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Gnista Cocktails: The Perfect Non-Alcoholic Drinks to Transition from Summer to Fall

Gnista's non-alcoholic spirits, Floral Wormwood and Barreled Oak, with Scandinavian flavors that evoke cool forests, late summer sun, and autumn campfires, are perfect for the transition into autumn.

Rather than imitate alcoholic spirits like gin or whiskey, Gnista's two expressions are unique flavors distilled from a blend of Swedish botanicals over a rich, round base of sun-dried grapes. Don't let that intimidate you, though! There are easy and familiar uses for these original flavors. Floral Wormwood has a bright and bitter herbal profile that makes an intriguing replacement for white vermouth in cocktails, while Barreled Oak's dark and woodsy sweetness makes it a natural swap for bourbon in whisky cocktails.

To show you the versatility of Gnista's non-alcoholic spirits, we asked three of our favorite mixologists to pour, stir, and shake up some recipes showing them at their very best. They came back with everything from riffs on the classics like Old-Fashioneds and Negroni spin-offs, to wholly original drinks with unexpected ingredients like lychees and jalapeños, we're excited to bring you these fantastic recipes from:

Miguel de Leon is the sommelier at Pinch Chinese in New York City, where he oversees one of the best non-alcoholic beverage programs in the world. A veteran of wildly-respected restaurants like Chez Panisse and Momofuku, he's been showered with awards and accolades, including Michelin's inaugural New York Sommelier Award in 2021 and being named one of Imbibe's 75 People Working to Build a Better Drinks World.

Kellie Thorn is the former beverage director of Hugh Acheson's restaurant group with more than 20 years behind the bar. Now a highly sought after spirits educator, she develops beverage menus for restaurants, bars, and hotels all over the world. 

Kristin Chaconas has more than a decade's experience at some of Atlanta's finest restaurants. An artist by training, she brings a distinctive, creative flair to her cocktails, with a focus not only on balance, flavor, and mouthfeel, but color and presentation. And she's cool, too: her non-alcoholic drinks for Redbird are all named after hip-hop tracks by artists like Ludacris and OutKast.

Gnista Barreled Oak Cocktails

Barreled Oak evokes the character of bourbon without imitating its flavor. Smoky, sweet, and (of course) oaky, with autumn spices, rye, and rosemary. This is one of the rare non-alcoholic spirits that is good neat or on the rocks. Pour a simple highball of Barreled Oak topped with Fever-Tree Distiller's Cola for a delicious treat reminiscent of cinnamon raisin toast.

Kellie Thorn's Gnista Coffee Old-Fashioned

A more grown up option for those who have outgrown the espresso martini but still love coffee cocktails. Rich, sophisticated, and still guaranteed to give you a bit of a caffeine kick.


  • 2 ounces Gnista Barreled Oak

  • ¼ ounce Rich Coffee and Vanilla Syrup (see note for recipe)

  • 3 heavy dashes of Fee Bros. Barrel Aged Bitters

  • orange peel


  1. In a mixing glass, combine Gnista Barreled Oak, syrup, and bitters.

  2. Add ice and stir gently.

  3. Strain over a large cube in a rocks glass.

  4. Express orange peel over the glass, and drop in to serve.

To make Rich Coffee and Vanilla Syrup 

Mix together 2 cups of hot, strong brewed coffee, 1 cup of sugar, and 1 teaspoon of premium vanilla extract (or more to taste). Stir until sugar is entirely dissolved. Allow to cool completely before using. Store in refrigerator.

Miguel de Leon's Non è sbagliato

Pairing Gnista Barrelled Oak with Lyre's Italian Orange and Ghia's ready-to-drink Ginger Le Spritz, this non-alcoholic spagliato is smoky and bittersweet, with a spicy ginger kick.


  • 1 ounce Gnista Barrelled Oak

  • 1 ½ ounces Lyre's Italian Orange

  • ½ ounce simple syrup

  • 1 can Ghia Ginger Le Spritz

  • orange peel, to garnish


  1. Pour Barreled Oak, Italian Orange, and simple syrup in a rocks glass.

  2. Add ice, and gently stir to combine.

  3. Top with Ginger Le Spritz.

  4. Garnish with orange peel.

Gnista Floral Wormwood Cocktails

The bitter flavor of Floral Wormwood's namesake herb is joined by intense orange peel, a green and floral oregano blossom, floating over a deep, raisiny sweetness. It's absolutely wonderful straight up, in a glass big enough to sink your nose into and inhale that divine wormwood aroma. For an easy, zingy cocktail, just add ice and premium tonic water.

Miguel de Leon's Zen Zero

Marrying Scandinavian botanicals and de-alcoholized sparkling wine with tropical lychee, spicy ginger, and cooling basil, the herbal, barely sweet Zen Zero is soft, soothing, and surprisingly familiar.


  • 1 ½ ounce Gnista Floral Wormwood

  • ½ ounce fresh ginger juice

  • 1 ounce lychee syrup (from canned lychees)

  • Handful of fresh basil, plus more to garnish

  • Non-alcoholic sparkling white wine, to top (see note)


  1. In a cocktail shaker, add Floral Wormwood, ginger juice, lychee syrup, and handful of fresh basil.

  2. Add ice, and shake vigorously until very cold, and the ice begins to swish.

  3. Fine strain over pebble ice in a rocks glass.

  4. Top with non-alcoholic sparkling white wine.

  5. Garnish with basil sprig to serve.


Miguel de Leon recommends Leitz Eins Zwei Zero Sparkling Riesling for this drink, though we found Chateau del ISH worked well, here, too.

Kellie Thorn's Gnista Floral Fizz

Citrusy, floral, and spicy? Floral Wormwood just seems to inspire bartenders to mix up the unexpected. Lemon, grapefruit, green chili peppers, and elderflower amplify the orange peel, habanero, and rose in Floral Wormwood, in this sparkling highball that is as refreshing as it is unique.


  • 2 ounces Gnista Floral Wormwood

  • ¾ ounce lemon juice

  • ¾ ounce grapefruit juice

  • ¾ ounce simple syrup

  • 2 thin slices of jalapeño or serrano pepper

  • elderflower tonic to top

  • grapefruit slice, to garnish


  1. In a cocktail shaker, combine Gnista Floral Wormwood, juices, syrup, and pepper slices.

  2. Add ice and shake until chilled.

  3. Strain over fresh ice in a highball or collins glass.

  4. Top with elderflower tonic (around two ounces).

  5. Gently stir to combine.

  6. Garnish with grapefruit slice.

Gnista Barreled Oak and Floral Wormwood Cocktails

Two great tastes that taste great together. Because sometimes one just isn't enough.

Kristin Chaconas's Electric Relaxation

Kristin's tribute to A Tribe Called Quest, Electric Relaxation is a delicious, non-alcoholic Boulevardier. The Boulevardier is a Negroni variation that substitutes bourbon for gin. Still bitter and bracing, but with a smoky roundness that eases you into cooler weather.



  1. In a mixing glass, pour Barreled Oak, Floral Wormwood, and Bittersweet Aperitif.

  2. Stir with ice until gently chilled.

  3. Strain into rocks glass over a large ice cube.

  4. Garnish with orange peel to serve.

The Zero Proof's Midnight Sun Old-Fashioned

We may not have the same credentials as Kellie, Kristin, and Miguel, but we know what like... and we like this easy-to-make but complex-tasting Old-Fashioned. Using Barreled Oak in place of bourbon, and capitalizing on the herbs in Floral Wormwood for the bitters, this sips like late summer in a glass.



  1. In a rocks glass, stir Floral Wormwood and demerara syrup together until fully combined. 

  2. Express the lemon peel over the glass and toss in with the liquid. 

  3. Add Barreled Oak and one or two ice cubes to glass. 

  4. Stir gently until chilled through, about 5 seconds. 

  5. Serve immediately.

Gnista's non-alcoholic spirits are wonderfully versatile. Try it with everything from coffee to lychees, bitters to fruit, and in any kind of drink from slow-sipping old-fashioneds to fizzy spritzes. Want to start experimenting? Grab the Gnista Bundle in our shop and save when you buy both bottles. Already have a Gnista recipe you love? Share it with us on the contact form at the bottom of the page. We'd love to know what you come up with using two of our favorite non-alcoholic spirits.