I Tested Alcohol Alternatives – Here are My Top Picks
In this post, I’m sharing my personal feedback after trying some alcohol alternatives. You might consider passing on excess booze for a variety of different reasons – from focusing on your general health to wanting to pass on excess calories.
I’m veryyyyyy open with my social life. I do aim to drink within personal boundaries that I set for myself. Those boundaries loosened quiteeeeee a bit over the summer. With the holiday season among us, I think we could all use some ideas to manage events in a thoughtful way. When it comes to drinking, I wanted to have some options that I could sip on with friends and family…without an unnecessary amount of excess calories and/or the effects of alcohol. So I tested alcohol alternatives…and here are my top picks!
My #1 Pick: Kombucha
If you’re not familiar with it, Kombucha is fermented tea that is marketed as rich in probiotics (good bacteria). Whether or not all the health claims are backed by strong evidence is for a different post…hehe. After trying plenty of brands, I finally found my favorites – without lots of floating pieces – IYKYK! If there are any benefits, cool. It’s just never something that I thought to grab or enjoyed regularly until thinking of it as a cocktail replacement.
The main reasons why this is my #1 pick:
- Strong flavors – I definitely “sip” on these instead of chug…the strong flavors + fizz help it last longer for me
- Pricier – It sounds odd that I would like a product because it was pricier, right? But hear me out – things like sparkling water and diet soda don’t feel as special because they’re pretty much always available in my house. I personally wouldn’t spend $3-4 on a bottle of Kombucha to have one every day, so it’s a bit fun on occasion.
Favorite brands: Health-Ade & Dr. Brew (BIG thanks to my kombucha loving friends for helping me out!)
#2 Pick: Mockly
One of my clients recommended this mocktail company. It’s a local brand based out of New Orleans…so I OF COURSE had to try it. The flavors are unique! These are a sweeter option since they are made with juice + sugar – definitely pleasant to sip. Before you come at me about sugar…they have reasonable nutrition facts in my opinion if we’re talking about an alternative to alcohol. They are found in a few local stores + I believe available at some local/Nola establishments where alcohol is served. I’ll choose this if I see it while out and about want to pass on the booze. I’m proud of Louisiana for hopping on the mocktail trend & more than happy to support!
#3 Pick: Non-Alcoholic Distilled Spirits
These are alcohol alternatives used when making cocktails. The brand that I used (Seedlip) has an interesting story & this is definitely a cool product to explore! I tried an apple mocktail + a margarita mocktail using a bottle that I purchased. It was tasty, but I’m not sure if it’s something that I would purchase again to have at home. The most common serving suggestion is to pair with ginger ale…so I’m going to give it another try as directed. I’ve had mocktails made with Seedlip or similar brands at restaurants or bars in the past & enjoyed them! I’ll definitely continue to choose these if they’re available and I’m looking for an alternative.
And of course there are homemade mocktails that you can make with a combination of ingredients. I had fun testing a few different options! Check out my Spiced Apple Spritz recipe below, inspired by one of our friends.
If you’re feeling adventurous, try creating your mocktail with the following structure:
- 2oz fruit – or veggie! – juice (apple, cherry, orange, carrot, tomato – bloody mary?!, etc)
- 0.5oz sweetener if desired (honey, maple syrup, agave, simple syrup)
- 1/2 lemon juiced or 1 small lime juiced…or maybe a splash of pickle juice for that bloody mary mocktail?
- Optional spice: cinnamon/pumpkin pie spice are delish with apple juice
- Option 1: Add 2oz water OR alcohol alternative (like Seedlip) & shake in a mixer with ice
- Option 2: Shake above ingredients in a mixer with ice…pour into glass & top with 2-4oz of kombucha or sparkling water for a bit of fizz!
Spiced Apple Spritz MocktailPrint Recipe
- 2 oz apple cider or fresh apple juice
- 1/2 medium lemon, juiced
- 0.5 oz maple syrup optional
- 1 dash cinnamon
- 4 oz kombucha or sparkling water
- Add apple juice, lemon juice, maple syrup, and cinnamon in a cocktail shaker
- Shake with ice for 20 seconds
- Pour into serving glass
- Top with kombucha or sparkling water