Ooh, say what? Say what? Say what? Yeah
Ooh girl, you know, what’s up? (Oh)

Ooh, say what? Say what? Say what? (Ooh)
Ooh girl, you know, what’s up?

The smooth sound of Donell Jones lent a hip upbeat vibe. It, coupled with the classic California sun shining on Ellison’s rooftop patio, ensured it would be the hot spot for his Saturday afternoon party. He adjusted the misting systems and seating arrangements, ensuring each had enough umbrella shade. Satisfied, he went over to chat with Andy, the bartender, “everything looks good. Do you have enough ice? I’m headed downstairs.”

“Umm, yes, I think my set-up is complete. I’m going to eat lunch now, so I’m ready for your guests.”

“Oh, do you always eat before parties.”

Andy nodded, “yes, I need the energy for all the hours of standing and pouring. The right food helps me maintain my blood sugar levels so I don’t get grouchy. I make a big Vegan Chopped Power Salad with Cilantro dressing, which usually gets me through to the end of the gig.”

“Good to know. How are the supplies of the beverages?

“I checked the order against what is here, and all of it arrived. I noticed there’s no alcohol on the list. This is my first alcohol-free party, and I’m glad you hired me. I have been bartending for about ten years and have seen a lot of sad situations due to alcohol.”

Ellison nodded, “My friends and I have been moving in that direction for about a year now. As the wellness movement gains traction, more people think about protecting and improving their health. Not drinking alcohol is one way. And there’s a World Health Organization report that says the number of alcohol drinkers in the world has decreased by nearly five percent since 2000. What’s interesting about the timing is my girlfriend doesn’t drink alcohol. She stopped a couple of years ago and doesn’t miss it. She turned me on to Seedlip.”

“I love making mocktails with Seedlip. My cosNOpolitan and Grove Margarita are very popular. Both are refreshing, especially on a hot day like today.”

“Cool. When the party starts, I want to try a margarita,” Ellison headed to the stairs and ran into Vanessa, “hey, you’re just in time. I’m going to shower and change, but go up and meet Andy; she introduced me to some of her mocktails.”

“Really? First things first,” she said as she kissed him. “I brought CleanCo to add to the bar. If anyone wants a Clean No-Jito, I brought the clean Vodka. It’s the perfect cold drink for a hot party once you add Clean V to crushed mint, lime, apple juice, and club soda. I also brought Clean Rum to make a clean-a Colada for a yummy creamy drink. CleanCo’s beverages are all sugar-free, less than 15 calories per serving, non-alcoholic, and best of all hangover-free.”

“I like the term clean when describing non-alcoholic drinks. It’s a great way to bridge the idea of clean living with wellness and self-care,” said Ellison. “I ordered Kin Euphorics. They make alcoholic-free products that, in their words, help you find balance without the anxiety, hangover, empty calories, or eventual crash. I ordered several bottles of their Dream Light. It was created as a nightcap, so we’ll bring it out towards the end of the party. It’s pretty chill.”

“I saw their High Rhode on a restaurant non-alcoholic drink list recently. Judy and I ordered it with our lunch. We had a mellow experience.”

“I’m glad to hear that because my mom stopped drinking and is self-conscious about going to a restaurant and ordering a non-alcoholic drink. This will help her understand there’s a growing sober population, and most restaurants and bars are getting adept at responding to their drink requests. I better go and get ready; the guests will be here soon.”

Vanessa brought her bottles to the bar, “hi Andy; I’m Vanessa; I brought some CleanCo rum, vodka, tequila, and gin for the party in case anyone requests it.”

“Nice to meet you. These are welcome additions. Ellison also ordered Athletic-Lite, a non-alcoholic beer, a lite brew. And we have a case of Surely Wine. The makers created a non-alcoholic beverage for people who like the taste of white, red, and rose wine without the sluggish feeling you can get from drinking wine, and it’s gluten vegan and keto-friendly.”

“Wow, I bet Surely wine will surely be a hit today. I see cases of Curious Elixirs too. Shaken, not slurred is their witty motto and sends a healthy message. I read a review from Refinery29; Curious Elixirs are non-alcoholic cocktails perfect for sober people or non-sober people who want to cut back on their drinking but not their partying.”

“That is what I am talkin about,” said Andy. “People are eager to connect, especially after the shutdown from the pandemic. Most want to meet at gatherings that are less about alcohol and more about getting together, having a good time, and not paying for it the next day.”

  Vanessa nodded, “you know what’s great about these drinks? Most ingredients are already in your kitchen. There’s no end to the concoctions you can create at home that are a new and exciting way to drink.”


Annie and LJ are a fictional couple. Their storyline promotes healthy eating and earth-friendly practices.


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