It’s Mocktail Hour

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Move over, Shirley Temple and Arnold Palmer. You’ve both had a good run, but people need more from their mocktails today. It’s time to celebrate the soft cocktail – a sophisticated nonalcoholic choice for discerning tastes.

These drinks won’t get you buzzed, but they will get you buzzing about their interesting flavor profiles and complex structures. Some even use distilled nonalcoholic “spirits.” Above all, they excite the palate. That’s why a top bars and restaurants around the world, enticing nonalcoholic options are on the menu – and finding an audience thirsty for more.

 

“AN ARTISTIC DRINK IS AN ARTISTIC DRINK WHETHER IT HAS ALCOHOL IN IT OR NOT, AND BOTH WITH CHILL YOU OUT” – PHILIP DUFF

 

A Movement in the Making

Nearly a third of American adults don’t drink alcohol. Another third have less than one drink a week¹. That’s a huge, long-untapped market for bars and restaurants that want to offer something more specialized than water, soda or tea. (An added bonus: Specialty drinks cost more, whether they’re spiked or not.)

Plus, many people who enjoy alcoholic drinks welcome mocktail alternatives in certain situations. Like, for example, when entertaining a client on a weeknight ahead of an early morning meeting. And let’s not forget the designated drivers of the world. Who deserves to have their taste buds tickled more than they do?

 

To Your Health

Millennials and younger generations are eating—and drinking—better than previous ones. They eat more vegetables and fruits, and they’re focused on balanced, sustainable eating. They’re also worldlier and open to flavors from other cultures. That’s inspiring mixologists to create boundary-pushing drink menus using fruits, seeds, leaves and more.

 

On Ice, So Nice

Patrons looking for a mocktail no longer have to draw attention to their drink choices (which often invites pressure to drink from others). Instead, at places like Manhattan hot spot American Whiskey, they can point to the menu and ask for the Swan Cup (a mix of lime juice, mint, cucumber and strawberry flavors offered alongside alcoholic choices like the She Wolf and The Oak).

And while alcohol drinkers have a wealth of food-pairing opportunities—bourbon that draws out the smoky flavor of steak, or a light chardonnay to go with seafood—nondrinkers haven’t seen the same care and attention. Until now.

Last year, Oriole, a Chicago restaurant with two Michelin stars and a wine-and-cocktail-pairing list, hired mixologist Julia Momose to concoct “creative spirit-free beverages made to perfectly complement the menu.” Momose explained to the Chicago Tribune² that her parents don’t drink, but she “would love for them to go to any place I work to have the same full experience of carefully thought-out, researched and developed drinks.”

 

Soft Targets

Of course, soft cocktails will never replace their alcohol-filled cousins at the bar, but they can complement them. Everyone deserves a glass of something worthy of being raised. As spirits expert Philip Duff told The New York Times³, “An artistic drink is an artistic drink whether it has alcohol in it or not, and both will chill you out.”

Tropics all-natural mixers offer a wide range of bold flavors perfect for building your own nonalcoholic menu.

 

 

Pineapple Mint Soda Mocktail

In shaker, combine:

6 oz ice
2 oz Tropics Mixology Orange Pineapple, thawed
2 oz Tropics Mixology Mojito, thawed

Secure lid and shake vigorously for 20 seconds.
Pour contents into a collins glass, top with 4 oz mineral water and garnish with a mint sprig or pineapple wedge. Enjoy!

 

 

Sources:
¹https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2014/09/25/think-you-drink-a-lot-this-chart-will-tell-you/?utm_term=.836aa44d1d3a
²http://www.chicagotribune.com/dining/drink/ct-bartender-julia-momose-goes-non-alcoholic-oriole-story.html
³https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/30/travel/non-alcoholic-cocktails-mocktails-bars-london-new-york-paris.html