Alcohol-free alternatives to gin and co are in vogue. But do they also come close to the taste of the original? An expert presents her highlights from the alcohol-free bar range.

It’s hard to imagine a non-alcoholic whiskey. How to recreate the complex notes, warmth, sweet aroma and long aftertaste? Australian soft drink maker Lyre’s has done it, I think, with Lyre’s American Malt.

Lyre’s is one of the largest producers of non-alcoholic beverages and their award-winning range includes over 18 different specialty non-alcoholic spirits, from rum to amaretto liqueur to whisky, all crafted by professional sommeliers to mimic the taste of the original.

Why I love him:

Two-time Gold Award winner American Malt is the best tasting non-alcoholic whiskey on the market. It’s easy to mix into cocktails to reduce AVB and is low in calories, vegan and free of artificial flavors, making it a healthier alternative to whiskey.

Flavor notes:

Smoky and subtly sweet – it’s made with charred cedar oak and rich honey with high notes of vanilla. The addition of mixed spices and toasted nuts gives the drink a depth that leaves a pleasant, long finish after each sip.

How to drink it:

The American Malt does not have the burning sensation of a whiskey and is therefore best suited as a base for cocktails and long drinks such as whiskey and cola or low-alc Manhattan.

You can also enjoy it with ice and a few drops of aromatic bitters to make a non-alcoholic Old Fashioned.

Other alternatives:

For those who like a complex evening drink I recommend the Gnista Barreled Oak. Invented by food scientists in Sweden, Barreled Oak is made like a real fine spirit. Made with smoked oak chocolate, rye and warm spices, it has a rich, smoky and slightly salty flavor – perfect for adventurous spirits drinkers.

All the drinks presented in the “Zero Alcohol” series have been selected and tasted by the editors. They are only recommended if they meet our quality standards.

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