THE DRAMATIC GROWTH OF NON-ALCOHOLIC COCKTAILS
HOLLYWOOD (Spiritsman) 6/16/19—At a recent luncheon at the REDBIRD in Los Angeles we were introduced to the concept of non-alcoholic cocktails becoming increasingly popular at bars and restaurants. There is a company from London leading the charge called Distill Ventures, and according to the company 83% of bar managers in the Los Angeles area are convinced non-alcoholic drinks are part of a growing trend. About 40% of restaurants in Los Angeles now offer non-alcoholic drinks on the menu, but in London it is as high as 55%,
As far as bartenders are concerned, the amount of work that has to go into preparing these drinks is similar to the effort involved in regular cocktails. Prices are also about the same, but there is no easy way unfortunately to patent a name for the creation of a new non-alcoholic drink. If you are in the company of people actually drinking normal cocktails, your non-alcoholic version looks the same. tastes the same and has the same garnishment. As their talk gets louder and louder, you remain sober and have no worries about driving home buzzed with the obvious pitfalls and problems that could occur.
Time of day is also an important factor to consider as with these kind of drinks the cocktail hour can be early in the morning right up to the last round up at night, and not squeezed in between 5-7 pm in the evening. However from a bartenders perspective, these drinks are actually harder to concoct than regular cocktails. Aroma and taste tends to be a bit of a challenge hence the enhance use of chili, citrus or bitters in these drinks.
Other ingredients that bartenders have to focus on are cold brew coffee, ambient-brewed teas, kombuchas & ferments, shrubs, home made cordials and syrups. The market has also seen an explosion lately of non-alcoholic spirits and aperitifs. The biggest challenge that bartenders face however in making these drinks is the taste, because alcohol tends to force the drinker into sipping the drink. When consumers start making non-alcoholic cocktails at home then we will see the genre really take off as more and more brands move in that direction. The big worry that the people behind Distill Ventures have is that too many brands and bartenders might jump on the bandwagon with too many poor quality drinks harming the reputation.
If you are a bartender and are reading this for more info on the program or for some recipes you can try go to
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