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Guide to Non-Alcoholic Whiskeys

I was recently asked to write a guide to non-alcoholic spirits for the New Mocktails Bible, an all-occasion guide to an alcohol-free, zero-proof, no regrets, sober curious lifestyle.

Two years ago, a non-alc spirits guide covering 2 whiskeys would have given the reader a reasonably good sense of the breadth of the category. Today, it merely scratches the surface. There are many zero proof whiskeys that warrant mention but weren’t included for space constraint reasons. Here is a deep dive on two of my favorite booze-free whiskeys as of November 2022.

But don’t take my word for it. See what other sober curious drinkers have to say about over a dozen other non-alcoholic whiskey alternatives as well.

SpiritSpiritless – Kentucky 74Gnista – Barreled Oak
IntroductionWhereas most NA whiskey alternatives combine and perhaps conflate the flavors of different types of alcoholic whiskeys (e.g. Irish, Scotch, Tennessee, etc.), Spiritless’s Kentucky 74 is one of the very few bourbon-specific NA whiskey alternatives.An Impossible burger patty most convincingly replaces a traditional burger patty when wrapped in a toasted bun, with cheese, mustard and a pickle. Similarly, most NA whiskey alternatives are best enjoyed in a cocktail with a mixer, bitters and a garnish. Gnista Barreled Oak, however, has the body, mouthfeel and burn such that it’s very enjoyable neat or on the rocks.
Flavor Notes / ProfilesCaramel, vanilla, charred oak, malty sweetness, smoke and a hint of spiceDry and smoky, with chocolate rye, warm spices and oak barrel
Notable CharacteristicsVegan. Gluten Free. Keto Friendly. Women OwnedCrafted by hand in small batches in Sweden
Notable IngredientsOnly 1 g of sugar per servingDried spices and fruits, habanero extract, botanical distillates. Rhubarb juice and beet syrup for mouthfeel and body.
Comparable Alcoholic SpiritsMaker’s Mark, Buffalo Trace, Town BranchOld Forester, Four Roses, Wild Turkey
Pairing / Mixing SuggestionsBest for Old Fashioneds and Whiskey Sours, but holds its own on the rocks or even neatBest on the rocks or neat, but also works well with soda water and a maraschino cherry

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