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  • Writer's pictureLandon Payne

Free Spirits: Exploring the World of Non-Alcoholic Beverages & Mocktails

Recently, I shared my thoughts on what to do when you've been served an alcoholic beverage. At the time, I had never had the experience. Not even a week after I wrote the post, it happened to me.

I was enjoying brunch with my best friend and her mom. We were enjoying the vibe, and the food was delicious! I noticed they had a non-alcoholic mimosa on the menu, and I was super excited to try it. I LOVE champagne. Admittedly, champagne and beer were the two things I was sad to leave behind when I stopped drinking.

Usually, when I order a drink that's not advertised as non-alcoholic, I tend to be leery of what the outcome will be. Since this particular drink was marketed on the menu as "NON-ALCOHOLIC," I for sure thought I could relax and let them do their thing.

The drink arrives, and my friend's mom looks at the drink and then looks at me with an expression that says, "Hell nawl."

"Landon, that smells like the real deal. You may want to send that back."

The smell was so strong. It was unmistakably the real thing. In my naivety, I hoped that we were wrong. Surely, they wouldn't bring me an alcoholic drink they were marketing as dry. I took a small sip, and the familiar warmth rushed through my body. It was indeed REAL. Not only was it REAL, it was BRUT (my fave)!

I'd read so many of the stories, but I NEVER thought it would happen to me. Although I've been sober for three years, I still have a lot of growing to do. Every day is a learning experience, and I'm grateful to have the tools I need for situations such as this.

This experience made me appreciate even more the value of non-alcoholic beverages. They offer a way to enjoy social settings and special occasions without compromising sobriety. Non-alcoholic beverages allow everyone to participate in the celebration, whether it's a fancy dinner, a casual brunch, or a festive party, ensuring that non-drinkers aren't left out. By opting for non-alcoholic options, you can enjoy the flavors and experiences without the negative health impacts of alcohol, as these beverages often come with fewer calories and can be a healthier alternative.

The market for non-alcoholic beverages has grown tremendously, offering a wide range of options from craft non-alcoholic beers to sophisticated mocktails that can satisfy even the most discerning palate. For those who are driving, pregnant, or taking medication, non-alcoholic beverages provide a safe option without the risks associated with alcohol consumption.

Additionally, for those in recovery or choosing a sober lifestyle, non-alcoholic beverages offer a way to enjoy social interactions without the pressure or temptation to drink. Non-alcoholic beverages have come a long way and can be just as enjoyable and satisfying as their alcoholic counterparts.

To help you get started, here are some of my personal favorites:

Heineken 0.0

I’ve always been a fan of a good beer, and the Heineken brand has been my go-to for quite some time. There's something about its crisp and refreshing taste that keeps me coming back for more.

One of the standout features of Heineken is that it's not only delicious but also mindful of health-conscious drinkers. It’s low in fat and calories, making it a guilt-free choice for those looking to enjoy a beer without overindulging. In fact, it’s one of the lowest calorie beers on the market, with just 69 calories per bottle!

What I love most about Heineken is how light and refreshing it is while still tasting just like the real thing. Whether you're unwinding after a long day or enjoying a weekend barbecue with friends, Heineken delivers that perfect balance of flavor and refreshment.

If you haven't tried it yet, I highly recommend giving Heineken a go. It might just become your new favorite too!

IPAs are an acquired taste for many people. However, there's a wide-ranging community that can't get enough! It's me, I'm community.

Leaving the hop-forward aroma and flavors of my favorite IPA beers behind was hard until I discovered Athletic Brewing Co.! The four flavors pictured are the ones I usually pick up. The Free Wave is always my go-to when I'm craving an ice-cold IPA.

Athletic Brewing Co. has truly been a game-changer for me. Their non-alcoholic beers capture the essence of a traditional IPA, with all the robust flavors and refreshing taste, but without the alcohol. Free Wave, in particular, hits all the right notes with its bold hops and crisp finish, making it a perfect choice for those hot summer days or cozy evenings in.

But don't worry if IPAs aren't your thing. Athletic Brewing Co. offers a plethora of delicious non-alcoholic beverages to choose from. Whether you're in the mood for a light, citrusy ale, a rich and smooth stout, or a refreshing golden lager, they've got you covered. Their commitment to quality and flavor means that there's something for every palate.

Did I mention that I LOVE me some bubbles!? There are some things that can't be substituted, and a good sparkling wine or champagne is one of them!

Fortunately, Fre Wines is an incredible alcohol-free brand that undoubtedly does NOT disappoint. After a glass of their sparkling Rosé, I was hooked! The delicate bubbles, the fruity notes, and the crisp finish – it’s everything you want in a sparkling wine. My absolute favorite is the sparkling Brut.

Fre Wines’ sparkling Brut is perfect for weddings, celebrations, and other boozy events where you want to join in the toast without the alcohol. It’s also the ideal companion for mimosas, adding that delightful fizz without the buzz. Whether you're celebrating a special occasion or simply enjoying a Sunday brunch, Fre Wines makes sure you don't have to miss out on the fun.

Instead of filling your flute with sparkling grape juice, take Fre Wines for a spin. The rich flavors and elegant presentation make it a fantastic alternative to traditional sparkling wines. You won't regret it!

You can find all three of the brands I’ve mentioned at your local grocery store, and even liquor stores are expanding their selection to include more alcohol-free options, including spirits! Remember, your sobriety journey is uniquely yours. If non-alcoholic beverages might be a trigger for you, don’t feel pressured to try them. Prioritize your comfort and take things at your own pace.

Embrace the non-alcoholic beverage movement and find your new favorite drink! Cheers to health, happiness, and a fulfilling sober life!

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1 comentário

Tammy Kemp
Tammy Kemp
02 de jul.

This is awesome!!!! I will be trying some of your faves particularly the Heineken. I love a good beer during the summer months,but I don’t like the calories that come with it.

Thank you for the insight Landon!

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