Food and Drink

The Best Non-Alcoholic Beer, Wine, and Spirits to Try This Dry July

You might even forget about alcohol altogether.

Seedlip
Photo: @seedlipaus_nz

The rise of the non-alcoholic drinks industry shows no sign of slowing down with non-alcoholic beverage brands popping up more frequently, meaning new players are entering the game. Now more than ever, you will find your favourite spirits, including the flavours and textures, just without the added alcohol.

In recent years, non-alcoholic spirits, beers, and wines have grown in popularity with people looking to switch to zero alcohol for health reasons or lifestyle changes.

Although, in July especially, people ditch the alcohol for a good cause. This Dry July we’re helping you still find those flavours and styles you like—sans alcohol.

If you’re ready to take the plunge into the tantalising world of alcohol-free beverages, we’ve rounded up the best brands to try.

Best Non-Alcoholic Spirits

best non alcoholic spirits

Cockatoo Cocktails Natives Range

Cockatoo Cocktails have just released their unique Native Australian non-alcoholic range. Think modern cocktails reimagined, including a Wattleseed Espresso Martini, Riberry Negroni, and Finger Lime Margarita. Each cocktail is low-calorie with no added sugars. You can add alcohol to them if you want, either way, they are delicious. The cocktails are being released at 9 am on Thursday, July 28. Buy here.

best non alcoholic spirits

Drummerboy

The Drummerboy range features London Dry—a gin replacement, American Dark—a bourbon replacement, Mexican Agave—a tequila replacement, Italian Rosso—a Vermouth replacement, and Italian Aperitivo—a Spritz replacement. A mosh pit of flavour with seriously spirit-lifting taste, Drummerboy is designed to be drunk neat over ice, with a classic mixer as the base for your favourite non-alcoholic cocktail. Buy online here.

Lyre's Spirits dry july
Photo: @lyresspiritco

Lyre’s Italian Orange

If you love Campari, then this non-alcoholic version is a must-try. Enjoy rich mouthfuls of blood orange and citrus, just as you would in an Aperol spritz. You can add soda or tonic water for a non-alcoholic spritz, or you can mix Lyre’s Orange with Lyre’s Dry London Spirit and Aperitif Rosso to make an alcohol-free negroni. Buy from DanMurphy’s here.

Banks Botanicals dry july
Photo: @banks.botanicals

Banks Botanicals

This premium alcohol-free spirit from Yarra Valley blends five native ingredients to create a refreshing organic beverage. Expect notes of spice from the cassia and hints of lime and lemon myrtle. A 700ml bottle is $50, which you can buy here

Monday Distillery dry july
Photo: @mondaydistillery

Monday Distillery

It’s not hard to find something to sip on at Monday Distillery. All of their products are non-alcoholic versions of the classics, including G&T, Paloma, mezcalita, and a dram sour, which is a take on a whiskey sour. You can get a combination box and try a few flavours or pick up a bottle for $50 each. They also sell garnishes to add that extra flair to your non-alcoholic cocktail. Buy from DanMurphy’s here.

brunswick Aces dry july
Photo: @brunswickaces

Brunswick Aces

Brunswick Aces is a distillery, bottle shop, and bar in Brunswick, VIC. They offer a range of non-alcoholic spirits including the iconic Spades Sapiir bottle.  The Gnista floral offers a floral finish with bitter tones of wormwood, which is perfect as a base for non-alcoholic cocktails or poured over ice with tonic water. Buy from DanMurphy’s here.

Gordon's 0%

Gordon’s 0%

Made using only the finest distilled botanicals in the same way as Gordon’s London Dry, Gordon’s 0.0% doesn’t compromise on the bold, juniper-led character gin drinkers love. For the perfect serve simply pour 50mL of Gordon’s 0.0% over ice, top up with tonic and finish with a wedge of lime. Buy from DanMurphy’s here.

Best Non-Alcoholic Wine

Thomson and Scott noughty chardonnay
Photo: @thomsonandscott

Thomson and Scott Noughty Sparkling Wine

Pop open a bottle of alcohol-free sparkling wine. This chardonnay from Thomson and Scott Noughty is lightly refreshing with a smooth crisp finish. It’s made with Chardonnay grapes and has only three grams of sugar per 100ml. At $25 per bottle, it’s an affordable way to toast with bubbles and stick to dry July. 

best non alcoholic drink brands
Photo: @non.world

NON’s Everyday Range

NON is known for its balance of fruit, salinity and acidity in wine, and the new range is no exception. Within the new bundle sits fan favourites NON1 (Salted Raspberry & Chamomile), NON3 (Toasted Cinnamon & Yuzu) and NON7 (Stewed Cherry & Coffee). Buy a bottle here. During July and August, $5 from every purchase goes towards OzHarvest.

Giesen Wines 0%
Photo: @giesenwines

Giesen 0% Marlborough Sauv Blanc

Pour this bottle of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc during dinner and you’ll never know the difference. This New Zealand wine is dry and crisp, made in the vineyards of Marlborough. Enjoy its refreshing finish without any alcohol added. Pick it up for $15.50. 

Domaine De La Prade

Domaine De La Prade Merlot/Shiraz

Looking for a red to have with dinner? This organic merlot shiraz has no alcohol and all of the toffee-rich merlot grapes you could want. It even has the full-bodied experience you would get from a bottle of shiraz. You can pick it up for $23 a bottle. 

Natureo De-Alcoholised Rose

Natureo De-Alcoholised Rose

There’s never a bad time for rosé. Luckily, this rose is completely alcohol-free and great for those participating in Dry July, or simply want an alcohol-free wine. Made in Spain, this rose is fruity and fresh, made from shiraz and cabernet sauvignon grapes. It’s only $15 a bottle. 

best non alcoholic wines

Plus and Minus Prosecco

This non-alcoholic prosecco is perfect for toasting to celebrate or is great with non-alcoholic cocktails. It features a delicious citrus taste with a just-cut apple on the nose. A softly effervescent palate delivers a firm weight with great fruit flavour.  It also has a touch of sweet fruit and a cleansing acidity on the finish.

Best Non-Alcoholic Beer

best non alcoholic drinks brands
Photo: @ f45_training_brunswickeast

Better Beer Zero Alc

Better Beer Zero Alc (<0.5%) is perfect for when you’re craving a cold one and are taking one for the team as the designated driver, you’re attempting Dry July, or you’re simply being sensible. It’s crisp, refreshing, and is the perfect beer for when you’re not drinking beers. They’ve used a ‘vacuum evaporation’ method to keep the Zero Alc beer tasting like, well, beer. Buy from DanMurphy’s here.

best non alcoholic beer

Big Drop Brewing Co.

Brewed in Melbourne, Big Drop Brewing Co. produces award-winning non-alcoholic beverages of your favourite styles including pale ales, stouts, and craft lagers. Pick up a 16-pack for $48 or a sampler case for $41.60. They’ve also just launched Australia’s first seasonal beer—Poolside DDH IPA. It’s a double dry-hopped IPA with tropical flavours and a strong hint of mango, Poolside is the perfect summer drink and a delicious craft brew option for those looking to enjoy a thirst-quenching beer but skip the booze. Buy from Boozebud here.

Lucky Saint Beer
Photo: @luckysaintbeer

Lucky Saint 

Lucky Saint makes superior lager and they deliver to your door. Unlike other non-alcoholic beers, Lucky Saint uses a step mash technique and wort run-off to fermentation and dry hopping in pursuit of flavour. Each bottle is $5 and can be bought here.

Athletic Brewing Co
Photo: @athleticbrewing

Athletic Brewing Co 

Get a taste of this pioneering craft beer, made in the U.S. Australians can order their signature non-alcoholic Upside Dawn Golden Ale and the Run Wild IPA after its recent launch in the Australian market. Order a beer box here

Heaps Normal
Photo: @heapsnormal

Heaps Normal

Crack open this unfiltered non-alcoholic XPA that carries tropical and citrus aromas. It only has 76 calories per serving and is vegan-friendly with no preservatives. Heaps Normal has finally released their second beer, Another Lager, which hit shelves in February. Buy from Boozebud here.

Upflow Brewing
Photo: @upflowbrewing

Upflow Stout

This stout is a deeply roasted malt with flavours of bittersweet chocolate and just a hint of espresso. At $4.50 a can, you can pair this non-alcoholic beer with anything from decadent desserts to oysters.  

Holsten Zero Beer
Photo: @holstenzerobeer

Holsten 0.0%

This German-style pilsner, has zero alcohol and the lowest carb and calorie count in the market, making it a healthier alternative to soft drinks and other sober options. 8.9 carbs and 40 calories per 330ml bottle.

best non alcoholic drink brands

Capital Brewing Co.

Full of flavour, Capital Brewing Co.’s ALC-LESS is a tropical Pacific Ale that showcases everything an alcoholic brew has with less the tomfoolery. Delightfully refreshing, Alc-Less is fresh, crisp and clean with a smooth, satisfying finish.

Best Non-Alcoholic Canned Cocktails

best non alocholic canned cocktails

Edenvale Sparkling Cuvee and Aperitivo Spritz

These delicious slim cans are convenient and tasty. The sparkling Cuvee is perfect for occasions and tastes just like sparkling wine, without alcohol. Think rich fruit flavours and a hint of zest for that refreshing aftertaste. The Aperitivo Spritz is alcohol-free, with notes of citrus, spice, and floral blossom.

Lyre's Spirits G&T
Photo Courtesy Of Lyre’s Spirits Co.

Lyre’s G&T RTD

You can still enjoy a refreshing gin and tonic, sans the gin. These ready-to-drink cans from Lyre’s are best served in a tall glass of ice with a slice of grapefruit and a sprig of rosemary. Expect flavours of juniper and citrus with smelling notes of jasmine and pepper berry. It’s $99 for a case of 24.  Buy from BoozeBud here.

Lyre's Spirits Dark N Spicy
Photo Courtesy Of Lyre’s Spirits Co.

Lyre’s Dark n Spicy and American Malt Cola

Lyre’s recently launched a Dark n Spice malt cola, in a ready-to-drink can. Cocktail lovers will enjoy the aromatic and slightly spiced ginger beer, which combines with a lime zest freshness, for a complex, yet tasty RTD. Buy from BoozeBud here.

Seedlip
Photo: @seedlipaus_nz

Seedlip

Seedlip was the world’s first distilled non-alcoholic spirit. Enjoy their selection of guilt-free cocktails including a spice grapefruit tonic RTD and the Seedlip Grove, which is a citrus-forward drink. Order the range here.

best non alcoholic spirits

Yes You Can Drinks

Yes You Can Drinks removes the stigma of mindful drinking. Their range of alcohol-free drinks includes a signature Spritz, featuring zesty orange and rhubarb herbal scents; Dark & Stormy, refreshingly ginger with a smoky undertone, cut through with a dash of lime; and the classic G&T, just the tonic (and more!). They recently launched a new native range, including a lemon myrtle sour, Davidson plum Paloma, and a native peach bellini. Buy here.

best non alcoholic drink brands

FELLR Free

Beloved Aussie seltzer company FELLR will release a non-alcoholic range just in time for Dry July. Get your hands on a watermelon or mango flavoured non-alc version, which also happens to be sugar and carb-free. There are only 10 calories per can, so you can enjoy a refreshing seltzer, without the guilt. Buy from Boozebud here.

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Food and Drink

Why Makrut Lime Makes a Star Ingredient in Cocktails

The Southeast Asian citrus is intensely aromatic and pairs with rum, gin, tequila, and more.

Photo courtesy of Fish Cheeks
Photo courtesy of Fish Cheeks
Photo courtesy of Fish Cheeks

I grew up with a makrut lime tree in my backyard, admiring the double leaves and dimpled citrus fruit that frequently made their way into our family dinners. Makrut limes, which are sometimes referred to kaffir limes (although the term is controversial and has been widely retired), are native to Southeast Asia, but somehow my mom willed a tree to grow in our Southern California home with great success.

To me, makrut meant savoury Thai food: steamed fish curry wrapped in banana leaves and sprinkled with chiffonade makrut, simmering tom kha gai with floating bits of the hand-torn citrus leaves, and glistening green curry accentuated by the plant’s aroma.

But to others, makrut is an ideal ingredient in cocktails and other drinks. Such is the case for Fish Cheeks, a Thai restaurant in Manhattan known for its seafood dishes and eclectic, complementary cocktail menu. Beverage director Beau Fontano knew he had to include makrut in his creations, especially because the ingredient is so prominent on the food menu. Makrut lime finds its way in several drinks, most notably as a garnish atop the Thank You Kha, a riff on the acidic coconut stew tom kha gai, and the Manao Mao, a rum-based drink that uses makrut lime bitters.

“I don’t love using the word tiki, but if you think of those tiki rum cocktails, makrut definitely works well in those,” Fontano says. “But I also love it in martinis-there’s something really clean about it. And with makrut lime, if you’re just using the leaves, you can do a lot of rapid infusions.”

Fontano only uses the leaves, because the rinds and juice of makrut limes are famously bitter. “Regular lime has a little bit more sugar content, so that’s why it’s much more approachable in cocktails. Makrut limes tend to be more dry,” he explains. “But when you use the leaves in cocktails, you just smack it to wake it up a little bit and it gets that nice citrusy, refreshing aroma which is really fun.”

The leaves are cut fresh, so each drink has the scent of makrut lime leaves wafting off of them. “I’m sure at one point I will get around to it and try to figure out how to use the juice,” he laughs.

Further north at Paper Tiger in Portland, Maine, makrut lime leaves are also prevalent in a cocktail called Something Scandalous, a tequila-based drink intended to be, in the words of bartender Nick Reevy, “crushed easily.”

Paper Tiger
Paper Tiger
Paper Tiger

“I went with tequila, specifically, because in Maine it’s 80 degrees and humid pretty much all summer,” Reevy explains. “So I made something you kick back easily. Agave has a really nice softness that elevates the makrut lime, and the main flavour in that drink is the Thai basil.”

The drink is an alluring shade of green and is rounded out by cinnamon syrup and falernum. “Makrut lime is really herbal and bright in a way no other citrus is,” Reevy adds. “It’s interchangeable with other limes, but it just adds this whole other depth of flavour.”Makrut lime has even made its way into hard seltzer, albeit a limited edition drop from Lunar. Founder Kevin Wong knew he wanted to add another citrus drink to his rotation as he witnessed the successes of hard lemonades, but already had a yuzu iteration. Makrut lime seemed like a natural follow-up.

Photo courtesy of Lunar
Photo courtesy of Lunar
Photo courtesy of Lunar

“It has a very intense citrus fragrance, almost perfumey or soapy,” Wong ponders. “Like I could see Le Labo putting out a makrut lime fragrance. It has such a commanding presence and body.”

To tamper down some of the boldness of the makrut lime, the hard seltzer uses makrut lime leaf extract, lime juice, and cane sugar. The aromatics of the lime are present without too much bitterness; instead, the seltzer is grassy, acidic, and dry. Wong recommends pairing the can with spicy foods, especially Szechuan dry pot.

The makrut lime seltzer is currently sold out, and Wong is unsure whether or not another batch is in the works. “I feel like makrut lime is the greatest secret unknown to the Western world,” he says. “It’s in medicine, candy, herbal drinks, cosmetics and aromatherapy. I think we did the seltzer too early, and I don’t know if the world is ready for us to bring it back yet. Maybe in a couple of years.”

But judging by the growing popularity of makrut lime in beverage menus, the comeback might be sooner than he expects.

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Kat Thompson is a senior staff writer at Thrillist. Follow her on Twitter @katthompsonn.

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