After a long day, there’s nothing I love more than unwinding with a delicious cocktail — responsibly and legally, of course. But it’s not just a stress reliever — I love to cook a healthy, hearty meal after work and pair it with a fun beverage, glass of wine, or a funky craft beer. For me, having a drink (or two) is a way to enhance my meal and relax during my 5-to-9, post-work routine.
However, consuming alcohol on the reg isn’t exactly the best choice when it comes to your physical health: Alcohol can cause damage to your liver and other organs, age your skin prematurely, and even increase feelings of anxiety according to the CDC. For this reason, many members of Gen Z are becoming sober curious, and taking a step away from drinking alcohol regularly (during the week, usually).
Sept. 14 is National Sobriety Day, but every day should be dedicated to prioritizing your physical and mental health. And while having a few cocktails with the besties (and getting a little tipsy) can be a great experience, it is in no way a necessity when it comes to living your life.
If you’re someone like me who loves a good cocktail (and even likes the biting taste of tequila and mezcal), cocktails made with sober spirits can be a great way to sub out a typical alcoholic beverage for a healthier option. Plus, you can make them at home with things you might already have on hand — with the help of some sober spirits.
1. Virgin Aperol Spritz
The drink of the summer can still be just as delicious as we dive into fall. Typically made with prosecco, club soda, and Aperol (a citrusy liqueur), this drink is fruity and refreshing. However, while delicious, downing an Aperol spritz every day just isn’t ethical. Luckily, there’s a way to make this delicious beverage at home — with a sober twist, OFC!
Jøyus is a brand that makes a variety of different non-alcoholic wines, ranging from rosé to sparkling white wine (think prosecco!). As a female-owned brand, Jøyus’s wines are not only delicious, but beautifully packaged. Sign. Me. Up.
To make a virgin Aperol spritz, all you really need is equal parts alcohol-removed sparking wine and grapefruit juice, and a splash of lemon juice. It’s refreshing, tart, and perfect for a mid-afternoon bevvy.
2. Virgin Gin Espresso Martini
Oh, how I love an espresso martini. It’s like an iced coffee, but fun. I especially love the bite that goes along with an alcoholic espresso martini: The flavors in gin or vodka really go well with the bitterness of the espresso.
One of my favorite sober spirits brands is MONDAY. Not only do they have a variety of non-alcoholic “liquors” to choose from, but they actually taste like the real thing. When used in a cocktail, it actually tastes just like the real thing, minus the hangover.
To add a (sober!) kick to an iced coffee, I decided to play around with my own recipe for a virgin gin espresso martini. These are perfect for a brunch with your besties — delicious and caffeinated!
- 2 “shots” of MONDAY Zero-Alcohol Gin
- Splash of cold brew concentrate
- Splash of oat milk
- Splash of simple syrup (or vanilla coffee syrup)
I simply add this to my cocktail shaker with some ice, shake, and pour it into a fancy cup over ice. It’s super tasty and a fun way to spice up those typical iced coffees you make for your besties.
3. Virgin Gin & Tonic
Gin and tonics are my go-to for post-work happy hour and dinners with my parents. On occasion, I find myself craving the refreshing and bitter taste of a well-made G&T. Enter: A virgin G&T using MONDAY Zero-Alcohol Gin.
For this mocktail, all you need is two “shots” of sober gin and a small can of tonic water. I typically add in a bit of lime juice and a splash of elderflower syrup for a light and delicious beverage.
4. Virgin Spicy Margarita
My all-time favorite cocktail of all time is a margarita — specifically, a spicy margarita. I love the spiciness mixed with the sweetness and tart flavor of citrus. Not to mention, I’m a huge fan of the saltiness of tequila or the smokey flavor of mezcal. Luckily, MONDAY has a delicious (seriously) virgin margarita kit up for grabs on their website. Let me just say, my roommate (hi, Sydney!) and I have been drinking these every night.
The cocktail kit comes with everything you could need for a tasty beverage (or 10, since that’s how many you can make with the mix). So, grab some ingredients for tacos and invite the besties over for a sober margarita night! Trust me, they’re incredible.
5. virgin Paloma
Finally, a simple mocktail that I love is a Paloma. It’s refreshing, tart, and perfect paired with a simple dinner (or frozen Trader Joe’s meal). All you need for this is two “shots” of the Zero-Alcohol Mezcal, a splash of grapefruit juice, and the juice of one lime. This mocktail tastes like the real thing, and is perfect if you’re craving something unique and delicious after work.
Of course, it’s totally okay to have a cocktail with alcohol — but remember the importance of moderation! While going out and drinking alcohol can be a great activity for the weekends (safely, of course), you can still have a great time without it. Whether you’re sober, sober curious, or simply just interested in making great mocktails, consider trying out any of these tasty bevvies. You won’t regret it, promise.