Nonalcoholic drinks are booming, with innovative new products hitting the shelves just in time for Dry January.
“Consumer interest has never been higher,” said Sean Goldsmith, CEO and co-founder of the Zero Proof, an Atlanta-based retailer of nonalcoholic wines and spirits.
The nonalcoholic beverage industry has more than $10 billion in sales, and by 2026 that is expected to increase a third, according to IWSR Drinks Market Analysis. Nielsen reports that 45% of drinking-age members of Gen Z never drink alcohol, and another 20% only drink every two to three months.
You can find beers, bitter botanical elixirs, wines and distilled spirits with alcohol removed.
There are familiar brand names, including Seedlip, Ritual, Monday, Lyre’s Italian Orange, Spiritless Kentucky 74 and Ish spirits, but here are some recent nonalcoholic arrivals:
De Soi: Katy Perry and master distiller Morgan McLachlan wanted a drink that combined a passion for plants with bold flavor, was fun to sip, and kept you engaged. Their De Soi nonalcoholic aperitifs, first released in 2022, are bubbly, different from others on the market, and heavy on aroma and flavor. Golden Hour is zesty, bright and bracing, with citrus notes, lemon grass and leafy herbs. Champignon Dreams is juicy, fresh and earthy, with reishi mushrooms and strawberry. No mixing is required; just pop them open and sip. And, they include all sorts of aptogens, if that is what you are looking for. Of course, you also can drink them just because they taste good.
$28 per 750-milliliter bottle of Golden Hour, $25 per 8-ounce four-pack of Champignon Dreams. Available locally at Nourish Botanica and Zilch Market. drinkdesoi.com
Everleaf: As both a conservation biologist and a bartender, Paul Matthew puts his passion for plants and people together to create Everleaf aperitifs, made with sustainably sourced botanicals. There are three varieties: Bittersweet Forest tastes of 14 botanicals, including orange blossom, saffron, cinnamon and chamomile. Mountain is flavored by cherry blossom, strawberry, rose hip and coriander. Crisp Marine makes a great nonalcoholic iteration of a gin and tonic, enhanced by 16 botanicals, including sea buckthorn, bergamot, thyme, juniper, pine and green tea.
$33 per 500-milliliter bottle. everleafdrinks.com
Athletic Brewing: I don’t know what kind of magic happens at Athletic Brewing, but I could swear I was drinking a good ol’ standard American beer when I first opened a can. The bitter (yet approachable) Run Wild IPA, with five northwest hops, has a luscious, malty body. The Upside Down golden ale is earthy, slightly floral in aroma and light-bodied. These aren’t just good nonalcoholic beers, they are good beers, period.
$13.99 per six-pack. athleticbrewingcom
Credit: Angela Hansberger
Credit: Angela Hansberger
Joyus wines: Jessica Selander had been sober for more than 15 years when she went on the hunt for a good nonalcoholic wine. Her Seattle-based company now produces wines that certainly are something to be joyous about. The sparkling white, made mainly with chardonnay, pinot grigio, French colombard and chenin blanc is crisp, with apple and melon aromas and flavors, and bright bubbles. The peach-hued sparkling rosé is full of fragrant citrus blossoms and northwest berries.
$24.99 per 750-milliliter bottle. drinkjoyus.com
Null wines: This line proves that you don’t need alcohol to experience the pleasures of wine. Founded by Catherine Diao and Dorothy Munholland, Studio Null produces its wines with acclaimed winemakers in Germany and Spain. Vacuum distillation is used to remove the alcohol, while preserving the flavor, aroma and body. The first release included a sparkling rosé of silvaner and portugieser grapes; Prickly Red, with Spanish tempranillo and syrah; and the lovely, acidic Blanc Burgunder, with pinot blanc and pinot gris grapes. A new release includes solo garnacha and sparkling verdejo from Spain.
Dry January Resources, Atlanta
Delicious nonalcoholic drinks - AJC Distilled and Fermented column
Beverages: New drinks to try from Atlanta stores
Shopping: Three products to buy for a delicious no-alcohol month
Nightlife: 8 mocktails to sip at metro Atlanta restaurants
AJC Podcast: Ligaya Figueras talks about Dry January with beverage industry veterans Jerry and Krista Slater
Nedra Rhone: Dry January reflects another cultural reset in U.S. history
Health: Taking a break from alcohol can improve sleep and weight, study says
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Credit: Courtesy Roman United / Jason Getz