Best Non-Alcoholic Whiskey to Stir, Shake, and Drink Straight

Even the best non-alcoholic whiskey doesn’t taste like actual whiskey. Apparently, scientists are too busy trying to solve climate change and create an artificial intelligence that doesn’t immediately turn into an internet troll to focus on making non-alcoholic bourbon that actually tastes like a quality whiskey. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t a few non-alcoholic whiskeys out there that can scratch an itch.

When I was pregnant, there were a few things I really wanted: sushi, a Dagwood-style deli meat sandwich, and whiskey. Mocktails and non-alcoholic beers have come a long way—it was easy to get that fix. But it was tough to find a good non-alcoholic substitute for whiskey. Luckily, there are new spirit-free spirits coming onto the market all the time. We gathered together a few of the top sellers and found the best non-alcoholic whiskey you can buy—whether you’re cooking up a baby or just going dry for January (or forever). Here’s the best non-alcoholic whiskey to mix into cocktails and one or two that are good enough to drink neat.

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Best with Ginger Ale

Monday Zero Alcohol Whiskey

Points, points, points for the packaging. This non-alcoholic whiskey is worth buying even if you don’t drink it. It instantly makes your bar look like something out of a boutique Brooklyn hotel. It’s spiced and honeyed with some tangy apple notes. “The burn is pleasant,” managing editor Gwynedd Stuart commented. With its bright, zesty flavors, it’s definitely a mixing whiskey. It’s the best non-alcoholic whiskey for people who like a sweeter cocktail. It’s almost like a non-alcoholic Irish whiskey—mix it with ginger ale (not ginger beer, that will overpower it).

Credit: Liv Averett / Amazon

Rating:

7/10

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best non-alcoholic scotch: lyre's highland malt

Best Non-Alcoholic Scotch

Lyre’s Highland Malt

This is the best non-alcoholic scotch whiskey out there. Okay, it’s also the only non-alcoholic scotch I could find. So, Lyre’s Highland Malt already gets points for just filling a gap in the market. It’s designed to be sipped neat or on the rocks, as well as stirred into a highball or other scotch cocktail. And you definitely can and should sip it neat. Cozy up with a long pour. It’s not sweet like many of the other non-alcoholic whiskey offerings. Instead, it’s spiced and toasty, with a dried fruit aroma.

Credit: Liv Averett / Amazon

Rating:

7.5/10

Sporks

best non-alcoholic whiskey: spiritless kentucky 74

Best for Bitter Cocktails

Spiritless Kentucky 74

Spiritless makes a great bottle. If you just want a nice bottle to display somewhere, this will do the job very well. Luckily, the non-alcoholic whiskey inside is worth imbibing, too. It smells like honeyed bourbon, but the flavor is much drier and more perfumed with a touch of astringency and a lot of tannins that suggest time in a barrel. Stir it into a fake Boulevardier with a non-alcoholic amaro or just mix it with another stringent, slightly bitter beverage like cranberry juice.

Credit: Liv Averett / Amazon

Rating:

7.5/10

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best non-alcoholic whiskey: ritual

Best for Citrusy Cocktails

Ritual Zero Proof Whiskey Alternative

If you’re a honey fan, Ritual’s non-alcoholic whiskey is the non-alcoholic whiskey you’ve been waiting for. You’ll get that honey scent on the nose and upon sipping. Apart from the honey flavor, there’s a touch of a peachy quality to it and a very mild burn. I like it—but I wouldn’t drink it straight. Instead, mix the honeyed fake spirit into citrusy cocktails like Whiskey Sours, Hot Toddies, and Whiskey Bucks.

Credit: Liv Averett / Amazon

Rating:

8/10

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best non-alcoholic whiskey: kentucky 74 spiced cinnamon whiskey

Best Cinnamon Whiskey

Spiritless Kentucky 74 Spiced Non-Alcoholic Cinnamon Whiskey

If you like Fireball, this is the best non-alcoholic whiskey for you. If you don’t like Fireball (it’s never really been my thing, personally), you will also love this. The only reason I couldn’t rank this as the best non-alcoholic whiskey is because the spiced flavor limits what you can do with it. You can stir it into cider or a Hot Toddy, or drink it straight with a chill. It’s definitely on the sweeter end of the spectrum, but so are most cinnamon whiskeys. Honestly, this is better than Fireball and any non-drinker would be lucky to get a glug of this poured into their glass during a party.

Credit: Liv Averett / Spiritless

Rating:

9/10

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best non-alcoholic whiskey: free spirits

Best of the Best

Free Spirits the Spirit of Bourbon

This non-alcoholic bourbon smells like Christmas. It’s sweet and spiced with notes of ginger and nutmeg. At first sip you get tinges of apple, then here comes the burn. It has heat—a little bit like actual alcohol but more like capsaicin. It’s on the thicker side—not watery at all—which makes it ideal for cocktails, as you’ll actually be able to tell there’s a “spirit” in the mix. Not only is it good in a Whiskey Ginger or stirred into mulled apple cider, but it’s also good to sip on its own or on the rocks. Plus, it happens to have B vitamins to “ignite your energy and elevate your mood,” according to the brand. (Almost as good as catching a buzz?) That versatility makes it the best non-alcoholic whiskey (and the best non-alcoholic bourbon). 

Credit: Liv Averett / Total Wine

Rating:

9/10

Sporks

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About the Author

Justine Sterling

Justine Sterling is the editor-in-chief of Sporked. She has been writing about food and beverages for well over a decade and is an avid at-home cook and snacker. Don’t worry, she’s not a food snob. Sure, she loves a fresh-shucked oyster. But she also will leap at whatever new product Reese’s releases and loves a Tostitos Hint of Lime, even if there is no actual lime in the ingredients.

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