Summer is right around the corner, and it might feel impossible to imagine yourself lounging at the beach or at your neighbor’s barbecue without a cocktail or beer in hand. Alcohol, while commonly consumed as a way to kick back and relax, has detrimental effects on our health that add to your stress. Unfortunately, there’s no amount of drinking that’s considered “healthy”, but we can bring a little balance when enjoying ourselves socially! Thankfully, as awareness grows, more and more amazing options for those who wish to reduce their drinking have come onto the market.
Let's delve into some delicious low-alc or zero-alc alternatives.
1. Fermented beverages
Fermented beverages like kombucha are excellent substitutes for alcoholic drinks. Kombucha, a fermented tea, contains beneficial probiotics and antioxidants. These components support gut health, boost the immune system, and possess anti-inflammatory and detoxifying properties. Although for some it’s an acquired taste, kombucha can be a satisfying and flavorful alternative to alcohol. Due to the fermentation process, all kombucha contains a small amount of alcohol, usually around 0.5% for store bought brands, although there are a few “hard kombucha” brands out there. If you’re looking to avoid alcohol completely, make sure you check the label for the ABV.
2. Non-alcoholic botanical spirits
For those seeking an alcohol alternative, non-alcoholic botanical spirits such as Seedlip, Ghia, and other similar brands provide an intriguing option. Some brands, like Hiyo, take it a step further and offer a beverage that includes adaptogens and nootropics designed to elicit a mood-boosting effect. These distilled beverages incorporate complex blends of botanical extracts, herbs, and spices, offering a rich and diverse flavor profile so that you can replace liquors like whiskey, vodka, bourbon, etc. These alternatives are great for someone who loves the sensory experience of making and savoring a cocktail, which leads us to our next suggestion…
3. Mocktails and alcohol-free cocktails
Mocktails and alcohol-free cocktails have gained popularity as alternatives to traditional alcoholic drinks. Many restaurants now include a mocktail menu. It makes sense, who wants to be the one drinking a soda while everyone else gets to enjoy something fun? A mocktail gives you the visual experience of enjoying a cocktail, and perhaps mimics the flavors you know and love. We’ve created a Mocktail Mule, as well as an elevated Fruit Punch for you to enjoy. Tag us on @coast_health if you give them a try!
4. Mindful drinking and low-alcohol options
Practicing mindful drinking involves being more conscious of alcohol consumption and choosing lower-alcohol options. Many breweries and wineries now offer low-alcohol or alcohol-free versions of their beverages. These options have reduced alcohol content, allowing you to enjoy the taste and experience without consuming excessive amounts of alcohol. Such choices enable socializing while minimizing the potential health risks associated with alcohol. Mindful drinking also includes: Taking a break with water or another beverage in between cocktails. Reducing the overall number of drinks consumed. Taking Recovery+ before moderate drinking to mitigate health risks. Evaluating why you personally are choosing to drink. Do you feel pressured socially? Are you under stress? Is it hard or easy to say “no” when offered a cocktail? How do you feel the day after drinking?
By embracing these alternatives, individuals can enjoy social occasions and relaxation without relying on alcohol. Fermented beverages like kombucha, non-alcoholic botanical spirits, mocktails, and low or zero-alcohol options offer a diverse range of choices to fit your unique goals, tastes, and personality. If you’re not quitting alcohol completely, that’s okay! Choosing to enjoy these options even half of the time can contribute to overall well-being and a healthier lifestyle.