Non-Alcoholic Liquor Stores Have Arrived and They’re Fabulous

The non-alcoholic liquor store wave has broken on American shores, and after trying our first adaptogenic mocktail at an LA POSTHOC salon, we were so impressed we decided to get a look inside this movement. Its effects were immediately relaxing and euphoric, as delightful as a proper cocktail without any loss of functionality! Suddenly I completely understood why these shops are popping up left and right around New York, LA and London.

We had the opportunity to speak with, Douglas Watters, who opened Spirited Away in Manhattan in 2020 for the following endearing and highly relatable reason:

“I love making cocktails and drinking craft beers. I also want to live forever. The research on alcohol and longevity increasingly shows that those two interests are at odds with one another. Making really good ‘no and low’ ABV cocktails allows me to enjoy the ritual and the social aspects of cocktails without negative impact on my health.”

Beyond what we all know to be true, that alcohol negatively affects our health, the first sip of a Kin Euphorics mocktail (a co-founded by Bella Hadid and Jen Batchelor), begged the question of whether drinking could actually be good for you?! Kin contains GABA, a mood booster, and combined with lavender and citrus juices in the flavor I tried, it registered as a proper euphoric experience.

“Since consumption of NA products doesn’t result in a feeling of inebriation, many NA brands include ingredients that seek to provide other feelings instead,” Douglas explained. “Certain adaptogenic and nootropic ingredients can result in uplifting, mood-boosting feelings, calming, relaxing feelings and a host of other feelings.”

They also result in gorgeous, super-classy marketing imagery!

But in terms of a customer-base, Douglas has seemingly found an entirely new demographic.

“The customers who become regulars are the ones who really enjoy the process of exploring a completely new category. They come to our tastings and are open to trying new things, comfortable knowing that they aren’t going to love everything they try but they will discover new things they love and that help them to achieve their health and wellness goals.”

But there’s nothing preachy or even casually moral about this position Douglas (pictured here) has taken, it’s simply become a matter of preference.

“In my personal experience, reducing and/or eliminating alcohol from my life has been a ‘cheat code.’ Of all the actions I’ve taken to improve my health and wellbeing, I’m getting a really good ROI on going NA,” he says. “I’m not alone in noticing that and the market is responding with an explosion of new beverage options.”

Having been to a salon where euphoric beverages were available, the net result was I drank less alcohol and felt better both during the party and the next day.

“I’m not trying to convince anyone to swear off all booze forever,” Douglas says. “We’re not anti-alcohol here at Spirited Away. What I want to do is to elevate and make accessible all of the great new NA beverage options for people who are interested in new options.”

And again, look at this marketing imagery! Stunning, way to go, Kin.

Douglas also took the time to leave us with recommendations for some of his favorite products. The market is growing an innovating constantly, so if you’re into euphorics, it’s worth it to keep an eye on socials for new products.

“Proteau and Abstinence were two of the first NA brands I started drinking when I was new to the category back in early 2020. I still find myself drinking a lot of those old favorites, even as I continue to explore newer brands like Prima Pave sparkling wines.”

Many thanks to Douglas, and browse the entire Spirited Away catalog here.