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6 Days of Gifts: The Villains’ Holiday Guide, Zero-proof

It’s the holiday season and that means one thing: We’re this close to shouting “Deuces!” to the dumpster fire that is 2020!

For the rest of this week, we’ll be sharing items that we think would make great presents for team members, top performers, loyal guests (in-person, delivery or takeout), charity raffles, family, friends…everyone, really. We’ll also highlight a 501(c)(3) nonprofit for those who prefer that form of giving or the numbers and/or websites for resources that support those who are struggling.

There are people all over the country that probably don’t feel like they have much to celebrate and aren’t in the holiday mood. If one has the means, donating to a local charity, sponsoring a family, or providing for struggling employees would be an incredible gesture this year. Just checking in on team members, family, friends, and neighbors with genuine interest—safely, of course—so they know someone cares can go a long way.

Today, we’re featuring alcohol-free items that will make great gifts or raffle prizes this year. Each item is under $50 SRP.

Happy holidays, cheers, and the Villains hope everyone has a safe and healthy December!

Wilderton, $33

Spirits industry veteran and Wilderton founder Brad Whiting and distiller Seth O’Malley have taken a unique approach to this category. First, the distillation method never introduces—and therefore doesn’t have to take the step of removing—alcohol. Raw botanicals are chosen, distillation is combined with processes for making tea and perfumes, and Wilderton Earthen (bold, smoky and spicy) and Wilderton Lustre (bright, citrusy and floral) are the result. The brand says there’s nothing like it on any menu.

Proteau, $19.50

Creator John “JDB” deBary has worked at the award-winning PDT, served as bar director for Momofuku, contributed to PUNCH and, and authored Drink What You Want. Proteau’s two expressions, Ludlow Red and Rivington Spritz, are alcohol-free botanical beverages intended to be enjoyed as aperitifs.

Lyre’s American Malt, $35.99

Brands take different approaches to the zero-proof category. Many create unique flavor combinations designed to offer a completely different drinking experience. Lyre’s, named for a bird capable of mimicking almost any sound they hear, crafts alcohol-free spirits that taste just like their traditional counterparts. American Malt tastes like a premium bourbon and makes a great no-proof Old Fashioned. Learn about other spirits in their range here. As of the time of publication, Lyre’s is “gifting” their Dark Cane Spirit 700ml to anyone making a purchasing through their online store.

Lagunitas IPNA, $10

Image: Lagunitas

“All bite. No bite,” reads Lagunitas’ description of their brand-new alcohol-free India Pale Ale, IPNA. It has taken over a year for Lagunitas to develop IPNA, which is brewed with Citra, Mosaic and CTZ hops from Yakima Valley. IPNA is hop-forward, full-bodied, only 80 calories, and a six-pack costs the same as their famous IPA. (The label reads, “Contains less than 0.5% ALC/VOL,” so some may reject IPNA as zero-proof.)

Seedlip Spice 94 Mycelium Gift Set, $45

Spice 94 is perfect for winter weather. It’s bright and zesty but with warm notes from oak and cascarilla barks, along with allspice berries and cardamom. This gift set highlights Seedlip’s commitment to sustainability: the packaging is made from mushrooms to ensure it’s biodegradable, recyclable and home compostable. Oh, and there’s a highball glass made from 100-percent recycled materials as well.

The holidays are difficult and 2020 has been devastating. Millions of Americans have faced losing their jobs, mental health crises, and substance abuse—each of which needs to be destigmatized. If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol or substance abuse, has a list of resources, such as the phone number for SAMHSA, which is 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

Image: D A V I D S O N L U N A on Unsplash

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