We’ve always been on the fence about Dry January. On the one hand, cutting out booze can improve your health, help you sleep better, and be a catalyst for dropping the extra pounds you packed on over the holidays. On the other hand, sometimes – especially after the year we’ve had – you just want a cocktail. Luckily the rise in delicious, high-quality non-alcoholic spirits over the past few years is making the thought of Dry January a bit easier to swallow. Here are the options that we’re turning to for a booze-less buzz in 2021.
Founder Ben Branson launched Seedlip just five years ago after coming across The Art of Distillation, a 1651 handbook by British physician John French that outlined the practice of distilling herbs to solve medical maladies. Inspired to buy his own copper still, Branson began to experiment with homegrown herbs and shortly thereafter noticed an opening in the market for a sophisticated non-alcoholic option.
Seedlip, which is made through a bespoke, six-week maceration, distillation, filtration, and blending process, can now be found in some of the world’s best bars and restaurants, as well as on their website. With three flavors – citrusy Grove 42, aromatic Spice 94, and herbaceous Garden 108 – there’s a Seeplip variety for almost everyone. Plus, with natural ingredients, sustainable packaging, and a goal of going carbon neutral by 2022, this is a brand you can feel good about sipping.
You could call Ghia a modern take on the apéritif, inspired by the Mediterranean. Founder Mélanie Masarin spent her summers on the coast watching her mother and grandmother make jugs of limoncello, but decided that she wanted to create a drink you could enjoy all night without ruining the next day. Ghia is made with Riesling white grape juice, ginger, rosemary, and bitter gentian root extract, but the brand considers nervines, like lemon balm, to be the star ingredients. (In case you were wondering, a nervine is a medicinal plant used for centuries to slow stress and bring on energy.)
With no caffeine, alcohol, or added sugars, you can sip Ghia before, during, and after your meal without feeling the effects the next day. Interested, but unsure how to get started? Check out the recipes on their blog.
“Sober curious” has been a buzzword for the past few years as people, especially Millennials and Gen Zers, rethink their approach to alcohol. Curious Elixirs was founded in New York’s Hudson River Valley in 2017 by John Wiseman who, in his words, “was drinking too damn much.” The company’s handcrafted elixirs are made with organic, fair trade, and non-GMO juices, spices, herbs, roots, barks, and botanicals.
With 5 bold flavors, including their spin on the classic Negroni, a “spicy lovechild of the pineapple margarita and the Dark & Stormy”, and a non-alcoholic aperitif, there’s something for everyone. Or become a member of the Curious Cocktail Club and get a variety pack delivered to your door each month.
One of the benefits of non-alcoholic drinks is that they won’t make you feel awful the next morning. But what if your drink actually made you feel better? Kin Euphorics are crafted by combining adaptogens (herbs that help the body adapt to stress), nootropics (compounds that help enhance cognition), and botanics (plants that balance flavor and function) to create a drink that lifts the mind and relaxes the body. Where do we sign up?
The brand offers three unique blends – the popular Kin Spritz made with fresh citrus, warm spice, hibiscus, and ginger; the floral High Rhode crafted with hibiscus, gentian and licorice; and the earthy Dream Light, made with oak, clove, ginger, cinnamon, and chili.
Zero carbs, zero alcohol, zero sugar, and zero calories with the taste of a classic London Dry gin? Yeah, we thought it sounded too good to be true, too. But Monday, the zero alcohol gin crafted in small batches in San Diego, promises all of the above. Its aromatic blend of juniper, natural botanicals, citrus, and spices replaces gin 1:1 in your favorite cocktails. Plus it’s vegan, gluten free, and keto friendly, so you can sip away with zero downside.
Named after the Australian Lyrebird, which is considered the world’s greatest mimic, Lyre’s crafts a collection of thirteen alcohol-free alternatives to classic spirits. From the award-winning Aperitif Rossoto to Absinthe to Orange Sec, Lyre’s offers the most robust range of booze-free spirits we’ve come across. Crafted with all-natural essences, extracts and distillates from around the globe, the brand believes they have created the most successful mimics of their alcoholic counterparts available today. And with triple digit growth in 2020 and a recently secured $11.5 million in venture funding, it seems as if plenty of people are in agreement. Their extensive recipe collection will help you create bold alcohol-free drinks well past Dry January.