Shroom Culture

Rethinking Drinking

As more people move away from alcohol and find fun in mocktails and alcohol free alternatives, it's important to find community outside of consumption. We've rounded up some of the AF brands we love, and highlight how going alcohol free or adding moderation can be a game changer in your health and wellness.

8
Min read
Cori Sue Morris
January 17, 2024

Like many, you may think that sobriety and the use of mind-altering psychedelic substances are counter-intuitive—but think again. 

Over the last few years, we’ve seen the rise of the sober-curious movement, with beautifully branded non-alcoholic beverage lines flooding your Instagram feed, mocktails on cocktail menus, once-famous mixologists going sober, and entire bars dedicated to—well—not serving alcohol. 

It’s not surprising—much like cigarettes—the evidence of alcohol’s outright harm on the human body—from liver disease to high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and digestive problems. If you manage to avoid the intial onslaught of issues, don’t think you are in the clear. That could be your body gearing up to tear down later. There’s beauty in moderation, and fun in finding the alcohol-free lifestyle.

The alcohol-free movement represents a significant and positive change in the health and lifestyle choices of millennials and Gen Z, offering a transformative shift in how these generations approach socializing, mental well-being, and personal growth. This movement is particularly crucial as these cohorts grapple with unique generational challenges, and here's why it is a vital and timely shift: As millennials and Gen Z tackle the multifaceted challenges of their time, the alcohol-free movement emerges as a beacon of positive change. It empowers individuals to reclaim control over their health, deepen social connections, and live authentically in a world that demands resilience and mindful decision-making. By embracing an alcohol-free lifestyle, these generations are not just breaking free from societal expectations; they are forging a path toward a more conscious, connected, and fulfilling future.

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The Rise of the Sober Curious Movement

Ever the woke generation, Gen Z is leading the charge in questioning, cutting, or canceling alcohol consumption altogether. (28% of Gen Z college students don’t drink.)  After all, Generation Zed is inheriting a world filled with problems—climate change, widening socio-economic inequality, American political turmoil, and a rapidly fracturing geopolitical order. Plus, our food, water, skincare, and household products are filled with toxins that can kill us. It’s no wonder Gen Z—and a lot of other people—are questioning everything, starting with alcohol. Millennials and Gen Z are navigating unprecedented levels of stress and mental health challenges. The alcohol-free movement aligns with an increased awareness of the impact of substances on mental well-being. Choosing sobriety allows for greater clarity of mind, improved emotional resilience, and enhanced coping mechanisms in the face of generational stressors. These generations value authentic connections and experiences. The alcohol-free movement provides an avenue for meaningful social interactions that aren't centered around alcohol. By fostering sober socializing, individuals can build deeper connections, engage in genuine conversations, and create memories that aren't clouded by the effects of alcohol. Through this sober curious movement more of these generations are finding ways to question the system theyve inherited.

You know what can help you question everything? Psychedelics. Nothing creates quite the shift in perspective like a therapeutic dose of mushrooms.

Psychedelic Mushrooms & Shifting Behaviors 

As more people move away from alcohol and find alternatives, mocktails, and mushrooms continue to be a rising force in changing wellness for the better. I’ve seen how utilizing mushrooms in conjunction with integration, community, and alternative healing modalities can make a world of difference in a wellness routine. Whether it’s booking yourself a retreat where you can find rest, an online community through mindfulness, microdosing, and meditation, or in-person events where you can sip and sample some of the best alcohol-free products, it's important to know that whatever your reasons are for going AF, there's a community waiting to show you how much fun it can be on the other side.

In parallel with the sober curious movement, we’re also seeing the third wave of psychedelic resurgence, with psychedelics gaining rapid cultural, social, and political acceptance.

The recent surge in the sober or alcohol-free movement marks a profound cultural shift as more individuals embrace a lifestyle focused on wellness, mindfulness, and sobriety. Retreat Microdose, at the forefront of this movement, recognizes the growing interest in conscious living and is committed to fostering a community that values experiences beyond alcohol consumption.

In recent years, there has been a noticeable rise in sober curious events and initiatives, reflecting a broader societal awareness of the impact of alcohol on physical and mental well-being. People are seeking alternatives to traditional socializing that don't revolve around alcohol, and Retreat Microdose is proud to be a catalyst for this positive change.

The trends within the sober curious movement include an array of alcohol-free gatherings, wellness retreats, and mindful experiences. From alcohol-free bars and sober dance parties to mindful meditation retreats, individuals are exploring diverse avenues for socializing and connecting without the influence of alcohol. Retreat Microdose, aligning with these trends, provides a platform for individuals to discover and participate in a variety of sober events that promote holistic well-being.

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Join Retreat in Person at Rethinking Drinking

For those in New York, we’ll be gathering to celebrate community, curiosity, and conversation on January 31, 2024, to close out “Dry January.” We’re hosting a panel conversation paired with a non-alcoholic tasting bar and community happy hour on January 31, from 6-9 PM at Observed in Williamsburg.  Observed is a beautiful studio space  focused on curating an intentional community with a mission to support harmonious action—with a space in Brooklyn and a farm in upstate NY

At the event, you’ll hear from me (Retreat founder) as well as founders from other NYC-based start-ups, including Kylo Freeman, Founder/CEO of For Them, a community for non-binary humans. 

We’ll have a tasting bar featuring non-alcoholic beverages from De Soi, Three Spirits, Little Saints,  and Ringa. 

Get tickets ($35) here to join us on January 31 from 6-9 P.M. in Brooklyn. 

Sample Non-Alcoholic Spirits

Whether you're well versed in the AF space or are looking for some new recommendations, we've got some brands you can sip and savor. I’ve personally sampled all these beverages and can vouch for the quality and taste, and we're proud to be partnering with these fantastic brands to offer their products toour event patrons at the upcoming Rethinking Drinking event.

Best of all? Beyond tasting great and providing health benefits, all of these brands are founded by women. 

Aplos

Aplos beverages are infused with functional botanicals to help you unwind, energize, connect, and calm. Founded by an NYC-based duo, Aplos elixirs are crafted by award-winning mixologists, using only the highest quality, all-natural ingredients. Designed as an alcohol alternative without the calories and hangover, Aplos is making a healthy ritual that you can maintain. Just as with any traditional spirit, Aplós spirits can be enjoyed neat, on-the-rocks, or mixed in an infinite number of cocktails.

We're delighted that Aplos co-founder, Emily Onkey, will be joining us on the panel on January 31 in Williamsburg. Get tickets.

De Soi

Co-founded by Katy Perry, De Soi is a chic non-alcoholic apértif brand with flavors like Golden Hour, a crisp, herbaceous, citrus beverage (a personal fave), and Champingion Dreams, a juicy, fruit-forward beverage that’s early and bitter. De Soi’s beverages are gluten-free, non-GMO, free of artificial colors and flavors, and ready to sip. Find your way totheir website and use RETHINK for a delicious deal on your first order.

For Bitter or for Worse

For Bitter For Worse makes complex cocktails with love, not alcohol. We're a proud woman-owned brand with the cleanest label in the category. We use certified organic botanicals, rather than lab-derived natural flavors, and we avoid nootropics and adaptogens that are not safe for every body. Our mission is to co-create a healthier, more inclusive culture through the non-alcohol lifestyle. Using code RETREAT10 snags you 10% off your first order.

Little Saints

Little Saints is a line of cute & colorful canned non-alcoholic beverages fueled by plants and mushrooms. The flavors are inspired by classic cocktails, with flavors like Spicy Margarita, Paloma, and Ginger Mule. While the ready-to-drink cans are zero-proof, they contain potent organic reishi mushroom and aromatic terpenes with no sugar. When you need to make your next non-alc purchase, use RETREAT20 for 20% off their entire website.

Ringa

Named for and inspired by the Moringa plant, Ringa’s ready-to-sip, effervescent beverages are committed to people and the planet. RINGA® is consciously crafted, plant powered holistic hydration combining the benefits of apple cider vinegar + nutrient dense moringa for a take on everyday hydration that’s better for you and the planet.  Containing ZERO added sugar, sugar substitutes or sugar alcohols and no natural flavors, each can of RINGA® delivers prebiotic fiber, electrolytes, and bioactive compounds that help boost your gut health and immunity, can help regulate blood sugar, and is naturally adaptogenic and nootropic. Use RETREAT10 for 10% your next purchase.

Spiritless

Distilled in small batches in the USA, Spiritless doesn't compromise on taste. The brand's non-alcoholic bourbon is underpinned by the familiar notes of caramel, vanilla, and oak—but without the hangover. Spiritless' booze-free beverages are vegan, gluten-free, and keto-friendly and made from natural ingredients. This woman-owned brand brings big flavor into the alc-free space.

Three Spirits

Three Spirits botanical elixirs offer both aperitifs as well as newly launched wine replacements.  The “blurred vines” are celebratory drinks created to mimic wine without the hangover. All Three Spirits beverages have active ingredients,  are gluten-free, sulfite-free, vegan, low in sugar, and low in calories. 

Visit our website to discover upcoming events, connect with like-minded individuals, and embark on a journey of self-discovery in a supportive and alcohol-free community. Retreat Microdose is not just a platform; it's a movement that celebrates the joy of conscious living. Together, let's redefine social experiences and embrace the richness of life beyond the confines of alcohol. Join us on this transformative journey towards a more mindful and connected existence.

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About the Author

Cori Sue Morris

Cori Sue is the founder & CEO of Retreat. She’s a recovering journalist and serial entrepreneur, having started, scaled and sold a media company, Bitches Who Brunch, and a marketing agency. She loves mushrooms, microdosing, empowered women, and helping others.

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