5 Non-Alcoholic Aperitifs For When You Need a Break from Booze

You might be surprised at just how delicious a zero-proof Negroni can be.

Food and Wine's favorite non alcoholic aperitifs

Matt Taylor-Gross

The past few years have ushered in a wave of Italian-inspired drinking culture in the United States and beyond. Key examples include the viral success of the Negroni and its near endless variations, including the Sbagliato and the Suze-scented White Negroni, both of which have proved that consumers are intrigued by the bittersweet flavors of aperitif liqueurs. And like many trend-driven drinks, soon after aperitifs popularized, non-alcoholic options were introduced to the market. As Dry January has gained steam in recent years, bars and brands are investing in thoughtfully produced non-alcoholic alternatives that are just as good if not better than the classics. 

Whether you’re cutting out booze entirely, looking elongate a day of drinking, or want to have a slightly lower-proof mixed drink, non-alcoholic aperitifs offer enticing bittersweet flavors without any of the alcohol. Read on for our favorites. 

For the Lover of Citrus: Roots Divino Aperitif Rosso

Brothers Manos and Nikolas Smyrlakis founded Roots, a liqueur brand inspired by their family’s history in Greece’s oldest known distillery, which dates back to 1850. Made with dealcoholized wine steeped with gentian root and bitter orange, Roots’ Divino (di-vino, yes, it’s a play on words), is crafted like traditional red vermouth. The perfect drink for anyone who loves the taste of oranges, the Rosso apéritif has a delightful juicy quality with a backbone of bitter citrus, as well as herbs like oregano and thyme. Add a splash of tonic water for some extra bitterness to complement the sweeter citrus notes. 

For the Floral Obsessed: MARTINI Floreale 

While many apéritifs lean toward the bittersweet flavors and aromas of citrus like blood orange and tangerine, Martini & Rossi’s Floreale is all about, you guessed it, flowers. Made with fragrant chamomile and artemisia, a plant that's a member of the daisy family, Floreale is full of refreshing, bright flavors with a welcome hint of lemon and yellow grapefruit. MARTINI might be the best-known brand for quality vermouths — which is no surprise given their over 150 years of experience blending botanicals with wine, and their line of non-alcoholic aperitivos likewise features dealcoholized wine infused with thoughtfully selected herbs, fruits, flowers, and more. 

Best Sparkling Non-Alcoholic Aperitif: De Soi Golden Hour

Ready to be poured at your next party, this sparkling aperitif tastes of lemongrass, cooling eucalyptus, and tart and juicy lemon. De Soi is helmed by an absolute power duo: singer Katy Perry, and master distiller Morgan McLachlan, one of Food & Wine’s 2021 Drinks Innovators. Their Golden Hour apéritif blends aromatic botanicals with adaptogens like maca and L-theanine for a booze-free, feel-good boost. Pour it into a coupe glass in place of Champagne, or pour it over ice for a delicious alternative to a highball. 

Best Single Serve: St. Agrestis Amaro Falso 

Packaged in the sleekest tapered bottle and fitted with a crown cap, this booze-free amaro cocktail is aperitivo ready. St. Agrestis crafts Italian-inspired amaros and ready-to-drink amaro cocktails in Brooklyn, NY, and the Amaro Falso, an individually portioned amaro highball, is their newest launch. Inspired by an amaro highball, which traditionally pairs amaro with club soda, this non-alcoholic version features an amaro made with a blend of citrus, botanicals, and herbs without the addition of alcohol. Drink it chilled straight out of the bottle, or pour it over ice with a spritz of lemon for added freshness.  

Best Overall: Ghia Apéritif 

We’d be remiss to taste non-alcoholic apéritifs without including Ghia. Launched in June 2020 by Melanie Masarin, I’d argue that Ghia’s apéritif set the foundation for non-alcoholic apértifs to come. With gorgeous packaging and savvy branding, it’s hard to walk by a bottle of Ghia without feeling, at the very least, intrigued. With a blend of yuzu and gentian root, this aperitif tastes even better than it looks, and features a bouquet of floral citrus with bracing bitterness that makes it very refreshing. While Ghia was the most bitter aperitif in our tasting, it has a luxurious mouthfeel and juiciness from its white grape juice base. This is a classic that cannot be beat; add a splash of Ghia to a glass of club soda, or use it to make our favorite, the Ghia Sour

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