Let's be honest. This holiday season is MUCH different than any other season we've seen in our lifetimes, holiday or not. We started 2020 with hope for a new decade and are ending it with hope for a new year, except now we're wearing face masks, elbow bumping friends, and Zooming with family. That is, of course, if we're lucky enough to still have all our family with us. The stark reality is that 281,000+ Americans died this year of COVID-19 out of a global 1.53+ million deaths.
While there's no way we can get those precious people back, we can do our part and listen to public health guidance. We can stay 6 feet apart. We can wash our hands. We can wear a damn mask (stay tuned for pt. 2 for some super fun #madeinDC masks!). And by helping those in need, supporting our local businesses, and giving ourselves the gift of health by taking a break from booze, we can make an impact both within our communities and on ourselves.
So if you're looking for holiday spirit (without the spirit!), we bring you our Booze Free in DC Holiday Gift Guide (pt. 1 - Everything You Need to Stock Your Booze-Free Bar). Just in time for the holidays and #DryJanuary2021, our guide is chock-full of locally made/sourced alcohol-free sips for the winter months, bar accessories created by DMV neighbors, recipe books, and promo codes galore. 2021 will be the year of a new presidency, the first brick and mortar booze-free bar and event space in DC -- meet ✨ Binge Bar ✨ -- and well, a new calendar year (which we all need!).
Until then, happy shopping -- and stay safe out there, y'all. 💋
Everything You Need to Stock Your Booze-Free Bar
2020 is enough to give all of us a migraine, so why make it worse with booze? Prep yourself for #DRYJanuary and beyond with the bread and butter of Booze Free in DC: beverages, baby! And because we hope you'll love these local brands just as much as we do, we've included some fantastic promo codes for your shopping pleasure, courtesy of the businesses below.
Happy gift-hunting...and feel free to get your (#zeroproof) drink on!
// LOCAL BOOZE-FREE BEVS //
1. Element Shrub - Complexity doesn't have to be complicated with these gorgeous shrubs!
Arlington, VA based Element Shrub is growing, and fast. A Sans Bar national pop-up tour sponsor and frequent collaborator with Lyre's Non-Alcoholic Spirits, Element Shrub is everywhere these days. But Charlie Berkinshaw of Element Shrub doesn't forget his DMV roots. Our fave flavor: Chai Pear. But also Peach Tamarind, Ginger Lime, Grapefruit Vanilla, Honeydew Jalapeño, Blood Orange Saffron....
2. Mocktail Club - For fun without the hangover, try this ready-to-drink sparkling bev!
Pauline Idogho, founder of Washington, D.C.-based Mocktail Club, couldn't find anything healthy and delicious to drink while pregnant. So what did she do? She started a beverage company out of necessity. From those efforts came Mocktail Club, a line of premium crafted non-alcoholic cocktails with bold and daring flavors. We love this product and love Pauline.
Use promo code BOOZEFREEDC for 15% off your order! ♀Womxn-owned | ✊🏿BIPOC-owned
3. Mad Magic Kombucha - Sip the stark raving goodness of this magical local booch
This Virginia kombucha darling out of Vint Hill means business -- Mad Magic Kombucha has 19 (we repeat, 19!) different flavors. What's most ingenious is that you can create a custom pack or choose a seasonal pack -- of all different flavors. Or just one flavor. Harvest Spice only? Or Coffee? Or Hops? Or Mint? Or Strawberry? Or....you get our drift.
4. Apothekary - Get Wellthy from the inside out with these edible, elixable powders
Shizu Okusa's Washington, D.C.-based Apothekary is 100% natural, fair-trade and sustainably sourced, dairy/gluten/ands free of dairy/gluten/sugar. Depending on the issue you want addressed (e.g. anxiety/stress, gut health, immunity/anti-inflamation), gussy up your smoothies/coffees/teas/zero proof bevs with Apothekary's signature blends. Remember, Self-care is the new Health-care.™
5. Bay Leaf Bitters Co. - Nothing bitter about this bar!
New bar on the block Bay Leaf Bitters Co. is a Washington, D.C.-based cocktail delivery service (within DC city limits) and virtual women’s sports bar. You'll find a space that "celebrates athletes of all genders without shame, fear, or marginalization." Check out the bar's weekly virtual sports and social justice events and if you're not in DC, pick up your goodies directly from owner Laurel Oldershaw.
6. Blue Ridge Bucha - So fresh it's brewed from mountain water!
Hand-crafted in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains, this small business has a BIG impact. Since Blue Ridge Bucha's inception, they've saved over 1 million bottles with their refillable glass bottle model. Taproom is open for curbside pickup; buy (or bring) those growlers!
From now until December 15th, save big in two different ways:
Whole Foods - 25% off
MOM's Organic Market - 30% off
(MOM's In VA: Alexandria, Arlington, Merrifield; in MD: Jessup, Gaithersburg, Hampden)
7. Zurena - Experience the beautiful + joyful melody of this tropical elixir
Founder Nigel Smith named Zurena after his two daughters, Zuri and Rena, whose names come together to form the name of this Silver Spring, MD beverage company (Zuri, beautiful in Swahili and Rena, joyful melody in Hebrew). Mix Zurena into a zero proof cocktail or sip over ice; the flavors are a "rhapsody of tropical fruits and Caribbean spices."
✊🏿BIPOC-owned | 👏 Family-owned
8. JRINK - Drink up, y'all. Juices for everyone!
JRINK is a DC staple for all juice lovers. Known for its bright colors and bright flavors, this homegrown juicery serves up delicious flavor combinations and gorgeous branding to its devoted clientele. When you need something healthy to sip on, drink JRINK. / 🎤
♀Womxn-owned IG: @jrinkjuicery
9. Icaro Yerba Maté - Artfully brewed, sparkling tea offers up natural energy
If you're fans of Baltimore-based Wild Kombucha you'll absolutely love their Icaro Yerba Maté product line. Signature flavors Hibiscus and Mint deliver in flavor and give you a caffeine boost (derived naturally, of course). This brand gives back too: Icaro Yerba Maté donates 1% of all sales to Living Classrooms to support arts education in Baltimore.
Use promo code BOOZEFREEDC for 15% off and free shipping on your order! (Free DMV delivery when you order 3 or more cases).
10. Where the Good Grows - Let your goodness grow - and glow!
This Maryland-based natural wellbeing company offers herbalist-formulated organic therapeutic botanical products, personalized wellness consultations, and fun virtual wellness programs (corporate and private). From calming herbal teas to therapeutic herbal latte blends, herbal infused zero proof cocktail vinegars to botanical chocolate making kits, Where the Good Grows is tasty, fun, healthy, and booze-free!
Use promo code BOOZEFREE for 10% off* your entire order! Expiration: December 15th, 2020. *Promo excludes gift certificates.
11. Delmosa - Terroir-driven sophisticated NA beverages. Mmm.
You're probably asking yourself, what the heck does terroir-driven mean? Terroir is a French term that basically means everything about the natural environment where a wine is produced. So any drink you can find at Bristow, VA-based beverage importer Delmosa will be the non-alchoholic cousin of wines and ciders. And it'll be damn good. Husband and wife team Bruce and Tammy Blosil are passionate about sharing non-alcoholic beverage elegance with the Washington, D.C. area and beyond.
12. Charismatic Creations - Say hello to zero proof infusions!
Founder Chrissy of Washington, D.C.-based Charismatic Creations, a mobile bartending service, is all about making sure the drinking experience is an inclusive one. That means providing options that have booze and options without -- and her zero proof infusions sound heavenly: Apple Cinnamint and Hibiscus Rose are just a few of her flavor combos. Learn more about her inclusive bartending services & shop here! ♀Womxn-owned | ✊🏿BIPOC-owned IG: @charismaticcreations
13. Show of Hands - Perhaps the finest of (booze-free) hands
Nick Farrell of Neighborhood Restaurant Group was going open a brick and mortar spot at The Roost this year called Show of Hands, a place that would be known for innovative no and low ABV cocktails. Well, we all know what happened in March of 2020 that kind of derailed everyone's plans. Using the buzzword of the year, Nick pivoted -- and fast. He bottled Show of Hands cocktails and now sells them for pickup and delivery throughout the DMV via Neighborhood Provisions.
14. Columbia Room / Your Only Friend - Birthplace of a movement
Derek Brown of Drink Company and Columbia Room fame is known as one of the ultimate masters of mixology in DC. His book Spirits, Sugar, Water, Bitters: How the Cocktail Conquered the World, published in 2019, is basically like a sexy history book on drinks. But Derek is also known for being vocal about not drinking as much as he used to and his zero proof menu at Columbia Room, crafted with beverage director Paul Taylor, reflects pillars of creativity and inclusivity. When COVID hit, Taylor opened a sandwich pop-up at Columbia Room called Your Only Friend. Besides the delicious between-bread treats, some of the greatest hits of the zero proof menu are available in bottled form.
15. sunōmi - WTF is switchel?
WTF is switchel, you ask? That's the question Nikki Blank's company poses on sunōmi's site. Historically consumed in colonial times as basically the haymaker's Gatorade, switchel is an apple cider vinegar, ginger, molasses, and citrus based drink. You can still sip up post-workout these days, but it's not the switchel of olden days. This one is sparkling and modern and delicious.
16. NOPE - Hangovers? Nope. Full on flavor? Yep!
New beverage on the block, NOPE, is making a big splash already. Be one of the very first to say YEP to Strawberry Basil Smash, Raspberry Lime Ginger, Mango Margarita with Jalapeño, and Rosemary Vanilla Lemonade. If anyone ever asks, does this have booze in it? The answer is NOPE.
Product just dropped! Buy here and enter promo code ZEROPROOF for 10% off your order! IG: @drinknope
17. Jícara Ancestral Remedies - Sip on some ancient wisdom
Jícara Ancestral Remedies gives old life -- and we're talking legit ancient -- new meaning. Cultivating the wisdom in wellness practices and serving up kombucha, cacao, and mavi to DMV neighbors is what owners Linaan and Lucas are all about. What we put in our bodies affects not only our physical health, but our mental health too (fun fact: most serotonin lives in the gut microbiome). This is why Jícara exists: to give us healthy options and honor the past.
👏 Family-owned IG: @drinknope
18. HEX Ferments - If it's pickled, we want it
Baltimore-based HEX Ferments are "food alchemists, dedicated to sourcing from local and organic farmers using regenerative farming practices." Once upon a time pre-COVID, we would travel to Belvedere Square in B'more just to pick up batches of multi-colored kombucha and the best kimchi and fermented veggies EVER. But fret not. There are still ways to get HEX into our bellies -- and as we know, our bellies are fans of fermented goodies.
All products available for pickup and local delivery on orders of $95+. Shipping available on all non-kombucha products. More details at HEX Ferments.
👏 Family-owned IG: @hexferments
19. Blue Henry - Level up your zero proof cocktails
You'll find fruit infused simple syrups, candied + dehydrated fruits for garnishes, and rimming salts + sugars at Blue Henry in Capitol Heights, MD. Be your own mixologist and take charge with these flavors and drink accoutrements that'll have you saying, "I'm a bartender!" in no time.
♀Womxn-owned | ✊🏿BIPOC-owned IG: @bluehenry
20. Main Street Pearl - A bar just for bubbly stuff (no, really!)
If you're into carbonation, you'll absolutely love Main Street Pearl coming to the heart of historic Takoma Park, MD in February 2021. As a bubbly drinks bar, Main Street Pearl will feature booze-free bubble tea, scratch sodas, kombucha (and their higher ABV cousins beer, cider, and sparkling wine). As a noshery and tuck shop, it'll have yummy grab-and-go snacks, candies, and treats by local foodpreneurs.
♀Womxn-owned IG: @mainstreetpearl