Enjoying tequila without alcohol sounds like a magic trick, yet doing so is entirely possible, as there’s now non alcoholic tequila (along with plenty of other spirits). This tequila alternative often still relies on agave, so it retains the unique flavor of tequila, while avoiding the alcohol entirely.
The products in this list are some of the best examples of alcohol free tequila on the market. They far outshine traditional mocktails, giving you plenty of flavor and nuance, without overwhelming sweetness.
That said, none of these have precisely the same complexity and bite that you find in true tequila. This happens with other non alcoholic products too, including gin and bourbon. The issue isn’t surprising either, as some of the flavor of spirits is influenced by the fermentation process. The flavors can never be quite the same without fermentation.
To avoid disappointment, think of these as tequila-like products. They give you some of the same flavors and work excellently in many non alcoholic drinks. They may even help satisfy some of your margarita cravings.
Non Alcoholic Tequila
Durangold by Seir Hill
Seir Hill is an impressive company offering a version of whiskey, tequila, and rum. Each of their alcohol free drinks is carefully crafted to replicate the correct flavor notes and they go to great lengths to make everything perfect.
Their Durangold version acts as an alternative to tequila. To do so, the product includes distinct flavors of agave coupled with lemon peel and botanicals. .
Interestingly, this version is meant to be used only as a mixer, rather than a spirit to drink on its own. Despite that caveat, Durangold gets excellent reviews and fares particularly well when used in margaritas.
This is also a good option if you’re interested in health, as Durangold is free from calories, gluten, and all major allergens. The carb content is low too, so even keto dieters should be able to use this product.
The Spirit Of Tequila by Free Spirits
It’s hard to go wrong with Free Spirits. The company produces a variety of alcohol free spirits, including gin, tequila, and whiskey.
Each of these products uses the same Distillation Reconstruction process. This approach involves identifying the main elements that make the spirit distinctive. Those elements are then sourced and distilled, which gives Free Spirits the building blocks to create their own alcohol free spirit.
What’s more, their products are designed to offer some of the same ‘bite’ that you get with a true spirit. Their tequila version is tasty enough to work in a cocktail or even on its own. There’s also a distinctive agave flavor that shines through even in cocktails.
Agave Blanco by Lyre’s
Lyre’s is another popular brand, offering alcohol free gin and whiskey, as well as their Agave Blanco tequila alternative. Prominent flavors include lemon, pine, and plenty of agave.
It’s a drink with plenty of characters, one that works particularly well in cocktails. You might enjoy it straight too, but cocktails are definitely the way to go here.
This is one of those alcohol free spirits that gets very mixed reviews. Some people love it, finding that this is just as good as tequila. Others can’t stand the spirit and never even finish their bottle.
The differences probably come down to personal preference. After all, people have very different palates. It might be a matter of trying this one out for yourself and seeing how you find it.
Lyre’s did have a second tequila product as well, called Agave Reserva. This was a popular product with a slightly different flavor profile. It may have even been the better expression of the two.
Agava Reserva doesn’t seem to be available now, which is a shame, but the flavor may come back in the future.
Mezcal by Monday
Like Lyre’s, Monday offers a selection of different alcohol free spirits. Interestingly, their agave-based entry isn’t marketed as tequila at all, but as mezcal instead. This should give it a different flavor profile than normal, including extra smokiness.
If you’re new to mezcal, don’t worry. Monday’s Mezcal will still be familiar and enjoyable. It also works well in many traditional tequila cocktails, particularly those that have a little spiciness of their own.
Honestly, even if the flavor profile isn’t quite what you’re expecting, you’re likely to adore this spirit alternative. It’s also a nice change from the other entries on this list, which tend to be milder.
Jalisco 55 by Spiritless
Spiritless has created the Jalisco 55, which is a seriously impressive alcohol free tequila. It includes familiar flavors of agave, citrus, and mint, with notes of honey and vanilla.
The spirit is created by a complex process that includes reverse distillation, blending, and bottling. There is even some heat in the finished drink, although the level of burn isn’t the same as with tequila (which is to be expected, as alcohol is what causes the burn).
Reviews on the Spiritless site are excellent, although those elsewhere suggest that the product isn’t for everyone. You may find that you enjoy this one best in cocktails, rather than drinking it neat.
Ritual Tequila Alternative by Ritual Zero Proof
Ritual Zero Proof offers a fantastic version of tequila that’s free from calories and uses no artificial flavors. The flavor should be instantly familiar, with both earthly and tropical flavor notes.
Ritual Zero Proof goes through a long process to make their tequila just right. This includes focusing on natural botanical flavors, ones that are carefully blended to create a perfect flavor balance.
Interestingly, their tequila isn’t an alcohol removed product. Alcohol isn’t used as an ingredient at all, which makes the spirit as close to 0% alcohol as possible.
Alcohol Free Tequila by Arkay
Many of the products on this list are distilled. This is the reason they have such an interesting depth of flavor. Arkay takes a different approach. They even promote their product as a ‘tequila flavored drink’, which is unusual in this field.
The lack of distillation means you won’t get the same complex flavor that is seen with some other tequila substitutes. But, Arkay has a secret weapon that they call their W.A.R.M. molecule.
This molecule was discovered in 2011 and provides a similar mouth burn that you get with traditional alcohol. The effect is distinct enough that you might even forget that you’re drinking a non alcoholic alternative.
If you want some non alcoholic tequila to drink straight, then this isn’t the right product. Still, while reviews suggest that Arkay’s tequila tastes awful on its own, it may work well in cocktails – giving you a burn that few other products achieve.
Tequila by Escape Mocktails
Escape Mocktails is an interesting company, offering more flavors and styles of alcohol free spirits than any other. That said, their first tequila flavor is very familiar, with plenty of agave flavors and some smokiness too.
It’s a little sweeter than many other tequilas and comes with a distinct peppery finish. It’s an excellent addition to many cocktails. You might even enjoy drinking the tequila straight as well.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Tequila by Escape Mocktails
This second entry from Escape Mocktails is quite different – chocolate peanut butter tequila. This is a dessert tequila and a very unusual one at that. Even true tequila companies don’t tend to make this flavor.
The chocolate and peanut butter notes are prominent in the final drink, while the taste of tequila provides an exciting contrast. While this tequila flavor won’t work well for everyone, it’s certainly something interesting to try.
Mexican Agave by Drummerboy
Drummerboy isn’t an option for everyone, as it is an Australian brand that currently only ships within Australia. However, they are planning to expand shipping in the future, so you may get lucky.
The alcohol free spirit relies on roasted agave, along with peppery spice notes, vanilla, and some lemon. The spirit works particularly well in cocktails, although you may need to use a little more of it than you would with regular tequila.
What’s more, this version smells like tequila when you open the bottle and is familiar enough that you can even drink it on the rocks.
Smokey by Optimist Botanicals
Optimist Botanicals produces something a little different. Their Smokey product includes bitter and floral notes, along with spices and charred wood. This expression is designed to replicate the experience of drinking smoky mezcal and does so well.
However, while Smokey has many characteristics in common with tequila and mezcal, there isn’t actually any agave present. This choice works much better than you might expect and gives you an enjoyable alternative to the more traditional entries.
There are two general styles of alcohol free tequila.
Some start with an alcoholic base and then go through reverse distillation. This process is very effective and removes more than 99% of alcohol in the product.
In fact, all the tequilas on this list must have less than 0.5% alcohol to be considered alcohol free. But… this does mean there’s some alcohol present. Not much, but sometimes even 0.5% might be too much alcohol.
Other types of non alcoholic tequila follow a different approach. They never use alcohol at all, so for all intents and purposes, they’re alcohol free.
If you want to get technical about it, even these versions of tequila do contain some alcohol. That’s simply because trace amounts of alcohol naturally occur in foods.
But, the levels in these products are incredibly small. You’d actually get more alcohol in many pieces of fruit than in, so there’s nothing at all to worry about.
The short answer is – kind of. Some of the companies on this list get pretty close to the real deal, while others are a bit further off. Most lack the burn you get from alcohol and the flavor profile isn’t quite right.
This isn’t such a shock though. The flavor and texture of tequila is strongly influenced by the distillation process and the alcohol. It isn’t really possible to completely match that flavor profile while avoiding the alcohol entirely.