Alcohol-free brands join the sober socializing movement

Dry January had a significant impact on the nightlife industry, with bars and restaurants adding mocktails to their menus to cater to consumers’ wellness-oriented lifestyles. Beyond the designated detox month, young adults are embracing sober socializing and seeking out alcohol-free alternatives, and new offerings are arising to meet growing demand.


Alcohol-free craft cocktail company Curious Elixirs grew from the creators’ desire to reduce their alcohol intake while still enjoying tasty, sophisticated beverages similar to those in cocktail bars. They sought input from bartenders, herbalists, and food scientists, and teamed up with More Good to create an organic, all-natural concoction. After nailing the recipe, they turned to Kickstarter to fund the project, which seeks to “redefine what it means to drink socially.” Small batches of the first elixir, Curious No. 1, can be shipped nationwide, and during Dry January, the company partnered with UberEats to distribute bottles in Brooklyn.


When Seedlip, the world’s first distilled, non-alcoholic spirit brand, launched in the UK in 2015, it immediately became a hit. Diageo has since backed the brand and launched in the U.S., where it is proving popular as well. Seedlip is similar to gin, consisting of six botanicals from around the world—two barks, two spices, and two citrus peels—that are distilled individually and blended together without any alcohol or sugar. The result is described as smoky, clove-y, and citrusy. For Dry January, British retailer Harvey Nichols created a pop-up non-alcoholic bar featuring the drink, and stateside, the creators are looking to serve it at upscale bars, restaurants, and department stores.


Last year, Budweiser launched a non-alcoholic beer in Canada aptly named Prohibition Beer. The drink is intended to taste just like the brand’s typical varieties while tapping into the booming market for non-alcoholic beer around the world. Moreover, as young consumers expect brands to help them maintain a balance in their wellness efforts and offer healthier versions of their indulgences, they are inspiring brands to expand their offerings. While AB InBev already offers the non-alcoholic brand, O’Doul’s, in the U.S., it may bring Prohibition Beer to the States, too.