Alcohol free vodka alternatives to spirits
Of course like alcohol free gin you can’t get like for like and the same goes for Vodka.
After all vodka is one of those drinks you probably drank because of its alcohol content, not despite it. Many people drink it because it is a pure alcohol drink by and large.
And to be honest the market has not yet come up with an alcohol free product per se but it is now coming up with some excellent alcohol free spirit alternatives.
History of Vodka
Like all these things religion plays a role and apparently there is a story that in the 1400’s there was a monk called “Isidore” who started the production of Russian vodka.
He had skills in distillation devices so created this brand of drink first loved by the Russians and now respected all over the world and people of course like to drink it neat.
As the big brands came in of course it also developed a kind of alco pop cult status.
Now if you think about how you drink it the name makes sense, it comes from the phrase “little water” and if you think about the product that is true as it is mostly drunk neat.
Often the scene of gangster movies in a very dark underground bar!
According to Euromonitor, where it is exported the levels are low in comparison as it is mainly the Russians who knock it back as you would expect.
No one downs vodka like the Russians and they drink around 17.3 shots of vodka per month on average so even if it was exported non-stop it would take a lot of drinking to beat that.
My Gran once had a couple Christmas morning vodka shots, I think she woke up at the end of the day!
It is often said it is “good for your health” in terms of blood circulation and while it is true it is one of the purest forms of alcohol so a bit lighter on calories I can see why it developed a reputation for that.
Given the size is mainly a small shot I get it but it is still alcohol with all the risk for our lifestyle and health and a lot of it!
So what are the alternatives to Vodka?
Of course there is no like for like so it’s a bit like saying they are substitutes which is true however in the producers’ defense these alternatives are good quality and well-thought-out.
They are very often naturally sourced and vegan friendly. The perfect choice if you can’t drink alcohol, exploring a different lifestyle or for very practical options like driving, religion or pregnancy.
You are looking at alcohol free spirit rather than vodka clearly but they do get some excellent reviews and if it’s anything like my gin experience it is well worth a go.
3 top trending choices and what do people say about them spirits
Xakoh Blend No. 5 (700ml)
This is now becoming the best-seller in many of the alcohol free drink markets as well as an alternative to alcohol free vodka. Not the same of course but it does extend people’s choices.
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- It’s made with Silk Road botanicals.
- Suitable for vegan diet and free from alcohol,
- Contains sugar, sweeteners, calories, carbohydrates, extracts, flavorings, gluten and fat.
- Family influence in terms of the recipe
- Has been credited as good by Drinkpreneur and Shortlist.com
- It was a finalist in the World Food Innovation’ award.
- This is often the preferred choice in making mocktails
- Gets ranked highly mainly because of its lightness and refreshing taste and it is often used with Fever Tree Tonic Water.
- The drink is light, refreshing but also has a depth to it
- It is complimented by its range of flavors.
- Great branding and very stylish bottle
- Very smooth finish on taste.
Just because it is not alcohol it does not need a big measure so try and measure it with the same process you would gin or vodka so a shot topped up with tonic is fine.
The price is not cheap but this does mean that you are getting a quality product.
You do not need a heavy measure of this when mixing so the bottle does go a long way. If you got it served in a bar they would charge accordingly so adapt for home measures
The next one that is trending as an alternative to vodka is pretty sexy by all accounts and this a what they called a “selection” in the business
Everleaf Collection Triple Pack – 3 x Non-Alcoholic Aperitifs, 50cl
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If you are looking for a pre-dinner alcohol free alternative than this maybe a new one on the horizon.
The pack contains three selections at the size of 50cl so you get it in perspective. They are :
- Everleaf Forest Bittersweet 50cl,
- Everleaf Mountain Aromatic 50cl
- Everleaf Marine 50cl
In the first option they use 12 sustainable sourced botanicals including for the Forest Brand, Cherry Blossom, Rose hip and Strawberry flavors.
It rises to around 14 botanicals carefully chosen to capture FOREST flavors including Saffron, Madagascan Vanilla and Orange Blossom
Then in the MARINE option its 16 sustainable sourced botanicals including Juniper, Bergamot and Dulse.
Overall it feels a very natural product with the creator hailing from a biologist into a bartender. Career changes are brilliant in that it allows a different take on this kind of drink making the USP not just alcohol free but natural as well.
People are now living the “natural world approach” overall and these brands feed into that thought.
I am surprised how many vegan options are now coming through the non-alcoholic ranges. This has to be a good thing in driving the alcohol free market.
The Good News
- Its vegan
- Its low calories
- Gluten Free
- Naturally sourced
- Alcohol Free
Finally let’s hear it for the veteran of the alcohol free spirit options which is
Lyre’s Amaretti Non-Alcoholic Spirit – Amaretto Style
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Again not in the realm of vodka but it certainly gives people choices who are looking for spirit options
This is so impressive as is the brand to be fair it’s grown and has won a very recent award in the London 2020 London Spirits Competition.
Their branding really cuts through in the market place and generally the reviews are good.
Based on the amaretto liquor which I know my partner loves in Italian restaurants. I am not a massive fan of the almonds and the taste to be honest but if you are partial to a nutty, bitter, tangy take on the classic short then this could be for you.
It reminds you of why adding ice and lemon is perfect and you good actually make a sour if you add some orange and lemon peel.
Add ice or mixed with lemon, orange and maraschino to make the classic Amaretto Sour.
The bottle size is 70 cl.
Many people say this is the closest match when comparing it to an actual amaretto. And for once rather than the taste being a negative it’s actually deemed a positive with the sweetness and the almond taste jumping through.
Some of the recommendations include having it with lemonade and plenty of ice and the almond flavor gives it that kick!
Will we have to wait for alcohol free vodka true Russian style?
So we may have to wait, yes. However, in an alcohol free world there is never going to be a true like for like.
Apart from alcohol free beer the so called alcohol free gin and alcohol free spirits are trailing a bit behind but they are catching up. So if you fancy a vodka cocktail style it is not possible as an alternative in the spirit mix it its purest form
It is true that alcohol free beer has stolen the march on the rest of the market especially wine but the re branding for alcohol free spirits is on the up and these three trending products make it through the mix of choices people are starting to love.
Would you try an alcohol free spirit instead of vodka?
This brand is great if you want to be in the mix for a spirit but can’t have the alcohol.
It makes the perfect addition to cocktails and shots and of course ice and a slice is generally required. While not to every one taste no one can accuse them of not cutting through.
They do a great job of the packing and labeling and the bottles are nothing less than art! However, don’t purchase expecting like for lie otherwise you would be very disappointed.
I would love to know if you have tried any of these brands and if you have used them as an alternative to vodka or any other shots.
I always reply to your comments. Leave them below!