Limitless Options for the Sober Curious

Jan 13, 2020Beverages, Categories

It’s that time of year again – ‘Dry January‘!

When all your friends and family make a decision to not drink alcohol for 31 days! If you have friends like mine, they normally don’t make it past day 7 (see below…). However, nowadays the variety of non-alcoholic options rivals alcoholic options.

Foregoing drinks on a night out is no longer restricted to the teetotalers or pregnant. Nor are they limited to a strawberry daiquiris or glorified limeades. We live in a time when we want to customize our lives – and our drinks – for what feels right to them. Country-wide, bartenders are taking on the challenge to create premium, high-end, and BOLD ‘mocktails’.

“A growing number of people are not drinking or not drinking as much, as part of a healthier lifestyle. Complex, multi-component, non-alcohol drinks that go beyond fruit punch are going to be seen on cocktail lists and going forward as the wellness trend shows no signs of stopping.”

-David Olson, beverage manager Root & Bone NYC and Miami

‘Mocktails’ appealed to me in 2019 as I was pregnant for the last nine months of the year! I live to go out and try new cocktails, so having to refrain was difficult – to say the least.

During this time, when I asked for a mocktail I got asked in return: “What flavors do you like? or “What do you want it to taste like?” I responded with, “I want it to taste like a cocktail. I want complex notes in there, something smoky, or herbal, nothing too sweet.” (I clearly work at a flavor house!) Few bartenders were able to execute well. But to their credit, it can be incredibly difficult to add flavor nuances without alcohol. And not everyone wants their ‘mocktail’ to taste like an actual cocktail: some want something fruity or something just light and refreshing.

Trekking for ‘Tails

Curious how ‘mocktails’ appeared in Cincinnati, we packed up and explored our hometown. Here is a quick video to highlight our experience:

Keep Your Eye Out For:

  1. Bold flavors: coriander, saffron, and beets
  2. Spicy profiles: serrano, habanero, cayenne,jalapeno
  3. Leverage unique citrus: blood orange, yuzu, pomelo
  4. Botanicals and florals: lemongrass, elderflower, and hibiscus

“People are starting to pay attention to sexy virgin drinks. It’s a great way to hydrate with style during a long night of drinking or a posh fix to your New Year’s resolution to put down the bottle for a bit”

– Nick Rini, head bartender of Refinery Rooftop, NYC



1 Comment

  1. Jeff Teague

    Dear Savannah, Congratulations on your baby!!

    Really nice job on this subject –

    Best regards,


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