No Longer ‘Mother’s Ruin’…
We admit a booze-less spirit sounds like a contradiction and alcohol-free isn’t something you usually associate with the top shelf but non-alcoholic spirits and gin in particular have been creeping up in popularity since 2019. Everyone approaches drinking from a different place and for different reasons. Be it if you’ve cut back on drinking over the lockdown period, tried sober October or are considering a dry January. Perhaps you’re pregnant*, a new mum or breast-feeding. Or, maybe you are part of the growing sober curious movement and opting for more clean living. Maybe you are dealing with some health issues or cutting back on calories. Or, it could just be that have a big day at the office/home office, want to be on top form for tomorrow’s gym session, that early morning meeting or, you just can’t face an adult-headache with the kids. With the festive season approaching maybe you want to join cocktail hour and that social gathering but drive home too. Or, maybe you fancy the heady taste without the hangover.
It’s impossible to recreate the taste of an alcoholic spirit – and these brands prove there is no reason to even try. The predominant flavour of gin comes from juniper berries and it is a distilled alcoholic drink that originated as a medicinal liquor. It’s been around for hundreds of years and besides a classic ‘G&T’ it’s a popular base for many cocktails, too. But, this new crop of ‘Clean Gins’, as they are known, are all bursting with that classic gin flavour and made using the same traditional distillery process. In fact, the selection of ‘clean gins’ on the market is huge and some mimic the traditional spirit to perfection, while others have flavours that create more of a faux-gin aroma and warmth. One thing they all offer is less sugar, calories and of course, all help avoid that morning-after-the-night-before-feeling.
Choosing a non-alcoholic gin is almost as tricky as choosing a ‘real’ gin as these aren’t just adult cordials or soft drink alternatives. They each have a very personal mixology that makes them as individual as its headier counterpart. Whatever your reason we have rounded up the best-of-the-best non alcoholic gins so you can carry on clinking into the night. Just choose a good tonic water or mixer (as most recommend you mix these heady botanical spirits for a longer drink) – and join the ‘clean’ party. Hey, why not make it a double?!
How is non-alcoholic ‘gin’ made?
Alcoholic spirits start off as pure ethanol (a highly rectified spirit), and some non-alcoholic spirits are made using the same process as for low-ABV (alcohol by volume) ones. Botanicals and a neutral grain spirit are then added through a re-distillation process which produces a really potent, botanical alcoholic liquid – which is usually collected at a strength of 80% ABV. It then goes through multiple rounds of distillation to remove all the alcohol from the liquid, and is then diluted down with water to the right ABV.
15 of the Best Non-Alcoholic Gins – for a refreshing alternative to alcohol based drinks
Possibly the largest range of contemporary non-alcoholic alternatives we have ever seen. This Aussie company offers premium non-alcohol gin, whiskey, rum, absinthe, liquors, vodka, dry vermouth (ideal for a 007 martini) and, there is even a sparkling Prosecco style wine. The award-winning Dry London is its classic gin offering a rich scent of orange blossom, lime, jasmine and mint, with a firm juniper and citrus palate and a pepperberry warmth. They suggest mixing with its Lyre’s Italian Orange, citrus, mint and Mediterranean tonic water for the Lyre’s Pink Gin Fizz.
- Vegan, gluten and nut free
- Not sugar free but is low (<0.57g/30ml and <1.9g/100ml)
- 10 calories per 100ml
- Glass bottles are fully recyclable
- 0.5% ABV
- £23.50 for 70cl
- 0% sugar and 0% calories
- 0.48% ABV (the same as a glass of orange juice)
- Handcrafted with rare and exotic botanicals
- From £14 for 50cl
- Natural ingredients
- No Sugar and 0 Calories
- Zero Carbs, Keto friendly
- Vegan and Gluten Free
- 0% ABV
- Free from all the “Big-8” allergens (egg, milk, fish, shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts, soy beans)
- From $46 for 750ml
- Vegan, sugar and gluten free
- 0.0% Alcohol
- 100% Natural Organic ingredients
- Recyclable glass bottle, wooden cap and base with a FSC certified paper label
- €30 for 70cl
Taking inspiration from it coastal beginnings Sea Arch is crafted using traditional distillation techniques (but the alcohol is gently removed to create the alcohol-free spirit). With a natural, sea breezy botanical mix of seaside herbs including sea kelp and samphire, sweetness from blood orange and a warm finish from the Cardamon spice – it’s best served with ice and tonic. A ‘Sea & T’ if you will.
- Vegan friendly
- Recyclable bottle, and uses recycled cardboard for the boxes and solvent-free paint on the bottles.
- From £15.95 for 25cl
Founded by Spencer Matthews (of Made in Chelsea fame) in 2019, the Clean Liquor Company has a selection of non-alcoholic gins, vodka, rum and tequila. Meaning CleanCo take clean drinking very seriously. The beautiful bottles wouldn’t look amiss on your cocktail cart either – whether you choose the Clean G Gin Alternative which is its take on take on a trad London Dry Gin with its improved juniper crispness or, the Clean G Rhubarb Gin Alternative, a pink gin bursting with fruity aromas of rhubarb, red berries and citrus with a subtle hint of coriander, mint and cinnamon. They are starting to sound pretty delicious, aren’t they?
- Zero sugar
- Vegan, gluten free & lactose free
- From 12 calories per serving
- Less than 0.5% ABV
- From £19 for 70cl
Having distilled gin for over a decade on its family farm it would be safe to safe Warners know a thing or 3 about a good gin. Using that expertise and over two years in the making they have perfected its 0% Juniper Double Dry. With water drawn from the farm’s own spring and ingredients such as lemon thyme, lemon verbena and yarrow grown on the land you just know it’s going to be good. They say “We’re talking a spicy base, a herbal hit, a citrus edge & peppery finish, giving it the recognisable ‘kick’ of a top-shelf tipple. Pour yourself a healthy slug over ice, 50ml should do it, add a splash of Mediterranean tonic & a wedge of orange. Bloomin’ lovely.” and, who are we to argue! They also do a Pink Berry 0% Botanic Garden Spirits.
- 0% ABV
- 100% natural botanicals, with 90% of the ingredients sourced straight from its farm
- No added sugar
- 50ml serve of our 0% Juniper Double Dry contains 5.5 kcal; 50ml of 0% Pink Berry has just 6 kcal
- Suitable for vegetarians, vegans and gluten-free
- From £3 for 5cl
Using a process called ‘steam distillation’ Caleno ensure they capture the essence of each botanical to create a light, zesty and refreshing gin. Inspired by the sun-drenched spirit of Colombia its tropical non-Alcoholic spirit fuses juniper berry, lemon, pineapple and papaya, and herbs including its iconic golden Inca berry. Perfect for classic gin cocktails or with tonic over ice with a slice of tropical fruit added.
- Zero sugar
- Vegan and gluten-free
- 39 calories per 100ml
- From £18 for 50cl
Borrago is named after the Latin Borage flower (a small, pretty, edible flower with a cucumber flavour). Its #47 Paloma offer a very grown-up and sophisticated tipple with its dry, flavoursome and heady perfumed mixture of Cardamom, Lemon Verbena, Basil, Rosemary, Peppermint and Lemongrass. Each botanical is individually steam distilled and processed so has no alcohol content at any stage, meaning it has a 0.0% alcohol trace. The Paloma signature serve is to pour 25ml over ice, top up with 200ml of quality tonic and garnish with half a slice of orange and a crushed basil leaf.
- No sugar, fat and calories
- Zero proof botanical, 0.0% alcohol
- Vegan, vegetarian friendly and gluten free
- Allergen free
- Currently undergoing full halal accreditation
Seedlip is the world’s first distilled non-alcoholic spirit and possibly one of the best known brands for its premium and delicious alcohol-free alternatives to iconic spirits. The Seedlip Spice 94 launched in 2015 and was an instant sell out in Selfridges and its warm, aromatic blend of Allspice & Cardamom is still widely enjoyed today. They have added Grove 42 (a citrus blend of Mediterranean Orange, Lemon Peel, Lemongrass and Ginger with a dry finish) and Garden 108 ( a fresh, herbal blend of peas and traditional garden herbs including Rosemary, Thyme & Spearmint) to the mix. Seedlip is a subtle and easy drinking gin alternative, as although it does not exactly taste like a classic gin (because it does not contain any Juniper, the ingredient legally required to call a product a gin) – it merely hints at it – it makes a great base for botanical cocktail or long drinks.
- Seedlip should always be mixed (with tonic, soda, ginger ale or as the base in cocktails) rather than sipped neat
- <0.5% ABV
- Fee of allergens and 100% natural
- Sugar and calorie free
- Sustainable packaging
- £22 for 700ml
Three Spirit offer invigorating elixirs that are the perfect party and post-party pick-me-ups. With sustainably sourced plants, flowers, fungi, spices, roots and aromatic herbs ingredients that are ground, infused, distilled or fermented to extract the best flavour, aroma and function. They offer 3 non-alcoholic choices: The Livener with euphoric feels from guayusa and schisandra and big flavours from vibrant berries, bright aromatics and spice, The Social which is a dark, herbal elixir to raise the spirits and Nightcap, a more soothing elixir is the perfect way to unwind at the end of the day. Three Spirit can also be enjoyed as a aperitif neat over ice.
- Recycled packaging
- Vegan and gluten -free
- less than 0.5% APV
- Contain natural sugars, no artificial colours or flavours
- 42.5 calories per 50ml erving
- Clean caffeine and natural caffeine from guayusa and green tea. Livener has 57.5 mg per 50 ml serving and less than 6mg of caffeine in Social Elixir
- From £24.99 for 50cl
We admit we were drawn to the stylish, modern looking bottle but having discovered that Juniperl was created by a couple looking for a gin-alternative following a nasty hangover we knew it was going to more than live up to its label. Crafted using a bespoke juniper distillate and made in a real distillery, it’s inspired by Mediterranean flavours with citrus and spice; and designed to taste just as good as the real thing with juniper berry, grapefruit and rosemary flavours flowing through. Starting with a natural base this means there is no alcohol removal so it’s 100% non-alcoholic and best enjoyed with tonic water, ice, Rosemary and a Grapefruit slice.
- Low sugar
- Suitable for vegans, vegetarians and gluten-free
- No allergens
- 5 Calories per 50ml serving
- 0% ABV
- £16.99 for 70cl
This is Germany’s first non-alcoholic gin alternative, made by the same brands that produces SIEGFRIED Rheinland Dry Gin. It actually started as a social media post on April fools day in 2016 when they announced a non-alcoholic Siegfried light as a joke. Overwhelmed by the unexpected amount of positive feedback they began developing it a year later. Wonderleaf is made using purely 18 natural botanicals and artisanal distillation skills that offers a variety of flavours and balance that gives a deliberately different taste to real gin, although you can barely tell – they recommend serving it as a long drink over ice or as a base for gin cocktails.
- No added sugar or sweeteners
- Vegetarian and vegan friendly
- 2 kcal per 100ml
As one one the great London gin distillers Sipsmith has put the same effort into its no alcohol version Free Glider. In fact they experimented with 189 prototypes and over 100 ingredients to create the ultimate alcohol free spirit – that is one that doesn’t compromise on quality or flavour. This stylish tipple has refreshing eucalyptus and spicy juniper undertones, balanced by zesty citrus and full-bodied capsicum heat with an extra dry pine finale what offers a short fiery kick. Ideal with a premium tonic and a grapefruit twist the west offers a host of delicious cocktails for inspiration.
- <0.5% ABV
- suitable for vegetarians and vegans
- 1 calorie (kcal) per 50ml serving
- Sugar and sweetener free
- £22.50 for 70cl
These slick bottles reminiscent of ripples of a river are fitting when you learn Fluére is the Latin for ‘to flow’. And, flow you will with this floral blend of botanicals that offers a complex yet, fresh gin-alternative taste. Blended with Coriander Seed and Lime Peel to give it its bright and zesty taste, while the Juniper berries and Lavender add a perfumed hit. Made in the Netherlands using the state of the art hydrosteam distillation process, it creates a distilled spirit with no alcohol. Made for mixing it is best served with a premium light tonic and ice, and a slice of citrus for colour or sprigs of lavender for aroma. Fluére offer two gin alternatives: Original and Pink (a Raspberry blend) as well as Agave and Amber – smokey rum type alternatives.
- Alcohol free
- Vegan, Gluten free and Allergen Free
- Fat Free and Low Calorie
- Caffeine free
- £20 for 70cl
* We recommend consulting a medical professional if you have any concerns about consuming clean gins whilst pregnant as some contain trace elements of alcohol (<0.5% ABV) when consumed without mixing or diluting. Tonic water contains Quinine, individuals with hypersensitivity to Quinine, or pre-existing conditions that may be affected by Quinine, should consult their doctor midwife to discuss whether it is safe for them to drink.