6 chic non-alcoholic drinks for happy hour

7 min read
These alcohol alternatives will keep you dry well after July. Image: iStock.

Alcohol alternatives have gotten a modern makeover and these restaurant-approved beverages prove it – whether you’re doing Dry July or not.

This year Dry July could be tougher than ever. Sometimes a cheeky cocktail at the end of the day, or a nice glass of red with dinner is just the treat we need, but even more so with everything going on in the world.

It’s no surprise we’ve all been drinking more than usual, in fact 70 per cent of us were indulging in an alcoholic beverage at the height of the pandemic. But whether you’re going cold turkey this month, or opting to try and have a dry-ish July, we’ve got you covered with these delicious alcohol alternatives that won’t make people question why you’re not drinking, and may even taste better than the real thing.

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Monday Distillery

Founder Sam Manning set out to create these non-alcoholic bevvies after she couldn’t find anything on the market that wasn’t sickly-sweet or flat and boring. Using her background in botanicals and the beverage industry, she developed ready-to-drink gin and tonic – without the gin, or the sugar. They come in two flavours – classic G&T or exotic spice, with notes of cinnamon and nutmeg. Drink straight from the bottle, or pour over ice.

Monday Distillery Non Alcoholic Classic G&T ($19.99 for 4, at Dan Murphy’s)

StrangeLove x Notwasted

If you want to take part in (what’s left of) Dry July, but going cold turkey is tricky, then look to this collaboration from StrangeLove, the boutique premium mixers and soda company, and Notwasted the Sydney-based sustainable online wine store. The two have come together with a pack to help support sustainable drinking, with all proceeds from non-alcohol sales online this month going to the Dry July foundation.You’ll find two bottles of vino and three bottles of fancy low-cal sodas in the pack, perfect for whatever mood you’re in.

StrangeLove x Notwasted Dry(ish) July Pack ($75, at Notwasted)



For those who prefer the crisp refreshing taste of craft beer, look no further than this non-alcoholic Pilsner from Sobah. Made from native fruit like lemon aspen from far north Queensland, it’s rich in antioxidants and vitamins – so it’s more than just a swishy replacement for booze. If you’re into pale ale give this one a whirl.

Sobah Lemon Aspen Pilsner ($18 for 4, at Sobah)


Some of us don’t like soft drink or cordial, or just prefer to consumer our calories elsewhere. Luckily, it’s not the only option when it comes to staying dry. This citrusy non-alcoholic drop just needs a drop of tonic, ice and an orange peel (if you’re feeling fancy) and you’ve got yourself a cocktail worthy of $18 – without the hefty price tag. Plus, it’s zero calories and contains no sugar, sweetener or artificial flavouring.

Seedlip Grove 42 ($50, at Drnks)


This Aussie zero-alcohol wine alternative was created by an ex-Noma chef and is stocked in some of our top restaurants. Formulated in Melbourne, the ‘tisane’ (an infusion of dried spices, herbs and fruits in hot water – kind of like tea), comes in five bottles to choose from, some are carbonated and fizzy like a pet nat, while others are punchy like skin-contact wine varieties. Plus, the packaging is modern and modest, so no one will know you’re ‘not drinking’ at the next house party.

NON 2 Caramelised Pear & Kombu ($30, at NON)


An Aperol spritz without the Aperol? Yes please. Take yourself to the Amalfi coast with this orange and rhubarb aperitif. Just pour it over soda, tonic water or prosecco for a low-alcohol afternoon treat.

Lyre’s Non Alcoholic Italian Spritz ($50, at PnV Merchants)

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