by Jessi Minneci | July 10, 2019
The bartender places an elixir of lemon juice, tobacco syrup, vanilla and San Pelligrino Chinotto atop a coaster that reads "0%" in a bold orange hue. A film of condensation beads up over the sherry glass, teasing that inviting first sip. It's a picture-perfect presentation of a post-event libation. But something is missing from this concoction: Ironically -- and intentionally -- it's the booze.
This Prohibition-worthy cocktail, dubbed the Paper Train, is one of many custom drinks offered at Getaway Bar, a cozy venue seating just 25 near the Brooklyn Expo Center in New York. The brainchild of Sam Thonis and Regina Dellea, Getaway has an alcohol-free menu for those choosing not to imbibe, whether for life, for the evening or for the moment. And its not the only outpost for the abstemious. 
The category of consumer dubbed "sober curious" (giving rise to the phenomenon of the sober bar) is sweeping both the leisure and corporate landscapes. According to Paying the Tab by Philip J. Cook, an examination of the costs and benefits of drinking in the U.S., at least 30 percent of Americans choose not to drink alcohol at all, and another 30 percent most will likely stop after a single cocktail while attending an event. In other words, a significant percentage of today's attendees are opting to forgo the spirits. Read more about this food-and-beverage trend at meetings at our Northstar Meetings Group website.