Mocktails For A Brighter Morning-After
There are lots of reasons you could be refraining from drinking alcohol. You’re sober. You’re sober curious. You’re doing a Dry January. (Or a Sober October.) You’ve had the worst hangover and, of course, are “never. drinking. again!” (We’ve been there.) You’re prioritizing your health, you hate the way it makes you feel, or simply how it tastes. Maybe you’re pregnant! Like we said, the list could go on and on.
But whatever the reason for your break from booze, you don’t always have to miss out on the buzz. Whether you reach for rocks glasses and red wine because you’re socializing or stressed out, there are a handful of companies that are rethinking spirits and the way we consume them.
More than just sparkling waters and flavored sodas, these non-alcoholic beverages are using natural plants, herbs, fruits, and flowers to benefit you in a different way. Happy (hangover-free) sipping!
Kin wants to change the way we connect after dark. Crafted for nighttime—whether you’re socializing or slumbering—the “euphorics” combine plant-based ingredients (like hibiscus, orange peel, and cinnamon extracts) with cognition-supporting nootropics and natural adaptogens (like melatonin, reishi mushroom, and rhodiola rosea). You’ve got your pick of the herbaceous High Rhode, spiced Dream Light, or premixed citrus spritz, but they’re all vegan and crafted without gluten, dairy, and nuts.
The Kin Palo
Pour 2 oz. High Rhode and 1 tsp of ginger syrup over ice in a shaker. Add 3-4 dashes of Palo Santo bitters. Shake for 30 seconds then strain into a coupe glass. Top with grapefruit soda, garnish with an orange slice (or optional starfruit), and sip socially.
For more Kin recipes, head here.
Features | Fair trade, organic ingredients
Where to Buy | Online
Price | $35 for four 11.15 oz. bottles
Handcrafted in the Hudson River Valley, Curious uses organic juices, spices, herbs, roots, barks, and botanicals for its elixirs. Whether you opt for the floral blend boosted with ashwagandha or the carbonated concoction cooled with ginseng, the drinks are best enjoyed on the rocks with your favorite garnish. Fair trade and free of added sugar, gluten, dairy, and nuts, your curiosity will be rewarded. (See what we did there?)
Seedlip was born after founder Ben Branson was given a “sickly sweet pink mocktail” at a restaurant one night. Inspired to create an alternative, and combining his love of nature with his family’s farming background, Branson founded Seedlip to deliver distilled spirits sans artificial flavors. The blends include lemongrass mixed with ginger, allspice berries with oak bark, and pea with spearmint. Simply serve with tonic or mix to create your own mocktail. These elixirs are sugar- and sweetener-free, too.
Muddle 3 cucumber slices and 5 mint leaves in a cocktail shaker. Add 2 oz. Garden 108, 3/4 oz. simple syrup, and 1/2 oz. lime juice to the shaker with ice. Shake & double strain into a coupe. Garnish with a cucumber ribbon.
For more Seedlip recipes, head here.
Features | Botanical ingredients
Where to Buy | Online
Price | $19.50 for a 750 mL bottle
John deBary researched vermouths and Italian amaros for years before creating Proteau. After most recently serving as the Bar Director for the Momofuku restaurant group, he wanted to prove alcohol wasn’t an obligation for a food-friendly experience. Described as botanical drinks, the Ludlow Red and sparkling Rivington Spritz make use of plants from all over the world—hibiscus and chamomile flowers, rhubarb and black pepper, blackberries and strawberries—to deliver sips that can be had solo or with a meal.
5. Rock Grace
Features | Organic, non-GMO
Where to Buy | Online
Price | $18–$22 for 750 mL bottle
If you’re looking for a wine alternative, try the rosé-resembling Rock Grace. Using organic extracts from schisandra berry and rhodiola, plus rosewater and organic raspberry juice, the blush pink elixir is both fruity and floral, and best enjoyed chilled. (It also won two titles at the 2019 World Beverage Innovation Awards.) The calorie-free, non-GMO beverage is crafted without sugar, sweeteners, sulfites, preservatives, or allergens, so you can raise your glass without second-guessing.
The Summer Vibes
Pour 4 oz. Rock Grace, 1 oz. orange juice, 1 tsp. lemon juice, 1 tsp. hibiscus agave, and 2 oz. club soda over ice. Mix gently and garnish with orange zest.
For more Rock Grace recipes, head here.
Non-alcoholic apertif Ghia is Inspired by the Mediterranean tradition of aperitivo—the traditional pre-meal drink intended to whet your appetite and prepare your stomach. It’s full of botanical extracts from ginger, gentian root, rosemary, and more, but the star ingredients are natural nervines (like lemon balm), which are herbs known to help support the nervous system. Ghia uses no caffeine, artificial flavors, or added sugars, and its packaging uses only biodegradable or recyclable materials, too. Sip it solo or mix it with a spritz!
Danielle Cheesman was born and raised in New Jersey, where she lived until moving to Philadelphia to study journalism at Temple University. She has spent her years writing and developing editorial visions for music, art, and lifestyle brands. Now residing in Los Angeles, you can usually find her taking pictures, making playlists, or cuddling her pup. Say hi on Instagram!