Image Credit: @kineuphorics
Our editors independently select these products. Making a purchase through our links may earn PLEIN AIR a commission.
There are plenty of reasons for sobriety—family history, health, better sleep, simply preferring the taste of a non-alcoholic beverage. Still, the temptation of an après-ski flute of champagne or a pint with the pals can override our best intentions, if you’re not aware of the bevy of beverage options that keep you refreshed and sober.
The après scene encourages drinking! A hot tub, a shotski, a table in your fave bar with all your pals crowded around a table full of spills. We love it, we hate it, we do it again next weekend. But you can do it in a healthier, for-you way (still with the social benefits) and everyone will wholly understand.
From refreshers to spritzes to the right glass to put them down, beverages can either be functional (give you a similar buzz, without the downsides of alcohol) or simply replacements that quench the thirst and mouthfeel you crave from a “drink drink.” You can also elevate any mocktail with funky glassware, or some sparkling texture, to add to the sensorial experience we often want from a cocktail or a happy hour with friends. So keep sipping! Just…without the hangover.
The Best Dry Beverages for a Sober Après That Everyone Can Enjoy
- Kombucha—Health-Ade Kombucha, $49.95 for 2.
- Wine Alternative—Proxies The New Tasting Set, $94 (was $98).
- Functional Beverage—Kin Euphorics Spritz, $57 for 12.
- Après Apéritif—De Soi Variety Pack, $70 for 3 (was $75 for 3.)
- California Sober Beverage—Cann Starter Pack, $72 for 18.
- Liquor Alternative—CleanCo Clean T Tequila Alternative, $30.
- Carbonated Bevs—Sodastream Art Machine, $150
- Elevated Glassware—Nude Glass Fantasy Set of 2 Cocktail Glasses, $36.
Health-Ade Kombucha Fan Favorite Variety Pack—$49.95 for 12.
After skiing this winter, I’ve often come back and poured myself a refreshing glass of kombucha. While I never got into the craze during the thick of it, this bubbly probiotic tea has just the right amount of kick I need to feel like I’ve had a proper “end” to my day. Kombucha’s also been proven to boost the immune system, which is helpful when I’ve pushed my body to the limit during a tough ski day. Because it’s fermented, it has an alcoholic ~vibe~ which can be helpful to those struggling to cut down, but it’s packed with probiotics and antioxidants that are just a bit more helpful to ya. Health-Ade’s been my go-to brand, and this variety pack sampler contains three of its most popular flavors with four bottles each.
Proxies The Tasting Set—$94 for 4.
If your go-to après bev was a glass of wine (white, red, sparkling, or rose?!), you don’t have to give up the complexity of the flavor profile. Proxies developed a “sipping vinegar” wine alternative with flavors based on feedback from chefs, sommeliers, and 300,000+ customers, meaning they’re likely to have a varietal that aligns with your taste. While the Proxies rotate seasonally, I recommend the starter New Tasting Set. It also includes multiple cooking and flavor recommendations for ultimate pairings.
Kin Spritz—$57 for 12.
Before the non-alc space was vibrant and popular, there was Kin—which is vibrant and popular. It was the OG, and I actually drank Kin *pretty much exclusively* when I did a whole sober year from 2019–2020. As someone who’s naturally really shy, I enjoyed that alcohol made me break out of my shell; it made me more talkative and bubbly. Oddly enough, Kin had the same effect. It was energizing, with adaptogens, nootropics, and botanics like Rhodiola Rosea, 5‑HTP, and Gaba. It helped to de-stress me and open me up, and I frankly appreciate the floral and ginger flavors. While I normally opt for the High Rhode because of the better cost-per-drink ratio, it’s currently sold out, and the Spritz is still fabulous.
De Soi Variety Pack—$70 for 3 (was $75 for 3).
For an après-friendly nonalcoholic apéritif with adaptogens (say that five times fast), you can’t do much better than Katy Perry-founded De Soi. This three-bottle tasting set includes Golden Hour, Champignon Dreams, and Purple Lune, a trio of the brand’s most popular flavors. Better yet, these drinks are lightly carbonated, vegan and gluten-free, and have no artificial colors or flavors. Their profile combinations are interesting, to say the least—the mushroom-based champignon bev will be polarizing!—but I adore the refreshing tea-inspired infusions and richness of the ingredients. (I love Purple Lune for its floral rose and blackberry combo.)
Cann Starter Pack—$72 for 18 cans.
You may be opting for California sober—open to cannabis, but closed off to alcohol. Each person has a different comfort level in regards to substance consumption and what they choose to take the edge off. Last year, I accidentally discovered the power of THC-infused Cann beverages when I ingested a can and got far, far too high alone on my living room couch. It’s dangerously delicious, available in refreshing flavors of grapefruit rosemary (my favorite), lemon lavender, and blood orange cardamom. As the brand says, “give up the booze, not the buzz.” Keep in mind, of course, that this bev is only available in states where recreational weed is legal. Use code WELCOME30 for your first purchase and score 30% off.
No need to avoid the shot ski festivities. Just substitute in a non-alcoholic spirit. The best part is that you can create the same cocktails as any of your friends clustered around the hot tub on your ski trip, complete with garnishes and layers. You’ll enjoy the ritual of the beverage, the flavors, etc,. Just not the buzz (and the inevitable hangover.) My dad’s been sober for roughly 40 years, and this is his — and my — favorite for festive happy hours.
Oftentimes when I’m craving a drink, it’s really because I’m craving a sophisticated taste with a distinctive mouthfeel—more than water or juice alone can suffice. The solution? Carbonation. Since I’m currently based in Park City, Utah, and therefore lugging all my groceries via the bus system, I decided I’d rather splurge on a Sodastream once than have to carry multiple cases of LaCroix across a dangerously icy sidewalk along with my skis and gear. The device is deceptively simple: you place a canister into the back of the Sodastream, then fill the attached water bottle (duh) and then press down a lever which infuses the liquid with CO2. Immediate fizz. Add some lime or juice for some extra pizzazz and boom! Instant mocktail.
The ultimate way to dress up a sober cocktail? Fun glassware, of course! I’m a glassware fiend, and I adore having a beverage all dolled up in the proper receptacle. Nude Glass is my favorite, with stunning silhouettes that add breathless elegance to everything from an iced coffee to a funky mocktail (or both! We’re looking at you NA Espresso Martinis!) Try the Fantasy Set of 2 Cocktail Glasses, each for $18.