Vegan + alcohol-free may sound like the ultimate level of restriction, but I am here to show you that it isn’t!
As you may know, sourcing vegan-friendly alcohol can be a task in of itself, especially when it comes to beer and wine. This is why so many of us have our favourite drinks which we know and fall back on. So, when you choose to get rid of the alcohol (or restrict it somewhat), you are basically starting back at square one again.
Thankfully, there are many vegan-friendly alcohol brands that make non-alcoholic versions of their drinks. On top of this, there are many alcohol-free drinks brands that are incredibly inclusive and make sure to create their drinks with vegans in mind.
So, in reality, sourcing good non-alcoholic vegan drinks is pretty easy.
Picking the right ones for you though, that’s the hard part. Not all non-alcoholic drinks are made equal, and in all honesty, some are pretty crap.
This is why I’ve put together this guide to my favourite go-to non-alcoholic vegan drinks. Included is a mix of drink types, including some that are completely alcohol-free and some that only have a tiny percentage of alcohol (never more than what you may find in the average burger roll though).
Why drink non-alcoholic vegan drinks?
Drinking alcohol can be fun, but there are many reasons why that temporary feeling of tipsiness may not be beneficial long-term.
First of all, it may well be that you enjoy a drink but hate the hangovers. I have the most horrific hangovers, so I try and avoid drinking too much in one go and try and swap out an alcoholic drink for a non-alcoholic alternative.
Secondly, it could be that you just don’t enjoy alcohol or the feeling of being tipsy. In this case, you may just enjoy having something that makes it look like you are having a drink.
And really, there are many more reasons than what I have mentioned above. But for whatever reason you may be on the lookout for good vegan alcohol-free drinks, then read on to discover my favourites!
Here are my favourite non-alcoholic vegan drinks
These are all drinks which I have in my cupboards or fridge at home. I like to drink all of these as replacements for an alcoholic drink. For me, I find it good to mix and match so that it keeps things exciting and different. So hopefully, you too can find a few non-alcoholic vegan drinks here that take your fancy!
Gordon’s Pink Gin
I never used to love gin & tonics until I forced myself to drink a few, and then suddenly, I was obsessed. I soon found that the stronger the G&T the better, so I would end up sinking quite a few doubles in an evening.
As gin is a spirit, the alcohol percentage is quite high. And the hangovers were pretty dreadful also.
So, I have tried out all of the alcohol-free gins to replace my G&Ts. What I found was that the actual gin brands did it better. They actually have the mouthfeel, flavours, and smells of gin.
Some of the fully alcohol-free gin brands do make nice drinks, but it just doesn’t always feel like a G&T would have done.
This one from Gordon’s is really affordable and works well mixed in with a Fever-Tree tonic water.
They do a normal alcohol-free gin alternative, but I do enjoy this pink gin version as it has lovely floral notes which is perfect for sunny afternoons outside.
Because this is a little on the cheap side, it is a bit more like the cheaper alcoholic gins, but it does mean you can drink a lot more alcohol-free G&Ts without going broke.
Caleño Dark & Spicy
I used to love drinking rum on nights out. I would mix it with ginger beer, pineapple juice, or apple juice. What further cemented my love for rum was a few weeks spent in Cuba, the home of Havana Club.
I could drink mojitos all day, every day, particularly when it is nice and sunny outside.
But that being said, I spent many a morning with a horrific hangover whilst in Cuba. And it really wasn’t that sustainable, or fun.
So, it is great to have alternatives to this delicious spirit, like this Dark & Spicy alcohol-free spirit from Caleño.
Whilst it isn’t specified that this drink is a direct ‘rum’ replacement, I have found it works nicely in any rum-based cocktails, like the amazing mojito.
It is made with a blend of coconut, pineapple, ginger, vanilla, kola nut and lime. Making this the most delightful tropical alcohol-free drink!
And to top it all off, this is a fully female-founded company! Not something you see much in the drinks industry. So, this is definitely a great company to be supporting.
I love fizz. Be it champagne, prosecco or even a good bottle of cava. And I will find absolutely any excuse to get a bottle in. I fake celebrations and celebrate the tiniest of wins, just to get some fizz in my life.
But there is something about fizzy alcoholic drinks that gets me drunk within just a matter of seconds. Maybe its the bubbles, but I really can only drink a few.
So, I find it really useful to get a few bottles of this Nozeco in to either fully replace or interchange with alcoholic versions.
This bottle of Nozeco is incredibly cheap and really easy to find in most supermarkets. With this in mind, it isn’t the most realistic alcohol-free prosecco, but I haven’t found any alcohol-free wines that actually mimic alcoholic versions at all well.
For me, this works because it is fizzy and has a faint grape-like taste that works well for sipping on when everyone around you is drinking their alcoholic versions.
It also works really well for cocktails (like an aperol spritz) and bellinis, because once you mix other flavours with it, the fizziness of it comes through and helps to mimic what a dash of prosecco would bring to the drink.
Hip Pop Living Soda
Alcohol really isn’t that good for you, not only does it give you stinking hangovers, which if you are like me, ends up with a few days of anxiety and panic attacks.
But it also isn’t particularly great for your gut. It affects pretty much everything within your digestive system, including the friendly bacteria inside your gut.
So, when you decide to drink something alcohol-free instead, why not make up for the days where you do consume an alcoholic beverage by drinking these gut friendly sodas from Hip Pop.
They are made using apple cider vinegar, which is fermented and packed full of friendly bacteria. This is then mixed together with a bunch of tasty natural flavours, like ginger & turmeric, pink grapefruit, and tropical peach.
Whilst these aren’t an actual alcohol replacement, they are definitely great for sipping on in the evening or at a social event. You can always dress them up in your favourite glass and garnish it with some fresh fruit or herbs.
I find the grapefruit flavour has a really nice tang to it which gives you the feeling of having a special drink.
I am a big fan of beer and pretty much every kind. I’ll drink craft beer in a cool hipster spot, local ales down at the pub, and lagers whilst sat on a nice sunny beach abroad.
Although, it isn’t always easy knowing what beers are vegan. Never mind alcohol-free beers.
But one thing you can count on is German beer. Due to them having something called a ‘purity law’ they can only use four ingredients to brew their beer – water, grain, hops and yeast.
This means that beers from Germany, like Erdinger, are naturally vegan. So I was really happy when Erdinger brought out an alcohol-free version of their beer.
It is really refreshing and goes really nicely with a good vegan burger and chips eaten out in the sunshine.
I also find you can alternate this really well with alcoholic beers, so you can do one alcoholic and one non-alcoholic. This is perfect for anyone who likes long drinking sessions with good beer.
The best bit is that this is widely available in both supermarkets and pubs.
But like most alcohol-free beers, you can tell it is missing the alcohol. So don’t expect to be completely fooled here.
Lyre’s Italian Spritz
I have been known to drink quite a lot of Aperol Spritz in my time. It is the ultimate summer time drink, but is also a go-to during the winter when I feel like I want to channel the sun and warmth into my house.
It is made using Aperol, a bitter Italian spirit. This is mixed with prosecco, soda and a slice of orange.
During one of my alcohol-free stints I discovered this Italian Spritz from Lyre’s which has to be one of the most realistic alcohol-free spirits that I have ever tried. They have achieved the flavour of Aperol without needing any of the alcohol.
So you can either choose to make a low-alcohol Aperol Spritz by mixing this with an alcoholic prosecco, or you can go fully alcohol-free by mixing it with some Nozeco.
The result is amazing, it is like having an Aperol Spritz but without the alcohol. I do believe it also works well for alcohol-free Negronis also, but haven’t tried this.
That being said, Lyre’s is a bit more on the pricey side and this particular alcohol-free spirit of theirs only really has a few uses, so you need to be a lover of bitter spirits to want to stock your cupboard up with this!
Waitrose 1% Cider
I find cider to be way too drinkable, especially the fizzy varieties. They taste like fermented fizzy apple juices. Super tasty, but they can be quite alcoholic!
So I tried out this low alcohol cider from Waitrose which whilst also being incredibly easy to drink, comes with none of the hangovers or drunkenness.
I know this is a vegan alcohol-free guide and this is technically alcoholic, with it being a 1% cider, but you really won’t feel any of the effects of this alcohol since it is so low.
Personally, I find anything that is above 2.5% to be alcoholic enough to maybe feel it. And I find that anything below 3.5% is near impossible to get drunk on, unless you drink litres of the stuff.
And I’ll throw out some scientific facts just to reassure you, bananas contain small amounts of alcohol, as does bread. Some bread has been found to have over 1% of alcohol. Making it more than this cider.
I find the 1% helps to give it an alcoholic tang without any of the bad effects of alcohol. So, I’d go as far to say that this is the most realistic alcohol alternative, something that may fool people into thinking they are actually just drinking a weak cider.