We spent a lot of time at home in 2020. Some of us spent that time exploring new hobbies, and now I’m going to make the generous assertion that drinking booze is a hobby. Let’s add that some of us dove head first into this hobby, particularly as the politics got crazier than imaginable, the virus got worse and the holidays made this hobby a part of our daily routine.
Now in a new year, some of us are thinking it might behoove us to dry out a little. Fortunately there’s a somewhat arbitrary framework in which to do that with Dry January, an informal pledge to quit the hooch until February.
But as much of the appeal of imbibing at home is in discovering, preparing and tasting new beverages, you might long for something interesting to get you through the month. Here are a few options available from local makers.
The Root Kava Co. — Dirty Badger and Ghostbuster
If you want to feel something while you drink, get some kava. The root of the kava plant produces a beverage that provides sedative and anxiety-reducing qualities. Boulder’s The Root Kava Co. specializes in the beverage and offers variations on the theme. Try the Dirty Badger if you want to get in headfirst, a high-potency drink that’ll leave you relaxed, or the Ghostbuster — Root Kava’s “most popular drink” — with 12 juice flavors mixed in, including grapefruit, passionfruit, blueberry and guava.
Japango — Happy Chugmore
On name alone — a pun on an Adam Sandler movie, if you’re not in the loop — you should get the Happy Chugmore from Japango. But it stands up on taste, too. It’s an Arnold Palmer (iced tea and lemonade) made with Sencha green tea, honey, fresh lemon and lychee nectar. Piquant, cooling and satisfying, this is an interesting and refreshing drink.
Shine — Intuition and Brain Power Potion
If you’ve been on the non-alcohol train for a while, you likely know about Shine’s potions. The blends are unique — really, try to find something similar elsewhere — and tasty. Grab the Intuition and Brain Power potion, made of butterfly pea flower, juniper berry, ashwaganda, lavender, lemon balm, rose hips, gingko biloba, vanilla, apple and a touch of Stevia. It’s a heady brew with flavor for days.
Upstart Kombucha — CBD Lavender
CBD (cannabidiol, a non-psychoactive component of cannabis) is a good fill-in for alcohol. As is kombucha. So Boulder’s Upstart Kombucha’s CBD Lavender kombucha makes for a delicious and satisfying replacement. Its 25 mg of CBD is enough to let your shoulders untense, and the flavor is tart, bright and floral.
Dram apothecary — CBD Sparkling Switchel
If you want more CBD, check out the canned Dram Apothecary offering, CBD Sparkling Switchel. Switchel is a tart beverage that farmers used to drink to stay hydrated, and Dram adds in 25 mg of locally produced CBD. You’ll get strawberry, apple and a hint of vanilla.
Stem Ciders — Hot Apple Cider
Stem Ciders, with a cidery in Lafayette, makes a non-alcoholic version of its drins — available in both cold and hot variations (and you can drink it on Stem/Acreage’s outdoor patio, though check before going to be sure it’s open). We recommend the hot variation for this cold month, made from fresh-pressed apple juice.