Embrace Sober January with Austin’s Best Non-Alcoholic Beverages
A round up of tasty drinks worth celebrating — no alcohol required
By Avery Tanner
While January often signals a sober reset for drinkers, more people than ever are embracing the sober lifestyle year-round. The good news is that Austin companies are creating many options for the sober-curious to go completely alcohol-free or simply cut back on their alcohol intake. These tasty beverages make it easy for those who choose not to drink to still partake in the social fun of enjoying a special beverage with friends from time to time, while honoring their no-alcohol lifestyle.
Created by bartenders Tacy Rowland and Sam Abdelfattah, this hand-bottled and Austin-made N/A drink makes a great substitute for any clear spirit in the liquor cabinet. The founders consulted with distiller Mike Groener, who ultimately joined the team as partner, to create the final product that carries hints of citrus and spice. Slow Luck is now served at several local restaurants, including Olamaie, Hestia and Midnight Cowboy.
Austin’s beloved St. Elmo Brewing introduced Hop Water!, a 0% ABV drink made from Citra and Simcoe hops, in 2021. The cans feature artwork by Auston’s own Will Bryant, making it a local product through and through. The drink has no sugar, no gluten and is refreshing between beers or in place of alcoholic drinks altogether.
Although perfect to mix into your favorite cocktail, SoCo Ginger Beer is also a great drink to have on its own. In addition to their year-round flavors of original, extra ginger and hibiscus, SoCo also crafts a myriad of seasonal flavors, including jalapeño lime in the spring, prickly pear in the summer, beet carrot in the fall and pomegranate in the winter.
Replace bourbon with Kentucky 74 for a non-alcoholic Old Fashioned or Bourbon Sour. Originally founded in Kentucky, Spiritless established their corporate headquarters in Austin in 2021, making it a recent addition to the Austin beverage scene. Still want a little booze? Go half-and-half with your go-to bourbon for a lower-ABV cocktail.
Many Austinites will recognize the groovy logo for Kosmic Kombucha, which is currently carried in many local spots like Whole Foods, JuiceLand and BookPeople. Kombucha is a fermented tea that ranges from tart to sweet and contains beneficial acids, antioxidants, amino acids and probiotics, making it a particularly healthy option this January.
Crisp & Crude offers ready-to-drink, non-alcoholic hemp and botanical cocktails. Botanical cocktails are infused with terpenes, which are aromatics from fruits, plants and roots that boost mood and relaxation. Hemp cocktails feature 20mg of broad-spectrum hemp extract, along with the botanical terpenes. Mellow out with these easy, canned cocktails instead of reaching for your average spiked seltzer.
Founded in Austin and made in California, Surely wine is originally crafted with alcohol, then put through a process to remove the alcohol. Winemakers then add ingredients to create the flavor and body it takes to replicate a traditional wine-drinking experience. On top of being alcohol-free, the wine is also vegan, gluten-free and low-sugar. Surely sells white wine, cabernet sauvignon and two types of rosé, in addition to canned spritzers. Cheers!
Bonus: A Fresh Sip
If you’re interested in even more ideas for sober-friendly drinks, visit afreshsip.com, an online platform and community founded by Aishwarya Balaji and Payal Thaker right here in town. A Fresh Sip launched an alcohol-free online beverage store in 2021, making it the perfect place for the sober-curious to explore their options. There are many reasons people choose not to indulge in alcohol. A Fresh Sip hopes to create a community and offer a curated marketplace of non-alcoholic products to those who have made that decision.