With the New Year upon us, we're looking back on our favorites of 2022. There were so many things we loved drinking this year, and so many beyond this list we would recommend. These are the ones we craved again and again.
Here are ten non-alcoholic beers, wines, spirits, and cocktail ingredients that we loved sipping this year:
This organic, low intervention blend of Auxerrois, Pinot Blanc and Riesling encapsulated why we were ecstatic to finally bring Oddbird to the US after working for years to get it here. Notes of ripe peach, jasmine, vanilla bean, and beeswax with a dry, lightly mineral finish make this wine great with seafood, fennel, and light, buttery foods, and it drinks beautifully on its own– a rarity among non-alcoholic wines. White No. 2 showed us that it’s entirely possible to dealcoholize wine while retaining nuance, elegance, and complexity.
This was a big year for Proxies
: in addition to spinning off from Acid League to become its own brand, Proxies launched a series of collaborations with renowned chefs and sommeliers. We enjoyed the premier collaboration, chef Sean Brock’s funky, tobacco-y Audrey, and are huge fans of Vinta by somm Miguel de Leon
, the first-ever non-alcoholic orange (sort of) wine. But we found ourselves pairing André Hueston Mack’s AHM with everything. A cherry-bomb love letter to Oregon Pinot noir, AHM was a versatile wine alternative that worked just as well with duck breast as creamy pastas, with mushrooms as dark chocolate. While the blend has been retired, we hope to see its return to the Proxies lineup one day… after all, we need something to drink at Thanksgiving 2023!
An unabashed original, this unique non-alcoholic amaro, heavy on the douglas fir, adds complexity, depth, and slightly challenging flavor that makes non-alcoholic drinks into zero-proof cocktails. We love it in our Perfect Non-Alcoholic Espresso Martini
, or muddled with strawberries and a splash of non-alcoholic sparkling rosé.
In December of 2021, there were few zero-proof tequilas from which to choose. Fast forward a few months into 2022, and there was suddenly an embarrassment of riches in the category (Lyre’s even produced two!). In a very crowded field, ISH Mexican Agave Spirit was the reposado style we couldn’t get enough of, not only in summer’s margaritas and palomas, but hot chocolate and Oaxacan old-fashioneds with pink House Alchemy Mexican Chile Syrup.
While we will always love a good Negroni
, and deep, dark amari have our hearts (we even have one on this list), but Abstinence’s Lemon Bittersweet Aperitif brought some variety to bitters this year. The bracing flavor of Amalfi lemon and zesty bitterness are a refreshing alternative for those who like Aperol and Campari dupes but want to add something new to the rotation. (And the Blood Orange
flavor is excellent, too!)
Wonderful over sorbet as an after dinner palate cleanser, shaken with non-alcoholic gin, or splashed in a glass of Château del ISH
If we had put together a 2022 wishlist of what we wanted to be zero-proof, cinnamon whiskey would not even have crossed our minds… and we’re not too proud to admit that we were wrong. Spiritless Kentucky 74 SPICED took their award winning non-alcoholic bourbon and cranked up the heat with natural cinnamon flavors and it worked. This is a cinnamon whiskey ten times more delicious and “grown-up” tasting than its alcoholic counterpart. Spiritless has said it will be a limited edition, seasonal offering, but we hope the company will add it to the year round product lineup.
This year, we expanded our offerings of syrups, mixers, and bitters, so we could make sure our customers could get everything they need for non-alcoholic cocktails in one place. While we love all of the syrups in our collection, we found ourselves turning to Liber & Co.’s Caramelized Fig Syrup over and over again. Deep, rich, and delicious, it’s sweet but not too sweet, with a pronounced mission fig flavor that adds depth and complexity to whiskey and rum drinks, from Manhattans to our Figgy Pudding Old-Fashioned (and it’s amazing with Spiritless Kentucky 74 SPICED).
For Bitter For Worse introduced canned spritzes this year, with Rose City Fizz as an entirely new flavor. The playful, berry-forward sparkler, with notes of tart cherry, fresh pomegranate, bitter orange, rose water, and cardamom is just gorgeous. We could drink a 4-pack of these every day.
Because of the ubiquity of spicy, pineapple margaritas through the 2020s us believe, we thought we knew what to expect when we cracked open a Parch Spiced Piñarita. Our expectations were not only blown away, but entirely upended. Rather than the tart flavor of fresh pineapple, Parch uses roasted pineapple, which yields a caramelized, smoky flavor. Mole bitters and a touch of warming cayenne boost the cozy factor, making this the rare margarita that we like to drink in all seasons.
The smiley face on the logo of
Visitor’s aesthetically pleasing, minimalist can enticed us immediately, but the beer inside kept us coming back for more. The lager’s lightly toasted malt and subtle hops result in a sessionable beer
bolder than your average close-to-water lager. A welcome break from the aggressive bitterness of craft non-alc’s preponderance of IPAs.