Since the growing popularity of “Dry January” — when people are encouraged to abstain from drinking alcohol for a month — there’s been an influx of alternative, sober options that are as tempting and delectable as traditional beers, wines, and liquors. Check out some of the major players in the temperate drinks game below.
Seedlip Non-Alcoholic Spirits
Photo courtesy of Seedlip.
UK-based Seedlip was started by graphic designer Ben Branson after he was disappointed by the non-alcoholic drink options at a restaurant dinner in 2013. Using vintage techniques from the 1650s, Branson grew his own herbs and distilled them using copper stills “to produce a product that was sophisticated, great in taste, and non-alcoholic.” After two years of experimenting, he launched Seedlip, “with the first 1,000 bottles selling out in three weeks, the second batch in under three days and the third batch in 30 minutes online. Today, Seedlip is the world’s leading non-alcoholic spirit with a core range featuring a zesty blend (Grove 42), an aromatic variant (Spice 94), and a floral expression (Garden 108).”
Wine Proxies by Acid League
Photo courtesy of Acid League.
Acid League is a Canadian company that started off with producing unique living vinegars, which were quickly chef-approved. They also make tasty sauces and olive oils, but their non-alcoholic wines, called Proxies, have swiftly become best-sellers. With a full and diverse range of reds, whites, and rosés, Proxies offers as complex a drinking experience as possible to complement all kinds of meals. Acid League also continues to expand their products with experimental, limited edition items, so a monthly subscription to Proxies makes for the ultimate foodie gift.
Photo courtesy of Recess.
Adaptogenic drinks company Recess made one of the biggest splashes (pardon the pun) early on with its calming hemp-infused sparkling water in luscious, fruity flavours. Their lineup of flavours (like blackberry chai and peach ginger) in candy-coloured cans have received rave reviews from Bon Appétit and Buzzfeed. Recess went on to create a magnesium-infused line of drinks for those avoiding CBD. With additional electrolytes, this new array of beverages aims to achieve a feeling of balance similar to the effects of CBD.
Pop superstar Katy Perry co-founded De Soi (French for “self-control”) with master distiller Morgan McLachlan. Together, they created a line of sparkling non-alcoholic apéritifs. Each of their three drinks — zesty Golden Hour, complex Purple Lune, and fruity Champignon Dreams — are infused with various botanical adaptogens to boost body functions like focus, immunity, stress-release, digestion, and sleep. They are best enjoyed chilled at the end of the day while winding down before dinner. De Soi also touts itself as vegan and gluten-free, with no artificial colours or flavours.
International supermodel Bella Hadid also got into the drinks game with Kin Euphorics, co-founded with Jen Batchelor. Kin currently offers two ready-to-drink canned options (Kin Spritz and Lightwave) and two made-to-mix bottled ones (High Rhode and Dream Light) for lightly caffeinated, daytime enjoyment or end-of-day relaxation. All drinks are “infused with adaptogens, nootropics, and botanics” to offer various mood-enhancing properties — without CBD.
Rose Ho | Assistant Editor