Four hip brands bringing the craft to non-alcoholic drinks
I’ve always enjoyed and looked forward to happy hour, that most splendid time of day when you’re ready to set your productivity aside and savor a hard-earned beverage. While covid has certainly put a pause on happy hours at my corner pub, don’t think I’m not still eyeing the clock for an acceptable time to start happy hour thanks to my energetic four year old son. However, if I’m going to make it out of this pandemic with a high functioning liver and still have the motivation to grow my business and thrive in motherhood (no pressure or anything!), then I’ve gotta take some days off here and there.
I’ve found the only way to make this happen is to have tasty non-alcoholic options readily available and I don’t mean sparkling water. Listed below are four super hip brands who are bringing complex flavors right to our fingertips. Whether you’re pregnant, breastfeeding, or simply want an alcohol alternative, here are four tasty options that are sure to scratch that cocktail itch.
Located in Portland, Oregon, RAFT Cocktails are makers of all-natural, small batch cocktail ingredients. Their flavors read like a love letter, for example Cranberry Five Spice and Citrus Rosemary. Be still my heart! The owner, Liz Cowan, recommends trying this warming recipe for ‘The Raft Not Toddy’ featuring a new syrup they are launching now.
Recipe: The RAFT Not Toddy
- 7 ounces favorite hot tea
- 1.5 oz RAFT Pineapple Tamarind Syrup
- 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
- lemon wheel for garnish
Another trendsetting, libation company we like is The Bitter Housewife. Known for their stellar lineup of bitters, they now have a new premixed product called Bitters and Soda. These little cans are perfect for those cutting out booze and they have absolutely no sugar or alcohol. Their first flavors, Aromatic and Orange, are available now via pre-order. Owner Genevieve Brazelton recommends this warm, comfy drink idea perfect for the holidays. The bitters balance out the sweetness and kick up the mulling spices for a sophisticated version.
Recipe: The Bitter Housewife Not Spiked Cider
- 8 ounces favorite hot cider
- 4-6 dashes Barrel Aged Bitters (there is a teeny amount of alcohol in bitters, fyi)
I didn’t think replicating a margarita without alcohol was possible until I came across Ritual Zero Proof. This lifesaver of a company makes booze alternatives that still manage to capture the essence of the liquor taste. Their motto is ‘so you can celebrate tonight and still crush tomorrow’. This would be an excellent option at a baby shower or simply when you’re throwing a get together and want to have an NA option other than La Croix and juice boxes. They have three ‘liquors’, Tequila, Gin and Vodka. Try their bright, fresh and simple recipe for the classic Mexican Paloma.
Recipe: The Ritual Paloma
- 2 oz Ritual Tequila alternative
- ½ oz lime juice
- 4 oz grapefruit soda (preferably Jarritos, but Fresca or Squirt will work in a pinch)
- Mix tequila alternative and lime juice in a collins glass over ice. Top with soda and garnish with a lime.
This last company is truly on to something cool. In fact, I don’t even think I’m cool enough to consume their beverages. Kin makes drinks, or euphorics as they call them, that are infused with mood lifting ingredients. They’ve swapped alcohol for adaptogens, botanics, nootropics and a few other things I don’t fully understand to give you relaxing, feel good vibes. Check out the Kin Spritz!*
*Not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women.