As most of you who regularly read know, I’ve been working towards staying more sober. It’s a personal choice that I’ve made. While I totally understand the appeal of alcohol, it’s just not something that I want to be a part of anymore. That brings me to the newest issue I’ve noticed.
People like myself love to kick back with a cocktail, and often yearn for the taste of something similar to wine. The problem is, most companies that offer non-alcoholic beverages that fall into this line aren’t very good. I tried Fre wines, and frankly, it was just grape juice with a gross, slimy aftertaste. I tried non-alcoholic beers and they were okay.
I miss the burn of vodka and the tannins of a good red wine. But what I really miss, more than anything? A mocktail that tastes like the alcoholic version but doesn’t have alcohol. So far, I spotted two main companies that offer this: TOST and Mingle. But, which one is best.
A Bit About TOST
TOST is technically not a mocktail company, really. They make tea-based fruit beverages that are meant to taste similar to wine. Currently, they have a white and a rose flavor that I was able to find at my local Whole Foods.
Each of their mocktails (and yes, I’m calling them that) are sold in bottles made to resemble wine bottles. It’s a look that I can get behind. The difference between TOST and companies like Fre is that TOST tries to act like wine but doesn’t really have the misguided death grip on grapes.
A Bit About Mingle
Mingle is a little bit different. This company is made to mimic cocktails that are typically popular in bars, with a little extra fruity twist of their own. They have bellinis, cosmos, and mojitos. Or rather, they have their own non-alcoholic take.
As the name suggests, Mingle is a company that’s trying to make themselves into a party cocktail company. Their entire shtick is making non-alcoholic beverages that are reminiscent of the real McCoy, and have an adult vibe to them.
The Taste Test
So, now that we got a good glimpse of both companies, let’s talk about the taste test. I grabbed the mimosa version of Mingle and the rose version of TOST. Both were served chilled, straight from the refrigerator. Here’s what I had to say about each…
Mingle – Blood Orange Elderflower
Mingle makes a solid carbonated beverage that’s light and not too sweet. To a point, I don’t know whether or not I’d consider this a legit mocktail, though. Though the flavor is amazing, it tastes a lot like orange soda…primarily because it (kind of) is.
If you drink alcohol, I could see this being an amazingly good mixer. Personally, it didn’t quite taste like any cocktail that I ever had. It definitely was an orange soda that felt grown up, with a little herbal twist. However, it didn’t hav the “dryness” of a typical wine.
Even so, it was pretty yummy. I could see this being popular as a mixer, or just being a way to kick back after a long day.
TOST – Rose
While Mingle definitely played up the soda aspect of things, TOST was not playing around when it came to its motive. This was a mocktail that tasted surprisingly like a light, dry rose wine. After my first sip, I was even able to get the same type of tart, dry aftertaste that I so sorely missed from my drinking days.
What really surprised me was that this rose-mimic had a slight herbal aftertaste that worked amazingly well. You would never guess that this beverage was made from tea. Honestly, this is exactly what people should think of when they think of non-alcoholic wine.
Even if I was still a heavy drinker, I’d probably switch to TOST’s rose for a couple of swigs. It’s that good.
I wanna say that trying to figure out which one is better is a lot like trying to compare apples to oranges. Mingle is definitely more on the soda side than TOST, which is both a perk and a pitfall. If I had to choose a mixer, I’d go for a glass of Mingle with a shot of vodka. It would be an amazing mix.
On the other hand, TOST is the perfect pick for people who desperately miss the taste and feel of a good glass of wine. It also was lighter than than what I normally see in terms of faux-cohol. If I had to be honest, TOST is the only beverage that truly comes close to what good wine tastes like.
Overall, my personal palate was one that sided with TOST more. However, I definitely recommend Mingle, too. Overall, you really can’t go wrong with either.