After a year of pandemic drinking, there has been a shift in consumers’ attitudes towards alcohol. According to Bacardi’s investigation of fire ambassador for 2020, the zero-percent ABV spirits category received more interest than any other spirits category in 2021 – for the second year in a row.
“This has largely been driven by the growth in sober curious movement and challenges, ”suggests Kerry Benson, MS, RD and Diana Licalzi, MS, RD, referring to ‘Dry January’ and ‘Sober October’. Benson and Licalzi are co-authors of Mocktail fest: 75 plant-based, non-alcoholic recipes for any occasion. They say, “As more people join the movement, mocktails and other non-alcoholic beverages are embraced and accepted as healthier alternatives to alcohol.”
In March 2019, The IWSR predicted that mocktails could further drive the non-alcoholic category. Today, mocktails accurately control the demand for non-alcoholic spirits from both new and notable brands. In the United States last year, IWSR Drinks Market Analysis reports that non-alcohol and low-alcohol products grew in volume by 32.9 percent.
The five best-selling non-alcoholic spirits according to Drinks International Brands Report published in early 2021, is Seedlip, which accounts for 77 percent of their global bars’ first choice, followed by Lyre’s, Everleaf, Aecorn and give away’s. The DI Brand report was also recognized Three spirits and Feragaia as the most popular brands. The increase in these premium, non-alcoholic spirits has provided a quality base for mocktails, which, when mixed with healthy ingredients, negate the added calories, sugars and dehydrating properties of a traditional cocktail.
“I like to experiment with how I can get doses of all the incredibly strong nutrients from plants,” says Stacie Stephenson, DC, CNS and author of Live, a 30-day program based on the principles of functional medicine and a supporter of plant-based mocktails. Stephenson says using ingredients like lime or cranberry juice, ginger and chunks of fresh fruit are ways to increase your intake of phytonutrients (phytonutrients are the chemicals produced by these plants that offer antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits).
Whether you’ve soberly curious, preparing for ‘Dry July’ or just looking for a healthy alternative to nights of the week, Benson, Licalzi and Stephenson share eight summer cocktail recipes below, including the nourishing benefits of the plant-based ingredients.
With this delicious version, you do not need a designated driver, and you get the extra antioxidant boost of vitamin C from lime and grapefruit as well as the soothing, anti-anxiety properties of coriander, which means that this mocktail can make you healthier and happier and without hangovers after tequila. ” – Stacie Stephenson, DC, CNS
Recipe: 6 destemmed coriander sprig; 4 cut coin twigs; 1 cup Seedlip Grove 42; juice of 2 limes; 4 cups freshly squeezed grapefruit juice; 1 lime, cut for garnish.
Method: In a small mixing bowl, mix coriander and mint until fragrant. Add Seedlip Grove 42 and lime juice. Stir. Transfer the mixture to a jug. Add grapefruit juice and fill the jug with ice. Served in margarita glasses with lime garnish. Make a pitcher.
Sweet and calm sangria
“This fruity mocktail bursts with antioxidants from the non-alcoholic red wine, cranberry juice (choose 100% cranberry juice, not the sugary variety), orange juice, apples, plums and oranges. It has vitamin C and other free radicals that destroy antioxidants, as well as flavonoids like resveratrol that have anti-inflammatory, cholesterol-lowering, blood sugar-stabilizing, brain-strengthening properties without straining your liver with alcohol. ” – Stacie Stephenson, DC, CNS
Recipe: 1 bottle Fri non-alcoholic red wine; 4 cups cranberry juice; 1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice; 1 apple (seeds and cubes) 1 plum (stoned and diced) 1 orange (sliced slices). Optional: 1 cup sliced strawberries, blackberries or a combination for more color and sweetness.
Method: Pour non-alcoholic wine, cranberry juice and orange juice into a large jug. Add chopped apples, tarted plums and orange slices to the mixture along with optional berries. Stir. Let steep in the fridge for at least an hour. Served in wine glasses. Make a pitcher.
Innocent gin and tonic
“This non-alcoholic version of the classic summer gin and tonic is even better for you if you choose naturally sweetened tonic water, as common varieties contain as much sugar as soda and can be made with liver taxing of high fructose corn syrup. It is light on the sweet and heavy on the freshly squeezed lime juice, will dose you with immunosuppressive vitamin C as well as calcium and potassium instead of guilt. ” – Stacie Stephenson, DC, CNS
Recipe: 1 cup fresh lime juice; 4 tablespoons agave or honey; 3 cups tonic water of your choice 1 cup Seedlip Spice 94; rosemary twigs for garnish.
Method: In a small saucepan, heat the lime juice to a simmer. Slowly stir in agave or honey until dissolved. Remove from heat and cool completely. Pour the lime juice mixture into a jug. Add tonic water and add ice to the jug, almost filling it. Add Seedlip Spice 94 and stir. Served in cocktail glasses with a rosemary garnish. Make a pitcher.
Apple ginger crush
“This fruity drink is full of soluble fiber which can help keep you regular and also lower cholesterol. It is also loaded with polyphenols with anti-inflammatory properties, so while this mocktail tastes like an orchard in a glass, it is also good for keeping you best this summer. ” – Stacie Stephenson, DC, CNS
Recipe: 4 cups seltzer water; 1/2 cup fresh apple juice; 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed ginger juice; 1 apple, cored and sliced; 5 slices of strawberry; mint or thyme sprig for decoration.
Method: In a large jug, combine seltzer water, apple juice and ginger juice. Stir in slices with apples and strawberries. Let steep in the fridge for at least 20 minutes, then serve over ice cream. Make a pitcher.
This non-alcoholic access to the Painkiller cocktail, a classic and popular tiki drink, delivers fiber, vitamin C and pineapple bromelain. Bromelain is an enzyme that can help reduce inflammation and swelling. ” – Kerry Benson, MS, RD and Diana Licalzi, MS, RD
Recipe: 1 cup fresh or frozen pineapple; 2 cups coconut water; 1/2 cup canned coconut milk; 1/2 cup orange juice; 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar; a few dashes of nutmeg; extra pineapple slices and ground nutmeg for garnish.
Method: Combine all the ingredients in a blender and mix until smooth and frothy. Fill four lowball glasses with ice and divide the mixed mixture among the glasses. Top with nutmeg and garnish with a pineapple wedge. Serves four.
Watermelon Lime Slushie
“This frozen mocktail is the perfect drink to sip on a hot summer day. Coconut water that has electrolytes such as potassium is hydrating and naturally sweet. Watermelon is over 90% water and also provides vitamin C, vitamin A and lycopene, a carotenoid that has antioxidant properties. ” – Kerry Benson, MS, RD and Diana Licalzi, MS, RD
Recipe: 5 cups watermelon, cubed and frozen for at least 3 to 4 hours; 1 cup coconut water 1/2 cup lime juice; few streaks of salt; glue slices for decoration.
Method: Combine all the ingredients in a blender. Blend on high until well combined. Divide the mixed mixture between four lowball or margarita glasses. Garnish with lime slices. Serves four.
Ginger-flavored kombucha acts as a nourishing and functional replacement for ginger beer, one of the main components of a Moscow mule, in this mocktail. Instead of a sugar-laden drink, sip one filled with probiotics [which may be beneficial for gut health]. ”- Kerry Benson, MS, RD and Diana Licalzi, MS, RD
Recipe: 2 cups ginger-flavored kombucha; 1/4 cup lime juice; 2 cups seltzer; limestone wedges for decoration.
Method: Combine all the ingredients in a jug. Stir. Fill four copper mugs with ice and divide the mixture between the glasses. Garnish with lime wedges. Serves four.
Sweet wine-not Slushie
“When mixed with coconut water, lemon juice and apple cider vinegar, you get a perfectly sweet, non-alcoholic slushie that tastes like it was made with wine. Plus, since it is made with grapes, this recipe provides fiber with no added sugar. ” – Kerry Benson, MS, RD and Diana Licalzi, MS, RD
Recipe: 4 cups frozen green grapes (you can buy fresh grapes and store them in the freezer for at least four hours); 2 cups coconut water; 1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons lemon juice; 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar; 2 cups is.
Method: Combine all the ingredients in a blender. Blend high until the ingredients are well combined. Divide the mixture between four cooled stemless wine glasses. Serves four.