What Does a World-Famous Bartender Drink First Thing in the Morning?

First Things First is a series chronicling the morning beverage routines of some of our favorite people.

What can you learn about a person from their coffee mug collection? If that someone is Aaron Polsky, the Los Angeles–based founder of ready-to-d…

First Things First is a series chronicling the morning beverage routines of some of our favorite people.


What can you learn about a person from their coffee mug collection? If that someone is Aaron Polsky, the Los Angeles–based founder of ready-to-drink cocktail company LiveWire Drinks, you’d rightfully surmise that he’s a loving cat dad with an affinity for rock and roll, Larry David’s bristly sense of humor, and old-school Nintendo games. But then, as you make your way toward the back of the shelf, you may wonder about an outlier cup adorned with ballet slippers and more text than a Dr. Bronner’s soap bottle. Don't worry, there’s a story behind that one, too.

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A Foolproof Formula for Mocktails That Sparkle

We’ve teamed up with LaCroix Sparkling Water to share an easy formula for making any-occasion mocktails, from celebratory spritzes to sippable sparklers. Our tip for the best booze-free beverages: Start with a fresh and flavorful sparkling water base, …

We've teamed up with LaCroix Sparkling Water to share an easy formula for making any-occasion mocktails, from celebratory spritzes to sippable sparklers. Our tip for the best booze-free beverages: Start with a fresh and flavorful sparkling water base, like LaCroix Sparkling Waters, which are free of sugar and artificial ingredients (so you can feel good about drinking ‘em morning, noon, and night).


As someone who could always stand to be a bit more hydrated, sparkling water (or bubble water, as I like to call it) is my saving grace. Normal water? Snooze fest. Sparkling water? Yes, please! It’s basically how I trick myself into drinking an adequate amount of water on any given day, almost like a hidden vegetables mac and cheese approach to hydration.

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3 Non-Alcoholic Cocktails Inspired by Classics

We’ve teamed up with Seedlip—makers of top-quality, distilled non-alcoholic spirits—to share non-alcoholic cocktail recipes for the New Year and beyond. Inspired by classics, these satisfying sips all start with one of Seedlip’s unique flavors, from th…

We’ve teamed up with Seedlip—makers of top-quality, distilled non-alcoholic spirits—to share non-alcoholic cocktail recipes for the New Year and beyond. Inspired by classics, these satisfying sips all start with one of Seedlip’s unique flavors, from their herbal Garden 108 to the citrus-forward Grove 42. Ready to shake things up? Let’s go…


The last couple months of the year (aka the holidays) can be, well, a lot. But with New Year’s Eve around the corner, we’ll get a chance to take a reprieve from all the stress the season brings and the rich, festive food and drinks that come with it. Enter: Dry January.

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The Best Non-Alcoholic Sparkling Wine for Holiday Toasts

When I first quit drinking alcohol, the only thing about it that I feared I would miss were champagne toasts. I associate sparkling wine with Christmas, when my mother usually hosts a huge, festive feast. For years, one of my jobs as her co-host has be…

When I first quit drinking alcohol, the only thing about it that I feared I would miss were champagne toasts. I associate sparkling wine with Christmas, when my mother usually hosts a huge, festive feast. For years, one of my jobs as her co-host has been to make sure everyone got a glass of champagne as soon as they walked in the door, which meant I spent at least half an hour watching the animated bokeh effect of the bubbles as I made sure the red and clear Waterford cut crystal champagne flutes she uses only once a year didn’t overflow.

As Christmas rolled around the first year that I didn’t drink, nearly a decade ago now, I replaced champagne with sparkling cranberry cider, but it wasn’t the same. Even though I didn’t miss the effects of alcohol, I missed the taste and the fine, tickling bubbles of a decent sparkling wine. Luckily, non-alcoholic sparkling wine making has come a long way in the past ten years, and bubblies without the buzz have improved tremendously. Recently, I had the delightful task of tasting and reviewing over seventeen offerings that are available now for your holiday parties, New Year’s toasts, or whatever you might be celebrating all year long! Here are my recommendations:

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14 Best Cocktail Books for At-Home Mixology

Are you sick of paying $16 for a cocktail and want to learn how to mix drinks at home? Me too! This sounds like the start of an infomercial, but I promise it’s not. It’s a plea to invest in a cocktail book…well, maybe two. Written by bartenders, mixolo…

Are you sick of paying $16 for a cocktail and want to learn how to mix drinks at home? Me too! This sounds like the start of an infomercial, but I promise it’s not. It’s a plea to invest in a cocktail book…well, maybe two. Written by bartenders, mixologists, and bar managers for home bartenders, this lineup of the best cocktail books includes hundreds of recipes, thousands of techniques and tricks for mixing drinks, and pages of fascinating cocktail history. In each book, drinks experts share their go-to spirits for any number of classic cocktails and how to determine what you really like (not what you think you should like).

With a well-stocked home bar and any one of these insightful cocktail books, you’re well on your way to mastering the martini, nailing the Negroni, and feeling victorious with a bottle of vermouth in hand.

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10 Best Nonalcoholic Thanksgiving Cocktail Recipes for the Whole Fam

Thanksgiving dinner isn’t complete without beverages—wine, whiskey, and bourbon may come to mind in some households, plus sparkling water and sodas for anyone not drinking the hard stuff. But there’s a whole category of not-boring nonalcoholic drinks t…

Thanksgiving dinner isn’t complete without beverages—wine, whiskey, and bourbon may come to mind in some households, plus sparkling water and sodas for anyone not drinking the hard stuff. But there’s a whole category of not-boring nonalcoholic drinks that make family-friendly substitutes for Thanksgiving cocktails. Mulled apple cider with cinnamon sticks, orange peel, and fresh ginger is a must, but what about hot chocolate, a cranberry mocktail with Red Bull energy drink, or an apple and maple cocktail made with a nonalcoholic spirit? Here are 10 of the best nonalcoholic Thanksgiving mocktails to make for Turkey Day.


10 Best Thanksgiving Mocktails

1. Perfect Hot Chocolate

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade kicks off the official start of the holiday season, and nothing says “winter is here” like the perfect cup of hot cocoa. Serve homemade hot chocolate—made with both cocoa powder and chocolate pieces—to kids and adults alike after Thanksgiving dinner.

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The Best Non-Alcoholic Amari

As we prepare to go into the holiday season, when huge meals, seasonal parties, and (if you’re me) gorging on Halloween candy become the norm for a few months, those who are avoiding alcohol can rejoice that a wide selection of excellent non-alcoholic …

As we prepare to go into the holiday season, when huge meals, seasonal parties, and (if you’re me) gorging on Halloween candy become the norm for a few months, those who are avoiding alcohol can rejoice that a wide selection of excellent non-alcoholic bitters are now available for after dinner digestives. Traditionally, bitter liqueurs called amari (amaro as the singular) are served as the balancing finale to rich meals, often alongside or in place of dessert. The unique flavor profiles and complexity in each of these zero-proof options hold their own against (and maybe even rival!) their alcoholic cousins. In the tradition of amari, most of which were marketed as “functional beverages” in the 19th and early 20th century, most of these non-alcoholic bitters also claim to have curative effects or to produce feelings of conviviality from adaptogens, nootropics, and vitamin boosts—minus the impairment of alcohol, of course.

Zero Proof Versions of the Classics

In the market for a sweet, baking-spice-forward style like Amaro Lucano or Luxardo Amaro Abano? Sexy AF’s Amar-Oh is a superb blend of sweet cinnamon and star anise, complimented by just enough tart rhubarb and bitter cinchona bark to keep it sophisticated. Amar-Oh has the rich, syrupy mouthfeel of a real amaro, which makes it perfect for sipping straight up or on the rocks, and works so well in so many cocktails, from a simple spritz to a complicated tiki drink that it deserves to be one of your dry bar staples.

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The Best Non-Alcoholic Whiskeys for Every Cocktail

Whiskey (or whisky, depending on the style) is a staple for cold weather cocktails. But until recently, booze-free options were either lackluster—the warm lemonade of a whiskey-less toddy—or literally impossible, like a non-alcoholic Manhattan. Luckily…

Whiskey (or whisky, depending on the style) is a staple for cold weather cocktails. But until recently, booze-free options were either lackluster—the warm lemonade of a whiskey-less toddy—or literally impossible, like a non-alcoholic Manhattan. Luckily, zero-proof whiskey options have exploded over the last few years, but it’s rare to find the non-alcoholic alternative that is one-size fits all. Armed with a cocktail shaker, an array of mixers, and a lot of ice, I set out to test seven whiskey alternatives to find out how they could best replace bourbon, rye, and other whiskeys. Below you’ll find the best non-alcoholic whiskey alternatives for every cocktail. There are some that are “uncanny imitations" that taste just like the real thing; three options that simulate the warmth whiskey gives you when drinking it that will satisfy those looking for heat over all else; and two “impressionists” that don’t taste like whiskey at all, but will satisfyingly scratch the same itch.


The Uncanny Imitations

Spiritless’s Kentucky 74

Photo by Spiritless

Spiritless’s Kentucky 74 is the closest to the real deal you can get. An undeniable blast of charred oak stays with you from first sniff to last swallow, the body and slip are perfect, and rather than using the industry standard capsaicin to imitate the burn of alcohol (more on that later), it has a subtle tongue numbing effect, like sichuan peppercorns. Sweet corn and buttery caramel flavors are present but not cloying, and a sharp kerosene note contributes to its verisimilitude (though becomes unpleasant in cocktails with bitter ingredients like a Manhattan). Kentucky 74 pairs perfectly with mixers and makes I-can’t-believe-it’s-not-bourbon old-fashioneds and mint juleps. This is the one to sip straight or on the rocks for the most accurate bourbon alternative.

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The 8 Best Non-Alcoholic Beers We Know

There’s often a stigma about non-alcoholic beer: It just doesn’t taste like beer. Ask people who’ve had beer stripped of its alcohol, and you’ll hear that it is cloying. The mouthfeel just isn’t right. Or, quite simply, it doesn’t provide the full hopp…

There’s often a stigma about non-alcoholic beer: It just doesn’t taste like beer. Ask people who’ve had beer stripped of its alcohol, and you’ll hear that it is cloying. The mouthfeel just isn’t right. Or, quite simply, it doesn't provide the full hoppy, fruity, complex-flavor experience present in alcoholic beer. The combination of malt, hops, yeast, water, and adjuncts like coffee and fruit creates a multitude of flavors in today’s beer that just hasn’t been possible in non-alcoholic beer.

Until now! According to the Brewers Association, non-alcoholic beer sales are trending upward, and more people than ever are participating in "dry January," a month where drinkers abstain from alcohol. And to keep up, several breweries across the country are investing in new technology to create better non-alcoholic beers, in styles ranging from pilsners and hazy IPAs to fruit beers and chocolate stouts. With so many brews to choose from in this fast-growing category, it can be hard to know where to start. To help, we’ve highlighted some of our favorite non-alcoholic beers below.

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7 Summer-Ready Sips Starring Oranges

We’ve teamed up with California Citrus Growers to pull back the peel and share all the citrus-y wonders of oranges from the Golden State. Here, we’re showing you some of the refreshing sips you can make this summer using juicy, sweet-tart California Va…

We’ve teamed up with California Citrus Growers to pull back the peel and share all the citrus-y wonders of oranges from the Golden State. Here, we’re showing you some of the refreshing sips you can make this summer using juicy, sweet-tart California Valencia oranges. And psst: Did you know that they’re an excellent source of both vitamin C and folate? Pretty sweet.


With summer finally upon us, warmer weather is here to accompany what's shaping up to be a gorgeous and lively few months—and with that comes the arrival of fruity drinks to keep you refreshed throughout. This season, we're turning to the wonderfully tart and sweet nectar of Valencia oranges (they're the best for juicing of the bunch) to complete all of our summer sips. Think: bubbly mimosas, fizzy sherbet coolers, cooling green tea-orange sparklers, and zingy orange and mint gimlets.

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