Learn / 5 Non-Alcoholic Vodka Substitutes & How To Use Them

September 8th, 2023

5 Non-Alcoholic Vodka Substitutes & How To Use Them

The top five tried and true concoctions designed to replicate 
the calming and uplifting feeling.

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In the midst of our ever-evolving world, whether it be within the pulsing heart of urban life or the gentle embrace of nature's solitude, there's a palpable thirst. Not merely for a drink, but for a drink that resonates with our deeper aspirations. We seek the real thing — that pristine experience of a crisp drink in hand, sans the fog of alcohol.

Vodka, with its crystal clear color and versatile flavor profile, has long held a favored spot in our cocktail glasses. Yet, for those who wish to stay tethered to the present moment, who wish to savor every nuanced flavor while remaining rooted in clear consciousness — is there another way? Let us enter the realm of alternatives that capture vodka's essence without its intoxicating haze.

How Is Vodka Made?

Vodka, hailing from the chill-kissed expanses of Eastern Europe and Russia, is the embodiment of distilled simplicity. Its history, woven through time, speaks of an essence predominantly derived from grains or potatoes.

As the centuries passed, the art of crafting vodka evolved, yet its core remained rooted in its original ingredients, producing a spirit that's brilliantly clear and exceptionally pure.

What Is Vodka Used In?

With its understated and smooth flavor profile, vodka effortlessly lends itself to a vast range of cocktails. Unlike tequila, which has a distinct agave-driven bite, vodka is the preferred choice for clean, neutral drinks that accentuate accompanying ingredients without overpowering them. From the sharp tang of a martini to the invigorating burst of a citrus spritz, it serves as a harmonizing base.

While traditional vodka contains no additives and boasts a remarkably pure, crystalline flavor, flavored vodkas like vanilla vodka and green apple vodka may be made with natural extracts to infuse additional aromatic notes.

As it journeys from its elemental roots, vodka has become a well-known companion at gatherings, symbolizing moments crystallized over gleaming, chilled glasses. However, with changing times and evolving tastes, many are turning their gaze towards vodka alternatives, seeking that familiar essence but with a refreshing twist for the modern palate.

The Shift Away From Alcoholic Beverages

The rhythms of the modern world echo with a renewed emphasis on wellness. As we, as a society, gravitate towards holistic health, the spotlight turns to what we consume. This renewed consciousness isn't merely a fleeting trend; it's a deep-seated shift in mindset. It's about the art of savoring without surrendering to the tendrils of tomorrow’s hangover or the negative health effects of alcohol.

Indeed, many now seek the gentle embrace of flavors without the intoxicating grasp of alcohol. Social gatherings are evolving, with individuals seeking the camaraderie of shared moments, not dulled by alcohol but heightened by clarity.

Enter the age of zero-proof, alcohol-free, and functional spirits. These are not mere imitations but masterpieces in their own right, crafted with care to offer a genuine sensory experience. They hold the promise of conviviality, of moments cherished in their purest essence, allowing us to revel in the now.

5 Best Non-Alcoholic Vodka Substitutes

In the vast world of beverages, the quest for the perfect vodka substitute is one marked by both passion and discernment. Each alternative brings its unique character to the table, offering a palette of flavors and moments to be cherished.

1. Tonic Water

The effervescence of tonic water captures the spirit of celebration. Its bitter edge, reminiscent of quinine’s natural embrace, makes it a sparkling substitute for those seeking an elevated taste without the intoxicating rush. It’s perfect for those moments when you desire a refreshing uplift with a touch of sophistication.

2. Apple Juice

This is nature’s sweetness bottled in its most pristine form. Apple juice, with its gentle tartness, offers a serene alternative to vodka. Its crispness is reminiscent of autumnal orchards, with every drop anchoring you to nature’s bounty. This alternative is ideal for gatherings where warmth and togetherness reign supreme.

3. Orange Juice

Waking up to the vibrant embrace of citrus, orange juice captures the zesty essence perfect for a fresh vodka cocktail feel. The sun-kissed hues and the rejuvenating zing make it a delightful choice for brunches or sunlit afternoon soirees, where conversation flows as freely as the drink itself.

4. Apple Cider Vinegar

Steeped in tradition, apple cider vinegar offers a harmonious balance of tartness and acidity, echoing the bold spirit of vodka in culinary delights. This age-old elixir not only introduces a rich depth of flavor to dishes but also carries with it the promise of holistic wellness benefits. For those in pursuit of a blend of health, tradition, and culinary excellence, apple cider vinegar presents a refined alternative.

5. Aplós Calme

The crème de la crème of non-alcoholic options. Crafted with an exquisite blend of botanicals, the flavor profile of Aplós Calme resonates with authenticity. The subtle hints of hemp-infused calm, coupled with its vibrant botanical and bright citrus notes, make this functional spirit an impeccable stand-in for zero ABV, vodka-based cocktails — a go-to for those seeking both luxury and grounded presence.

What Are Functional Spirits?

Nestled amidst the natural embrace of wellness and clarity, functional spirits emerge as a beacon of non-alcoholic elegance and indulgence. Crafted with botanicals to subtly uplift the spirits, these alcohol-free spirits are teeming with plant-based wellness.

Using such spirits in your non-alcoholic drinks creates an experience beyond simple mocktails. Instead, they offer an enriching experience rooted in healthful benefits and mindful enjoyment.

Aplós Calme, one of our two functional spirits, draws its unique allure from the infusion of broad-spectrum hemp extract. Rich in hemp extract and known for its calming, wellness-supporting properties, this hemp infusion stands in stark contrast to the sharp impacts of vodka.

Where vodka often serves as a veil, obscuring reality, broad-spectrum hemp extract gently elevates the senses, supporting a balanced mood and connection to the world around us. It's a recalibration, a reminder of the beauty of slowing down, embracing natural wellness, and elevating each moment of togetherness.

How To Craft the Perfect Non-Alcoholic Cocktail

The canvas of a cocktail is so much more than just its primary spirit. It becomes a testament to the artistry of mixology, a delicate balance of flavors, and a celebration of savoring each moment with every sip.

Crafting the ideal non-alcoholic cocktail is a journey — an exploration into the very heart of nature, indulging in sensory richness, and staying true to authenticity. At the core of this exquisite art lies the mastery of basic techniques.

The heart of a splendid cocktail lies in the profound understanding of mixers and their perfect proportions. Achieving the right equilibrium can transform even the simplest ingredients into an elevated sensory experience, anchoring us firmly in the beauty of the present.

Central to this craft is the iconic shaker, a tool emblematic of mixology. It acts as your crucible, melding flavors together and encapsulating the very essence of every component.

And, as we dive deeper into the nuances of mixology, there emerges a preference for natural sweeteners over added sugar. Nature, in its vast benevolence, offers gentle sweeteners like honey and agave that seamlessly add depth without overpowering, ensuring each drink remains a testament to authenticity.

From Traditional to Transformative: Aplós Cocktail Recipes

The beauty of cocktails is their timeless nature. Yet, as with all classics, sometimes a touch of reinvention can open up an entirely new sensory realm. Imagine infusing the soul of classics like the Moscow mule, the fruity cosmopolitan, or the profound Negroni with non-alcoholic spirits. With Aplós, you can journey through both familiar territories and uncharted lands, with every sip anchored in the moment.

Aplós & Tonic

Some moments demand simplicity. This drink pays homage to the idea that sometimes, less is truly more.


  • Aplós Calme or Arise: 2 oz
  • Tonic (FeverTree): 4oz
  • A lemon wedge for garnish

Pour into a rocks glass over a majestic ice cube. Garnish with a slice of citrus, bringing a zesty edge to your calm.

After the Beach

The reminiscence of a day by the waves, where time stands still and the senses are amplified. An elegant spin on a vodka-free sea breeze, this concoction captures that juxtaposition — the salty air, the embrace of the sun, and the serene aftermath.


  • Aplós Calme: 2 oz
  • Soda water: 2 oz
  • Lime juice: ½ oz
  • Agave nectar: ½ oz
  • Pink grapefruit juice: 1 oz
  • Rosewater: 2 dashes

Blend all ingredients, save for the soda water, in a shaker filled with ice. Strain into a glass, allowing the effervescence of soda to rise to the top. Garnish with a grapefruit slice and a hint of pink salt on the rim, echoing the beach's embrace.

Elevate Your Spirit Alternatives With Aplós

In the vast tapestry of life, there lie threads that stitch together our most cherished moments. Many of these are punctuated with the clink of glasses, the ripples of laughter, and the deep, enriching conversations shared over a drink.

As we journey forth into this evolving landscape of non-alcoholic alternatives, we are not leaving behind the treasures of our past; we are merely rediscovering them in a more intentional, enriched hue.

With every sip of an Aplós creation, you're invited to traverse a verdant path of natural wellness, where clarity isn't an afterthought but a primary sensation. It's an experience that binds us to the present, celebrating the fullness of now, undiluted by distractions.

So, dear reader, as you venture into new and elevated ways to enjoy your favorite cocktail, allow Aplós to be your guide. Immerse yourself in our recipes, discover the boundless horizons of alcohol-free options, and embrace the wondrous symphony of flavors that await. The future of cocktails is bright, sensory-rich, and delightfully anchored in the here and now.


Hangovers - Symptoms and causes | Mayo Clinic

Alcohol's Effects on the Body | NIAAA

Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar | Cleveland Clinic

Enhancing Endocannabinoid Control of Stress with Cannabidiol | PMC

Get the Recipes

Aplos Mezcal

Aplós Mezcal

A house cocktail crafted with Yola Mezcal.


Aplós Calme

  • Calme

2 oz

Yola Mezcal

2 oz

Citrus apertif

1 oz

Soda water

2 oz

Cardamom bitters

2 dashes

Sea salt

Orange twist


Rim lowball glass with sea salt. Combine ingredients in a shaker and pour over ice. Garnish with an orange twist.

Aplós Snap Pea Cooler

Aplós Snap Pea Cooler

A cocktail by Sophia Roe for 232 Bleecker. Inspired by the season's best produce sourced by Natoora.


Aplós Calme

2 oz

Snap pea syrup

3/4 oz

Lime juice

1/2 oz

Mint leaves



In a shaker, combine mint and snap peas syrup. Gently muddle. Add Aplós, lime juice, and ice, Shake and strain into highball over fresh ice. Top with soda water. Garnish with fresh mint.

To make the snap pea syrup, boil 1/2 cup of water then turn heat off. Add 15 sugar snap peas and let sit for one minute. In a blender, mix peas and add 1/2 cup of sugar. Muddle and mix until sugar is dissolved. Fine strain the mixture, add 2 oz of fresh lime juice, and refrigerate.