Thanks to pioneers like Ritual, Athletic Brewing Company, and Leilo sweeping the non-alcoholic beverage industry, just to name a few, it’s now possible for folks in recovery or booze-free-by-choice individuals to remain completely clear-headed while still throwing back a gloriously hazy West Coast IPA, or a citrusy margarita that yields the burn of real-deal tequila.
And just like that, the term mocktail has turned around its endlessly bad rap.
With the holiday season just around the bend – which often presents many opportunities to imbibe – there’s no time like the present to stock up on booze-free alternatives that you can enjoy from the comfort of home, or bring to a party or family gathering.
Whether you’re fully abstaining for your physical or mental health, or simply riding the sober-curious wave, we’ve got you covered with our roundup of 15 of the top NA libations to liven up your holiday spirit.
Here’s a preview of the sips up ahead:
15 of the Best Non-Alcoholic Beverages for the Holiday Season
- Blood Orange Elderflower Sparkling Mimosa from Mingle
- Bombay Fire Ready-to-Drink Mocktail from Mocktail Club
- Raspberry Hibiscus Carbonated Cava from Leilo
- Sparkling Rosé from Starla Wines
Please note that although many of the beverages described below are 100% sans alcohol, some do include up to 0.5% percent alcohol by volume (ABV), as noted.
Ho-ho-holy hops! These almighty nuggets are the cone-shaped flowers that give beer its signature aroma and flavor.
Though all brews described as beer technically contain hops, the term “hoppy” has become synonymous with the IPA style, characterized by its pungent perfume and bitter taste.
If you’re on the hunt for something reminiscent of your favorite sessionable sip, these will hit the spot.
1. Run Wild IPA from Athletic Brewing
Number one on our list hails from a brewery that consistently lights up the craft scene with stellar products that stand up against all contenders in the NA world.
Athletic has not only helped to lead the non-alcoholic movement – and made it a point to offer wide distribution – they’ve snagged several awards while doing so, including taking the gold in 2020 at the Best of Craft Beer Awards and the US Open Beer Championship.
Athletic Brewing’s Run Wild IPA, 12-pack cans, available on Amazon
Upside Dawn, a clean, crushable golden ale, is another top seller and a personal favorite of mine. But it’s the Run Wild IPA that put them on the map and that I suggest you pop first.
Brewed with five varieties of Northwest hops, Run Wild is subtle and slightly malty up front, with a lemon zest bitterness and residual sweetness that will keep you reaching for more. Less than 0.5% ABV.
2. IPA from Partake Brewing
Coming in hot at just ten calories and with an ultra-crisp, refreshing bite, no shower beer has ever been so eminently drinkable. And I say that from personal experience.
Partake Brewing’s IPA, 12-pack cans, available on Amazon
This brew from Partake, one of five options that are available currently, relies on fruity Cascade, Amarillo, and Citra hops, and the lingering grapefruit pith bitterness will have you seriously questioning whether you’ve accidentally cracked an actual session IPA. But it actually contains less than 0.5% ABV.
In my humble opinion, it blows all others out of the water. The sweet malt backbone and particularly bubbly body bring a dry finish that’s as satisfying as they come.
3. IPNA from Lagunitas Brewing Company
When this big-name brewery put their own alcohol-free beer on the market, loyal fans flocked to it, eager for a taste. With its distinctively full body and massively hoppy makeup, Lagunitas dry-hopped IPNA is a perfect punch in the mouth, with less than 0.5% ABV.
Lagunitas Brewing Company’s IPNA, 6-pack bottles, from Lagunitas
Between the smooth, balanced backbone and signature stocky Lagunitas bottle, you won’t feel like you’re missing out on a thing with this dank drink.
Are You Afraid of the Dark?
If you’re already perusing this article about a wide range of non-alcoholic beverages, I’d like to think you may be open to dabbling in the darker varieties of beer.
With their smooth structures and velvety mouthfeel, there are a number of notable options floating around the NA galaxy, and these are the best of the best.
Join me on the dark side, won’t you?
4. Oatmeal Dark from Bravus
Calling all Guinness-lovers! This is the brew for you.
Bravus is another top dog in the NA craft beer scene, and while their super light Blonde has more fun in the summertime, it’s the Oatmeal Dark you’ll want to cozy up to through the cooler months of the year.
Bravus’s Oatmeal Dark, 6-pack cans, available on Amazon
This invigorating stout offers hints of roasted coffee and chocolate, and was a silver medal winner at the prestigious Great American Beer Festival in 2019. Less than 0.5% ABV.
5. Hellraiser Dark Amber from WellBeing Brewing
The name says it all. This Missouri-based brewery puts its focus on “Raising WellBeing,” and creating a mindful style of living that combines all the social fun of enjoying a traditional beer with the intentionality of a happy, healthy lifestyle.
WellBeing Brewing’s Hellraiser Dark Amber, 12-pack cans, available on Amazon
Lucky for us, their beers actually live up to that thoughtfully crafted purpose. I can’t not mention the Intentional IPA, as it’s a top pick of mine, but when it comes to something on the richer end of the spectrum, I would undoubtedly imbibe the Hellraiser fireside, snuggled up in a warm hoodie.
This ambrosial, well-rounded dark amber comes out of the can copper-brown and showcases toasty malted barley up front, leaving traces of light spice and stone fruit on the tongue. It contains 0.3% ABV.
Bubbly and Bright
Nothing screams “season’s greetings!” like popping bottles (or cracking cans) of something fiercely fizzy, and the following libations are seamless substitutes for the real thing during celebratory toasts.
From sparkling wines to fruity concoctions so potent and complex they fare well simply served on the rocks, these are the lip-tingling potions that will make you want to break out the shiny stemware and charcuterie board.
6. Blood Orange Elderflower Sparkling Mimosa from Mingle
Just because you refrain from alcohol doesn’t mean you can’t join in the juicy fun, and Mingle’s adorable packaging gives us all the festive feels. Especially accompanied by a festive holiday brunch.
Mingle’s Blood Orange Elderflower Sparkling Mimosa, 4-pack bottles, available on Amazon
Mingle’s Blood Orange Elderflower Sparkling Mimosa is a light, effervescent blend of citrusy blood orange with a subtle elderflower finish. It’s naturally sweetened with cane sugar, and made with clean, all-natural ingredients.
Chilled and served solo in a champagne flute with an orange wheel garnish, this low-cal NA sparkling beverage is like a party in your mouth.
7. Bombay Fire Ready-to-Drink Mocktail from Mocktail Club
Groucho Marx once said something to the effect of, “I don’t care to belong to any club that will have me as a member,” but I think he would have changed his mind had he tasted the skillfully balanced booze-free cocktails from Mocktail Club.
Mocktail Club’s Bombay Fire Ready-to-Drink Mocktail, 4-pack bottles, available on Amazon
I’m a sucker for the Bombay Fire, as it gives me the tingle I miss from my beloved bourbon.
It flaunts its swag best in a fancy lowball glass, and the complex flavors are on par with any cocktail you’d be served by a mixologist, NA-style.
Chili peppers provide persistent smokiness, while tart pomegranate juice and caffeine-free tea deliver natural tannins. And the sweetness from organic agave rounds everything out.
8. Raspberry Hibiscus Carbonated Kava from Leilo
A seltzer-esque sipper that dares to promise “calm in a can” without any of the aftereffects of alcohol? I literally can’t raise my hand fast enough if someone’s pouring this at a party.
Leilo’s Raspberry Hibiscus Carbonated Kava, 12-pack cans, available on Amazon
Relying on the power of relaxing agents L-Theanine (a supplement I religiously rely on for sleep) and kava root, both known for their anxiety-relieving benefits, Leilo is on a mission to “de-stress a stressed-out world.”
The raspberry hibiscus is a vibrant, carbonated blend of tart berries and floral notes. The pretty pink hue makes it a rock star choice for pouring into a clear coupe, though the can design is just as elegant as the liquid itself.
P.S. The tongue-numbing is a normal side effect of kava.
Sit Sip back and enjoy.
9. Sparkling Rosé from Starla Wines
I’ve been told to put a cork in it once or twice, but I refuse to do that when it comes to Starla’s premium collection of alcohol-removed wines. And though each bottle boasts grapes that have been expertly vinified, in my opinion, it’s the rosé that’s truly a force to be reckoned with.
Starla’s Sparkling Rose, available from Starla Wines
Dry and minerally, every zippy sip of this Zinfandel, French Colombard, Pinot Grigio, and Pinot Noir blend is loaded with bright botanicals of strawberry blossom, citrus, and lychee. It contains 0.5% ABV.
Pass the cheese plate, please.
If sipping a sexy mixed drink is your go-to move when it comes to social mingling, the pure potency of the following AF spirits will blow your mind.
No longer do you need to lean on legitimate rum for woody vanilla, toffee, and toasted spice, or whiskey to warm you up with its white oak and butterscotch perfume. These alternative liquor-free blends will give you all the bite you’re after with zero regrets the next day.
10. Zero-Alcohol Gin from Monday
First and foremost, can we talk about how flashy these bottles will look on your alcohol-free home bar?
Monday’s Zero-Alcohol Gin, available on Amazon
Monday Gin™ encourages you to stay sharp and sober without having to bypass the satisfying jolt of classic London dry gin. I say, challenge accepted.
Monday’s whiskey is an equal standout among NA spirits, but it’s the fragrant gin that hits the spot for me, especially stirred with a splash of tonic and fresh lime. Crafted in small batches and unfolding with layers of juniper, spices, and natural botanicals, this zero-calorie stunner finishes with a familiar kick.
11. Zero-Proof Tequila Alternative from Ritual
I’ll be honest. Tequila wasn’t the first (or even the second) type of liquor that I once turned to on a regular basis, but that doesn’t mean I don’t occasionally crave a margarita to pair with my mountain of queso.
Ritual’s Zero-Proof Tequila Alternative, available on Amazon
On the nose, Ritual’s peppery product undeniably exclaims “tequila!” on account of its earthy blue agave and vegetal composition. And it received a platinum score of 98 points out of 100 from the Beverage Testing Institute to boot.
For an authentic lip-stinging experience, be my guest and go neat. But if shooting tequila has never been your thing, a little club soda and orange juice pairs so well with Ritual’s grassy guava notes and smoky mesquite flair. Or, sub it in one-to-one when you make our classic margarita recipe.
12. Spice 94 from Seedlip
Offering the first distilled non-alcoholic spirit in the world, Seedlip is truly the OG in this category. The founder’s intention is to “foster good hospitality and inclusivity by providing a sophisticated option for what to drink when you’re not drinking,” and I couldn’t be more down with that sentence.
Seedlip’s Spice 94, 700-milliliter bottle, available on Amazon
One of three unique flavors available currently, Spice 94 features fresh citrus and berries to balance the long, bitter finish. The overlay of warm, aromatic allspice, cloves, and piney cardamom make it an obvious choice for the holidays. Try it as an NA alternative in our recipe for homemade eggnog.
It’s no secret that certain scents and flavors evoke memories, and the AF indulgences described below will give you all the déjà vu vibes. Particularly if you’ve fully stepped foot into the land of sobriety, these drinks will (safely) bring some very specific sips back into your life.
Each weighs in at exactly 0% alcohol, proving that distancing yourself from booze doesn’t have to mean denying yourself the chance to swig something you enjoy.
13. 0.0 Cervesa Sense Alcohol from Moritz
Not only is Moritz 0.0 one of the most refreshing NA beers I’ve found on the market, it’s the closest I’ve come to my cherished summer sidecar: a crisp Corona.
From the clear, slender glass bottle to the light golden hue to the fact that a sliver of lime softens its bite, Moritz truly hit a hole in one with this lager.
Moritz’s 0.0 Cervesa Sense Alcohol, 12-pack, available from Moritz
The Barcelona-based brew gleams with traces of toasted grain and hay with a side of ripe fruit, and its light body bodes well for pairing with food.
A single sniff will send your mind spinning toward freshly cut roses, lychee, and Saaz hops flowers. Wondering where you know that smell from? Sazz is recognized for its prominent use in Stella Artois.
Look for it at local wine and beer retailers, or order direct from Moritz.
14. 0.0 Pure Malt Lager from Heineken
For a fun blindfolded taste test for those who don’t abstain full-time, pop the top off a classic Heineken® and its new relative, 0.0. If both are ice-cold, I dare the real Slim Shady to please stand up.
Heineken’s 0.0 Pure Malt Lager, 24-pack, available on Amazon
As far as an NA selection goes that’s produced by one of the Big Beer Corporations, versus a small independent brewery such as many of the others on this list, it checks off all of the boxes for me in terms of what I’m after.
Pleasantly dry, fruity, and more comfortable on your palate with every sip, the pale lager is also widely distributed and easy to find. If you’re a social non-drinker who misses the taste of beer and still isn’t sure what to do with your hands at the bar, wrap them around this Heiny. Bottoms up!
15. Hops-Infused Mango Sparkling Water from HOP WTR
If the yellow-labeled White Claw had an affair with a sparkling water that happened to be half IPA, Mango HOP WTR would be their lovechild.
HOP WTR’s Hop-Infused Mango Sparkling Water, 12-pack, available on Amazon
If you, like me, thought you’d only marvel (or perhaps gawk) at hop-infused AF beverages that walked, talked, and acted like beer, you’d be missing out on this zero-calorie, zero-sugar sipper.
The juicy, tropical mango is immaculately big-bubbled, and the addition of resinous, citrusy Centennial and Columbus hops will remind your taste buds of bold, bitter IPAs.
The biggest benefit of all? HOP WTR’s added adaptogens and nootropics like L-Theanine and ashwagandha induce a mild form of the loosey-gooseys to help you relax and unwind – reminiscent of alcohol’s all-too-familiar sensations in a low dose, sans the hangover and half-eaten pizza on your pillow the next morning.
No Thank You, Holiday Hangover
If you had told me one year ago that I would be well-educated on (and would voluntarily be compiling an article about) non-alcoholic beverages, I would have said, “Go home, you. You’re drunk.”
But here I am: nine months sober, and proud to be sharing my newfound knowledge on all-things AFL (alcohol-free living).
And as it turns out, I’m right on time. Even as recently as a few years back, the variety of NA choices within the alcohol industry was severely lacking. Nowadays, there are so many solid zero-proof selections available to enjoy, whether it be via a tall pint can or a corked bottle.
Snag some of these online, or look for the recommended brands at your local bottle shops and specialty retailers. Whether you’re just cutting back or opting out altogether, these beverages will bridge the gap – and guarantee that you’ll have one happy body the next morning.
Which lovely libation is your favorite, and what have you been stocking up on to add to your NA collection? Anything I missed here? Let me know in the comments section below!
Looking for more family-friendly beverages to make your holiday celebration complete? Whether it’s Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Eve, or another festive time of year, these are sure to hit the spot:
- Mint, Lime, and Ginger Splash
- Non-Alcoholic Passion Fruit Cocktail
- Christmas in a Mug: Turn Winter Treats into Warming Drinks
Photos by Fanny Slater, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Additional photos via Amazon/various manufacturers. Uncredited photos by Shutterstock. Samples of some products provided for testing by the manufacturer. With additional writing and editing by Allison Sidhu.
About Fanny Slater
Fanny Slater is a home-taught food enthusiast based in Wilmington, North Carolina who won the “Rachael Ray Show” Great American Cookbook Competition in 2014, and published her cookbook “Orange, Lavender & Figs” in 2016. Fanny is a food and beverage writer, recipe developer, and social media influencer. She was a co-host on the Food Network series “Kitchen Sink,” was featured on Cooking Channel’s longtime popular series “The Best Thing I Ever Ate,” and continues to appear regularly on the “Rachael Ray Show.”