I Spent the Summer Trying Non-Alcoholic Drinks. Here Are My Reviews.

My reviews of some popular non-alcoholic beverages are finally in.

non-alcholic drink reviews blogilates feature imageIf you haven’t been following along, it all started sometime this summer, when we noticed that non-alcoholic beverage brands were suddenly everywhere. Well, I hadn’t actually noticed yet, but all it took was one message in the Blogifam group chat for the algorithm to flood me with the most aesthetic ads I think I’ve ever seen. The marketing is GOOD.

First I wanted to know why the non-alcoholic market was suddenly booming. Are we on a health kick? Is this yet another effect of COVID? So I did a little research (read: I watched A LOT of TikToks) and interviewed someone who embarked and continued on her own sober curiosity journey this year.

As I was writing that article, I started sampling some of the brands I kept seeing on TikTok and IG. It felt neverending – not in a bad way, there are just SO MANY and I had no idea.

And that brings me to my first point – This is in no way an extensive list of all the brands out there, and I’ll probably continue to explore. So if you don’t see your favorite bevvie on this list, let me know in the comments!

Here are the non-alcoholic drinks I tried, and my honest opinions.

 

*This post may contain referral links for products we love, and all opinions are our own. Blogilates.com earns a small commission from these links, at no additional cost to you.

vybes non-alcoholic drinks cbd beverage

1. Vybes CBD Drinks

I have to be honest. I didn’t understand the “point” of non-alcoholic drinks at first. My first thought was, “why not just drink a kombucha or Sprite or something?”

I get it now.

Vybes was the first beverage I tried that contains CBD. These specifically contain CBD isolate, a pure form of CBD that doesn’t contain THC. In other words, this won’t get you high. It may help with stress, anxiety, and concentration though. Research is still pretty fresh to say for sure.

My experience? I definitely felt like it took the “edge” off. And there WAS an edge that day (and pretty much every day for me, while I’m being honest). It wasn’t life-changing and there’s a chance it was a placebo effect, but I’d still drink these even if I felt “nothing,” because the flavors are so good.

My sample box had:

  • Watermelon Lime (hands down my favorite)
  • Blueberry Mint
  • Strawberry Lavender
  • Passionfruit Pineapple
  • Blood Orange Lime (2nd favorite – maybe I’m just really into lime?)
  • Peach Ginger

 

There wasn’t a single flavor I didn’t like, and I’m still thinking about the Watermelon Lime 😍. The only small issue is the price point – these run around $6-7 per bottle. I’d buy them again, but an aesthetically pleasing fridge constantly stocked with these will probably only live in my dreams.

Good news though! You can use code BLOGILATES20 for 20 percent off your first Vybes order.

kin euphorics best non-alcoholic drink

2. Kin Euphorics

Founded by Bella Hadid and Jen Batchelor, Kin Euphorics seems to be one of the most well-known alcohol alternative brands. Kin is described as a “daily brain care ritual” designed to “set your mind free.” The intention is to replace the social ritual of drinking with self-care.

Are we seeing a trend here? We still want to feel GOOD, but without the icky consequences of alcohol, like hangovers that take us out for days on end and alcohol-induced anxiety.

Kin uses nootropics and adaptogens get you there. “Nootropics” is just an umbrella term for something you ingest to improve your mental performance. Coffee and CBD are examples of a couple you’re likely familiar with.

Adaptogens are natural substances (usually mushrooms and plants) that help your body “adapt” to stress. So instead of spiraling, you’ll find it easier to regulate. If you’re wondering – no, these don’t get you high either 😉

I tried Kin Spritz, which is meant to provide “social energy.” It contains caffeine (50mg), and a proprietary blend consisting of:

GABA – Neurotransmitter that “slows down” your brain. We need more research to say for sure if this is effective as a supplement
5-HTP – Amino acid used to produce serotonin
Citicoline – Also known as CDP-choline, taken as a supplement to improve brain function
L-Theanine – Amino acid found in tea that reduces stress and anxiety
L-Tyrosine – Amino acid needed to produce neurotransmitters for stress and sleep.
Rhodiola Rosea – Herb used to treat anxiety, fatigue, and depression.

I liked the taste! It was somewhere between a sparkling water and an energy drink. I like that it doesn’t contain stevia – I just don’t love the taste.

I drank this before I sat down to work, and I definitely felt focused and like I’d just had a cup of coffee. Not jittery, just refreshed.

I also tried Lightwave, which helps “mellow your mind.” This one is caffeine-free! It contains reishi mushrooms, L-Theanine, L-Tryptophan, and magnesium glycinate.

I tried this one in the evening because I was afraid it would make me sleepy. I didn’t notice much change really – maybe because I was already winding down for the night?Plus I don’t have any issues with relaxing and falling asleep at night, but if you do, maybe this could help!

3. Lyre’s

Lyre’s was the first non-alcoholic beverage brand I tried. I opted to to try the canned beverages, which are meant to mimic spritz-type cocktail. Sounds delish, right?

Sadly, I didn’t love them. They were much sweeter than Kin and the taste really reminded me of an energy drink. However, these don’t contain any kind of adaptogen or nootropic. So if you’re looking to avoid those ingredients, this may be worth a shot! For me, it brought up the question I had in the very beginning: Why not just drink a Sprite?

I’m not writing Lyre’s off completely though! They have a TON of other products that seem more “for me,” especially after trying some other types of non-alcoholic brands after I sampled these. For example, I have my eye on the coffee liqueur  👀

4. Recess

I’m not a huge sparkling water fan (sorry La Croix fans), so I went into this knowing it wouldn’t be my favorite. AND THEN I added Recess to a mocktail recipe I tried on this journey, and wow. It was the perfect addition. You’ll see which one in a few scrolls 😉

Like some of the other non-alcoholic drinks on this list, Recess contains functional ingredients to “balance” and “lift your mood.” I tried a sampler pack of the cans with broad spectrum hemp extract, American ginseng, L-theanine, and lemon balm. These are meant to give you calm and clarity, according to the can.

The Mood lineup has a slightly different functional ingredient list, with magnesium L-threonate, L-theanine, and lemon balm “for brighter days.”

There are a lot of fun flavor options like coconut lime, pomegranate hibiscus, and blackberry chai (my favorite). Nutrition-wise, each can has 20-ish calories, and no added sugar. Many flavors use monk fruit extract to sweeten, but I found this hardly noticeable.

The added functional ingredients do come with a price – these run around $4-5 per can in my area.

ritual non-alcoholic whiskey rum gin tequila5. Ritual

So the pretty drinks with adaptogens, nootropics and CBD to help us focus and calm us the F down make sense. But my mind was actually *blown* when I learned that zero-proof liquor exists.

Non-alcoholic…spirits? Like tequila?

YES. And more. When I reached out to Ritual Zero Proof to learn about this, not only did they offer an interview with their founder, Marcus Sakey, but they sent me all four of their zero-proof spirits to try: Whiskey, tequila, gin, and rum.

…and that’s when I became a mixologist overnight. Not even kidding, I RAN to Amazon and purchased giant ice cube trays and pretty glasses. I skipped the cocktail shaker for now.

Before even taking a single sip of these non-alcoholic spirits, I rated the experience a 10/10.

Ritual Tequila Alternative

I decided to make a paloma with the zero-proof tequila. I used a variation of the recipe from their website:

– 2 oz Ritual Tequila Alternative
– Juice of 1/2 lime
– 2 oz fresh grapefruit juice
– 2 oz sparkling water (I actually used Recess Blood Orange here!)
– Tajín for the rim of the glass

I’ll for sure be making this again. It was refreshing, and the tequila alternative gave the drink some depth without the “alcohol” taste. It somehow still gave me a warm feeling like alcohol does.

Ritual Whiskey Alternative

I tried this one straight out of the bottle. Don’t ask me why. I hadn’t tried any of the non-alcoholic spirits yet, so I guess I was just feeling impatient.

Big mistake. Huge.

I’m not saying regular whiskey smells GOOD, but somehow the smell of this almost knocked me out, even without alcohol. The taste was not for me. It’s too smokey, and potent in every way. I’ll give it another chance one day in a cocktail.

Ritual Gin Alternative

I used this to make The Bees Knees, a recipe I found on the Ritual website.

2 oz Gin Alternative
1 oz fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp honey simple syrup

I improvised my own honey simple syrup and then topped this with sparkling water. This was another winner that I would definitely drink again.

Like the paloma, it gave me the familiar warm feeling of an actual cocktail. To be honest, I’m not sure I’ve ever had regular gin in my life, so I can’t speak to how similar this tastes to the real thing.

Ritual Rum Alternative

I kept this one simple and mixed together a quick mojito, which is just Rum Alternative, soda water, mint, and lime juice. This one was good too. Looking back, a piña colada would have been the move for this one. I’ll try that soon.

Overall, I loved the Ritual products. I didn’t understand them until I actually experienced how they take a mocktail from tasting like juice to something that truly reminds me of a cocktail. The drink recipes on their website are endless too.

All of the Ritual products are low-calorie (5 calories or less per serving), and low sugar (2 grams or less per serving). There are no artificial sweeteners or flavors. Each bottle runs around $30, but it seems like it would go a long way.

monday zero proof alcohol alternative whiskey mule6. Monday

On its own, Monday zero proof whiskey smelled MUCH better than Ritual. It’s actually what made me realize that trying these straight was probably a mistake. I had saved this one for last because I was afraid of what I might have to drink… which makes my experience with this one even better.

Monday actually sent me a cocktail kit, including the zero proof whiskey, a few mixers, and a recipe card with mocktail inspo (this would make a beautiful gift, btw!). I followed the recipe on the card to make a Whiskey Mule – if you’ve never made one (me too, before this experiment), it’s just whiskey, ginger beer, and lime.

My rating? 10/10.

I could sip on this daily.

athletic brewing non-alcoholic beer zero proof

7. Athletic Brewing

I’m not a beer drinker so I recruited one of my husband’s friends who IS to help me out with this one. We tried Upside Dawn from Athletic Brewing, which I understand is their version of a golden ale.

His review was literally two thumbs up emojis (👍🏼👍🏼), which may not sound like a big deal, but just trust me when I say it is. He’s a tough critic when it comes to food and drinks.

I did try it myself of course, and it tasted like beer. That’s really all I can say since I’m not a beer drinker, but I guess that’s a good thing? I didn’t hate the flavor and I found myself sipping on it without forcing it (not something I can say about most beer 😉).

Did this review make any sense? YES you should try Athletic Brewing.

They have 45 calories per can, and I grabbed a 6-pack for around $10.

hop wtr non-alcoholic drink review

8. HOP WTR

Another fun non-alcoholic beer alternative!

I’d describe HOP WTR as a cross between light beer and sparkling water. Maybe that sounds gross? I promise it’s not. I liked the different flavors, but they were subtle. If you’re a beer connoisseur (I am not), the website describes the classic flavor as “crisp, citrusy, and piney.”

This contains actual hops (again, a very subtle flavor), plus L-Theanine and ashwagandha to boost brain function and stress management.

Basically if you’re someone who likes beer because it’s easy to sip on, this is a good option that won’t get you drunk but WILL hydrate you… and maybe help you chill out a little.

Where is the WINE?!

Did I drop the ball here?! UGH maybe. After reading reviews and speaking with people for their input, the consensus is that finding a good non-alcoholic wine is difficult. They either taste like sparkling grapefruit juice like we drank on NYE when we were 12, or they’re just…not good.

Decision paralysis got me here. I should still try some, right? If you have a fave, LMK in the comments.

breanna woods ms rd dietitian signature

22 thoughts on “I Spent the Summer Trying Non-Alcoholic Drinks. Here Are My Reviews.”

There are 22 comments posted by our users.

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  1. Molly says:

    Curious Elixers makes a champagne cocktail blend that is actually super good- and tastes like actual wine a bit. Low sugar too which I always go for

  2. Katie says:

    I absolutely love your feedback. Exactly what I was searching for. Thank you so much. It’s very difficult for me because I am a wine drinker. It would be a GameChanger to find such a treasure as non alcoholic delicious wine.

  3. Neil Doyle says:

    Thank you for doing this. I just ordered some nonalcoholic rums and then decided to go looking at reviews. Silly me. I didn’t however find a nonalcoholic rye which is my favorite drink at the site I used. Before I go looking again if you or anyone reading this knows a good one please let me know. Sure it’s a kind of whisky, but it’s different than bourbon which is all they had.

  4. Anna says:

    Great article. NA wine deinitely recomment treading softly everything except pinot grgio.

    1. Pam! says:

      Hi! “Except Pinot Grigio”. So Pinot Grigio was good? Not clear by how you said it. Specific brand?

  5. MJ says:

    This review is just what I was looking for! Thanks so much!

  6. Sharlene Pantic says:

    So, which one was your favorite?

  7. Eric says:

    Oh, I also discovered Athletic Brewing Company, several years ago, and it’s now the only beer that I drink. I usually drink beer in the afternoon or before dinner, and I really don’t desire any alcohol in it. This beer is delicious and hits the spot.

  8. Eric says:

    Hello, great review!

    Like you, I went ahead and bought six different whiskey alternatives, and found that the Monday was by far the best, and this is now all I drink (in my glass right now!). The 74 was also pretty good. The other four, that I won’t name, were either not worth drinking, or downright nasty.

    Now I have ordered a bunch of red wine alternatives, and the only one that I have found that’s worth drinking is the Lussory, which is a Trempanillo wine from Spain, similar to a Rioja, with the alcohol removed. It’s not quite like red wine, but it’s a step above grape juice. With one or two drops of capsaicin, it’s pretty darn nice. All the other ones that I have tried, again that I will not name, were either glorified, grape juices, or wine imitations that really did not taste like wine at all.

  9. Liz says:

    Athletic brewing’s wide variety is my husbands go to. He loves the chelada nada, basically their take on a Michelada. Corona just started selling non alcohol beer in the US this year and it’s delicious if you like Corona. Heineken zero is also delicious. I love Hiyo for more of a cocktail or spritz type of beverage, they too have adaptogens and taste great! We just found Recess and are also pleased with the variety pack which was a watermelon mojito, margarita, mule and Paloma! Just ordered a variety pack of wines, hoping for a better outcome than what you’ve heard about wines… fingers crossed!

  10. Helena says:

    Have you heard of the brand Trip? They have a variety of non-alcoholic CBD infused cans that you can choose from based on what ‘mood’ you want to be in! E.g. energetic, chill etc. I’ve never tried them but really want to know if the whole mood thing works!

  11. Bee says:

    Thank you for this article! I’m excited to see more options to try. I’ve tried Ritual’s Gin at home and absolutely loved it!! A non-alcoholic bar made me an Old Fashioned with Ritual’s whiskey, and it was an amazingly delicious mocktail!

  12. Julie Farrer says:

    I loved this article! Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I finally went to the grocery store today and picked up a six pack of the Athletic Brewing. There were 3 different non-alcoholic beers with this brewery. Ale, IPA, and some other IPA. I went with the Ale that you had pictured. So currently as I’m trying to untangle 3 necklaces, I’m getting stressed out and annoyed that I’m not getting anywhere with these necklaces. I decide to try me a “beer”. It’s actually pretty good and tastes very similar to a craft beer. I almost feel like the stress is diminishing already! Of course that’s only my mind playing games with me. But I think I might have to get another 6pack or more for when I go boating on Sunday. The cans look like the real deal so nobody will know. Thanks again for this great article!

    1. greatmotion says:

      I’m pleased to have additional choices available. At home, I have sampled Ritual’s Gin and found it to be delicious. The Old Fashioned created with Ritual’s whisky in a bar that doesn’t serve alcohol was the best mocktail I’ve ever had.

  13. Kat says:

    As an alcoholic, I’m actually excited that there are so many alcohol alternatives out there these days. I can be in a social setting (or even just lounging at home) and still have the experience of a beer or mixed drink. Some of these seem more like energy drink alternatives rather than alcohol alternatives, though. However, I am very curious about Ritual and Monday now! From a non-beer drinker, I’d recommend Brewdog beers. They are much more flavorful than a traditional beer imo, and my friends that drink like the alcoholic versions, too!

    1. Oh yes don’t get me wrong I’m excited to see so many alternatives out there too! I’ve heard that some bars/restaurants are finally upping their mocktail game too. Adding Brewdog to my list!

    2. Julie Farrer says:

      Hi Kat! Thank you for sharing Brewdog! I will definitely have to look that up.

  14. Ami says:

    This was super interesting to read. My country (Japan) is totally focused on zero alcohol/carbs/sugar beer but I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything similar to the products you mentioned… maybe a pack or can of juice here and there, but that’s about it. I hope this trend spreads all the over here! Thanks for sharing!

    1. That is so interesting. It seems like it’s just recently exploded here, so maybe it will spread!

  15. Sam says:

    Noughty Sparkling NA wine is delicious! The ONLY NA wine I have found that is good.

    1. Adding this one to my list!

    2. Shelly Thomas says:

      Thanks for the recommendation! I’ve been buying so many alcohol free drinks. I actually have this in my fridge, so tonight I know what I’ll be drinking!!