When the pandemic first hit, alcohol sales rose dramatically, next to hand sanitizer and toilet paper. Life seemed to require a few cocktails to take the edge off of 2020. Now, many people are realizing their uptick in alcohol consumption may actually be more harmful than helpful when it comes to personal anxiety and physical health. Replacing happy hour with a healthier choice, even just every now and then, is a habit many are hoping to adopt.
As this sober-curious niche of consumers is growing, companies are taking notice and creating experiences and products to meet the demand. Whether you’re sober, interested in adopting the lifestyle or looking to shed a few pounds, take a look at our round-up of alternative adult beverages and try one one of these special, holiday mocktails.
These locally based, little cans are filled with ready-made, classic cocktails but with a twist. The founder, Talia Bennick, spent a year creating the fullest-bodied, zero-proof cocktail with 20mg of CBD per can. The current flavors available are the Mellow Mule (a Moscow Mule sans the vodka) and OG Tonic (gin and tonic sans the gin). These drinks act as a great happy hour cocktail alternative without the guilt or unpleasurable effects.
The aesthetic of this brand’s cans is, in and of themselves, relaxing. The smooth colors and simple packaging are a clue into what you get inside the can: crisp flavor and a soothing 10mg of CBD. Meant to become a go-to, afternoon pick-me-up, these have a smaller amount of milligrams of CBD than others, so if it’s not quite time for happy hour, these can provide a light relief.
This company focuses on blending natural supplements and botanicals to build cocktails that taste good and leave you feeling great. With three products available, two makes are for happy hour and social settings, while the third is best as a nightcap. The Dream Light is infused with hints of passion flower, oak and melatonin, all meant to lull the body into a restful, natural sleep. Just pour each over ice and they are ready to go.
Seedlip created the world’s first distilled, non-alcoholic spirit and now has three different flavored and infused products available. The Garden 108 has botanical notes of rosemary, thyme, peas, hay and hops and is described as savory and bright. For non-alcoholic cocktail recipes using these spirits, check out their website and learn more about the process of distilling a zero-proof spirit.
The hoppy sensation is one that is either loved or hated — but when it’s loved, it’s hard to find anywhere else but in a favorite brew. Luckily for any sober-curious beer drinkers, the Houston-based brewery, Karbach, recently came out with an IPA that contains less than 0.5% ABV. Cracking open an ice-cold beer like this one won’t have to come with that hazy, next-day feel.
For beer drinkers, the feel and taste of one’s favorite craft brew of choice is hard to replace. Hairless Dog Brewing Co. is committed to providing pints that feel and taste like the beloved classics — all with zero-percent alcohol content. Four options are available: IPA, Citra Lager, Black Ale and Coffee Stout. Each contains notes and tastes unique to that style of brew — even their Coffee Stout has that malty, hoppy mix of bold favors iconic in all stouts.
While this list is long, it’s nowhere near complete. So many options are available to anyone interested in cutting back or cutting out their alcoholic indulgences. If you’re interested in the social side of things, check out one of Squareüt Kava Bar’s (a CBD bar) three locations or The Sans Bar (a non-alcoholic bar) in East Austin.