Goodbye Alcohol

Today, I lament the loss of my own personal drinking culture, the former key to my social life. Alcohol, we’ve had some fun and wild times but you were leaving me with one too many rough mornings and sapping way too much of my motivation in life. While my social life will not necessarily be the same without you, the world is changing and I’ve got other options now. See you around alcohol!

Yes, after many years of a wine, vodka and tequila infused social life, I am now officially a teetotaler. But before I forever quit drinking alcohol this last September, I had been what they call “sober curious” for quite a while. Sober curious people, for those of you unfamiliar with the term, are people that are questioning their relationship with alcohol and are contemplating the idea of sobriety. Every year the sober curious come out in droves for events like Sober October and Dry January, where they make a choice to avoid alcoholic beverages for a month or more. And I applaud anyone making this choice, because depending on how often you enjoy an adult beverage and how many you choose to enjoy in one sitting, taking an extended break can be absolutely life-changing. While a month off will completely up your physical and emotional wellness game, social wellness can often suffer. Let’s face it, when you suddenly decide to not drink, that happy hour with friends or wine tasting outing just doesn’t have the same appeal. Even worse, you run the risk of not getting invited in the first place. It’s not that you don’t want to hang out with your friends, it’s just that as our culture currently stands, sobriety and a booming social life are not immediately synonymous.

But what if there were a drink that still made you feel like you were hanging out with the adults, but without the alcohol?

Enter the mocktail.

No longer are we relegated to soda water (splash of cranberry if you’re feeling feisty) or non specific brand cola. Mocktails are proliferating our society, bringing those of us who choose not to drink back into the adult beverage world and it’s awesome.

Before I quit, one of my favorite things to do at a restaurant was to sit at the bar and have dinner and a drink. I loved chatting with the bartenders and other patrons sitting around us. However, if I felt like I wasn’t going to order a drink from the bar, it did not make a lot of sense to sit at the bar and take up a space. 

Enter the mocktail menu.

Many restaurants are now dedicating real estate on their menus to craft mocktails. The other night my spouse and I ate at Wolf Peach Public House here in Parker, CO. We sat at the bar and I ordered the Cosmonaut from their mocktail menu. They put together the cranberry, peach nectar and coconut milk, shook it with ice and poured it into a chilled glass right in front of me and it was magic. More and more restaurants are welcoming sober culture with well thought out mocktail menus, giving us an opportunity to make a different choice when it comes to an adult beverage. And if you don’t want to go out but still want to treat yourself, the internet is now teaming with mocktail recipes.

And if the time and ingredients that it takes to make one of these drinks just feels a bit too tedious, the zero proof market has endless options for us to try as well.

Now here is a market that has become completely saturated in the last few years. Numerous companies are now creating NA versions of hard liquor, hard seltzer, wine and beer. That’s right, O’Douls is no longer your only choice for a NA beer. From the “botanical alchemy” of Three Spirit spirits to the herb, nootropic and adaptogen infused Curious Elixers, we now have so many options. Even better, websites like are allowing us to see a large chunk of what’s available all in one place. 

Yes, but how do they taste you ask? And what are these adaptogens and other stuff all about?

The purported psychological and physical effects that the ingredients of some of these beverages claim are beyond this post but will be properly researched and written on in the future. While I personally have yet to feel anything significant from any of the ones that I’ve tried, they are still worth their weight in gold as they are proving to make me feel like I’m adulting again when I’m out being social. 

But there are so many! Which ones should I try?

This is where I give that affiliate thing a try. So first, here’s this…

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So I’ve only tried a handful of the many options, but I can tell you what I’ve got so far. If you’re a beer drinker, Athletic Brewing Co and HOP WTR are fair substitutes if you like the hoppiness of beer. I’ve also tried Hiyo and Recess, but those more resemble mildly flavored soda water with Hiyo containing a bit more sugar carbiness, which can be awesome but they’re not what I am looking for right now. There is also Apothekary who carries tinctures and powders claiming to assist things like digestive support and stress and tension relief. I can not speak to those however as I have yet to try them.

But which ones did you like the best so far? (Although I’d love to hear any of your opinions in the comments)

My favorites so far have been the Curious Elixirs and the “elixirs“ from Three Spirit. The premade bottled beverages from Curious Elixirs give me more of the feel of my beloved Manhattan. The flavors of their beverages are complex but not too sweet. As far as Three Spirit, I’ve just received my first order and the two elixirs Livener and Nightcap have been lovely when mixed with soda water. Livener gets its adult beverage label by coming with a little spicy kick and Nightcap has kind of a caramel spice thing going on.

And while she is still getting her company off and running, fellow mom, Christi Henry is launching her own menu of premium drink mixers at They are made from natural, seasonal ingredients that never have any artificial colors, sweeteners or flavors. Each mixer comes with an easy to follow recipe to craft your own alcoholic and non-alcoholic cocktails and you can also use the mixers to enhance your coffee or favorite sweet treat.

While I will admit that these new choices will never replace the sweet release of a good booze buzz, they are a fair substitute and won’t make you feel and act like a beast from hell the next day. Wouldn’t it be awesome if more parties, restaurants and even adult beverage based events like wine tastings, food pairings or even Oktoberfest began to explore the idea of offering adult NA beverages? Let’s bring sober culture into the fold of drinking culture. Let’s give people a relevant choice besides the booze. That way, we can maintain and possibly even boost our emotional and physical wellness while not letting our social wellness flail in the wind.