Getting Curious

Hellllo everyone! So, today we’re going to talk about non-alcoholic beverage alternatives. Now, I’m going to ask you a serious question: what do you think about when someone claims they’re sober? Do you immediately associate a problem with the reason why they are? Sobriety can look different to many people. You don’t have to hit “rock bottom” to understand that alcohol might not be serving you in many ways. You might have to avoid alcohol due to health reasons, or a pregnancy! Either way, it’s nice to have some options so you don’t get “FOMO” in social situations.

As I’m writing this, I haven’t had an alcoholic beverage in over 40+ days. Although that may not seem long to you, for the social life I had lived in my 20s, 40 days alcohol free is a long time.

I wanted to cut back for so many reasons:

I realized a lot of negative things in my life could be directly related to alcohol: anxiety, depression, weight gain/control, brain fog, and many more. When I started drinking in college, it’s because I’d feel social anxiety and calm it with a glass of wine or two. For transparency, sometimes that 2 would turn into 5 or 6, and I was in an atmosphere where that was totally “normal.” And onto the toxic hamster wheel I went. Into my mid to late 20s, I had watched year after year as people I loved would self-medicate with alcohol, covering up how they truly felt and numbing their emotions, to a point where it also started to hurt those around them. I didn’t want to be that woman and this year, I decided to more actively remove alcohol from my life.

But, I don’t want to feel left out! It’s the worst when you get “attention” for not drinking. Plus, I’ve found it to be a total self-care ritual of sorts. I’d get home on a Friday after a long week and pour myself a glass of Merlot, or grab a cocktail with a gal pal. I learned in my Dry January experience: you can absolutely keep this ritual. And even better, this one won’t leave you with a horrible hangover or hangaxiety the next day. A lot of these beverages have fewer calories than regular cocktails or wine! Alright, all that being said, I reached out to a lot of brands asking to try their product so I could write this blog post. Below you will find HONEST reviews of these products, and a little background of what they are. Thank you all for reading and PROST!

Spirity Cocktails

First up on the list, we have Spirity Cocktails. These are a unique choice to begin with: They’re real ready-to-drink cocktails made with spirits distilled from tea, without the alcohol. This means that using traditional fermentation and distillation techniques, people are able to experience the bitter taste you often find in cocktails, through tea based drinks. Aka you feel like you’re having a grown up beverage when you’re not! These would be the perfecttttt solution to bring to a party and pour in a glass. You get the frills and the ritual of an alcohol beverage, without the compromise of taste.

            I was send the Mindful Apricot Sour and the Mindful Mules. Both have less than 0.5% ABV and they’re 35-40 calories for the 8.45oz sized can. Both have recommendations on how to enjoy them, and the mule suggested a copper mug, lime, and garnish of mint. Truly, I didn’t really see how this was different than enjoying a mule at a restaurant and I loved the taste! I wouldn’t have ordered the Apricot Sour and my preference in taste reflected that, but they also have Margaritas and Negronis.  You can find more on their website here https://spiritycocktails.com/

Jøyus

Next up are Jøyus non-alcoholic wine. First of all, their branding is so fun and all about continuing the celebration. They have both a non-alcoholic sparkling rosé and a non-alcoholic sparkling white. It’s a woman-owned business, with the creator having 15 years of experience “pounding LaCroixs at girl’s night.” It’s a Washington State based business, but the grapes are grown in California wine country, where real wine is made and then is “dealcoholized.”

            I tried the two: the Rosé which is mainly comprised of Zinfandel, Pinot Grigio and French Colombard, has tasting notes of blackberries, summer strawberries and California citrus. The White which is mainly Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, French Colombard, Chenin Blanc and others with notes of crisp green apple, fragrant fall pear and ripe melon finish.

      These were the very first non-alcoholic wines I have ever tried in my entire life. Now that I’ve tried many, there is sometimes this subtle aftertaste in these wines that you need a second to get used to. I don’t know if there’s a science to this, or if it was all in my head, but if I let these sit for about 30 minutes after opening, it softened the aftertaste and made it completely dissipate. Again, you’ll have to ask Joyous if that’s a thing.

Overall, I think the packaging and the way these bottles felt are pretty luxurious and would make a really elegant gift to someone. The package I received came with little cards with inspiring and celebratory quotes on them and the bottles were wrapped in confetti tissue paper. They felt like a party! Overall, the brand enforces a positive emotion, where sobriety can be a difficult, dark, and lonely journey for some.

https://drinkjoyus.com/

Sovi

SOVI. You guys. This non-alcoholic wine was so SO delicious. It’s a brand with colorful, fun packaging and two products: a non-alcoholic sparkling rosé and a non-alcoholic red blend, both in cans. The wine is made, the alcohol is removed, and then they add in a small amount of grape concentrate for taste. The rose is 25 calories and the red blend is only 20. The first sip I had of the sparkling rosé honestly shocked me. There is no taste difference between it and alcoholic rosé! The red blend is delicious too. Literally keeping this review so short, because there’s nothing else to say. You’re wasting time reading this and not ordering some. I am SUCH a huge fan of these and will 100% be purchasing in the future.

https://drinksovi.com/

Little Saints

Little Saints is not only a really unique brand and concept, it’s also super chic. And, it’s a female owned, plant-based company. First of all, the non-alcoholic “plant magic mocktails” are sugar free with zero calories, which already blows my mind.  There are additives in these mocktails, and the ingredients include fast-acting nano CBD, terpenes with uplifting effects from citrus rinds, hops, lavender, and basil and Reishi mushroom, which have brain boosting properties and is an adaptogen that acts as a tonic for our consciousness.

There are four flavors of these mocktails to choose from: Old Fashioned, Paloma, Espresso Martini, and Ginger Mule. I think this package design was my favorite of all the brands, and the color scheme really felt like plant magic!

Now, I have a small disclaimer: I am still an active member of the United States Army Reserves, which still has a regulation against Soldiers and Officers consuming products containing CBD (boo). Because of this, I had a friend do the taste test for me. She highly recommended these for not only the taste, but also just to feel feminine and fancy. Out of the flavors, she preferred the Paloma or the Ginger Mule. She found that people of all taste buds would be able to find one that suits their taste though. They have a variety pack on their site, as well!

https://littlesaints.com/

Null

Upon opening my package from Null Wines, you could tell you were about to experience something elevated. Their first collection is named Studio Null. It is a selection of three non-alcoholic wines with no artificial ingredients, an average of 20 calories per glass, and less than 0.5% alcohol by volume.

         The first is a sparkling rosé from Portugieser and Silvaner grapes in Germany and it’s recommended food pairings are fresh pastas, spicy things, shellfish. The second is a Blanc Burgunder of Pinot Gris and Pinot Blanc grapes in Germany and it’s recommended food pairings are soft cheeses, seasonal produce, and fish. The third is a dry red blend made from organically-grown Tempranillo and Syrah grapes, with a carbonic bite and it’s food recommendations are tomato bases, tapas, BBQ.

At the time of writing this article, I’ve tried the first two and they’re simply delicious. You could serve either at a cocktail party and I genuinely believe people wouldn’t be able to decipher the difference between them and an alcoholic wine. I think the labeling on these bottles looks most like a wine that has it’s full level of alcohol. Like something I’d find in a boutique wine shop in the West Village. Tres chic. Highly, highly recommend this brand. They also gave me a discount code for you all to try, so use code CINCIN22 for 10% off.

https://nullwines.com/

Athletic Brewing

This is the only beer on the list, and to be completely honest: the brand ghosted me when I reached out to them. However, I had to feature them in this post. My best friend’s baby shower was at a brewery with an open tab during Dry January… so we needed options. I noticed there were multiple different kinds Athletic Brewing on the menu. I tried both the Cerveza Atletica non-alcoholic Light Copper and the Upside Dawn non-alcoholic Golden. You guys: it tastes like real beer.

For the entire baby shower, not once did I miss regular beer at all and they went down so smooth! I had FOUR at this baby shower (which might be a sign I did really drink a lot?) None of the mind-altering affects alcohol brings were following me home. What a total relief and I’m hooked! On their site, I noticed they have 10+ options, so there has to be something for everyone. I also went down a rabbit hole learning about their brands history and all they do to give back. Definitely check them out.

https://athleticbrewing.com/

Surely

Lastly, we have Surely. If you’re dabbling into the world of non-alcoholic wine, chances are, you’ve heard of Surely! The brand has super crisp and clean branding. I felt this matches their low-sugar, gluten-free, and vegan alcohol removed wines, with about 35 calories per glass. There’s a decent range of non-alcoholic sparkling wines, bottles, cans, and wine spritzers.

Their non-alcoholic rosé is definitely way on the sweeter side, with notes of passion fruit, pear, and guava. I think it’d be the perfect thing to sip chilled on a lake in the summertime! Surely was kind enough to offer my readers 15% off if you use the code ALONGCAMEALEX at checkout. You can also check out their website here https://hisurely.com/alongcamealex.

Either you’re dipping your toe in the pool of sobriety, pregnant, or just didn’t feel like drinking tonight, I wish you all the best of luck. There are so many options out there, with more bars serving mocktails and non-alcoholic liquor stores opening in major cities. I hope this gave you a decent starting point. If you’ve tried something I didn’t mention, please let me know in the comments or on Instagram!

Cheers and thanks for reading!!
xoxo alex

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Okay, I am so happy you are here. Along Came Alex is a NYC based Travel & Beauty Blog. Sit back & take a look around...we have over 120+ blog posts so there's a little something for everyone! Feel free to comment, reach out & subscribe to tag along.