If you're cutting back on alcohol, you may often find yourself faced with rather paltry cocktail party options: sugary sodas and juices or hydrating-but-ho-hum sparkling water. Luckily, that’s no longer the case: a host of non-alcoholic drinks are emerging on the market that aren't just as delicious as wine and spirits (if not more so) but are also quite a bit healthier than boozier beverages.
1. Monk Provisions
Folks looking for non-alcoholic drinks that still allow them to let loose will enjoy MONK Drinking Botanicals, which combine natural herbs, fresh-pressed juices, and a low dose of cannabis.
Each four-ounce bottle provides a similar effect to one glass of wine within five to ten minutes of drinking, creating “an uplifting effect that is gentle and desirable,” according to the company.
“I’ve heard our customers say that MONK is like ‘a sigh of relief’ and that it makes you ‘feel relaxed and a little giggly,’” says Monk co-founder Aaron Burke.
The elixirs are available in four flavors: Ginger-Maple Shrub, Grapefruit-Cayenne, Turmeric-Lemon, Rosemary-Orange Peel, and Cinnamon Citrus Peel, each of which is made with organic or sustainable ingredients and created with both flavor and healthfulness in mind.
“We started by looking at the known health benefits botanicals, even before focusing on taste profiles,” says Burke. “It was critical to us to have this foundation of health. Then the real fun began when we started playing with flavor profiles, leveraging the talent of a couple good friends, one who is a Los Angeles-based herbalist and wildcrafter, the other who is a well-loved mixologist in the LA cocktail scene."
The goal, he says, was to marry exceptional taste and health benefits; MONK fans call it a big success.
Blüm’s elixirs rely entirely on the power of natural herbs and adaptogens to create either an uplifting or a calming profile. The company's current product line includes Uplift, which is loaded with antioxidants and yerba mate for a gentle boost; and Zen, the hibiscus and chamomile blend is better for relaxing and unwinding.
Blüm Founder Candace Coleman was inspired to create the products while recovering from traumatic brain injury.
“Healing from my brain trauma was a patient process,” recalls Coleman. “I was eager to rejoin the social scene and there was nothing on the menu that was healthy or appealing - There were no sophisticated, beverages for the non-drinker.”
Blüm is not certified organic, but many of the ingredients that make up the cocktails are, including most of the flowers and herbs that make up the blends. This philosophy will also inspire two new products which should shortly be joining the line.
3. Elderflower Presse
In place of Champagne or other bubbly, Elderflower Presse is a fantastic option. The sugar-free beverage is handmade in Leicestershire with a combination of fresh organic elderflower, lemon juice, and sparkling water, all of which are sourced ultra-locally from the Vale of Belvoir.
This small, local company started as a family business a generation ago; today, demand is so high that Belvoir calls on the local community to unite each season to pick each and every elderflower by hand.
“The secret of a really good elderflower cordial is to use masses of flowers that have been picked in the sunshine when they’re warm and heavy with yellow pollen, then get them into the vat within three hours,” explains Peverel Manners, son of co-founder Lord John Manners. “This gives the drink its delicate floral taste.”
4. Seabold Ginger Beer
A true ginger beer with its kick of spice is the perfect alternative to a cocktail; the only problem is that most ginger ales these days are far more sugar than they are ginger. Brothers Pat and John Mathisen, however, are repopularizing the more robust traditional British ginger beer with Seabold, a made-in-LA certified organic beverage. Made with fresh, organic ginger, lemons, cane sugar, and spices, Seabold's original ginger beer packs a spicy punch.
Seabold also manufactures a unique turmeric and black pepper ginger beer for a unique spin on the classic that allows drinkers to take advantage of the increased bioavailability of curcumin when paired with black pepper.
5. Homemade Strawberry Mojito Mocktail
If you'd rather rely on your own mixology skills to meet your needs for non-alcoholic drinks, a strawberry mojito mocktail could be just the thing.
Unlike many other mocktails, this recipe doesn't rely on tons of sugar to give it flavor. Instead, fresh organic fruit and herbs are paired with a hint of raw honey to make these mojitos as beautiful as they are delicious. They're sure to make all of your guests feel special.
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