You may have noticed an influx of non-alcoholic offerings at your favorite local watering holes and fine eateries. Most recently, Lindsay Robson of Nickel City Pretty organized Buffalo’s first ever mocktail competition at Hartman’s Distilling Co. If you have found yourself hitching a ride on the teetotaler bandwagon, chances are you have already heard about Curious Elixirs. Each non-alcoholic craft beverage offers an innovative spin on classic cocktail flavors paired with adaptogens that encourage balance and well-being with each sip.
Curious No 3: inspired by modern classics like the cucumber collins, this cocktail is herbaceous and floral, elevated by the power of ashwagandha*. There are 2.5 servings per bottle and 125mg of ashwagandha per bottle so 50mg of ashwagandha greet you in each serving. Ashwagandha is an ancient medical herb classified as an adaptogen which means it could improve energy and help the body manage stress. It can also boost brain function, lower blood sugar, cortisol levels, and may even help to fight symptoms of anxiety and depression.
This beverage contains carbonated filtered water, organic white grape juice concentrate, a blend of alpine herbs, flowers, cucumber, and lemon.
The brand adorably claims Curious No. 3 is the outcome of a hypothetical situation whereby Carthusian Monks and Ayurvedic Masters get together for apértifs in the Alps. Additional ingredients include: angelica root that balances hormones and reduces inflammation and lemon verbena that aids digestion and is rich in antioxidants, in concert with cucumber juice concentrate, lemon peel extract, and organic juniper berry. Additionally, there are only 15 calories in each serving, making for a refreshing and light mealtime companion.
We dropped into Las Puertas to share Curious No. 3 with our friend Chef Victor Parra Gonzalez (a James Beard semifinalist in 2018 and 2019). In the past, Chef Victor provided some excellent food pairings for Curious No. 1 and No. 5. So it was no surprise when he knocked it out of the park once again. Chef Victor likes to blend the Acapulco-based influences of his roots, with classic French techniques to produce unique dishes. Curious No. 3 is a delightful little cucumber number. After we sipped, he suggested a ceviche of Mahi-Mahi dressed in Salsa Negra. He used Chiltepin peppers, which sit on the Scoville Pepper Scale at 60,000-85,000 units. A mere centimeter in length, native to Mexico, and nicknamed the “Gringo Killer,” these peppers are not for the faint of heart. Chile Guajillo salsa is a Mexican sauce made from dried guajillo chiles that are large but thin with bright red skin. Together, you taste a mild kick bearing some natural sweetness and a touch of earthy flavor.
Mahi-Mahi AKA Dorado, or Cryphaena Hippurus, is a fast-growing renewable ocean resource considered sustainable seafood. Chef Victor sliced the brined fish in one smooth motion before delicately placing it among the Chile Guajillo salsa. The final product was rich, tannic, and slightly smoky with a tangy undertone. The cooling light lemon and cucumber composition of Curious No. 3 helped balance the kick of heat brought on by the chilis. We encourage you to visit the Curious Elixirs site to sample their offerings and cook up your ideal food pairing. Let us know what you think!
*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. Those who are pregnant should not consume No. 3 because it contains ashwagandha, and those with specific health issues should consult with their doctors and health professionals before consuming ashwagandha. Read more here on the science behind ashwagandha.
About Curious Elixirs
Curious Elixirs are booze-free craft cocktails, infused with adaptogens to help you unwind. Whether you’re sober or sober curious, toasting your team or sipping solo, Curious Elixirs is on a mission to create the world’s most sophisticated cocktails, without the alcohol. Inspired by classics like the Aperol Spritz, the Spicy Margarita, and the Negroni, every Curious Elixir is handcrafted with organic ingredients and no refined sugar. Our ingredients include adaptogens and plants that benefit your body, helping you relax and destress without the hangover. We offer one-time orders as well as our subscribers-only Curious Cocktail Club to ensure your fridge stays stocked. Order Curious Elixirs online, and have it shipped directly to your door at Curiouselixirs.com.
View other videos in the Bitters series.
Author and host, Michelle Merlo
Photography by Vincent Berbano
Executive Producer, Jessica Marinelli
Special thanks to Chef Victor Parra Gonzalez