The 7 Best Non-Alcoholic Beverages of 2021, According to a Dietitian

Festive sips for the sober-curious

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Our Top Picks
They offer a variety of fruit forward flavors ranging from berries to citrus and tropical.
Best Budget-Friendly:
Bubly Sparkling Water at Amazon
All Bubly drinks contain 0 calories and 0 grams of sugar.
This is a carbonated, sweet, and tangy beverage that contains probiotics.
Best Sparkling Herbal Tonic:
Sunwink Herbal Tonic at FreshDirect
Each flavor offers a unique blend of antioxidant packed ingredients, including ginger root, hibiscus, and cinnamon.
Best Non-Alcoholic Spirit:
SEEDLIP Non-Alcoholic Spirit at Amazon
These non-alcoholic spirit blends are best enjoyed in mixed drinks.
Best Non-Alcoholic Sparkling Wine:
TÖST Sparkling Non-Alcoholic Beverage at Amazon
A non-alcoholic sparkling wine with white tea and ginger extracts developed by culinary experts.
These beers run between 60 to 100 calories and 0 grams of sugar and all contain less than the 0.5% ABV cut-off.

The sober-curious community is growing—and we’re paying attention. Booze-free drinks are gaining popularity in movements like “Dry January” and “Mocktail Parties” and all over social media in different forms. So what’s it all about? Being sober-curious means resisting the mainstream drinking culture and the mindless consumption of alcohol. In this process, you may choose to be more selective when you drink and how much you drink or choose to abstain from alcohol completely. 

Wherever you may fall on this spectrum, reducing your alcohol intake and consuming more non-alcoholic beverages is a health-supportive decision. The 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend limiting alcohol intake to two drinks or less for men and one drink or less for women on days when drinking. Limiting alcohol intake to these recommendations is shown to reduce the risk of chronic conditions, including liver, kidney, and heart disease.

Skipping the booze can help with weight management as well, as alcohol is considered to be a source of “empty calories” or added calories with no nutritional value. 

Next time you reach for a glass, go for one of these delicious non-alcoholic beverages listed below. We’ve selected beverages that are not only great tasting but also low in sugar and full of simple, natural ingredients.           

Here, the best non-alcoholic beverages on the market:

Best Overall: Spindrift Sparkling Water

Sparkling water is a refreshing, low-calorie staple. Containing just sparkling water and fresh-squeezed fruit, Spindrift tops the list of non-alcoholic beverages. Try the Cucumber flavor for a spa vibe at home or the Half & Half for a healthy spin on the classic half lemonade, half iced tea. Pour it in a glass over ice and serve with a slice of fresh fruit to match the drink's flavor profile.

These drinks contain less than 15 calories and less than 3 grams of sugar, making them a perfect addition to your hydration line-up. Spindrift offers eleven fruit-forward flavors ranging from berries to citrus and tropical.

Best Budget-Friendly: Bubly Sparkling Water

If you like your sparkling water extra effervescent, Bubly is your pick. As the name suggests, these drinks are packed with flavorful bubbles that satisfy the taste buds. Unlike alcohol, sparkling water is hydrating, so swapping out a boozy beverage for Bubly will support your fluid intake goals and leave you feeling refreshed.

All Bubly drinks contain 0 calories and 0 grams of sugar. The ingredients are carbonated water and natural flavors. With 15 different flavor varieties, you're sure to find one that suits your mood.

Best Kombucha: Better Booch Kombucha Organic, Variety Pack

Looking for added health benefits from your non-alcoholic beverage? Grab a can of Better Booch, an organic, non-GMO, craft-brewed kombucha. Kombucha is a carbonated, sweet, and tangy beverage that contains live, active cultures called probiotics, which are considered “good” bacteria that help promote a healthy digestive system.

All kombucha contains trace amounts of alcohol from the fermentation process, but Better Booch does not exceed the 0.5 percent ABV (Alcohol By Volume) alcohol cut-off, making it a non-alcoholic beverage. 

With 50 calories and 10 grams of sugar per 16-ounce can, this makes for a great probiotic-packed, refreshing drink. Organic herbs and botanicals are used to create their unique nine flavors.

Best Sparkling Herbal Tonic: Sunwink Herbal Tonic

Sunwink Herbal Tonic

Sunwink is the cold, sparkling alternative to your hot, brewed herbal tea. Sunwink takes a plant-forward approach, delivering thoughtfully crafted herbal tonics with optimal flavor and targeted health benefits. Each flavor offers a unique blend of antioxidant-packed ingredients, including ginger root, hibiscus, and cinnamon. 

They offer five flavors made with purified water, herbs, lemon juice, and a hint of maple syrup: Immunity Berry, Detox Ginger, Lemon-Rose Uplift, Hibiscus Mint Unwind, and Turmeric Recover. Depending on the flavor, calories range from 30 to 50 calories and 6 to 11 grams of sugar.

Best Non-Alcoholic Spirit: SEEDLIP Garden 108 Non-Alcoholic Spirit

Seedlip takes non-alcoholic distilling to the next level, appealing to the sophisticated palate looking to elevate their drink without the booze. Founder Ben Branson takes his approach from The Art of Distillation, published in 1651 by physician John French, who wrote about optimizing botanical flavors in their purest form.

These non-alcoholic spirit blends are best enjoyed in mixed drinks—head to their website for inspiring ways to mix up a cocktail. They offer three botanical blends, including Grove, Spice, and Garden, made from natural distilled botanicals. All Seedlip beverages have 0 calories and 0 grams of sugar.

Best Non-Alcoholic Sparkling Wine: TÖST Sparkling Non-Alcoholic Beverage

TÖST Sparkling Non-Alcoholic Beverage

Toast your next celebratory event with “TOST,” a non-alcoholic sparkling wine with white tea and ginger extracts developed by culinary experts. The flavor profile is a crisp citrus that is subtly sweet with a dry finish. Sip this on its own in a champagne flute or use it as a base for a hand-crafted cocktail like a mimosa—just mix TOST with some fresh-squeezed orange juice.

Ingredients include carbonated water, organic blue agave, white tea white cranberry concentrate, natural ginger extract, natural citrus extract, citric acid, and quinine. Quinine is a natural substance that comes from the bark of cinchona trees in the Andes mountains, which yields the bitter taste found in tonic water. TOST contains 45 calories and 11 grams of sugar per 8 fluid ounces.

Best Non-Alcoholic Beer: Athletic Brewing Company Run Wild Non-Alcoholic IPA

Alcohol is dehydrating and can inhibit muscle repair and growth. Athletes, look no further than Athletic Brewing Co., a small batch brewing company offering non-alcoholic craft beers to support a healthy, active lifestyle. They offer a range of beer styles, including Golden, IPA, Lager, and Stout, to suit all the beer drinkers cravings. Try out their membership subscription for limited batch offerings, seasonal varieties, and custom monthly beer deliveries.

There are currently four brews on the market, including their award-winning Run Wild IPA, Upside Dawn Golden Ale, Cerveza Atletica Light Copper, All Out Stout, and Reed’s Red IPA. These beers run between 60 to 100 calories and 0 grams of sugar, and all contain less than the 0.5 percent ABV cut-off.

Final Verdict

Spindrift is our top-pick for a hydrating, sparking alternative to an alcoholic beverage. If you feel like you want a more elevated “mocktail,” go for Seedlip.

What to Look for in Non-Alcoholic Beverages

Flavor Profile: 

Choose a drink with a flavor profile that suits your taste buds. If you like sweet, go with a drink that has fresh-squeezed tropical fruit flavors like pineapple. Like things tarter? Select a beverage with fruit flavors like berries or citrus. If you like a bitter element, find drinks crafted with herbs and botanical blends.

Sugar: 

Be sure to check the label for the sugar content. Look for drinks that ideally have less than 10 grams of sugar per serving. 

Occasion: 

If you are looking for an everyday grab-and-go drink, choose a pre-blended beverage in a can like one of the sparkling water or kombucha beverages. Looking to swap out your festive champagne for a non-alcoholic alternative? Try a non-alcoholic sparkling wine. If you want to get creative and experiment in the kitchen, try a non-alcoholic spirit blend and savor the flavor.

FAQs

What is a non-alcoholic malt beverage?

A malt beverage is a fermented drink that comes from a grain, seed, or barley plant. The “malting” process occurs when these grain mixtures are left to sprout before processing. Non-alcoholic beers are considered non-alcoholic malt beverages, as they contain the same flavor profiles but have a shorter fermentation time that yields an Alcohol By Volume (ABV) of less than 0.5 percent. 

What is a good non-alcoholic drink to order at a bar?

Top recommendations at a bar include anything bubbly and on ice. Try sparkling water with a splash of grapefruit and lime. Some bars and restaurants have a designated section on their menu for non-alcoholic beverages—experiment with something you’ve never tried before to keep things interesting.

What Experts Say

"Cutting back on the booze is a great way to promote weight loss, especially if you are drinking frequently and aren't seeing the results you want. According to the USDA, one 5-ounce glass of wine contains approximately 125 calories. If you have a glass of wine four nights per week, that's an incremental 500 calories per week, which can add up over time."—Eliza Savage, MS, RD, CDN

Why Trust Verywell Fit?

As a Registered Dietitian, Anne Carroll, MS, RD uses her clinical expertise to cut through marketing claims and get down to the science. These are all products that she has researched, vetted, and would recommend to her clients in private practice and incorporate into her own diet.

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Article Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Alcohol Use and Your Health. Updated January 14, 2021.

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  4. USDA. FoodData Central. Wine, table, white. Published October 30, 2020.