Virginia Beverage Entrepreneur creates a mocktail | Virginia News


By ALLISON WRABEL, Daily Progress

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — After Cecilia Rios Murrieta quit drinking alcohol, she still wanted to participate in the social ritual of drinking — being able to have a drink that made her horny.

So she created Joie Avec Sans, better known as JAS, a brand of non-alcoholic drinks. Pre-orders for his Paloma Libre cocktail have just been launched.

“I really think it was a category of drinks that was missing from our lives,” Murrieta said. “I think it has a lot to do with misconceptions about sobriety, and when we see someone who’s not drinking, we think they’re boring, and they really aren’t. They live in make their best life.

This isn’t the first time Murrieta has dabbled in the beverage world. The now student at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business started a mezcal company in 2012.

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“I fell in love with mezcal and decided to make it my life,” she said.

At first it was a hobby — she discovered mezcal and talked about it with friends. It became a passion for her, she says, and then it became her calling.

“I really like that side of drinks that people relate to – what you drink, what does that say about you?” she said.

Being in the alcohol industry involves a lot of going out and drinking, she says, and over time she began to question her relationship with alcohol. On December 5, 2018, she decided to quit drinking.

“I made a very conscious decision to quit drinking,” she said. “It was a very scary decision, because part of my life, my business, my livelihood, but also my life was at stake, in another sense. I was thinking of applying for an MBA and I was like: how will do all those things I want to do – live the way I really want to live – if I sabotage myself all the time? And so I decided to quit drinking there.

She began devoting more time to herself, doing yoga and learning French, and preparing to apply for graduate school while at home in Mexico City. Murrieta also started thinking about who she was as a person.

“I’m very social – I like hanging out with my friends, I like going to restaurants – and part of that life that I had built in the alcohol industry was going out, meeting people, eating and drink,” she said. noted. “It was my biggest fear to quit drinking, that I was going to miss this.”

When she started dating while sober, Murrieta tried to look for alternative drinks, but she wasn’t thrilled with the options – the non-alcoholic options available were hard to find, expensive or too sweet.

“I felt like something was missing for people who just wanted to go into their fridge and have a drink that made you feel good,” she said.

She said she wanted to feel included, but also excited and empowered by what she was drinking.

“There’s this whole ritual when you go to the beach, or you go to the supermarket and you find drinks that turn you on — you think about who you’re going to share them with,” she said. . “I was thinking about all these little things, like, ‘How can I recreate this excitement for what I’m going to drink, even if I don’t drink alcohol?’ And that’s when the concept of this “joy”, like the joy of living without alcohol, came.

Murrieta met a friend in New York and for two days they tried different extraction methods. Eventually, they settled on a Paloma Libre flavor – based on the classic Mexican cocktail – and decided to create it.

“We bundled these little bottles up by hand and I brought them back with me,” she said. “We did a little tasting with the people. And was it good. »

Darden’s speaker, Damon DeVito, pushed her to create a website and start accepting e-commerce pre-orders. She borrowed her classmate’s can seamer to pack the first batch.

Now ready to scale, the next batch will be made using a contract conditioner – which will create a shelf-stable product and much more.

Pre-orders can be placed on

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