Trying to find something tasty and sans booze for Sober October? Local zero-proof spirit brand Sandhills Elixir has you covered. Inspired by the wild beauty and natural resources of the Nebraska Sandhills, Omaha food scientist Andrew Wassinger strives to provide a refreshing alternative for those desiring virgin cocktails.
To bring his vision to life, Wassinger collaborated with master brewer Chris Hernstrom and co-founder Kyle Arganbright of Bolo Beer Co. According to Wassinger, entering the alcohol-free spirit business made sense. “We looked at the trends in nonalcoholic spirits and discussed how we could complement what Kyle and Bolo were already doing but provide a different lens on different occasions. Maybe it’s a Tuesday night and you’re looking for something enjoyable to drink but have to get up early the next morning.”
Handmade at Bolo Beer Co. since 2021, naturally filtered water from the Ogallala Aquifer is infused with native botanical flavors of the region, including sage, elderberry, and chokecherry, to create a product that stands on its own, melds seamlessly with other ingredients, or adds dimension to cocktails that include alcohol.
Since its inception, the innovative company has added creative and interesting elixir flavors not found in the Sandhills, such as jalapeño, ginger lemon, and cranberry, and collaborations with Omaha bartenders at craft cocktail spot Mercury have morphed into an annual presence at the popular Maha Music Festival.
The easiest way to find the unique spirit is to visit the website, but the product is also stocked behind the bar at restaurants and lounges around Omaha and Lincoln as well as Spirit World and Wine, Beer, and Spirits liquor stores.
Sandhills Elixir, in the form of a premade cocktail, will also be available on tap at Bolo Beer Co. “Moving from beer to a nonalcoholic cocktail instead of water keeps the flavor experience going,” shared Arganbright. It’s a breeze to enjoy a refreshing beverage at home: serve it over ice with sparkling water and a slice of citrus, substitute it for the alcohol in your favorite drinks, peruse the website for easy cocktail recipes, or invent your own.
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