Jukes 6 is easily one of the best non-alcoholic drinks I tested. Granted, as a wine lover, I'm biased — but also a hard critic of a mimic, so that's saying a lot:
Jukes Cordiality was created by British award-winning wine writer and wine taster, Matthew Jukes, who wanted to craft a drink that mirrored the depth, taste, and ability to enhance the flavor of food as wine, but without the alcohol.
He launched two flavors in the US in November 2020 — Jukes 1 (white) and Jukes 6 (red). Both are intended to be mixed with soda or water to a dilution of your liking. The white, Jukes 1, didn't wet my appetite much — it was quite a peachy wine for my taste. But Juke 6 has become a staple on my bar cart and at my dinner table.
The red wine mimic has a deep, slightly fruity, mostly spicy taste with a subtle earthiness that gives it that true wine feel. When mixed with soda water (I use Topo Chico for max bubbles and no added flavor), it's like having a lovely, slightly chilled red with just enough effervescence to perk the drink up and really make the flavors pop around your mouth.
Made from apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, and a bunch of berries (11g sugar per bottle), this cordiality is certainly tasty enough to drink solo; But I love that this formula is formulated to be paired with food, which is truly when a good red is the most delectable. I've tried a glass alongside wine favorites including steak and homemade meatballs and the Jukes 6 truly does perform in a manner similar to wine, reacting with and playing off of the culinary flavors.
The drink is a bit of an investment — one box will run you $48.50 plus $6.50 shipping — but you're actually getting 9 small bottles (30ml) in a box. Since each is individually (and beautifully) packaged, you can truly just have one glass with dinner without feeling the pressure that comes with opening a bottle of traditional wine and needing to finish it within 2-3 days. I also love that there are so many bottles in a box so you can gift a sober-curious friend one without sharing your whole supply.
Overall, the Jukes 6 is definitely worth the buy for anyone who has the money and loves wine but is trying to cut back on their alcohol intake, or anyone who loves hosting and cooking and wants an equally sophisticated drink to serve their sober guests.