blanc

According to a Tasting Table interview with Nick Bodkins, the co-founder of zero-alcohol drink store Boisson, dealcoholized wine is made by putting regular wine in a vacuum. In a vacuum, wine boils at room temperature, so the alcohol in the wine boils away. Strangely, the dealcoholized sauvignon blanc seems to not be on New Zealand winemaker Giesen's website, but, according to the company's description of its zero-alcohol pinot gris, it uses a special process that first separates the wine's aroma before the alcohol is removed. The aromatic compounds are then added back to the wine, along with a little bit of grape juice.

This sauvignon blanc wasn't our favorite non-alcoholic wine. It did taste like white wine, but it reminded us of a budget bottle. It also had the off-taste we associate with leaving an open bottle of white wine in the fridge for too long. The wine was exceptionally dry, but other than that it didn't have a very strong flavor. We could taste a mild hint of grape juice, but we wanted more fruit from this bottle.

20. GinIsh and Tonic

The second offering from Ish was definitely an improvement over SpritzIsh. It contains quinine, but not enough to make it overwhelmingly bitter. Its smell reminded us of acetone, but not in an unpleasant way.

Flavor-wise, at first sip, it mostly tasted like tonic water but less sweet. The second flavor we noticed was citrus, particularly lime juice (though per Ish's site the product contains no actual lime juice). As the drink warmed up slightly, we were able to pick up more of the herbal notes of gin, most prominently the evergreen taste of juniper.

Overall, GinIsh and Tonic was a light, refreshing summer sipper. However, there was one aspect of the drink we didn't enjoy: Like SpritzIsh, it has capsicum extract in it. We like spicy food, but something about the capsicum in this context didn't work for us. The burn only intensified over time, and it was a struggle to finish the whole can.

19. For Bitter For Worse Smokey No. 56

For Bitter For Worse Smokey No. 56 is marketed as a good option for people who like whiskey. It's made with lapsang souchong tea, a type of smoked black tea. Presumably, the smokiness of the tea is a nod towards whiskey, which is usually aged in charred wooden barrels. Maple syrup is another main flavor component of this drink. The maple could help replicate the caramel-like sweetness of some whiskeys.

Smokey No. 56 doesn't taste anything like whiskey. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but if that's what you're looking for, you might be disappointed. The most predominant flavor is the smoke from the lapsang souchong. Behind that, maple syrup, fig concentrate, and apple cider vinegar make their presences known. The vinegar gives this beverage a little bit of a shrub vibe. In the aftertaste, you get a little bit of herbal bitterness and spice. It tastes like there might be black pepper or cayenne in this, though the ingredients label just says "spices."

The closest thing we can compare this drink to is mulled cider, but it's unlike anything we've ever tasted. It's not shy about bringing bold flavors, but we're not sure if all the competing tastes harmonize well.

18. DaiquirIsh

The final canned cocktail we tried from Ish was DaiquirIsh. This drink is intended to mimic the classic original daiquiri, a simple blend of rum, lime juice, and simple syrup. Of all the Ish drinks, this one was the closest to its inspiration, and also our favorite.

Mercifully, DaiquirIsh did not contain any capsaicin. Instead, it actually had rum flavoring in it. Drinking something nonalcoholic that tasted like rum was kind of odd, but not entirely unpleasant. To be clear, it tasted more like the rum extract you would find in rum raisin ice cream than like real rum, but it did add to the daiquiri vibes.

There's no lime juice in this one, but there is lime flavoring. You get some floral lime peel flavor, which is nice. Overall, it tastes like a thick, syrupy limeade with a hint of rum. Ish recommends splitting one can into two cocktails, which seems like a good idea. We found this tasted better when poured over ice, as the cold temperatures and dilution helped temper the sweetness.

17. Apothékary Stop Your Wine-ing

This powder with a punny name is marketed as an alcohol-free way to unwind. Its manufacturer says that it's made with ingredients that will relax you and ease your anxiety. Unlike most of the products on this list, Stop Your Wine-ing comes with some health warnings: The description on the website hints that the product may have a sedative effect in large doses, and it's not safe to drink if you're pregnant. Its active ingredients include motherwort, açaí, aronia berries, and jujube dates.

The ingredients in this may pack a kick if you drink a lot of it, but we didn't notice any tiredness from consuming the recommended dose. Apothékary recommends mixing it with warm milk, warm water, or fruit juice if you're looking for something more wine-like in flavor. The powder has a slightly gritty texture and doesn't dissolve super easily, so we would recommend using some kind of hot liquid if you don't want a powdery beverage.

When drunk with hot water, Stop Your Wine-ing seemed a lot more like tea than wine. It had some fruity notes in the aroma, but it also smelled like matcha. The flavor was even more tea-like than the smell, with an earthiness that reminded us of wood. It had a little bit of tartness in the aftertaste. It became progressively grittier as we approached the bottom of our cup. It was overall pleasant and relaxing but didn't scratch the same itch as wine.

16. Curious No. 6

Curious Elixirs makes a range of alcohol-free pre-mixed cocktails from No. 1 to No. 7. The drinks are made with adaptogenic ingredients that the company claims can aid in relaxation. The brand's No. 6 blend is clearly a tiki-inspired concoction. It's based on a Painkiller, which is a tiki drink made with pineapple juice, orange juice, cream of coconut, rum, and nutmeg, per Liquor.com. The No. 6 is made with all those ingredients (minus the rum, of course), plus oat milk, lemon balm, aloe, and neroli. Because of the last two ingredients, No. 6 is not safe for pregnant or lactating people.

With all of those strong-tasting ingredients, you'd expect Curious No. 6 to be a pretty intense flavor experience, but it's surprisingly muted. The creaminess from the oat milk and coconut cream may counteract the sharpness of the pineapple and citrus juice. No. 6 is tasty and well-balanced, but it does feel like it's missing something. Perhaps this is sacrilegious in an article about alcohol alternatives, but rum would really wake it up.

15. All the Bitter New Orleans Style Bitters

You wouldn't necessarily think about it since they're used in such small quantities in drinks, but traditional bitters are actually quite alcoholic. The two most popular kinds of bitters, Angostura and Peychaud's, are 89.4 and 70 proof, respectively (via Vinepair). That means that if you are committed to mixing 100% alcohol-free drinks, you need alternative bitters with no booze.

This is where All the Bitter comes in. The company makes three different types of nonalcoholic bitters. The one we sampled, New Orleans Style, seems to be modeled after Peychaud's, which was first sold in New Orleans. Like Peychaud's, its main flavor components are cherry and anise.

You get a lot of cherry in its aroma, but less in the flavor. The taste is anise-forward, with a savory complexity that reminded us of five-spice-scented Chinese food. There is a hint of bitterness in the aftertaste. All the Bitter is less strong than most alcoholic bitters we've tried. We tasted it in some plain seltzer and ended up putting about a dozen drops in our glass to get the full flavor. If we tried the same thing with Peychaud's, it would have been hard to drink the results.

14. Three Spirit Nightcap

Three Spirit makes beverages with ingredients that the company describes as nootropic and adaptogenic. The drinks are supposed to enhance your mood, and each one is designed to affect you differently. Nightcap is supposed to relax you before bed. We didn't really notice any effect on our moods from any of Three Spirit's products, so we will evaluate them solely on flavor.

Nightcap is the only Three Spirit product that the company recommends drinking by itself on the rocks. It has valerian in it, which, according to WebMD, has sedative properties. The aroma of hops dominated this drink's smell. The first thing you notice in the flavor is dark maple syrup. It's also pretty spicy, which could be from the ginger, black pepper, and Sichuan peppercorns in the recipe. There is some bitterness, but it's not overwhelming.

Other than maple syrup and spice, the most dominant flavor in this is a kind of earthy woodiness. It's quite thick and syrupy, so you might want to dilute it a bit. It tasted good, but we thought other Three Spirit drinks were better and more balanced.

13. Seedlip Garden 108

Unlike many spirit alternatives, which are made by infusing ingredients in liquid, Seedlip is distilled, just like a normal spirit. Except, with Seedlip, distillation is used to remove alcohol rather than concentrate it. As founder Ben Branson explained in an interview with Tasting Table, Seedlip is made by soaking botanicals in alcohol to extract their flavor. Then, the infusions are distilled to separate the flavor compounds from the alcohol. Each botanical is extracted individually, and then the distillates are blended and diluted with water to make the finished beverage.

Seedlip Garden 108's dominant flavor is sweet pea. On its own, it smells like a cleaning solvent. The flavor is very intense. It tastes like peas without any sweetness, which is quite a strange experience. There's also a strong note of hay, which adds to the garden flavor. It's quite evocative of the outdoors, but not great on its own.

Mixed with tonic, it becomes a different experience entirely. The sugar in the tonic adds the sweetness missing from the pea flavor, and the combination of Garden 108 and tonic creates a cucumber-like aroma and taste. It's reminiscent of a gin and tonic made with an eccentric boutique gin. The flavor of the Seedlip is rather delicate, so you have to use more than you would use in a regular gin and tonic to get the full flavor experience.

12. Three Spirit Livener

Livener, as the name suggests, is supposed to perk you up. Three Spirit says it's a good drink for parties. It contains some caffeine from guayusa, also known as Amazonian holly, so it should actually give you a little bit of energy. The company claims that the drink's schisandra berries should also contribute a mild euphoric effect. We drank this right before bed and fell asleep normally, but, to be fair, we didn't drink very much.

Three Spirit recommends that you mix this with tonic, and we agree. On its own, Livener is incredibly intense. It has notes of red fruits like berries and plums. There's a little bit of acid to balance the sweetness and a fair amount of heat from a dash of pepper. We could detect a little bit of vinegar as well.

Mixed with a tonic, it turned into a yummy spritz-like beverage. The acid from the Livener neutralizes the tonic's bitterness, leaving you with something sweet, fruity, and delicious. The one thing we weren't huge fans of was the amount of heat. It became less intense once we mixed the Livener with tonic, but it still burned on the way down in a way we didn't love.

11. Thomson & Scott Noughty

We found this "Noughty" sparkling rosé to be much more successful than the Giesen sauvignon blanc. It delivered a much more intense and nuanced flavor than that zero-alcohol white did.

The Noughty had a nice amount of carbonation and a pleasant level of sweetness: Enough to taste fruity, but not enough to be syrupy. The sweetness was accompanied by hints of tartness and dryness. We also detected a distinct mineral flavor that reminded us of a high-quality traditional (that is, alcoholic) rosé. It's made from organic tempranillo grapes. One benefit of this nonalcoholic rosé is that it has significantly less sugar than a rosé with alcohol.

This wine is delicious, but you can definitely tell it's nonalcoholic. Without the burn we would expect from booze, it reminded us a little bit of Martinelli's sparkling cider or sparkling grape juice. However, this didn't diminish our enjoyment of it too much.

10. De Soi Golden Hour

De Soi is a line of carbonated nonalcoholic aperitifs from Katy Perry and Morgan McLachlan. As with many of the drinks we tested, De Soi is made with supposedly nootropic ingredients that are intended to affect your brain and mood in various ways. Also, like other drinks on this list, the nootropics didn't seem to do anything to us, though your results may vary.

Golden Hour is the thickest and most full-bodied drink in De Soi's lineup, probably because it's made with pear juice concentrate. Other than pear, the thing you taste the most in it is tea. It contains several tea extracts, including earl gray, chamomile, and green tea. It's one of the sweetest drinks we tried for this test, though that doesn't mean it's not complex. The blend of tea and herbal extracts gave this a nuanced flavor. However, we would have liked Golden Hour more if it had a little more acidity to counter the sweetness.

9. St. Agrestis Phony Negroni

As its name suggests, the St. Agrestis Phony Negroni is supposed to replicate the classic mix of gin, Campari, and vermouth without alcohol. Unlike many of the manufacturers of alcohol alternatives, St. Agrestis primarily sells alcoholic beverages. The company offers alcoholic pre-mixed negronis and a variety of bitter amaros.

The manufacturer's negroni expertise is evident in the flavor of the Phony Negroni. It strikes the right balance between hitting the flavor notes you expect from its namesake drink and being a tasty beverage in its own right. It lacks the intense bitterness and sharp gin bite of a traditional negroni, instead of balancing its bitter herbal elements with sweetness. It's also carbonated, unlike a classic negroni. Because of the sweetness and carbonation, it tasted more like an aperol spritz than a negroni, which we didn't mind at all. The Phony Negroni had notes of fresh citrus, quinine-like bitterness, lemon-lime soda, and maraschino cherry. It was delightful and refreshing and would be a great summer day beverage.

8. Three Spirit Social Elixir

Social Elixir is supposed to make you feel happy and ready to socialize. Per Three Spirit, the cacao in Social Elixir should lift your mood. Lion's mane mushroom is added for its claimed nootropic, focus-enhancing benefits. Intriguingly, Social Elixir also contains damiana, which Three Spirit says is a natural aphrodisiac.

This beverage pairs well with ginger ale. On its own, it has a very strong but not unpleasant flavor. However, it's so thick and syrupy that it's much better when thinned out. Social Elixir has an intense dried fruit flavor. It tastes and smells like a blend of dates, prunes, and raisins. You get a little bit of herbal bitterness, but not much.

After we diluted Social Elixir with ginger ale, it became significantly less raisiny in flavor. It turned into some kind of mixed-fruit soda, almost like an artisanal Dr. Pepper. We also noticed a vanilla-like flavor. It was quite tasty.

7. Ghia

Ghia is an alcohol-free aperitif. Of all the beverages we tried for this test, it tasted the most like an actual amaro or herbal liqueur. It contains grape juice concentrate for sweetness, gentian for bitterness, fig, elderflower, lemon balm, orange peel, and several other botanicals.

Even though the ingredients list doesn't mention grapefruit, Ghia tasted very much like bitter grapefruit to us. It was probably the mixture of orange peel extract and bitter herbs that combined to give us the grapefruit flavor. We followed the directions on the bottle and mixed it with some plain soda water. Although we had trouble with some of the assertively bitter drinks on this list, Ghia managed to be compelling even though its dominant flavor note was bitterness.

We didn't notice much sweetness in Ghia, but there was a hint of something that reminded us of bubblegum. Overall, the tasting experience felt classy and refined.

6. Seedlip Spice 94

This flavor of Seedlip is made with allspice, cardamom, and oak. According to Seedlip founder Ben Branson, spice is supposed to fill the role of smokier, more robust spirits like whiskey or mezcal (though without directly mimicking the flavor of any existing spirit). On its own, it smells almost exactly like hot cinnamon candy. The flavor can't match the intensity of the aroma, though. It tastes very diluted, with a mild hint of cinnamon. We also detected some hints of smoke and tree bark. The woodier aspects of the flavor reminded us of a peaty Scotch whisky. There's an eggnog recipe using Spice 94 on Seedlip's website, which we think would taste nice with this spirit's smokey, woody flavor.

Seedlip recommends mixing Spice 94 with ginger ale, which is a good call. The savoriness of the Seedlip counteracts the sweetness of the ginger ale, giving you something more intriguing and adult-tasting. You get a lot more of the oak flavor when you add ginger ale. The soda also unlocks a little bit of peppery bite that's quite pleasing.

5. De Soi Purple Lune

This was one of the prettiest drinks we tried. It had a lovely ruddy purple hue when poured into a glass. Its flavor was almost wine-like, though not to the same extent as the dealcoholized wines we sampled. Purple Lune was unabashedly fruity, with peaches, blackberries, black currants, and tart cherries all contributing their unique essences to the party. It also included fig syrup for extra sweetness, which gave it a little bit of dried fruit complexity. Balsamic vinegar added some much-appreciated tartness.

The aroma of Purple Lune is almost perfume-like. The drink contains some rose petal extract, which comes through much stronger in the nose than on the tongue. It also has some myrrh, another ingredient that's often used in fragrances (via WebMD). Purple Lune is a great example of how to make a beverage that tastes sophisticated and "adult" while still being sweet and easy to drink. It avoids the trap that some drinks on this list fall into of using so many botanicals that the result tastes medicinal.

4. Leite Zero Point Five

Of all the dealcoholized wines we tried, Leite Zero Point Five pinot noir was the most like its alcoholic brethren. It had the robust red fruit notes you would expect from red wine, and it stood up well as an accompaniment to a hearty meal.

Zero Point Five comes from grapes grown in Southern Germany. When we started drinking it, it was slightly chilled, which emphasized the juicy and sweet aspects of its flavor. When cold, it tasted a little bit like mixed berries (though it still wasn't overly sweet).

As it came up closer to room temperature, the more complex, savory characteristics of this wine began to show themselves. We started to pick up tannins and acid. We still noticed the absence of alcohol, but in all other ways, Zero Point Five tasted like pinot (and a pretty nice one at that). After trying a glass, we used the rest of the bottle to make a red wine reduction sauce for lamb, and, in that context, it was indistinguishable from any other decent red wine.

3. De Soi Champignon Dreams

Champignon may be the French word for "mushroom," but if you're worried that Champignon Dreams is going to taste like fungus, rest easy. Instead, it's yet another spritz riff. It does contain reishi mushroom powder for its purported health benefits, but we couldn't taste the shrooms at all.

You'd think at this point we'd be tired of the endless variations on aperol spritzes we've tried. However, we're big fans of that drink and were happy to sample so many tasty takes on its formula. This one was lovely and perfectly balanced, with strawberry, apricot, and black currant juices lending a natural fruity sweetness to the beverage. Bitterness came from grapefruit juice and extract as well as juniper and gentian root.

We thought Champignon Dreams would take the battle of the spritzes, but it ended up placing second to another drink that had a little bit more of a unique character. It was a tough competition, and we would happily drink Champignon Dreams any day.

2. Seedlip Grove 42

Seedlip Grove 42 is a citrus-flavored version of this brand of nonalcoholic spirit. It smells strongly of orange peel. Sipped on its own, it has a surprisingly mild flavor. It tastes pretty watery, with just a hint of citrus taste. You also get a distant hint of ripe tropical fruit. This spirit is best when used as an ingredient in a cocktail rather than just quaffed straight-up.

Strangely, once we added tonic, we were able to taste the Seedlip itself much more intensely. The citrus flavors suddenly became full-bodied and juicy. The tonic itself faded into the background and merely acted as a vehicle for the flavor of the Grove 42.

Grove 42 and tonic tasted like the fanciest orange soda you could imagine. It was sweet, but not too sweet, and had the complex flavor of citrus peel. The tropical fruit notes were enhanced, and they had a slightly floral quality as well. It smelled almost exactly like orange cream soda.

1. For Bitter For Worse Eva's Spritz

This was our favorite For Bitter For Worse bottle. Eva's Spritz is another aperol spritz riff, but it's not trying too hard to be a dead ringer for its inspiration, which works in its favor. Instead, it replicates the experience of an aperol spritz: light, fruity, and fun.

Eva's Spritz is a carbonated beverage infused with a variety of different fruit and herbal flavors. The aroma leans hard into herbal and sour notes, but the taste is a lot friendlier and sweeter. The dominant taste is rhubarb, which lends a lovely tartness and a nice bright color to the drink. Orange and hibiscus contribute more sourness and fruitiness, and white grape juice adds just the right amount of sweetness. There's some bitterness from gentian, but not enough to overwhelm the delicate balance of the fruity flavors.

We appreciated that this drink was made with real juices and botanicals instead of extracts. It tasted fresh and natural, and all the flavors worked together well. It was the best of all the spritzes and the best thing we tasted.