We are at the tail end of Dry January and for those other first timers like me – it really wasn’t as bad as I thought. Albeit I didn’t go out the first few weeks and then this past weekend found myself unexpectedly consuming alcohol at a bar. It sounds like a lie but I ordered a mocktail without knowing there was an alcoholic version of the same name, which the bartender assumed I wanted the alcoholic version and well…my Dry January ended once I took a sip of that and thought “WOW! It tastes like there is mescal in here. I wonder what they put in here to simulate that smokey-ness?” The answer is mescal. It tastes like mescal because it’s mescal.
It was a delicious drink at least. Though drinking again without intending to makes me feel…a little weird. I wonder if I should bring this up to my therapist.
Anyway! I do intend to continue being as sober as I can because it’s different and fun. If you are looking for more options to stay sober but have delicious drinks that are just as effective at improving your life as alcohol does regardless – I’ve got some options here for you.
#1 Joyus Wines
Winner of The San Francisco International Wine Competition (SFIWC) for Best Non-Alcoholic wine, Joyus is women and sober owned ( so you know they understand their business and it’s not someone who is just trying to profit off a niche market group). Their alcohol removed wine comes in Sparkling Wine (White). Sparkling Rose, a Non-Alcoholic Rose and a Non-Alcoholic Cabernet Sauvignon. I tried the Sparkling Rose, which is kind of funny considering I actually do not like Rose. There is a berry fruit forward smell that almost tricks you into thinking it’ll be a sweet beverage but NO it has you fooled. It has a bubbling, foamy, fruity flavour without any sweetness. I opened it for my Lunar New Year celebrations and nearly finished the entire bottle by myself.
Having to consume the atypical option at an event can sometimes feel like you are the afterthought or YOU have to compromise because you have needs that are different from the conglomerate ( For example our folks who can’t have gluten.) Joyus wines look and feel as thoughtful as other beverages during a party and taste sophisticated enough to feel like an adult but still have that fun aspect to it.
These are perfect for any celebration and allow an inclusive, thoughtful option whether you or your guests are sober or not. I do recommend their packs, though, because these are very easy to go through.
#2 NKD LDY
During my Dry January sober endeavors I came across NKD LDY. The first I’ve seen to offer Non-Alcoholic spirit alternatives. NKD LDY reverse-distills spirits to get its non-alcoholic cousin without removing the taste aspects of the liquor.
I opted for trying their Gin offering. I’m a huge fan of the botanically rich gin. Recent years have shifted my liquor of preference and in the latest discovery – gin has made it to the forefront.
However, this gin cousin does not portray those rich, botanical flavours you may be used to. It has a light sweet floral fragrance that also makes its way into the taste profile as well.
I can most describe the taste as those melted ice pops from the summer from your childhood, but watered down so not as sweet and with a little spice and topped with some flowers.
It’s very easy to drink and dare I say feminine? Drinking this makes me feel pretty, girlish and with the intense desire to top it with real edible flowers. It’s a pretty delicate drink, so adding it in cocktails may not create some ball-busting powerhouse concoction, but with that particular spiced, sweet note profile it has I can imagine it working with teas, floral combinations like hibiscus, and sparkling additions. Topping it with a citrus note such as lemon or orange can also work for a simple yet refreshing twist.
I look forward to trying NKD LDY’s other offerings like their Whiskey and Tequila alternatives. For now you can find me drinking this in a cute outfit with cafe music in the background.
#3 Skin T? Sparkling Wellness Soda
I’m a huge fan of mixing various herbs and flavours to get interesting concoctions. While I’m not good at it myself, I appreciate what others are masters in. Skin T? is one of those unsuspecting botanically enriching cocktails I never thought could be in the form of a bubbly drink. Somehow, they managed to put so many interesting and healthy materials into a small can – magicians I say.
There are so many flavors but in all of them you’ll find 3000mg of collagen ( in the form of collagen peptides ) for your skin as well as horsetail ( good for hair and skin ) and hawthorn berry ( good for mood and antioxidants ). You’ll also get 100% of your daily Vitamin C intake. This is easier than cramming a bunch of pills down my throat and washing them down with tap water.
But what gets me is the taste. Each drink is a unique mixture of botanical and floral elements that tastes absolutely amazing. I kept finding myself wanting another sip so I could try to figure out what I was tasting.
Again, note I LOVE crazy herby botanical mixtures. But that may not be your cup of Te ( get it? ). I recommend the Variety Pack to try a few to see what you like, though not all of the flavors will be in there. ( I’m looking at you elusive Peach Mango ).
And all of these tasty bubblies benefit your hair, skin, nails and joints. Our previous listings were for celebrations, but here I’m opting for a more selfish sort of option. Buy them for yourself to celebrate yourself with.
But if you do decide to share with guests, now when you are drinking with your friends, you can actually cheers to your health in more ways than one.