Non-alcoholic spirits are a growing trend in the beverage industry. They offer all of the flavors of traditional spirits but without alcohol. These drinks make an excellent choice for those who want to enjoy the taste of liquor without any of the negative side effects.
In this blog, we will discuss what non-alcoholic spirits are, what they taste like, and more!
What are Non-Alcoholic Spirits?
Non-alcoholic spirits are drinks made to appear and taste as closely as a real spirit but with low to no alcoholic content at all. The ABV of this new form of drink is generally between 0% and 5%. As a result, they are unable to use the term "spirit" befittingly.
The non-alcoholic beverages market is constantly growing, and the large alcohol firms are beginning to notice, thanks to rising health awareness and a value for wellness-oriented goods.
How are Non-Alcoholic Spirits Made?
Spirits with little or no alcohol content can be created in various methods. Spirit distillers now make many non-alcoholic spirits, employing several of the same techniques as true spirit. These drinks are frequently created using the traditional distillation method.
The fermentation process involves sugar and yeast, resulting in the production of ethanol, which is the alcohol we consume in liquors. The alcohol by volume percentage of fermented drinks typically ranges from 15% to 20%. To be considered a distilled spirit, the drink requires a minimum of 40% alcohol content.
This alcohol level is achieved through the distillation process, where the ethanol is concentrated by separating the water from the alcohol component. As distillation can concentrate the amount of alcohol, it can also decrease a beverage’s ABV or remove its alcohol content altogether.
During this procedure, a copper still is filled with a neutral grain spirit and an assortment of botanicals and other natural flavorings. Then, the mixture goes through multiple distillation stages to eliminate all the ethanol. Fruits, herbs, and spices are heated to collect and achieve the desired flavors.
Another method is maceration which is the process of allowing natural flavorings like herbs to immerse and soak in a liquid until they create a flavor comparable to that of real spirit. In this procedure, the liquid base can be alcoholic or not. If an alcoholic base is used, it will just be removed again using distillation.
The process mentioned above is kind of identical to infusion. It is where botanicals are infused in the alcoholic or non-alcoholic liquid base for a long time to extract the aroma and flavor.
An example of a brand that doesn’t use distillation is Lyre’s. Their non-alcoholic spirits are made by combining natural essences and extracts rather than distillation.
What Does Non-Alcoholic Spirits Taste Like?
The flavor you can expect with non-alcoholic spirits resembles whatever flavoring is infused into the alcohol or liquid. For instance, alcohol-free gins generally use juniper since it is a botanical that is mandated by law to be the flavor of gin.
Some alcohol-free spirits taste like maple syrup, apple juice or have a hint of smokiness. The flavor really varies for every brand and with the manufacturing process. Expect to notice the taste differences of real alcohol to a clean and booze-free one.
For some brands like Lyre’s, you can still enjoy the high-quality taste of the spirit even though alcohol is not infused. The Lyre’s Italian Orange is a great example; it is layered, deep, and complex, much like how a liqueur would be.
The first sip will reveal an initially sweet and smooth liqueur profile. It opens up to delightful flavors of bright blood orange and citrus notes, with a refined bitterness and almost woody dry finish.
The bitterness and citrus notes are very reminiscent of classic alcoholic drinks. The richness and full body make you feel like you are actually drinking a true alcoholic spirit.
How to Drink Non-Alcoholic Spirits
Non-alcoholic spirits, just like the booze-forward variants, can be consumed straight, on the rocks, mixed in a cocktail, or incorporated in other dishes and desserts. Remember to match the drink's flavor profile with what you will combine to create a delectable treat.
However, do not be afraid of experimenting and concocting your own aperitif. After all, it is your tastebuds and personal likings to satisfy!
Are Non-Alcoholic Spirits Better Than Alcoholic Ones?
Alcohol, when not taken within limits, could post adverse effects such as gaining weight, hangovers, alcoholism, and health risks.
Non-alcoholic spirits are the innovative alternative that has risen for the healthy-conscious not to give up one of the pleasures of their lives. In a way or two, this makes alcohol-free drinks better than boozy ones.
When you are at a party, you tend to be carefree about consuming a lot of shots that you let yourself not mind about the consequences.
Too much alcohol can cause intoxication that may eventually lead to accidents. It can also lead you to be susceptible to sickness and diseases affecting your brain, heart, and liver and increase the probability of having cancer.
With non-alcoholic drinks, you really wouldn’t have to think about these repercussions. Limitations like religious matters, pregnancy, dietary restrictions, appropriateness at work, and others are not issues. You can have a drink whenever and wherever you are since it can not intoxicate you.
People who have drunk non-alcoholic spirits like Lyre’s have shared that it has amazing aromas, is smooth, is almost velvety in the mouth, and has a nice sharp finish. Most drinkers find that the flavor is excellent, and there is a surprising and very pleasant bite, which is unexpected for something with no alcohol.
Like the alcohol-forward beverages, non-alcoholic variants also have diverse flavors depending on the alcohol type and the brand. You may choose your preferred tastes, but of course, do not expect the intense booziness and kick that alcoholic drinks have.
Non-Alcoholic Spirits FAQ
1. Why are non-alcoholic spirits so expensive?
The price reflects the complexity of the manufacturing process, which is more sophisticated than that of soft or alcoholic drinks. This procedure entails the use of cutting-edge distillation machinery, which is costly to acquire and maintain.
The dealcoholization process wastes gallons of alcohol (or other liquid bases), making the final product more costly than regular spirits. The high price indicates that your drink will be manufactured with great attention and high-quality ingredients.
2. Where to buy non-alcoholic spirits?
There are several online stores where you can purchase alcohol-free spirits and other non-alcoholic beverages. One of the trusted market sites are Lyre’s, Seedlip, The Zero Proof, and Total Wine.
Or you may simply inquire in your local liquor shops for physical stores since these drinks are now common, like the standard alcohols.
3. Are non-alcoholic spirits healthy?
Most non-alcoholic spirit brands contain less sugar and fewer calories than regular liquors. So, if you plan on losing weight, switching from alcoholic to alcohol-free drinks is one way to begin.
Moreover, non-alcoholic beverages do not expose you to health threats like chronic diseases and liver problems compared to boozy variants.
However, just one facet of diet cannot be used to determine one's health. A drink's sugar or calorie level does not automatically make it, or you, unhealthy. A good tip for any food you consume is “anything in excess is bad,” so even booze-free, drink moderately!
4. Can pregnant women consume non-alcoholic spirits?
Whether women like it or not, being pregnant brings a certain amount of stress. This stress can sometimes be relieved by alcohol, but since pregnant women cannot take liquors, non-alcoholic spirits are a great alternative.
Of course, it is recommended to consult your doctor first before consuming any of these.
5. Can you make alcohol-free spirits at home?
Unless you had a small still at home, distilling an alcohol-free spirit would be pretty challenging. The entire process of elimination of alcohol through evaporation heavily depends on the distillation. Although, macerating and infusion procedures with botanicals and booze-free liquid bases might be a more accessible alternative.
The popularity of non-alcoholic drinks is rising as people become more health-conscious. They provide an excellent alternative to those who are craving alcohol but don't want their side effects.
If you're looking for a unique drink to enjoy at your next party, why not try something that doesn't have alcohol? Non-alcoholic spirits taste just like their alcoholic counterparts and can be incorporated into any recipe. Plus, you might be astonished at how much you enjoy them.
What are your thoughts on non-alcoholic spirits? Are they a good alternative for people who don’t drink booze? Let us know in the comments!