Raise a Glass With These 12 Easy & Low-Alcohol Cocktails

Raise a Glass With These 12 Easy & Low-Alcohol Cocktails

Often referred to in the industry as low-proof or low-ABV (alcohol by volume), low-alcohol cocktails have become the choice of many. This more mindful class of mixed drinks is perfect for those who prefer to enjoy a drink on the lighter side. Made from lighter spirits like wine or amaro, they’re easy-drinking cocktails that range from refreshing spritzes to rich vermouth-based cocktails.

While there is no recognized industry standard for Low-ABV cocktails, they are typically characterized by being 15% ABV or below. Consider that the average glass of wine has an ABV between 10-15% and classic cocktails like a Martini, Negroni, and an Old-Fashioned range from 25%-37%. This makes these low-alcohol cocktails a perfect accompaniment to a casual evening, an aperitivo before a meal, or slowing down at the end of the night. From Lemon-Lime & Bitters to Aperol Spritz to Ranch Water, here are the best 12 low-alcohol cocktails to try.

View the complete collection of low-alcohol cocktails here.

1. Negroni Sbagliato

Negroni Sbagliato With Sparkling Wine Campari And Sweet Vermouth
Photo by @Bhofack2

Sbagliato translates to “mistaken,” but there’s no mistaking this low-ABV cocktail as a deliciously light and refreshing spritz. Swapping gin for sparkling wine makes the Negroni Sbagliato a low-proof cocktail — a stark difference from its bracingly bitter namesake.

ABV: 12.3%*

Get the recipe

2. Old Hickory

Old Hickory Cocktail
Photo by @sorinpopa

The Old Hickory has been a favorite for centuries. It’s a complex yet balanced low-proof cocktail. This lesser-known New Orleans cocktail mixes sweet vermouth and dry vermouth with bitters for an all-vermouth cocktail reminiscent of the stirred and served up Adonis.

ABV: 15.3%*

Get the recipe

3. Ranch Water

Ranch Water With Tequila Soda Water And Limes
Photo by @katerryna

This summer-time favorite is a thirst-quenching mix of tequila, lime juice, and soda water. Easy to enjoy year round with a relatively low ABV. Its simple format and refreshing qualities are comparable to a Whiskey Highball or Tom Collins. The Ranch Water recipe can easily be adjusted to suit your tastes.

ABV: 8.4%*

Get the recipe

4. Bamboo

Bamboo Japanese Sherry Dry Vermouth Bitters Shaken Cocktail
Photo by @Bhofack2

A historic Japanese cocktail, the Bamboo, is an easy-drinking beverage made from equal parts fino sherry, dry vermouth, and two types of bitters. It’s a low-proof cocktail that looks and tastes delightfully sophisticated. Aptly described by cocktail historian, David Wondrich, “The Bamboo looks like a cocktail, tastes like a cocktail, and punches like a six-year-old.”

ABV: 14.2%*

Get the recipe

5. Americano

Americano Red Campari Amaro Red Sweet Vermouth Soda Water Iced Cocktail
Photo by @Bhofack2

A lower ABV and lighter take on the Negroni, the Americano, is the thirst-quenching beverage of choice for many. The subtle sweetness of the vermouth and bitterness of Campari is topped with the perfect amount of fizzy soda water reminiscent of warm days in the Mediterranean.

ABV: 12.2%*

Get the recipe

6. Poor Richard

Poor Richard Cocktail
Photo by @MarioMarquardtJr

Festive and low-proof, the Poor Richard is a blend of hard cider, sweet vermouth, cranberry cordial/grenadine, lemon juice, and nutmeg. Easily turned into a punch and is an ideal low-alcohol cocktail option for the holidays and entertaining.

ABV: 6.0%*

Get the recipe

7. Bicicletta

Bicicletta Bitter Italian Amaro Liqueur White Wine Soda Water Cocktail
Photo by @pinarimsi

Combining some of Italy’s favorite beverages, the Bicicletta is mellow, slightly bitter, and refreshing. Campari, dry white wine, and soda water mix to make a lovely aperitivo similar to its well-known counterparts, Americano, Aperol Spritz, and Negroni.

ABV: 12.1%*

Get the recipe

8. White Negroni Sbagliato

White Negroni Sbagliato Cocktail
Photo by @domicreator

The White Negroni Sbagliato is a modern riff on the classic Negroni. It combines herbal Suze with bianco vermouth, which is sweeter than dry vermouth, and tops it off with sparkling wine. It’s a fresh and herbaceous aperitivo that’s a lighter alternative to the already fair White Negroni.

ABV: 11.1%*

Get the recipe

9. Aperol Spritz

Aperol Spritz Aperol Italian Amaro Prosecco
Photo by @zamedyanskiy

A low-proof cocktail list wouldn’t be complete without perhaps the most iconic Italian aperitivo, the Aperol Spritz. Created in Venice in 1920, it’s been delighting drinkers with its mix of bitter Aperol, Italian sparkling wine, and soda water. The drink manages to be both woodsy and delicate thanks to the balance of flavors. Its low alcohol content makes it ideal for sipping through the afternoon.

ABV: 6.9%*

Get the recipe

10. Adonis

Adonis Cocktail
Photo by @danielviero

Balancing both dry and sweet flavors, the Adonis was created in the 1880s after the musical of the same name. Fino sherry, sweet vermouth, and orange bitters balance each other out nicely for an easy-to-drink low-proof cocktail.

ABV: 12.8%*

Get the recipe

11. Hugo Spritz

Hugo Spritz Cocktail
Photo by @olenasergienko

The Hugo Spritz is for those looking for the refreshing crackle of a spritz without the usual bitterness of more popular variants. Made from prosecco, soda water, muddled mint, and elderflower liqueur, the Hugo Spritz is bright, herbaceous and pleasantly low-proof.

ABV: 7.9%*

Get the recipe

12. Lemon-Lime & Bitters

Lemon-Lime And Bitters Cocktail
Photo by @Mizina

Saving the lowest proof for last, the Lemon-Lime & Bitters or more affectionately known LLB has a remarkably low ABV of 0.2% alcohol. Made with what the moniker suggests, it mixes lemon-lime soda, lime juice, and a few dashes of bitters. Considered the national drink of Australia, it’s refreshing and has well-balanced sweet and citrus flavors.

ABV: 0.2%*

Get the recipe

*ABV calculations based on TheShakenCocktail.com listed cocktail recipe for each cocktail. Calculated via the Epicurious.com Cocktail ABV Calculator.

Did you enjoy the article? Let us know your thoughts and leave a comment.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *