- Zero-proof, or non-alcoholic, beverages are beverages that don’t have ethanol.
- Unlike spirits with high percentage alcohol by volume (ABV), zero-proof alcohol is 0.5% or less and won’t cause intoxication.
- Orange County offers bars, restaurants, and clubs that serve mocktails and non-alcoholic beers.
As more people realize the risks of drinking alcohol and take an abstinence approach, zero-proof drinks have risen in popularity. With over 120 zero-proof alcohol brands stocked in retail locations, bars, restaurants, and clubs, people in recovery have virtually endless options for a night out without the concerns that go along with beer, wine, and liquor.
Looking to spend a night out with friends without the spirits? Take a look at the options for zero-proof alcohol, what it is, and how you can get exciting mocktails in Orange County. But take care and know your limits regarding exposure to alcohol-related environments to avoid triggers, cravings, and relapse.
What Is Zero-Proof Alcohol?
Most people are familiar with alcoholic “proof,” which measures the ethanol content of a beer, wine, or spirit. Alcohol proof is a traditional way of measuring alcoholic content in a beverage and still shows up on labels, but the more precise legal measurement of alcoholic content is percentage alcohol by volume (ABV).
Zero-proof alcohol, as the name suggests, is an alcohol-free beverage that mimics the look, smell, and taste of conventional alcoholic beverages. It goes by other names, including alcohol-free spirits or 0.0 spirit.
While “zero proof” suggests that these beverages have no alcohol at all, legally, they only have to have less than 0.5% ABV to be considered zero proof. Still, this is an extremely low alcoholic content compared to conventional beverages that can have upwards of 40% ABV.
The idea behind zero-proof alcohol is that it offers an experience that mimics that of drinking beer, wine, or alcohol for people who choose not to drink or are in recovery from alcohol use disorder. In the past, the only options for people in bars or restaurants were non-alcoholic beers, soft drinks, or mixed drinks that used mixers and garnished without alcoholic spirits.
Now, there are over 120 zero-proof alcohol brands available. Some are designed to mimic the experience of conventional spirits for non-alcoholic drinks and non-alcoholic cocktails (mocktails), while others have additives like ginger or capsaicin to create a “burn” like whiskey.
Some of the popular brands of zero-proof alcohol include:
- Seedlip: Seedlip is known for producing non-alcoholic distilled spirits. They offer a range of options with distinct botanical flavors.
- Kin Euphorics: Kin creates alcohol-free beverages designed to promote relaxation and mood enhancement. Their products are crafted with adaptogens and nootropics.
- Curious Elixirs: Curious Elixirs makes alcohol-free craft cocktails. They focus on using organic ingredients and unique flavor profiles.
- Monday Zero Alcohol Gin: Monday offers a zero-alcohol gin alternative for those who enjoy the botanical notes of gin without the alcohol content.
- Ritual Zero Proof: Ritual produces alcohol-free alternatives to traditional spirits, including whiskey and gin, with a focus on complex flavors.
- Gruvi: Gruvi produces a variety of non-alcoholic beers and wines. Their products are designed to replicate the taste of traditional alcoholic beverages.
- Heineken 0.0: Heineken offers a non-alcoholic version of their popular beer called Heineken 0.0. It is brewed to have the same signature flavor but without the alcohol.
- Athletic Brewing Company: Athletic Brewing specializes in non-alcoholic craft beers, providing options for those who enjoy the taste of beer without the alcohol.
- Lyre’s Spirits: Lyre’s offers a wide range of non-alcoholic spirits, including alternatives to gin, whiskey, and rum, designed to mimic the flavors of traditional spirits.
- Stryyk: Stryyk produces non-alcoholic alternatives to gin, rum, and vodka. Their products aim to provide the experience of drinking spirits without alcohol.
Where to Get Zero-Proof Drinks in Orange County
The popular zero-proof alcohol brands are available in retail locations all over the country – even shipped – but they’re also showing up in popular bars, restaurants, nightclubs, and even health-conscious juice bars and cafes.
Here’s where you can enjoy zero-proof drinks in Orange County:
Bar Nuda is a 100% alcohol-free spot with a variety of mocktails and booze-free libations made with real ingredients. The housemade “vermouth” is a vibrant mick of cinnamon, cinnamon leaf, juniper, star anise, damiana de California, orange blossom, angelica root, and Ritual Zero alcohol-free gin. The bar is always hosting events as well.
Located in the heart of Melrose Ave, APB – “A Plant Bar” – is a vegan bar that specializes in all things plant-based, including signature dry libations. What’s My Sage Again? is a popular mocktail with hops, citrus, and sage for an earthy and fresh vibe, while The Ramos Fizz is a complex mix of Amass Riverine, vegan egg whites, and rosewater.
The New Bar
The New Bar is a Venice staple that’s named for the booze-free bottle shop in the Westside. After an appearance at Coachella, The New Bar has been gaining traction for its zero-proof whiskeys, tequilas, rums, wines, and beers. They also offer a tasting menu that rotates seasonally.
Duke’s Huntington Beach
Duke’s Huntington Beach, named for Duke Kahanamoku, the Hawaiian Olympic swimmer and surfer, is an embodiment of Surf City’s beachy lifestyle and one of the prime spots for mocktails. The restaurant’s Barefoot Bar has a long list of Virgin Tropical Drinks or mocktails that use tropical flavors like coconut, strawberry, banana, and passionfruit.
BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse
Known for pizzas, brews, and famous Pizookies, BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse is a great spot for refreshing mocktails with innovative flavors. The Sparkling Raspberry Lemonade is a local favorite, featuring raspberry syrup, soda, and fresh-squeezed lemonade. Other options include the Berry Sweet Limeade and the Orange Twist.
Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar
Part of the Disneyland Resort property, Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar offers stellar mocktails in a spot inspired by the Jungle Cruise ride. The tropical tiki bar has three different mocktails listed as Sam’s No-Booze Brews: Polynesian Punch, Skipper Sipper, and Schweitzer Falls, two of which feature Sam’s Gorilla Grog.
Are Zero-Proof Drinks Triggering in Sobriety?
As mentioned, zero-proof alcohol can have 0.5% ABV to legally be considered alcohol-free. While this is not enough to cause intoxication, it’s not quite zero. Some zero-proof alcohol uses alcohol in the production process, which is later removed from the final product, while others have no alcohol at any point.
Why does it matter? For some, any amount of alcohol can be a trigger in recovery. For example, some people have to stay away from substances that contain alcohol, like mouthwash and cough medicine. Just an extremely small amount of alcohol can encourage them to make the jump to a beer or mixed drink, causing relapse.
Another consideration is that the people, places, and things associated with drinking can be a trigger in themselves, even if you’re not drinking. Zero-proof alcohol is designed to mimic the sensory experience of drinking alcohol, so having a mocktail or non-alcoholic spirit can trigger euphoric memory, in which you remember the positives about drinking without the negatives. This can lead you to rationalize drinking alcohol again.
Before you try zero-proof alcohol, make sure you understand your personal triggers and manage them for your night out.
Have a Safe Night Out in Orange County
Zero-proof alcohol is a great way to enjoy the social aspects of drinking alcohol without worrying about hangovers and relapse. If you want to enjoy a night out in Orange County, the venues on this list offer a range of exciting non-alcoholic beverages to help you stick to sobriety.
Frequently Asked Questions About Zero Proof Drinks in New Jersey
Zero-proof alcohol was designed to make social experiences that typically involve drinking more inclusive, such as weddings, celebrations, and happy hours with coworkers. In addition to people in recovery, people may abstain from alcohol because of health conditions, religious beliefs, medications, or a desire to live a healthier life.
Some zero-proof alcohol is produced similarly to alcoholic spirits and offers a similar experience. They may be designed to taste similar to the conventional beverage, such as non-alcoholic beer or gin. Some zero-proof alcohol uses botanicals and additives to make the beverage more enticing in a cocktail, just without the alcoholic content.
Zero-proof is legally 0.5% ABV or less. Some zero-proof brands use alcohol in the production process and may have trace amounts in the final product, while some have truly zero alcoholic content. Fortunately, these brands are transparent about their process and alcoholic content so you can make informed decisions.
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