SAN DIEGO — More and more young people are reportedly choosing to abstain from alcohol for physical and mental health reasons. The so-called “sober curious” lifestyle is gaining popularity with some bars now offering selections of craft cocktails minus the liquor.
San Diego speakeasy Raised by Wolves – which you can only get to through a hidden entrance – is known for their craft cocktails but they’re known for their mocktails as well.
Assistant general manager and “bar mom” Jessie Peterson shakes up cocktails that are almost too pretty to drink - and some don’t have a drop of alcohol.
Jessie says the bar was inspired to offer non-alcoholic selections due to requests from patrons asking for “more than a Shirley Temple” or requesting certain cocktails without alcohol.
"People don’t have to feel guilty about [asking] ‘I know you guys are a bar, can I just get something without alcohol in it?’ Everyone needs to feel welcome,” said Jessie.
The "sober curious” movement is getting more and more popular particularly with millennials and Generation Z. According to a recent study based in London, the number of young people who aren’t drinking has increased. Researchers say young people are paying more attention to their mental health and wellness and choosing to reduce their alcohol consumption.
"Young people don’t necessarily want to go out and party really hard with their friends,” said Jessie. “Or you’re my age and your body can’t always take it or you have a week where you’re trying to flush some of those things out.”
Jessie added that people don’t want to feel excluded and still want to feel that they’re part of the party.
Of course, in the age of social media, what something looks like is almost as important as what it tastes like.
"Everyone wants that perfect Instagram shot too of course,” said Jessie laughing. “You drink with your eyes first.”
Jessie said she believes we will start to see more balance on menus throughout San Diego and the US where people can order non-alcoholic and alcoholic options with the rest of the ingredients staying the same.
“That will be the next part of the movement I think,” said Jessie.
Another benefit to being “sober curious” is saving money. The mocktails at Raised by Wolves cost $8 while regular cocktails run from $9 to $16.