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Spirit-free cocktail culture meets community at Current Wellness

IMPORTANT NOTE: Raleigh Convergence is no longer publishing, as of April 1, 2022. Read more.
The teaching kitchen at Current Wellness

When you pull a stool to the welcoming wooden bar at Current Wellness and hear the tumble of ice in the shaker, you’re about to receive not just a delicious beverage, but a cocktail lesson.

These cocktails happen to be spirit free.

You might know Current Wellness for its inclusive fitness classes or co-working space for mental and physical health practitioners. But it also has a teaching kitchen, the site of the new Wellness Bar.

What to expect: Every Saturday from 2-6 p.m., Current Wellness hosts a Wellness Bar.

An $8 reservation gets you a spirit-free cocktail, a snack, and new knowledge. You can make a reservation on the Mindbody website.

Walk-ins are accommodated as space is available.

Zero proof cocktail consumption is a growing trend, not limited those who choose not to imbibe alcohol anytime. Current Wellness’ owners began offering mocktails to foster community after outdoor classes began last year, but began offering spirit-free cocktail lessons last Saturday, March 20.

Nathan Williams makes a Strawberry Burns.

Recently on the menu

Offerings will change, but here’s what was offered recently at the Wellness Bar:

Strawberry Burns, a shrub cocktail. It combines State Farmers Market strawberries with the shrub drinking vinegar, ginger, mint grown on site and sparkling water.

Billows & Thieves, Oaxacan-style:

Besides its refreshing taste, a shrub has other benefits, says Nathan.

A shrub aids digestion, and primes the body for nutrient absorption.

Billows & Thieves, Oaxacan-style: Adapted from a cocktail recipe in zero proof cocktail evangelist Julia Bainbridge’s “Good Drinks: Alcohol-Free Recipes for When You’re Not Drinking for Whatever Reason.”

The recipe includes fresh grapefruit juice, lemon juice, cold brew concentrate, and Bittermilk No. 6, plus nutmeg and smoked sea salt. The result is a balanced spirit-free cocktail, served in a coupe glass.

Stacey’s Jungle Bird, from Triangle creative Stacey Sprenz, includes nonalcoholic spirit Lyre’s Italian Orange, fresh juices and Rizzo bitters from Raleigh’s Crude Bitters.

Snacks included fried local red peanuts with chilis, garlic and lime leaves, or (Shrimp) Sausage Dip, made with shrimp sausage from Locals Seafood.*

Building community through experience

Co-founder Brit Guerin says they plan to incorporate art, music, film or other creative elements onto the Wellness Bar in the future.

You’re not just consuming a drink, but consuming an experience, she said.

There’s a wellness shop with candles and athleisure, which is open during cocktail sessions.

It’s one of many elements to Current Wellness’ community. Outdoor, indoor and online movement classes are available.

The movement studio at Current Wellness

In the water-themed rooms in the wellness center, there’s space for chiropractic treatment, massage therapy, physical therapy and mental health counseling from practitioners.

They also launched the East Street Run Club on Wednesday nights in late December and hosts different events regularly, such as a spring outdoor pop-up at Union Station on Saturday, March 27.

Brit and Nathan emphasized: They want to build community through Current Wellness, and the spirit-free cocktail lessons are just one way they’ll continue to engage with their Downtown Raleigh community.

Find it: 219 S. East Street, online at currentwellnessraleigh.com.

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*Editor’s note: Updated to clarify the ingredients. The shrimp sausage is from Locals Seafood, the dip is made by Nathan Williams.

Author: raleighconvergence

Sarah Day Owen Wiskirchen is the editor of Raleigh Convergence.

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