Welcome to your monthly sober drinks roundup! This month, we sample two fabulous flavors from the wildly popular Curious Elixirs collection, and sip on Ish’s margarita mockup that was so authentic, it made us do a double take.
Curious Elixirs craft cocktails #2 & 3
Curious Elixirs is consistently sold out at our go-to non-alcoholic bottle shop, and that only piqued our interest in the widely beloved drink line. Our CEO summed up the main “curiosity” about this brand: “what’s the difference between these drinks and say, soda or juice?” Well, Curious made us believers in the magic of n/a craft cocktails.
The #2 elixir mocks up a Dark and Stormy and merges it with a margarita. The complexity here is incredible: with every sip, we tasted new flavors like citrus, pineapple, even smoked salt, with the punch of ginger, always the ginger, rounding out each one. The #3, which mimics a Tom Collins by way of a French 75, is cucumber-forward and just about as fresh as you can get. Its floral, lemony notes made us want to be at a garden party immediately. What the drinks had in common were their bright, incredibly complex flavor profiles. Every ingredient is perfectly balanced, and they all complement each other as if they were born to live together in your mocktail.
Our verdict: Curious is class in a glass, crafted with the thoughtfulness and intention of a truly sophisticated palate. Juice and soda are all treble, no bass. They feel like kids’ drinks: one-note, with a flatness that’s designed for mass appeal. But Curious Elixirs are right at home alongside whatever the hell is in your drunk host’s tumbler, and probably go down way smoother. Their other selling point is that they use super–ingredients to take you up a notch, but in a totally not relapse-y way; for example, damiana, which is known as an aphrodisiac. So drink up and get down, whatever that means to you. Pick your poison — Curious has a drink for you.
Ish Lime Daquir-ish premixed cocktail
This may sound bold, but we’re sticking to it: this is the most “realistic” sober margarita we’ve ever tried. So much so that we had to check the label to make sure we didn’t have to re-start the ol’ day count. This comes in a deceptively simple lime green can, but when it’s poured over ice, you can almost hear a mariachi band starting to play. Instant visions of low-lit restaurants decked out in colorful streamers danced in our heads. But this doesn’t taste like a virgin daiquiri you order at a cantina, it has the (non!)boozy kick that distinguishes it as a capital M Marg. We really don’t know how this flavor is scientifically possible (OR how a brand from Denmark of all places was able to pull off such a convincing margarita dupe), but we are so, so down to top off our next Taco Tuesday with one of these. On the rocks, salted rim, please!