The Best Non-Alcoholic Cocktail Books

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The Best Non-Alcoholic Cocktail Books

Mocktails, virgin cocktails, zero proof or alcohol-free? Whatever you call non-alcoholic cocktails, you can also call them delicious and ubiquitous. With movements like Dry January and sober curiosity on the rise, there has been an explosion of non-alcoholic cocktail books, spirits and bars in the last few years. People are drinking less or choosing to be more mindful with their drinking and indulging in non-alcoholic cocktails more often. Here are some of the best non-alcoholic cocktail books available.

Dry: Non-Alcoholic Cocktails, Cordials and Clever Concoctions by Clare Liardet

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Released in 2017 just as the sober curious movement was entering our consciousness, Dry by Clare Liardet is a non-alcoholic cocktail book for those who still want to indulge, minus the hangover. With sections on equipment needed, glass names and ingredients, this cocktail book is perfect for beginners. The recipes for syrups and shrubs (alternatives to fruit cordials) act as a base for many of the cocktails while most of the other ingredients can be easily sourced. Liardet includes seasonal sections with cocktails perfect for cold winters, long summers and everything in between. Surprising takes such as the Beetroot Virgin Mary add new life to a familiar favorite while new combinations like the Blood Orange and Sage Margarita make your mouth water in anticipation. This cocktail book was published before the big non-alcoholic spirit boom, so apart from Seedlip, there are no other spirits you need to have to enjoy the best this book has to offer.

Redemption Bar: Alcohol-free Cocktails with Benefits by Andrea Waters and Catherine Salway

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The first book from the duo behind London’s coolest vegan eatery and non-alcoholic cocktail bar, Redemption Bar, the eponymously named book features cocktails as well as canapes. Staying true to their tagline, most recipes steer clear of refined sugar, instead opting for healthier options like coconut sugar or xylitol. There are recipes for popular drinks like kefir and kombucha that can be enjoyed on their own or used as cocktail bases. I particularly love the recipe for tepache, which is a Mexican drink made from slightly fermented pineapples. Divided into sections like martinis, fizz and frozen, it’s easy to find a drink depending on the mood you’re in. The canapes range from nibbles like slow-roasted activated almonds to show-stopping maki rolls to delightfully sweet bliss balls. Although the restaurant has been closed since 2021, they are scouting for a new location. In the meantime, get your fix at home and bring the cocktails with you.

The Virgin Cocktail Garden: Refreshing Mocktails and Botanical Cocktails Made from the Finest Fruits and Herbal Infusions by David Hurst

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The Virgin Cocktail Garden is a lesser-known non-alcoholic cocktail book by expert mixologist David Hurst who wowed the world with his creations at the London 2012 Olympics. This book is all about the ingredients. Organized into sections focusing on herbs like basil, mint and thyme, there are also sections on spices, citrus, tropical fruits, berries and beans (of the cocoa and coffee variety). Planning a cocktail around what you have available in your garden, spice rack or fruit bowl has never been easier. Highlighting easy-to-find ingredients, this book lacks the pretense and difficulty that you might find with some other non-alcoholic cocktail books. The recipes, which include short lists of ingredients, are quick and easy to put together, making this a book you can come back to time and time again. Standout cocktails include the Rosemary Lemon Cooler, perfect for those hot summer nights, and the Cardamom Martini, a deliciously spiced drink. For those who are only occasional teetotalers, most recipes have a section that recommends an alcoholic spirit to add, but that is, of course, optional.

Good Drinks: Alcohol-free Recipes for When You’re Not Drinking for Whatever Reason by Julia Bainbridge

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Good Drinks by Julia Bainbridge is a staple of the new school of non-alcoholic cocktails. Published in 2020, this is one of the first non-alcoholic cocktail books to create cocktails around non-alcoholic spirits. Bainbridge is actively sober and does not shy away from talking about that fact. Each recipe has a “commitment level,” which signals how much effort each cocktail needs—perfect if you’re looking for something quick or if you’re entertaining and want to go all out. Some of the ingredients are widely available, while others are more difficult to find. The recipes all feature a blurb about who the drinks were inspired by, adding more context and flavor to the book. One standout recipe is the Nectar of the Gods, which combines grapefruit and lemon juice with pickle brine, simple syrup and soda water for a zesty refreshment.

Zero Proof: 90 Non-Alcoholic Recipes for Mindful Drinking by Elva Ramirez

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Zero Proof by Elva Ramirez is part recipe book, part history lesson. Relaying a history of temperance from the colonial era to prohibition, Ramirez argues that not drinking alcohol has always been part of our society. Digging into movements like Dry January and the birth of the non-alcoholic spirit craze, this book features everything you wanted to know about the history of not drinking. The recipes balance common ingredients with more unique ones for some truly special cocktails. Zero-proof spirits like Seedlip, Ritual Zero Proof and Everleaf are used often, but if you can’t find them or don’t want to shell out that kind of cash, there are many other recipes that make the book worth your time. Most recipes include sub-recipes for syrups or shrubs, so they are more suited for those with time on their hands.

The Art of Drinking Sober: 50 Decadently Dry Cocktails for All Occasions by Miriam Nice and Richard Davie

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Arranged by flavors: bitter and aromatic, sweet and fruity, sour, spiced and smoky, The Art of Drinking Sober is a great all-arounder non-alcoholic cocktail book. The book includes recipes for drink bases like “rum” syrup, chili infusion and grape and chamomile water, all made with readily available ingredients. Recipes include new takes on traditional cocktails like the Juniper and Tonic and Espresso Faux-tini while also introducing potential new favorites like the Cucumber Spritz and Pineapple Highball.