There are all sorts of reasons to drink—to be social, to quell anxiety, because it’s fun and tastes good. Likewise, there are plenty of reasons not to drink (we won’t belabor those here), but more and more options are emerging for people who want to have a night out without wanting to die in the morning.
Spiritless spirits have been on the market for awhile, but Kin Euphorics is claiming to offer more than just a cocktail-like sipping experience. Cofounded by Jen Batchelor and Matthew Cauble, Kin crafts a “social tonic” called High Rhode, which they claim elevates the mood and curbs social anxiety. Made from nootropics, adaptogens, and botanics, High Rhode has eight calories and zero sugar per two-ounce serving, but Batchelor says the drink—which is intended to be a base for cocktails—makes her feel like she’s just completed meditative breath work or engaged in “a really great kiss.”
“Kin uses ingredients that, once stacked with the others, provide a feeling that is greater than the sum of its individual parts,” she says. “It’s called the entourage effect, which makes it both apropos of true social connection and the magic that ensues when you are made better by the people around you.”
Nicolas O’Connor, head mixologist at Apotheke in Chinatown, learned about the stuff when he was tapped to bartend at an alcohol-free party in Hollywood. He liked it so much he decided to incorporate Kin on his summer menu as part of a wellness tonic program.
“Many guests are gravitating toward spiritless cocktails, and the Kin provides a nice base for fresh ingredients, while maintaining its own complexity,” he says.
The Mental Vitality ($12) at Apotheke has fresh beet juice, lime juice, basil, ginger, club soda, and of course, Kin. O’Connor says the hibiscus (a botanic property) and Rhodiola (one of the adaptogen ingredients) drive the High Rhode’s flavor, and the taste reminds him of a bitter Amaro.
The company also just launched a canned, ready-to-drink Kin Spritz, sold in sparkling citrus, hibiscus, and ginger (available for purchased online).
With two products under her belt and three more in the works, Batchelor recalls debuting Kin in L.A. for its first ever beta sampling in fall of 2017. She says two years later the city continues to be a sounding board for the brand.
“The people in L.A. don’t compromise on their well-being, and they’re unapologetic about making good choices for themselves when and how they need to,” Batchelor says. “The entertainment world can be very demanding; it’s a dance of unparalleled individual performance and high-intensity social influence. So, I think the fact that a new option is in the making with Kin—one that allows a community of artists like this to have their cake and drink it too—is very appealing.”
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