Disclaimer – I was not paid to write this review, but Curious Elixirs did send me some complimentary product with the expectation that I would post about my experience.
Social media is a helluva drug. While having a regular everyday conversation with my wife she brought up the fact that she had seen some advertising for a beverage company called Curious Elixirs. I didn’t even open a search, but for the next two weeks my social feeds were full of advertisements from the company. This didn’t bother me at all. I’d much rather see ads for things that I’m genuinely interested in than whatever prints are currently in fashion for male rompers. Who am I kidding? If a company sent me a complimentary male romper, I’d find a way to spotlight that as well.
Curious Elixirs has done a fantastic job of emphasizing the sophistication and “class” of its drinks. Their website and social ads highlight intricate cocktail presentations, exotic ingredients, and an elegant typeface. If you’ve clicked on this post then you’ll shortly see what I’m talking about. I was very intrigued by their focus on high quality non-alcoholic cocktails (zero proof), so I reached out to the company to see if they were open to sending me a few bottles to try. Mission accomplished.
I received 4 different flavors in the box that arrived at my house. Curious Elixirs leverages a numbering system for their flavors, and I was able to sample No. 1, No. 3. No. 4, and No. 6. To summarize my thoughts…they were awesome! The flavors were bold and nuanced, and I loved having something interesting and complex to sip on at the end of a tough day. I’ll share my thoughts about each of these flavors below in order of my personal preference. Don’t misunderstand the ranking, though. I enjoyed them all.
Curious Elixir No. 3
It’s very hard to pick a favorite, but No. 3 was the right drink at the right time. I had been working outside building a shed on a very hot day, but I made sure that I had a bottle of No. 3 chilled in the fridge along with a special sphere ice cube. What I loved about this cocktail was the spa water vibe that the cucumber and lemon verbena put forward. It was very smooth on the palate when you first sip it, but then there’s a strong kick of floral and bitter notes. I don’t know what the ashwagandha contributes flavor-wise, but it’s supposed to help alleviate anxiety and stress. It worked for me. It was very lightly carbonated, and very refreshing. I served it with a thin slice of lemon.
Curious Elixir No. 6
Curious Elixir No. 6 is a limited release, and it was also the only one that came in an aluminum can. It was advertised as containing coconut, pineapple, citrus, oat milk, and chicory root. Coconut and pineapple was pretty familiar, but the oat milk and chicory root were fun surprises. Someone told me that this mixture is reminiscent of a cocktail called a Painkiller. I dressed it up with a slice of fresh pineapple and grated nutmeg. This was still strong and complex enough to be a sipping beverage, but it was probably the smoothest of the 4 that I tried. It reminded me a little of a pina colada, but a pina colada made by the Odwalla juice company (RIP). It was creamy and a little foamy, and it was more sweet than bitter. The fresh nutmeg on top gave it an eggnog vibe that I really enjoyed as well. It tasted like a special occasion drink and was very fun and tropical.
Curious Elixir No. 1
I’ve heard of a cocktail called a Negroni, but I had no concept of what it tasted like. Curious Elixir No. 1 probably got me as close as I’m going to get, and I thought it was a perfect mingling sipper. The flavor profile is bitter. Surprisingly so. It’s made from a mix of pomegranate and orange juices, lemon peel extract, bitter orange extract, ginseng, fennel extract, and some unspecified herbs and spices. It made me pucker, but the strength forced me to take small sips. The longer it sits on your palate the more the bitter notes evolve into a mulled spice flavor profile. Since it’s not sweet it doesn’t cling to your mouth (like a syrup), but it does provide a nuanced and shifting taste for a while. If you hate pomegranate juice, then you won’t like this, but otherwise I think it’s worth exploring. I garnished with a twist of orange peel which did just enough to highlight some of the more subtle citrus flavors. It also looked really cool.
Curious Elixir No. 4
While this was my least favorite, I would drink it again. Curious Elixir No. 4 has A LOT going on, but quite a bit of it is in the citrus family. There’s blood orange extract, green mandarin extract, but also lemon, grapefruit, non-alcoholic prosecco, holy basil, ginseng, gentian root, and other herbs and spices. I appreciated the complexity and the warmth of the holy basil with the citrus, but overall I found this one to be a bit “pithy”. It had the same aftertaste that you get when you bite into an orange peel. The complexity made this a great candidate for a cocktail party because there’s no way you can chug this quickly. I noticed that No. 4 held a bit more carbonation than some of the others, which I considered a positive. I garnished it with a wheel of orange.
In summary, these were really damn good. Something I forgot to mention earlier is that each bottle is intended to hold 2 cocktails. I shared each one with my wife and I felt like it as the right amount of beverage. Thank you again to the team at Curious Elixirs for providing the samples and your patience while I found the right time to taste and review everything.