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Classy Non-Alcoholic Beverages to Ring In the New Year

If you’re the designated driver on New Year’s Eve or just prefer to imbibe something that won’t leave you tipsy, you’ll enjoy two new non-alcoholic beverages.

First up, 12NtM sparkling beverages, created by New York Chef David Burke.

Not surprisingly with that pedigree, they are a most elegant alternative to wines. The fizzy beverages come in a white, Blanc, and a red, Rouge. The Blanc is made with citrus, ginger, cardamom, herbs, spices, fruit juices and a blend of three teas. The Rouge features pomegranate, black currant, bergamot, juniper berry, herbs, spices, fruit juices and three different teas.

I tried a sample of each and was an instant fan from the first sip. Get the notion of a sugary soda or a quite sweet fruit juice out of your head. These are surprisingly nuanced and delicate tasting. They’re not sugary in the least. Instead, you can actually taste the ginger and the floral notes of the teas in the Blanc. The Rouge is very earthy yet with the natural sweetness of currants and the tangy edge of pomegranates. It has layers of flavor like a red wine — yet without any buzz to it.

The name, “12NtM,” references the fact that you can drink them anytime (noon to midnight). The gluten-free beverages have no added sugar. An 8-ounce serving has 60 calories.

A 750ml frosted bottle is $6.99; a 6.3-ounce bottle is $2.99. Find them at Lunardi’s, Draeger’s, Whole Foods and other stores.

Next up, R.W. Knudsen Strawberry Spritzer, of which I recently tried a sample, too.

Another no-added-sugar, sparkling beverage, this one is definitely on the sweeter side. A blend of white grape juice, strawberry, pineapple and lemon juice, it tastes like a strawberry Life Saver candy in liquid form.

A 10.5 ounce can has 120 calories. A pack of four cans retails for about $5.69.

With its pretty in pink color, the Strawberry Spritzer would be a perfect treat for kids to usher in the New Year, while the 12NtM beverages, with their more sophisticated flavor profiles, would be ideal for the adults at the party.

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