While this pandemic has impacted our lives in multiple ways, it’s also driving some people to drink. Many are turning to alcohol as a means to cope with the resulting boredom, fear, and uncertainty brought on by COVID-19. According to a recent study from researchers at the Rand Corporation, the frequency of drinking, which was measured in days per month that alcohol was consumed, increased 14 percent overall and 17 percent among women. It’s not all that surprising when you consider alcohol is often used as a coping mechanism in times of extreme stress. Unfortunately, increased alcohol consumption can lead to a host of unhealthy consequences, including weakening the immune system, which is the last thing you want in the midst of a pandemic. After seeing an uptick in drinking rates during the first few months of the pandemic, experts from McLean Hospital took it upon themselves to offer insights on addressing this public health crisis. One way is to opt for a healthier alternative. Non-alcoholic cocktails are on the rise, and never before has there been such a variety of options. Here are some booze-free cocktails that can provide a healthy kick to your next Zoom happy hour.
Infused with adaptogens to help you unwind, Curious Elixirs are designed to bolster the body using a variety of plant properties. A collaboration among the team of world-class bartenders, herbalists, and food scientists, each flavor relies on a host of organic juices, herbs, spices, roots, barks, and botanicals. With the tongue-in-cheek tagline, “Shaken, Not Slurred,” the company offers five numbered elixirs that incorporate ingredients, such as ashwagandha, elderberry, and turmeric. They are ready to drink when you need a quick pick-me-up.
Jukes Cordialities is the brainchild of Mathew Jukes, a wine taster and writer based in the UK. Wanting to create a worthy non-alcoholic drink with complex and aromatic character, he teamed up with Jack Hollihan to create Jukes, a series of wellness-oriented drinks using organic apple cider vinegar as a base. Focused on sustainability, the company produces its drinks from all natural, self-reproducing vegetables, fruits, and natural flavorings. Jukes 1 (the white), with a citrus and herb theme, and Jukes 6 (the red), with a fruitier and spicy flavor, are designed to be mixed with still, sparkling, or tonic water.
Kin, a small-batch beverage company, produces non-alcoholic cocktails called Euphorics, which contain adaptogens (herbs to help manage stress), nootropics (compounds that support cognition), and wholesome botanics. The Kin Spritz, for example, is crafted with fresh citrus, warm spice, hibiscus, and ginger. It incorporates rhodiola rosea, which is reputed to support the balance of cortisol, the stress hormone. It also contains a host of nootropics, such as GABA, a neurotransmitter that produces a calming effect; caffeine; 5-HTP, a supplement used to increase the production of serotonin; and more. Cruelty-free, Kin Euphorics are mood-enhancing drinks designed to boost the spirit and relax the body.
Gin lovers can mix up their favorite cocktail minus the alcohol thanks to Monday, which makes its alcohol-free gin in small batches at its Southern California craft distillery. The no carb, no sugar, zero calories, gluten-free, vegan beverage appeals to those on a keto or paleo diet. Featuring an aromatic blend of citrus, juniper, spices, and natural botanicals, Monday Alcohol-Free Gin is an ideal substitute for a healthier version of your beloved gin cocktail.
Seedlip, a British company that makes plant-based liquor substitutes, was inspired by founder Ben Branson’s experience ordering a non-alcoholic cocktail in a restaurant. The disappointing pink, sugary drink he was served motivated him to spend the next two years perfecting a distilled non-alcoholic spirit. The company’s bespoke six-week maceration, distillation, filtration, and blending process ensures each individual botanical ingredient is distilled separately to ensure the resulting liquid is free of alcohol and sugar. The company, which plans to be carbon neutral by 2022, offers three flavors: Seedlip Grove 42, a citrus blend of Mediterranean orange, lemon peel, lemongrass, and ginger; Seedlip Spice 94, an aromatic blend of allspice, cardamom, and fresh citrus top notes; and Seedlip Garden 108, an herbal blend of peas and traditional garden herbs.
Although not marketed as a non-alcoholic substitute, Sunwink offers wellness tonics made with herbs reputed to support digestion, immunity, and stress relief. After being diagnosed with an auto-immune disease, co-founder and CEO Eliza Ganesh was inspired to create a company that harnessed the power of plants. Each collection—Detox, Immunity, and Mood—incorporates whole plants, fresh lemons, and maple syrup.