I Tried It: The Non-Alcoholic Drink That Gives You a Happy Wine Buzz

After two years of living in New York, I've come to learn a few universal truths.  You cry only the first time your new boots get soaked by the spray of a swerving taxi (you then proceed to stop wearing nice boots), you start blaming the train for, well, everything, and—the biggest lesson of all—alcohol will eventually somehow infiltrate itself into almost every aspect of your life. Yes, typing that out sounds bleak, but I'm facing up to the fact that most of the socializing I partake in ends up involving alcohol. First date? Tequila soda. Catching up with an old friend? Aperol Spritz. Brunch? We’ll do the unlimited mimosas, thanks. I don’t consider myself a binge drinker by any means, but apparently, I am one: the National Survey on Drug Use and Health constitutes having one drink four to five nights a week as binge-drinking, and of that, I am definitely guilty. So what if you want to see your friends, go to happy hour, meet up with that Raya guy—but you don’t want to imbibe? Honestly, in a city like New York (and I’m sure many others), it’s really hard. (Case in point: my vow to partake in Dry January…that I immediately broke by January 6th. What can I say? It was a tough week.)

This all goes to say that when I received an email in my inbox about a beverage that uses "a blend of botanicals, nootropics, and adaptogens" to give you a buzz without actually containing any alcohol, I was intrigued—then dubious. It sounded too good to be true. Was it full of drugs not yet regulated by the FDA? Isn’t this what people said about LSD at first? I pondered this for about five minutes—then I took the meeting (obviously).