When I got sober I wanted to blend in. I wanted to still be at all the parties and nightclubs and still socialize like I was so used to doing. But when you're used to having alcohol in your hand at all times, how do you make that switch? At first, I had water, sparkling water, or soda in hand at all times. Over the last 3.5 years, I've evolved and I don't go out as much, but the feeling of being included at a bar, restaurant, event, or any other place where alcohol is being served is still a desire. I think this is one of the main fears and hurdles of getting sober. We don't want FOMO, we don't want to feel left out, and if possible, we'd love to socialize with a non-alcoholic drink in our hand. The regular water and soda can get boring. That's why we get excited for new sparkling water flavors, mocktails, and NA beer (if you like it). However, there is something new on the market now, or should I say, coming soon. That new thing is a drink by the name of Curious Elixirs. This Kickstarter campaign gets it. I was pleasantly surprised when I watched their promotion video. They perfectly describe how it is to be at a bar or event and not drink, whether you've chosen sobriety as a lifestyle, just a one-day thing, you have to get up early, you're pregnant, or any other reason you don't drink booze. Co-founder John even pokes fun at the fact that even though he enjoys sobriety, he owns a bar.
After trying sobriety and still enjoying sober periods of time today, John started messing around in the kitchen brainstorming non-alcoholic drinks that were just as complex and satisfying as the regular cocktails you find at the bar. His friends like some mixes he came up with including a hibiscus Dark&Stormy and a dry 5-spice citrus concoction. That was the beginning of Curious Elixirs. A few years later he teamed up with Ashley Simon to take Curious Elixirs from an idea to a creation. Ashley is a yoga teacher and digital strategist, although not sober, she desires to create environments where people can make decisions that support their own wellbeing.
How It's Made
Their first flavor entitled Curious No. 1, is low in sugar and made from organic, fair-trade, all natural ingredients, with a pomegranate juice and orange juice base mixed with carbonated water. It also includes their secret ingredient: a special spice blend. It's gluten-free, dairy-free, and nut-free. It's brewed and the goal is to have Curious Elixir flavors on tap at bars and restaurants in the future as an option for anyone who's not drinking.
What It Tastes Like
I was able to get my hands on a bottle of Curious No. 1 and had the pleasure of drinking it all myself. It came in the cutest little burlap bag complete with a tag that said "Best enjoyed over ice. #ShakenNotSlurred." But did I listen to this recommendation? No. haha. I put the bottle in the fridge and let it chill overnight. I took it out the next day and drank right from the bottle. It had a strong, fruity, smooth flavor. I liked the carbonation and the fact that it didn't taste like booze, but it didn't taste like sparkling water either. I emailed Ashley to ask if the No. 1 concoction had fermented fruit or tea like is present in kombucha. I had a bad experience with kombucha once and it was only then that I learned that a percentage of alcohol is in a lot of kombucha blends. I had one taste of it once and it was extremely triggering for me. Luckily, Curious No. 1 was NOT triggering and includes 0% alcohol. The next one I drink will be served over ice with an orange slice.
Curious Elixirs has raised the $30,000 they set out to raise to start mass production of Curious No. 1. If they raise $40,000 they will make Curious No.2. If they raise $50,000 they will make all 3 flavors of Curious Elixir. You can now purchase the products they currently have available directly through their website.
What I Love Most
I obviously love that someone (or in this case two people) had the brains and the balls to bring this project to fruition. I love that sober people have become a demographic and a thought in the bar/event world. I love that there are more booze-free cocktail options for us. What I love most is Curious Elixirs' mission statement: "Our mission at Curious is to redefine what it means to drink socially. It isn’t necessary for a drink to be alcoholic to be special. It just needs to be delicious, good for you, and good to drink with friends."
That's when I knew that my mission and Curious Elixirs' mission were one in the same. It doesn't have to be alcoholic to be special or fun! We're making sobriety cool again.