California-Made Libations for Sipping and Mixing

Try one of these homegrown brands the next time you need a splash of liquid comfort



Whenever the day after Covid-19 comes, you know you’ll want to greet it with a drink in hand. And what a drink it will be. Judging by everyone’s Instagram feeds, our attention is turning inward; the home and its pantry have become focal points, and the bar cart and the beverage fridge aren’t to be left out. By supporting the following Californian businesses, you can refresh your beverage collection and gear toward the better days with refreshing teas, smart cocktail mixers and delicious potions made in Los Angeles, Sebastopol and beyond.


Enter Potli, which calls San Francisco home, is owned by best friends Felicity Chen and Christine Yi. Their gorgeous hemp-infused apple cider vinegar nicely lends itself to drinks and morning rituals. After all, wellness gurus have long touted the health benefits associated with drinking small amounts of vinegar regularly.


Based in Sebastopol and founded by a husband and wife team of apple growers, Little Apple Treats offers organic apple cider vinegar infused with tarragon and anise hyssop, and shrubs (aka a nonalcoholic drink made using fruits, aromatics, sugar and vinegar) with interesting ingredients like green coriander and blood orange. Or try sipping on a nonalcoholic botanical “essence” by vodka distillery Our/Los Angeles, who partnered with local farms to create the six-flavor series. With just three ingredients, each is a nice base for a cold mixed drink, with or without alcohol.


Lastly, for a summertime version of high tea, look no further than Kollo, a Los Angeles-based collection of bottled brew teas. Founder Nicole Dean, a former biotech maven, had envisioned a precise combination of unsweetened tea and high-quality glass bottles; black, oolong and green are currently available, ready to be infused with simple syrup and sipped on ice, as you look out the window and ponder the day after.


A new category of sophisticated, grown-up alcohol-free beverages is on the rise. Seedlip, a Los Angeles-based “nonalcoholic spirit” offers the herbal, bitter-sweet mouthful synonymous with cocktails, minus the ABV. Trust in the agricultural knowledge of founder Ben Branson, who comes from a lineage of pea farmers, and choose from three options; refreshing Garden, zesty Grove and aromatic Spice, and serve with garnishes and a sprinkle of tonic (for cocktail ideas, head to the brand’s website).


Proteau, a brand of nonalcoholic aperitifs made with botanicals and fruit, is another chic option for a hangover-free predinner sip. Featuring over eight varieties of roots, flowers and spices, its inaugural beverage Ludlow Red was created by John deBary, the former bar director for the Momofuku restaurant group and the author of an upcoming cocktail recipe book. And if it’s the small-batch cocktail vibe you’re after, try Monk, drinking botanicals and shrubs from San Francisco, with flavors like Turmeric Lemon, Grapefruit Cayenne and Rosemary Orange Peele. The bottles are perfectly sized for individual consumption.



Feature image: All botanical essences by OUR/LOS ANGELES feature hand-illustrated label artwork by local artist ERIC JOHNSON.


April 7, 2020

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