With the rise of the “sober curious” – people who are drinking less or not at all – we’re seeing an increase in alcohol-free wine, beer, pre-mixed cocktails, and now spirits. These five local contenders can be topped up with a mixer of your choice – with none of the morning-after regrets.


1. John Ross Virgin Distilled Botanicals

From the makers of Barker and Quin tonic comes this classic zero-alcohol gin infused with honeybush tannins – a first in South Africa that’s also sugar- and calorie-free.



2. Vermont VerGin

Vermont Bloom and Limón are produced with a tried-and-tested secret alchemy using similar spices, bark, peels, petals and juniper berries of traditional gin profiles, but with
a rose-scented floral profile and refreshing lemon vibrancy in the respective variants.



3. Abstinence Cape Spice

Distilled through a careful temperature-controlled process, this gently spiced non-alcoholic spirit is named for its infusion of eight botanicals.



4. Saint G&T

The Qualito Craft Distillery took inspiration from its unspoilt Lowveld location and the crystal-clear waters of the Olifants River for this colourant-, flavourant- and sugar-free “clean” distillate, which combines herbal notes and botanical aromatics with fragrant re-distilled juniper berries.



5. Ginifer Sober

Johannesburg-based Angel Heart Distillery has added two zero-alcohol variants to its Ginifer range: Ginifer Sober Dry, which is more like a traditional dry gin with a hint of lime, and Ginifer Sober Hibiscus, enhanced with hibiscus tea.