Brands Report 2023: Non-alcoholic spirits

05 January, 2023

Driven mainly by the wellbeing trend, non-alcoholic spirits have found favour in bars.

Non-alcoholic spirits, or hydrosols in most cases, have become a pretty prevalent – though not essential – part of the bar arsenal, with almost two-thirds of our sample of the world’s best bars declaring they use them. You see, even if bartenders feel they can marry botanicals with water, having a branded one-step solution that adds value, really is, well, of value.

First out of the blocks in 2014, Seedlip solved a problem that bars didn’t know they had, pioneering and opening up the category. In the early days, the now Diageo-owned brand looked to have the category sewn up – less so now. Looking at the results of our survey, a duopoly has emerged. Seedlip was the top serve in 41% of bars and a top-three non-alc in 66%, while another also British-founded brand, Lyre’s, matches that, almost bringing it on par. The brand was the bestseller in 42% of bars, but had top-three presence in 61%.

There are two approaches at play here. Seedlip’s range takes in three expressions – Garden 108, Grove 42 and Spice 94 – which are very much their own creations. The brand does not try to be a non-alc gin, it is just Seedlip. Meanwhile, Lyre’s apes the profile of alcoholic spirits and the range is named accordingly: think Agave Blanco Spirit, Dry London Spirit and Dark Cane Spirit. It’ll be interesting to see which path works best. Lyre’s is also the 2023 Top Trending non-abv spirit.

According to our poll, it is these two brands that are taking most of the non-alc spots on cocktail lists, with the rest playing catch-up. Everleaf, which does well in its home market of the UK and takes the “be yourself, not something else” approach with its range (Mountain, Forest and Marine being the SKUs), was found to be part of our sample’s three-strong repertoire in 14% of bars. US-based Ritual Zero Proof, a top-three choice in 9% of bars, takes the more pragmatic approach of providing non-alc alternatives for tequila, rum, gin and whiskey. Three Spirit just edged out Aecorn on tie-breaker, with both registering a relatively low take up – 6% of our sample said they stocked the brands.

How we did it

The Annual Brands Report results are the culmination of a survey of 100 bars from 33 countries around the world which have been nominated or won international awards. The report offers a picture of the buying habits of the world’s best bars – not only which brands sell best, but also what’s trending to indicate the brands that are hot right now.

To view the page-turner edition of the Brands Report click here.

The Brands Report will be serialised on throughout January.

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