Better Rhodes Non-Alcoholic Drinks of the Month
It’s no secret that the team here at YOURS loves trying new non-alcoholic beers, wines, and spirits. And when we find something special, we cannot wait to share it with our entire community!
To help us on our journey to discover and share the best alcohol-free options on the market, we’ve partnered with our friends at Better Rhodes to bring you a monthly feature on some of the top products on their shelves.
Jump to Monthly Reviews:
- September 2021 Drink of the Month: Slange Var Non-Alcoholic Spirit
- August 2021 Drink of the Month: Vinada Sparkling Non-Alcoholic Wines
- July 2021 Drink of the Month: Wilfred’s Alcohol-Free British Aperitif
- June 2021 Drink of the Month: For Bitter For Worse Non-Alcoholic Cocktails
- May 2021 Drink of the Month: Luminara Alcohol-Removed Chardonnay and Pierre Zero Chardonnay
- April 2021 Drink of the Month: Hella Cocktail Co. Non-Alcoholic Bitters & Soda
- March 2021 Drink of the Month: Highball Alcohol Free Cocktails
- February 2021 Drink of the Month: Damrak Virgin 0.0% Gin
For those of you that have yet to enjoy the Better Rhodes shopping experience, it’s so much more than an online store. Like YOURS, Better Rhodes is a community. One that’s dedicated to curating the absolute best selection of non-alcoholic beers, wines, spirits, ready-to-drink mocktails, and more.
With our shared passion for uncovering the absolute best non-alcoholic drinks, Better Rhodes and YOURS are here to help anyone looking to enjoy life’s rich experiences, but without the alcohol. Be sure to follow us on Instagram (@sipyours and @betterrhodes), and check back monthly for new features on the best of the best available at Better Rhodes. And when you're ready to try something new, use code YOURS10 at checkout on www.betterrhodes.com to save 10% off your alcohol-free order.
Now, let’s take a look at the best non-alcoholic beverages you should be drinking this month:
Best Non-Alcoholic Beverages: September 2021
Review: Slange Var Non-Alcoholic Spirit
For our September Better Rhodes Drink of the Month, we’re taking a journey all the way to Scotland to enjoy one of the country’s most beloved non-alcoholic beverages: Slange Var.
“Slange Var” is a Scottish toast that translates to “Cheers, to your good health”. And this toast couldn’t be more appropriate for the drink. Made with fresh lime juice, ginger, and a touch of Scottish honey, Slange Var is loaded with real, from-the-earth ingredients that not only taste good, but are good for you as well. Which was the whole idea when founder Sarah Dougan first conceive of Slange Var back in 2016
Tired of the poor selection of sugary non-alcoholic substitutes for her evening glass of wine, Dougan longed for a sophisticated non-alcoholic drink that tasted great, and didn’t leave her sluggish from artificial ingredients and excessive sugar. This desire for a better drink led her and her husband, Charles Beard, on a four-year journey testing every ingredient under the sun, eventually landing on the perfect blend of lime, honey, ginger, and cider vinegar. The couple shared their new concoction at mindful drinking events across Scotland to rave reviews, and with that, Slange Var was born.
The unique blend of flavors and experience that Slange Var brings to the table has not gone unnoticed. Last year, the company walked away with the Innovation Award at the SIP Awards World Spirits Competition. One of the few spirits competitions that relies on the feedback of consumers themselves, you won’t see any seasoned industry experts with unapproachable palates at this event – just real consumers sharing their real thoughts on what they enjoy. Which means when a beverage like Slange Var walks away with an award, you know it’s something people truly enjoyed.
If you’re in search of something fresh and unique to pull into your alcohol-free rotation, we highly recommend you give Slange Var a try!
Best Non-Alcoholic Beverages: August 2021
Review: Vinada Sparkling Non-Alcoholic Wines
Another great alcohol-free drink coming out of The Netherlands, we are thrilled to see Vinada Non-Alcoholic Sparkling Wines make their way onto the Better Rhodes website. One of the hottest NA brands in Europe, Vinada offers a lineup of delicious alcohol-free sparkling wines.
Vinada Sparkling Gold Alcohol-Free Wine is an award-winning white wine that pours a lovely shade of gold, and features bright, fruity notes on the nose. The wine is fruit forward in taste as well, though it is most certainly not sweet, as it’s balanced with a delicious tartness and dry, crisp finish. The carbonation is spot on, keeping the wine lively as you drink your way through the bottle.
In addition to the Vinada Gold, we also had the opportunity to try the Vinada Sparkling Rosé Alcohol-Free Wine. Made from a unique blend of Spanish-grown Tempranillo grapes, the Vinada Rosé drinks just as well as some of our favorite alcoholic rosés. A beautiful shade of ruby pink, Vinada Rosé pops with notes of berry and vanilla, and has the same crisp, dry finish as the Vinada Gold.
From its beautifully designed mini bottles, Vegan-friendly blends, and waist-friendly nutritional label (each mini bottle of Vinada we tasted contains just 50 calories!), Vinada Sparkling Non-Alcoholic Wines are an exciting, modern take on alcohol-free wine for the modern drinker. And that’s something we can cheers to!
Best Non-Alcoholic Beverages: July 2021
Review: Wilfred’s Alcohol-Free British Aperitif
When battling the heat of summer, there are few drinks as refreshing as an Italian (Aperol) Spritz.
With its reddish-orange hue, pops of zesty citrus, and bittersweet finish, the Italian Spritz checks all the boxes for a tasty treat to sip under the shade. The only problem? For those of us avoiding alcohol, the spritz can be tricky, as the traditional recipe consists almost entirely of an alcoholic aperitif (Aperol) and prosecco.
But thankfully, there are several non-alcoholic spirit manufacturers looking to make the Italian Spritz accessible to non-drinkers everywhere. Which is why for our Better Rhodes Drink of the Month for July 2021, we’re featuring one of our favorite non-alcoholic aperitifs that can be used to make the perfect spritz: Wilfred’s Alcohol-Free British Aperitif.
Blending a variety of botanicals, including bittersweet oranges, rosemary, rhubarb, and clove, Wilfred’s Alcohol-Free Aperitif brings all the flavors you know and love from a traditional spritz together into a non-alcoholic version. And with just 21 calories per serving, and no artificial sweeteners or flavors, Wilfred’s can truly be enjoyed guilt-free all summer (or even all year!) long.
The Wilfred’s Spritz Recipe offered directly on the bottle is a simple mix of 1 part Wilfred’s, 2 parts tonic water, and a slice of orange. But to bring this spritz even closer to the Italian original, we opted to enjoy ours by swapping 1 part tonic for 1 part non-alcoholic prosecco, giving us that extra bubbly bite. But let’s be clear – with such a well-balanced collection of flavors, there is really no right or wrong way to enjoy your Wilfred’s!
If you’re looking for the perfect non-alcoholic take on the classic Aperol Spritz, look no further than Wilfred’s Alcohol-Free British Aperitif.
Best Non-Alcoholic Beverages: June 2021
Review: For Bitter For Worse Non-Alcoholic Cocktails
When people first begin to embrace a sober or sober-curious lifestyle and are on the hunt for beverages to replace their evening cocktails, one thing we hear a lot is that there’s a “lack of sophisticated options”. Bartenders have spent centuries refining a nearly infinite list of traditional cocktails using all sorts of ingredients and flavors, meaning there is something (or often, many things) to please any palate. But the non-alcoholic industry is still in its relative infancy, meaning the breadth of options just isn’t the same.
That’s why we are beyond excited to have For Bitter For Worse featured as our June 2021 Better Rhodes Drink of the Month. With three incredibly sophisticated ready-to-drink non-alcoholic cocktails - Smoky No. 56, Eva's Spritz, and The Saskatoon – this trio offers a glimpse into the future, and what the alcohol-free industry can, should, and will inevitably one day be: sexy, refined, and full of incredible options for all types of non-drinkers.
The dream of husband and wife duo Shelley Elkovich and Jeff Heglie, For Bitter For Worse began as a passion project the couple pursued after finding themselves frustrated at the lack of interesting alcohol-free drinks on the market. The pair decided that the best way to create a flavorful alcohol-free beverage was to use the amazing flavors all around them, pulling together different blends of herbs and botanicals and macerating them in neutral alcohol and water in order to extract their natural essence. With the flavors extracted, Shelley and Jeff learned how reverse distill their beverage to remove the alcohol, leaving a delicious non-alcoholic flavor base to which they add various handmade syrups from Pacific Northwest ingredients.
Best of all, For Bitter For Worse all contain no added flavors - “natural” or otherwise - and are low glycemic and low carb, sweetened only with pure monk fruit, wine grape nectar, and maple syrup. But, how do they taste?
Smoky No. 56 is definitely a whiskey lover’s drink, with plenty of bold smoke that sips slow and easy over ice with a twist. Eva's Spritz is a nice, refreshing take on the classic Aperol Spritz, though much less sweet than a typical NA spritz (which we very much appreciated). And The Saskatoon is a bitter treat that has some hints of a Negroni-style cocktail (we opted to serve ours with an orange peel for the full Negroni experience). But with its unique blend of herbs and berries this drink goes well beyond a typical NA Negroni.
For Bitter For Worse has definitely crafted something truly unique with their lineup, and these flavors are absolutely worth exploring if you're the type of sober or sober-curious individual always on the lookout for the next great thing!
Best Non-Alcoholic Beverages: May 2021
Review: Luminara Alcohol-Removed Chardonnay & Pierre Zero Chardonnay
Summer is just around the corner. Which can only mean one thing…white wine season here!
Of course, white wine is delicious all year long. But there’s something special about enjoying a chilled glass of chardonnay or pinot grigio while you soak up the sun. And for our Better Rhodes Drink of the Month for May 2021, YOURS is starting the summer right by opening up two of the best rated non-alcoholic white wines on the market: Luminara Alcohol-Removed Chardonnay and Pierre Zero Chardonnay.
Two of the standouts from our list of the 11 Best Non-Alcoholic White Wines to try in 2021, this delicious duo of alcohol-free chardonnay hits all the right notes, and gives you that refreshing white wine experience you know and love. Let’s take a closer look at what makes these two such incredible non-alcoholic white wines:
Luminara Alcohol-Removed Napa Valley Chardonnay is a Napa Valley-born non-alcoholic white wine that does the region proud. Made from hand-selected California grapes, Luminara is crafted using the same wine making methods that have made Napa Chardonnays famous around the globe. The only difference is that the company adds a final step to the process, gently removing the alcohol through a state-of-the-art process, leaving behind the rich flavors, aromas, and nuance of the wine.
This particular bottle of Luminara Alcohol-Removed Napa Valley Chardonnay comes from the region’s 2018 harvest, which featured some of the best weather the valley had seen in years. The result is an alcohol-free chardonnay that is lively, full of fresh fruit aromas, and brimming with hints of apple and lemon. And with its medium body and crisp finish, it’s nearly impossible to discern Luminara Alcohol-Removed Chardonnay from the many wonderful bottles of traditional white wine born in this region.
Pierre Zēro Chardonnay is crafted using the Old World French winemaking techniques that have made France synonymous with great wine for generations. With just a hint of sparkle in the wine’s golden hue, Pierre Zero Alcohol-Free Chardonnay looks incredibly appetizing the moment it hits the glass.
As you bring Pierre Zero to your nose, you’re hit with notes of tropical fruit, peaches, lychees, and fresh-cut flowers. This freshness is experienced in the flavor profile as well, which in addition to the tropical fruit and peaches, carries hints of apple and pear, all balanced beautifully on the palate. Finishing with a super subtle sweetness, Pierre Zēro Chardonnay pairs wonderfully with salads, fish, and poultry, and can even be served with dessert!
Overall, these two alcohol-free white wines give us a glimpse at what NA wines can and should be. Rich in both flavor and experience, you’d be hard-pressed to find a more impressive pair.
If you’re in search of a delicious glass of non-alcoholic white wine to sip this summer, we highly recommend giving Luminara Alcohol-Removed Chardonnay and Pierre Zero Chardonnay a try!
SHOP: Save 10% on Luminara Alcohol-Removed Chardonnay and Pierre Zero Chardonnay, as well as any other alcohol-free beer, wine, spirits and mixers, when you use code YOURS10 at checkout at www.betterrhodes.com.
Best Non-Alcoholic Beverages: April 2021
Review: Hella Cocktail Co. Non-Alcoholic Bitters & Soda
Crafting delicious non-alcoholic beer, wine, spirits, and cocktails is a lot more difficult than many may realize. Not only do you need to nail the right flavors, but you also need to make up for all the other sensations that alcohol adds to the mix in traditional adult beverages.
One such sensation is “dryness,” which is something often experienced in alcoholic beverages. Dryness is very difficult to replicate when you take alcohol out of the mix. But as it turns out, it’s not impossible. Just ask the team at Hella Cocktail Co. Their ready-to-drink non-alcoholic cocktail line, Bitters & Soda, packs that same dryness you’d expect to get in traditional alcoholic beverages, but without the alcohol.
It’s no wonder that Bitters & Soda is fast becoming a favorite among sober curious drinkers everywhere. Our Better Rhodes Drink of the Month for April 2021, YOURS opened up all five Hella Cocktail Co. Bitters & Soda flavors – Dry Aromatic, Grapefruit, Ginger Turmeric, Lemon Lime, and Spritz – and explored just what makes these non-alcoholic cocktails so special.
Let’s take a closer look at each variety of Hella Cocktail Co. Bitters & Soda Non-Alcoholic Mixed Drinks:
Hella Bitters & Soda Dry Aromatic is a savory, sippable non-alcoholic beverage that is much more complex than one might think. Though it’s unsweetened and features just 10 calories per can, Bitters & Soda Dry Aromatic has massive flavor, driven largely by the bitter root, clove, allspice, and orange peel Hella Cocktail Co. uses to make each batch. “Dry” is definitely the right name for this alcohol-free beverage, as it does a great job replicating that dry sensation you find in many alcoholic drinks. And that alone will keep the Bitters & Soda Dry in our non-alcoholic cocktail rotation on a regular basis!
Hella Bitters & Soda Grapefruit is the lightest drink of the lineup, with just 5 calories per serving, zero sugar, and one gram of carbs. The grapefruit flavor in this non-alcoholic cocktail is forward, but not overpowering, and balances well with the bitter root. Refreshing on its own, we found the Bitters & Soda Grapefruit to be extra enjoyable when mixed with one of our favorite citrus-forward non-alcoholic gins, Damrak.
Hella Bitters & Soda Ginger Turmeric is the most interesting flavor of the bunch. Another sugar-free option, this drink boasts just 10 calories per can, yet is loaded with big flavor. The ginger makes this non-alcoholic cocktail slightly reminiscent of an alcohol-free Moscow Mule, and could definitely be used successfully as a mixer in your favorite alcohol-free cocktail recipe. But we found sipping this straight from the can to be just as delicious. One of our favorites!
Hella Bitters & Soda Lemon Lime is, in our opinion, the most straightforward of the lineup. Though that’s not to say it’s not good – it is quite delicious! But it’s not nearly as complex or interesting as the other Bitters & Soda flavors. It still packs that bitter punch, and is balanced well with a nice touch of citrus, which worked great when we used it as a mixer in several non-alcoholic gin cocktails.
Hella Bitters & Soda Spritz is the closest of the flavors to mirror a more traditional cocktail. Based on the beloved Aperol Spritz, Bitters & Soda Spritz features the same bright flavors and touch of bitterness that you’d expect to find in any good spritz thanks to a balanced mix of clove, allspice, orange peel, and bitter root. We enjoyed our Bitters & Soda Spritz over ice, and found it to be perfect for that evening cocktail on the patio. And with just 90 calories per 12oz can, this is about as light as a full-flavored cocktail can get!
While only two of the flavors (Dry and Spritz) hit us with a true non-alcoholic cocktail sensation, we thoroughly enjoyed all five varieties of Hella Cocktail Co. Bitters & Soda. The bite from the bitters comes through in each can, which caused us to sip slow and savor the beverage, just like we would with a more traditional non-alcoholic cocktail.
If you’re looking for something new and exciting to bring into your non-alcoholic drink rotation, we highly recommend giving Hella Cocktail Co. Bitters & Soda Non-Alcoholic Drinks a try!
Best Non-Alcoholic Beverages: March 2021
Review: Highball Non-Alcoholic Ready-to-Drink Cocktails
There’s something special about the ritual of mixing an alcohol-free cocktail at home. The sound of the ice as it hits the glass. The bubbles rising to the surface as your pour in your favorite non-alcoholic spirit. The fresh scent of citrus or herbs garnishing the finished product. It’s all a very serene experience.
But let’s be honest…there are times when you’re in no mood to dig out the cutting board, cocktail shaker, citrus peeler, and various other tools and ingredients (if you even have them) to craft your favorite drink. Sometimes you wish that delicious alcohol-free cocktail would just appear in your hands.
Well, with Highball Alcohol Free Cocktails, your wish is granted.
Developed by English husband and wife team Red and Kate Johnson, Highball is the original free drinks company. Seeking alcohol-free alternatives to their favorite cocktails, the pair got to work in their kitchen, developing a lineup of six ready-to-drink cocktails: Classic G&T, Pink G&T, Italian Spritz, Mojito, Cosmopolitan, and Ginger Dram.
Each Highball variety is hand-crafted in small via small batches in their production facility in the UK using high-quality ingredients sourced from around the world. And with a clear focus on healthier alternatives, Highball Alcohol Free Cocktails are not only free from alcohol – they’re free from artificial ingredients, sweeteners, and preservatives, all of which helps these drinks come in at less than half the calories of the cocktails they’re replicating.
As our Better Rhodes Drink of the Month for March 2021, our team sat down with four of the most popular Highball flavors – Cosmopolitan, Mojito, Italian Spritz, and Pink G&T – to understand for ourselves why these are fast becoming a must-have in every sober curious fridge.
The first thing you notice about each Highball is the color. Bright and bold, each bottle has an appetizing shade reminiscent of your favorite fully-leaded cocktail. Though they can certainly be enjoyed straight from the bottle, we opted to amplify the experience by pouring these over ice in a glass.
Flavor-wise, the Pink G&T is a refreshing alcohol-free twist on a classic gin and tonic, with hits of raspberry popping through. The Mojito is spot-on with its lime and mint flavors, plus a nice, warm rum sensation (hot tip: add some fresh mint to the glass to really set this drink off). The Cosmopolitan would make the Sex and the City crew proud with its perfect blend of cranberry and lime tartness, and added agave nectar for a touch of sweet. And the Italian Spritz is everything you know and love about the Aperol Spritz, but in an alcohol-free, ready-to-drink form.
Each of the four flavors we tested came in between 73 and 83 calories per bottle. Depending on how heavy handed you pour, at 250ml per bottle, we found each to be enough for two decently sized cocktails over ice. But let’s be honest, at 0% alcohol, who needs to share?
Overall, we were quite impressed with Highball Alcohol Free Cocktails. Though we love the ritual of crafting homemade non-alcoholic cocktails, Highball is perfect for those nights when you just don’t want to go through the effort, yet are still looking for something special to sip. If you want a non-alcoholic way to enjoy the classic flavors of classic cocktails, you can’t go wrong Highball Ready-To-Drink Alcohol Free Cocktails.
Best Non-Alcoholic Beverages: February 2021
Review: Damrak Virgin 0.0% Non-Alcoholic Gin
When one thinks of gin, London tends to come to mind. But the team at Damrak is working hard to change that…
With their distillery located right in the heart of Amsterdam, Damrak crafts an unapologetically Dutch take on a classic gin. Their Damrak Virgin 0.0% Non-Alcoholic Gin is a refreshing, citrus-forward alcohol-free spirit that is distilled from 10 different botanicals. The team spent over two years blending and perfecting this zero-proof recipe, and you can taste this passion and care with your very first sip.
There’s really no limit to how you can enjoy Damrak Virgin 0.0%. Like all alcohol-free gins we review, our first experience was a simple gin and tonic (though we did swap our usual lime for an orange slice to better match the citrus notes in the gin). The flavor was a refreshing change of pace from our usual G&T, as we found ourselves enjoying the orange-forward notes more than we expected. Mixed with the traditional juniper flavors, plus added herbs and spices such as cinnamon, lavender, and coriander seeds, and Damrak Virgin 0.0% Alcohol-Free Gin packs a flavor and experience that’s uniquely its own.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a proper YOURS taste testing without a little experimentation. We ended up using this Damrak to craft a Damrak Virgin 0.0% Hawaiian Orange Blossom Mocktail. You can check out the full recipe and review here: Damrak Virgin 0.0% Hawaiian Orange Blossom Mocktail Recipe.
While there is some stiff competition on the market for alcohol-free gin alternatives, with its unique flavor profile, versatility, and refreshing taste, we believe Damrak Virgin 0.0% Gin is here to stay. For anyone looking to update their alcohol-free gin experience, this is one NA spirit you can’t miss!