In the waning days of the season of spritzes and tiki cocktails, mezcal margaritas, and endless bottles of rosé, I’ve decided to dry out a little. In fact, given the past few months of excessive lockdown drinking, many of us might benefit from some teetotalism—or perhaps more moderate-minded choices. If a late-summer sunset without a cocktail in hand seems too onerous a sacrifice, there’s an expanding selection of virtuous-feeling, low-A.B.V. aperitifs and spirits for one’s wet bar these days.
It’s hardly a surprise that just as our national confidence took a pandemic-induced nosedive—the stock market, employment rates, our bank accounts, too—sales for alcohol of all persuasions have skyrocketed. Americans relied on spirits to lift our spirits, and so we have become a nation of imbibers under lockdown. A daily Negroni certainly did give me bolster: my siren-red beacon as I concluded the workday, however stressful or mundane. But, alas, I’ve re-stocked my bar cart more in the past three months than I do in a single year, and my liver could use a break.