We recently came to a realization about mocktails: They’re kind of a scam, no? Most often, that fancy non-alcoholic drink you’re sipping on is just whatever fruit juice was lying around and a splash of seltzer.
Enter the “wellness cocktail.” The latest batch of trendy beverages is neither boozy nor buzz-inducing, but it’s also a far cry from those mocktails of yore. Alcohol-free libations have officially evolved, thanks to a few companies taking the helm.
One such brand, Kin Euphorics, is crafting nonalcoholic adult beverages from already trending wellness ingredients. Its first launch, High Rhode, is a blend of botanics like hibiscus, nootropics (cognitive boosting supplements) and adaptogens (anti-inflammatory and stress-reducing herbs) that’s meant to reduce stress and leave you feeling at ease (all without the ABV). According to the brand, the drink “balances the body’s response to stress and refills the brain’s neurotransmitters resulting in uplifted mood, enhanced perception and a clear path toward authentic social connection.” OK, we’ll admit that our nightly glass of vino doesn’t do any of that.
Another booze-free sipper, Seedlip, tastes a whole lot like liquor—but it’s actually just distilled botanicals. Inspired by 300-year-old recipes for medicinal tinctures, the U.K.-based distillery makes non-alcoholic spirits reminiscent of gin, meant to be mixed with tonic water. And according to Seedlip, it all started after founder Ben Branson tasted a particularly unfortunate mocktail. (We’ve all been there.)
And while these newfangled mixers aren’t meant to replace your already healthy habits—you know, diet, exercise and annual doctor visits—we like that they’re not cloyingly sweet or laden with sugar, and don’t feel like an afterthought like that cranberry and seltzer in a martini glass. But don’t forget the biggest selling point: Zero hangovers. See? You won’t even mind being the designated driver.