From many years working in the restaurant industry, I grew a deep appreciation for food and drink. I love crafting a great cocktail and tasting wine, beers, and liquors. I decided on an no alcohol September (it isn’t just for January). No particular reason; I just wanted to see how I felt. It gave me time to try out some alcohol-free options. I was impressed. Here are some I tried and one of my own recipes. With the wedding and barbecue season moving quickly upon us, these are some excellent options for alcohol-free guests or yourself.
Kombucha is a lightly sparkling beverage made by fermenting black or green tea and sugar with a culture of various bacteria and yeasts. It is fermented but considered to contain no alcohol, coming in under .5%. It has a unique taste, is effervescent and refreshing, somewhere between fruit juice and a sour beer. You can drink it alone or mix half kombucha and sparkling water and garnish it with a lemon, lime, or orange slice.
- There are lots of different flavors to choose from, spanning from ginger, berry to Turmeric.
- Relatively low in calories. Most are around 90 calories, and mixing with sparkling water cuts that down even more.
- Depending on the kombucha you get, there can be health benefits to drinking it. Some may include (but aren’t limited to) antioxidants, a potential source of probiotics and could be detoxifying.
- It has a unique flavor that isn’t for everyone.
- You can drink too much, which could cause issues. Stick to 12oz or less per day, no pounding kombucha.
- All kombucha is not the same. Check for sugar content and other unnecessary additives.
Shrubbly is a sparkling shrub drink with no alcohol. What is a shrub, you ask? A shrub (also known as drinking vinegar) is sugar, vinegar, and fruit. Shrubbly makes theirs with apple cider vinegar and organic fruit grown in Vermont and mixed with bubbly water. Shrub + Bubbly = Shrubbly. There are two flavors Lemon Ginger and Aronia Berry Pomegranate.
- A refreshing bubbly flavor that isn’t too sweet.
- Made locally in New England, I met the owner at the tasting where I first found Shrubbly.
- Apple cider vinegar and the organic honey used to sweeten it are known to have some health benefits.
- It is canned, so convenient to serve at parties, BBQs, or tailgates.
- Free shipping!
- if you don’t like apple cider vinegar, this may have too much tang for you, but I loved it.
Curious Elixirs the Craft Cocktail With No Alcohol
Curious Elixirs are specialty craft cocktails containing no alcohol. In their own words, they are “Curiously complex booze-free cocktails infused with adaptogens to help you unwind.” Old school cocktails like the Negroni and Margarita inspired them. World-class bartenders, herbalists, and food scientists create the recipes.
- I felt like I was drinking a specialty drink, right down to the garnishing notes.
- I loved the herbaceous and botanical flavors, which reminded me of an old-school cocktail.
- There are other health benefits to each drink recipe, like boosting energy, relaxation, or aphrodisiac.
- In addition to no alcohol, they contain no refined sugars, and all ingredients are organic.
- I LOVE the vibe of this company. They understand that people don’t drink for many reasons and want more than a club soda. And whoever thought of “shaken, not slurred” is genius.
- Only available online and pay to ship.
- It may not be for you if you don’t enjoy a herbaceous, botanical, or complex cocktail.
- They are a little spendy at about $36 for eight 6 oz servings (a little less if you purchase more or get a subscription) Which I did!
Beer with No Alcohol
This one is pretty self-explanatory. It is beer sans the alcohol (or less than .5%, to be exact)
- They are perfect for barbeques, tailgating, and get-togethers. It will be cold and refreshing in a cooler.
- The taste was decent.
- Some have fewer calories than alcoholic beer, and you probably won’t drink as many.
- The flavor was decent, but it didn’t knock my socks off; not all the flavors I tried were great.
- To my knowledge, there are no other health benefits.
My favorite was Sam Adams, Just the Haze, Non-Alcoholic IPA. I also liked Brew Dog, Hazy AF.
There are so many drinks without alcohol if you are taking a break from drinking, are alcohol-free, or want to be clear-headed all night and bright-eyed in the morning. As a host, it is best practice to have options for all your guests. This coming wedding and barbecue season season is the perfect time to try some.