hand reaching for non alcoholic wines

Alcohol-Free Summer Drinks Are Here—and Really Delicious, Actually

05.26.2023 — The Frenshe Editors

If you love cocktails but don’t love the way they make you feel—or if you don’t drink alcohol at all—then you need to know Brianda Gonzalez. She’s the founder of The New Bar, a bottle shop stocked with the best wines, beers, and spirits that just happen to contain no (or almost no) alcohol. “For me, providing non-alcoholic options is thoughtful and inclusive,” she says. “Even people who aren’t teetotalers might have something going on the next day or might not be in the mood to drink. Having a non-alcoholic wine or beer makes people feel like they can have a good time at your gathering and also feel fewer consequences the next day.” As summer party season begins, we checked in with Brianda to get a few suggestions on making alcohol-free drinks part of the gathering. Being sober has never sounded so delicious.

Brianda Gonzalez

Non-alcoholic beer is—surprise!—finally delicious

“Non-alcoholic beer was more of a compromise option in the past, but now there are so many incredible beers. Pretty much any craft beer style that you can crave exists in a non-alcoholic format. Athletic Brewing has done a really, really good job of creating something that hits the spot every time. Their Run Wild IPA is amazing for the IPA lovers. I myself am really into the Upside Down, which is a golden lager that I find to be super agreeable—you don’t feel like you’ve eaten a loaf of bread after you drink it. Hop water has become quite popular, too; it’s not exactly like a beer but it’s going be interesting enough to scratch that itch for you.”

Spritzes mean summer

“Spritzes are easy to pull off—and they’re so refreshing for summer. We recently added the Eurotrip Spritz, and it very much feels like you’re on a European vacation. We use a little bit of nonalcoholic gin, some basil, and a little bit of lemon juice and a white sparkling wine to top. It really has the complexity of an alcoholic cocktail, and it’s super tasty for summer.”

You can’t go wrong with margaritas—or this tequila

“Margaritas are easy to batch, so they’re nice for hosting. We do one with a tequila by Spiritless, which is a woman-founded brand. They have a tequila called Jalisco 55 which has a gentle smokiness that veers into mezcal territory a little bit. Whenever I pour that at a gathering, people genuinely can’t believe it’s non-alcoholic. I usually like to add a little bit of this product that is basically a triple sec replacement, called Lyre’s Orange Sec. That adds a little bit of citrus and gentle sweetness—a little bit of brightness—to the to the margarita as well.” (Get The New Bar Margarita recipe here.)

When in doubt, go for wine

“I usually like to have a bottle of wine or two on on the table. I think for summer, the Giesen Sauvignon Blanc is incredible—very crisp with a really good acidity. The Prima Pavé sparkling rose is another favorite of mine.”

The Frenshe Editors