Since the beginning of the pandemic, I’ve largely stopped drinking alcohol. With the exception of a special occasion a few times a year where I might order a cocktail or cheers a glass of wine, I opt for a non-alcoholic beverage.
On most occasions, there has rarely been a booze-free drink that feels festive, special, enticing. I spent a bachelorette weekend chugging Spindrifts instead of beer, and have clinked beautiful glasses of wine and champagne against my clunky tap water.
The beverage industry has taken note that there’s a growing population of sober curious drinkers. There are lots of dreamy bottles of non-alcoholic cocktails (more on that below), and some bars and restaurants are even heeding the call with more interesting mocktail choices. Where there’s a gap, though, is finding these options at social events. Rarely have I rummaged through a bar cart and surfaced with a legit cool zero-proof spirit.
If you’re hosting loved ones at the end of the year, consider a bottle or two or three of non-alcoholic cocktails that are just as festive and intriguing as their boozy counterparts. Whether someone is sober, sober curious, pregnant, has to get up early for work the next day, doesn’t feel like waking up hungover, or just wants to make a healthier choice, there’s plenty of thoughtful reasons to balance out your bar cart.
Or if you’re a guest, consider showing up with one of these in hand. I for one would be super stoked if someone rolled up with a bottle of Ghia. (This wasn’t our reviewer's favorite—it’s very bitter!—but I love mixing it with some seltzer and pineapple juice.)
We reviewed 17 different non-alcoholic drinks—over ice, in a mocktail—and our two favorites are Pentire Adrift (“like a cool, breezy day on the North Atlantic coast”) and De Soi Golden Hour (“if a spiked lemonade got a PhD”). There were a few more we liked, too. Check ‘em out 🥂
And if you’ve already started curating a beautiful sober or sober-inclusive bar cart, I wanna see it. Send me your pics!
Melanie, editor at Nessie Sightings