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Opinion: As the Designated Driver I Would Appreciate It if the Hard Seltzer Industry Made a Non-alcoholic Version

As a civil-minded person, I take a lot of pride in doing my part to keep people safe. When my coworkers started going to Killigan’s Irish Pub for Thirsty Thursday every week, I was more than happy to volunteer myself for designated driver duties twice a month. I don’t mind missing out on some of the fun if it’s in the service of preventing my coworkers or other innocent bystanders from becoming statistics.

That being said, it does feel like there are some small changes that could be made that would go a long way toward making people like me feel a lot more included. Hard Seltzer is all the rage right now, and I think it’s high time some of these companies started selling a non-alcoholic version of their product.

What I am proposing is that some of these hard seltzer big wigs release a carbonated unsweetened flavor water that does not contain any alcohol at all. I am almost positive that the technology to do so exists, or is at least within our grasp. It should come in a can, it should have the same cool logo on it as the cans Molly and Jepson drink from (I think there’s something going on between those two) and it should say the words “Doomberry Hard Seltzer: Non-alcoholic.”

Sure, there are technically plenty of options at the bar for people staying sober — there are soft drinks, there are non-alcoholic beers, there is “soda water,” whatever the fuck that is. And sure, back when everyone was knocking back Bud Lites and making Monica Lewinsky jokes, an O’Douls worked just fine to make me feel like part of the group, but that just doesn’t cut it anymore. The American drinking palate has evolved, and it’s about time non-alcoholic options evolved with it.

I only get inappropriately drunk with my coworkers every other week. It’s a huge sacrifice on my part, and has nothing to do with the time I got us all kicked out of Dave & Busters. It should be rewarded.

Frankly, I think they’re throwing away a fortune by not doing this. I could see this stuff catching on, quite frankly. We all need to drink more water, but it gets boring sometimes. I think an unsweetened seltzer, flavored with, let’s say, lime or Pamplemousse, could really catch on with the health-conscious crowd. It could be useful for people trying to cut back on soda and other high-calorie drinks.

I find it pretty surprising that this is not already a wildly successful thing that exists.

Also, it should have some alcohol. Not a lot! I think you’re allowed .03% or something before it’s considered “alcoholic.” Or maybe it’s .04%? Whatever the highest is, do that.