onday founder Chris Boyd came up with the idea for the product while celebrating his birthday at the bar with his friends.
“It was Sunday night and the bartender was a magician, serving up some amazing beverages. But after a couple, despite how much I was enjoying the goods, I stopped and switched to water. Everyone wondered why, and I said, ‘because tomorrow is Monday and I’ve got stuff to do that I want to do well.’”
In his hometown of San Diego, one of the world’s capitals of craft liqueur, he figured he probably could.
Later on, he ran into his friend Ben (now co-founder of Monday) at the gym and shared his idea. Ben’s eyes lit up, as he was a gin fan but also a serial entrepreneur with no time for hangovers. A few weeks later, Monday was born, and was producing small batches of craft alcohol-free liquor. “We’ve been serving the sober curious ever since,” says Boyd. The founders like to go against the grain and do things like looking forward to and crushing Mondays.
Ben and Chris don’t make any claims about the health benefits of their drink, but believe that the best parts of Monday are all about what’s not in their liquid. In addition to lacking alcohol, the drinks are without sugar, calories, carbs, gluten, or most common allergens but still aim to offer a complex taste. They’re designed for people to drink them straight or mix them into cocktails. You can order individual bottles from their website or subscribe for monthly delivery. They also offer gifts such as cocktail sets, which include Monday spirits and cocktail making supplies, so your sober drink can be ‘shaken, not stirred.’
The founders say the best part of their startup’s journey is being floored by the interest level. “Our customers are eighteen through eighty-five, from all walks of life, but have the common bond of avoiding alcohol, at least for a point in time, but still crave to be in the in-crowd drinking booze at the bar.”
They’ve created a blog on their site that shows off creative recipes and reviews books and products related to virgin cocktails and the trendy yet sober life.
They say that drinking alcohol has remained a part of many cultures around the world because it’s often a communal ritual that brings people together. However, rituals can shift and change over time, as has happened with smoking, jogging, and eating more plant-based foods. Ben and Chris go so far as to suggest that the idea you need to drink alcohol in order to be grown-up is a myth on par with how one’s grandparents walked uphill both ways in the snow to get to and from school.
According to Monday’s website, “a cultural shift is underway—a mindset toward self-care, staying sharp, and living life without compromise. This is not a trend—this is a movement that refuses to choose between good health and great taste.”
Both Chris and Ben receive dozens of emails, texts, social media comments, and other customer feedback daily filled with stories of lives changed for the better by drinking less alcohol. That’s what pushes them forward towards building a world where alcohol is always optional.
“We believe anyone considering their young category [of alcohol-free cocktails] has taken one brave step forward towards better drinking decisions for their health and lifestyle. And we want to reward them for it by offering them something delicious, complex, and familiar.”