This story originally appeared on Lemon Stripes and has been slightly updated.
Dry January is in full swing, and driven by Millennials, what started as a trend is quickly becoming a lifestyle for many. In 2022, 35 percent of Americans dipped a toe into an alcohol free January, and #sobercurious is trending on social media, while alcohol-free bars are popping up in cities around the country. Julia Dzafic, the Connecticut-based influencer and mom of two behind Lemon Stripes, started experimenting with sobriety in the Fall of 2022. “I struggle pretty intensely with anxiety and drinking had started to become a way of self-medicating for me. I’d pour a glass of wine when I started to feel stressed or anxious which was becoming more and more often, especially after the pandemic hit. I would wake up often with headaches even after just one drink and generally felt tired and even more anxious. I listened to a podcast about how alcohol is like pouring gasoline on anxiety and decided to give sobriety a try. I thought it might be a week or two… maybe a month. But it’s turned into a whole lifestyle. No one is more surprised than I am!” says Julia. Below, she shares her favorite tried-and-true 0 percent spirits that’s she’s discovered over the last few months.
Aplos: My favorite CBD drink brand now has two varieties: Calme and Arise that do just what they promise. If you’re out at a party and want to be energized, I recommend Arise (made with adaptogens). If you’re home and want to wind down for the evening or if you’re feeling stressed, go with Calme (made with hemp/cbd). I love the botanical, crisp, clean taste of it mixed with seltzer.
Aplos is what I reach for generally to replace a “stress drink” because it actually helps calm me down in addition to the ritual of it all.
Seedlip Garden 108: Ok this stuff is amazing! It’s herbacious, botanical, and refreshing. I generally mix it with some Aplos, lime seltzer, and a drop of simple syrup at home. I also see it out at a lot of bars and restaurants which is nice.
Phony Negroni: This is by far the number one more recommended mocktail by friends and followers alike. I finally got to try it this week and OMG I see why! It somehow tastes like an actual negroni but without the alcohol. It makes no sense but I just ordered a case.
Ceder’s Non Alcoholic Spirits: A friend gave me a bottle of Ceder’s Crisp for Christmas and it has quickly become a favorite in my mocktail rotation. Ceder’s blends classic gin botanicals (like juniper) with exotic flavors for a delightfully refreshing, crisp flavor. I like to mix it with tonic for a classic G&T feel. So yummy!
Ritual Zero Proof Tequila: I have now tried three non-alcoholic tequilas and Ritual is far and away the best one. Lots of people recommended Clean Co which is also good but has kind of like a fake, manufactured taste that I don’t love (and spice!). Ritual has a really nice smokey flavor and I just use it in place of tequila in a margarita mocktail.
Curious Elixers: These pre-bottled craft mocktails infused with adaptogens to help you unwind would make a super cute gift for a sober pal or family member. I tried No 2 at a party, inspired by a dark and stormy, and it was delish. I ordered a case of all four flavors to check them out but highly recommend No. 2 in the meantime.
Lyre’s Italian Spritz: I haven’t tried this yet but ordered a bottle to try because so many people and so many lists of best zero-proof spirits have it. Plus I’m a sucker for beautiful branding…