Are you sick of hangovers, fuzzy memories, and overall feeling blah after one too many shots on a Friday night? May I introduce: sober curious. You probably heard of Dry January but sober curious is rising in popularity all 12 months of the year. I’ve been sipping on all the best non-alcoholic beverages and am here to report the tea on drinks.
Cheers to a healthy lifestyle and liver!
Prickly Paloma and Spiced Piñarita
Starting strong with bold drinks from Parch. This 100% plant-based, vegan, and gluten-free brand is motivated by creating delish drinks inspired by “if it grows together, it goes together.” Major points on the ethos and even more cheers for the easy-to-sip flavors. Their Prickly Paloma gives major west coast vibes with the notes of grapefruit bitters, prickly pear, hibiscus, and a touch of agave. I drank this while feasting on some tacos with a friend. She sipped on their Spiced Piñarita, which I took a few swings of. Made from pineapple, lime, and cayenne pepper, this concoction set fire to my soul and mouth (in a good way, of course). Parch is best for tailgates, beach trips, and summer campfires with s’mores.
For the seltzer lovers looking for a major upgrade from White Claw: introducing Happi! A cannabis-infused seltzer that makes life… well, a little bit happier. Low cal, gluten-free, non-GMO, low sugar, and made with real fruit, Happi checks all the boxes of living the good life. Their range comes with a collection of fizzling flavors such as Raspberry Honeysuckle, a slightly-tart-yet-sweet-juicy flavor with a whisper of honeysuckle. Or Glow, an equally yummy blood orange flavor with lion’s mane mushroom to aid in relaxation. I headed out to the park with my Happi and a good book as I basked in the sunshine. You could say I was in my happy place (and I was) but Happi added another level to it. I was able to really feel the words, feel the wind kiss my skin, and feel each bubble as it danced on my tongue. Happi Nightcap in Turkish Apple Tea is their bedtime seltzer that put my mind and body into a state of tranquil with every sip, with notes of warm apple and cozy spices, think: apple pie vibes. Happi is ideal for a midday pick-me-up by the pool, strolling through the park, and watching the sunset. It’s all smiles with Happi!
Curious Elixir Monthly Variety Pack
If you’re looking for a dry twist on the classics, Curious Elixir should be on your radar. Their cocktails come in a bottle or can for easy access and sharing with the crew. Enjoy them straight up or mixed in with juices; I personally enjoy a splash of club soda. I tested out their Monthly Variety Pack and the two that stood out to my tastebuds were: No. 1, inspired by Negroni Sbagliato. The adaptogen blend of gentian (helps to ease digestion) and rhodiola (lowers stress and tiredness) add an herbal flavor while the pomegranate gives a juicy edge. No. 1 is perfect with a savory dish like grilled eggplant or steak.
Pina Coladas are on the horizon when I book my tropical vacations, but for now I’ll be satisfied with Curious , Elixir’s No.6 — a Caribbean dream with coconut cream, pineapple, citrus, oat milk, and chicory root, with a touch of nutmeg and lemon balm for some much needed relaxation. I blended it with some frozen pineapple to give it a thicker consistency. Popped a cherry on top and sipped away while watching the sunset from my window. Hey, close enough to being back on the beach. I felt the zen wash over me by the time I got to the last drop. Curious Elixir is great for fancy, at-home meals and listening to some smooth jazz.
Smoky bars with mingling notes of perfume and a live band playing in the corner… these are visions I get when I drink Tenneyson’s Black Ginger. Spicy ginger, dandelion, lemon balm, bergamot, yerba matte, grape seed, and gentian root are all ingredients you wouldn’t find in your average spirit. This drink is for the adults who want to enjoy adult drinks without booze or the extra sweet from juices. I brought this to a get-together and even the heavy drinkers enjoyed it. I simply pour Black Ginger over ice and sip on it while enjoying good conversation. It lasts for up to a year but I know it will be finished before then. Tenneyson is great for nighttime festivities and dinner parties.
Need to tap into your inner mystical side? Call on Three Spirits, a vegan, gluten-free, ethically sourced, and B-Certified brand created by plant scientists and bartenders. The Collection contains three of their spirits that can be consumed straight up, on the rocks, or mixed into a tasty brew. Social Elixir was my choice of drink before I headed out for the night. Made with lion’s mane mushroom, yerba mate, and damiana, this bittersweet spirit flooded me with feel-good feelings as I chatted it up with strangers. My head felt a bit floaty, fun, and fierce as the night continued on. I made it home with no headache the next day, which I can’t say after a night out with vodka shots!
For the start of the weekend Livener, a spicy and fruity with watermelon, guava, and ginger blend, is my go-to. Livener has schisandra berries, ginseng, and apple cider vinegar, which helps my gut throughout my time dancing, eating, and enjoying the warm weather. I mix it with tonic water for a low-cal option and sip away into my own paradise, enjoying the spicy kick from this mocktail.
After long days at work, when my feet hurt and I need a bubble bath, I pour some Nightcap on the rocks. This warm, spicy, and woody blend makes drinking Nightcap a cherished part of my nighttime routine. The lemon balm relaxes my psyche as the woody-vanilla notes keep me sipping as I sink into the bubbles. Three Spirit is a decadent experience to be had by anyone, sober curious or not. Enjoy Three Spirit for nightlife, celebrations, or a part of your daily meditation to unwind.
I adore mixology and with Optimist Botanicals, I’ve been able to live out my dreams. Optimist Botanicals mimics zero-proof spirits for beloved cocktails without the booze. Their three pack come with FRESH, BRIGHT, and SMOKEY. FRESH is an herbal blend that reminds me of standing in a forest after a fresh rain. It’s a take on gin, and I made a lavender gin mocktail for Easter that all could enjoy, meaning: no waiting around before driving. For a quick Mex-Tex drink, I used SMOKEY, which mimics tequila to make a margarita. I made a quick simple syrup, added lime, and some chopped chilis. It was spicy, bright, tart, and the compliments from the crew were two thumbs up. Optimist Botanicals is one to watch for as their spirits give the experience of good times without any of the hangover. Sober spring and summer is the hottest thing you can do for yourself this year!