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I love entertaining and try to keep our home bar stocked with liquors needed for the most commonly requested cocktails. I also try to keep beer, wine, soda, and seltzers on hand when I know people will be dropping over. I love playing bartender for my guests. I have a number of friends who do not drink alcohol. Aside from sodas, teas, and waters, I'd love to have more festive options on hand for guests who don't drink. I've had someone recommend Seedlip to me which I haven't tried yet. I'm curious if others have experience with non-alcoholic spirits. What do you recommend investing in for a home bar so that guests who don't partake in drinking feel more included?

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  • Not really my thing, but if you google “mocktail recipes” you’ll get lots of hits. Should provide ideas for ingredients.
    – Eric S
    Aug 6 at 1:30
  • What do you actually consider ”staples”? Is it food and drinks or simply one or the other?
    – Ken Graham
    Aug 15 at 6:43
  • @KenGraham I was thinking beverages. I'm looking for ideas for guests who might want something more festive than a soda or juice but don't drink alcohol.
    – Rosie
    Aug 16 at 12:20
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There are several zero-proof brands out now that make quite tasty pseudo-liquors (Ritual is one excellent brand). Zero proof gin is essentially a botanical "tonic" that can you use 1-to-1 like traditional gin in a cocktail. If you like to play bartender, you might enjoy getting a small collection of zero-proof liquor alternatives.

In addition to the ones marketed as "zero proof gin/whiskey/etc", You can find many other zero proof alternatives to traditional liquors that can help you build lower proof, or zero proof cocktails. Versin Aperitif can be substituted for sweet vermouth; San Pellegrino sanbitter makes a decent Campari substitute. Fee Brothers and some other brands have zero proof bitters in a wide variety of flavors. You might find that if you search for your favorite cocktail ingredients specifically, you'll find decent alternatives without the punch.

It's also important to pay attention to labels to match your guests' preferences & needs. For example, Angostura bitters are 45% alcohol, but you normally just use a few drops. If you want ZERO proof (what the US FDA calls “alcohol-free”), steer clear of them (ex, they are haram for Muslims). But if you just want very low alcohol (what the US FDA calls “non-alcoholic”), then it might not matter. "Non-alcoholic" beer usually has a small amount of alcohol, which the FDA considers an insignificant amount, but your guests may feel differently.

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O'Doul's Original Non-Alcoholic Beer is very, very popular here in BC. My father-in-law drinks it quite often, as well as many of my friends and associates.

O'Doul's Original Non-Alcoholic Beer

If you’re interested in truly "non-alcoholic", in lieu of “alcohol-free” there are also many Mocktail recipes that won’t disappoint you in a home bar!

If you would like a juice recommendation. Then Oasis Pineapple Juice is one I would gladly give. 100% juice and no sugar added! Besides, it tastes great.

Oasis Pineapple Juice

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    In the US, there's a legal difference between "alcohol-free" (zero alcohol) and "non-alcoholic" (very low alcohol). For some folks that doesn't matter, but for others, it can be an important difference.
    – AMtwo
    Aug 6 at 6:45
  • @AMtwo For a home bar, I see little need to be that particular, IMO.
    – Ken Graham
    Aug 6 at 19:55
  • I certainly have guests who cannot have any alcohol. It may not be an important distinction to you, but folks reading this answer may have guests who find that to be important. (And the OP may have asked for "alcohol free" intentionally)
    – AMtwo
    Aug 6 at 21:47

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