With an increasing number of young people moving away from alcohol in favour of low and no alcohol options, reducing intake or even going tee-total is now being seen as a wellness choice without having to compromise on flavour or quality, rather than an anti-social decision.
From popular brands releasing alcohol-free versions of their top products to new start-ups offering artisanal low alcohol and zero ABV drinks, the demand for reduced alcohol options is ever increasing.
In fact, according to the International Wines and Spirits Record (ISWR), the low and no alcohol market is set to grow by a huge 34% by 2024.
With so many new options now available, it can be confusing to know which drinks to go for when out with friends, and particularly when you’re trying to impress a romantic interest.
When meeting someone for a first date, your choice of drink can say a lot about you so, of course, you’ll want to put your best foot forward and order the trendiest tipples.
The London Essence Company enlisted the help of an expert mixologist to share the best alcohol-free drinks for your tee-total date.
With 10 years of experience at London’s very best bars, from The Savoy to City Social, there isn’t much about cocktails that Andrea Brulatti, London Essence Prestige Brand Ambassador, doesn’t know:
“When it comes to low and no alcohol cocktails, the bar has really been raised over the last few years. So, if you or your date don’t drink, or perhaps you just fancy reducing your alcohol intake, there are loads of great options to try.”
“One of my favourite bars for low ABV drinks is the award-winning Connaught Bar. Based on the ground floor of The Connaught Hotel, they are world famous for making some of the most innovative, exciting and delicious drinks with and without alcohol.
One thing I like about the Connaught Bar is that the low alcohol and alcohol-free drinks are blended into the menu alongside all the others, so if you’re tee total but your date isn’t, you don’t feel like you’re missing out.”
Here are three of Andrea’s favourite zero proof cocktails available at the Connaught Bar:
This was the most recent alcohol-free cocktail I’ve had and I’m still thinking about it!
With exotic flavours inspired by the many travellers who have graced the Connaught Bar over the years, this cocktail is made with a base of Bourgoin verjus (a tart, non-alcoholic grape juice).
Other ingredients include clarified berries and yoghurt, which are then topped with London Essence White Peach and Jasmine Soda. Absolutely delicious!
This cocktail takes its inspiration from the very floor of the Connaught Bar itself – an iconic catwalk of elegant marble that is recreated in your glass.
Made with ginseng and bergamot kombucha, Osmanthus honey cordial and alcohol-free Sauvignon Blanc juice, this taste sensation is as far away as possible from the unsophisticated ‘mocktails’ of yesterday.
- Iron Lights
Served in a coupe glass, the sculpted ice in this cocktail refracts the light that shines on it, mirroring the playful luminosity of the Connaught Bar itself from sunrise to sundown.
Made with Aecorn Dry (a floral and herbaceous non-alcoholic spirit), this cocktail combines the contrasting flavours of fermented coconut and lime sherbet.
How to make impressive alcohol-free cocktails at home
For those who really want to impress a date, as many of us do, making your own alcohol-free cocktails at home is the ultimate move.
While this might seem intimidating, creating drinks that are high in quality and low in alcohol is easier than you may think.
The London Essence Company has a range of impressive, yet easy to make no-alcohol recipes.
For a refreshingly elegant tipple, why not try the Faux 75:
- 30ml fresh lemon juice
- 30ml sugar syrup
- London Essence Blood Orange & Elderflower tonic
- Measure a portion of cubed ice into a chilled highball glass, before pouring over 30ml freshly squeezed lemon juice.
- After this, stir in the same amount of sugar syrup, and top up with London Essence Blood Orange & Elderflower tonic water, to your taste.
- Lastly, for a luxurious finishing touch, add a sprig of fresh basil to your Faux 75, adding a delicate herbaceous note.
For more delicious and simple cocktail recipes from the ‘Mosc-no Mule’ to the ‘Zero Proof Bellini’, take a look at the London Essence mocktail recipe section.
So, why are alcohol-free drinks so popular at the moment? Industry expert, Dan Dove, founder of Global Bartending Talent Agency, explains where this trend has come from.
Dan says, “From the increased visibility of alcohol-free options in bars and supermarkets to the slew of great new options that have sprung onto the scene recently, there are many factors that have led to this seemingly sudden popularity of low alcohol drinks.”
“As well as the steadily growing wellness movement that is inspiring people to make healthier choices, with 18 months of clubs being shut and bars only opening intermittently, a lot of people have simply got used to life without hangovers. For many, the next morning’s hangover is no longer considered worth the night of heavy drinking when you can have just as much fun seeing friends and drinking some delicious low and no ABV drinks.”
Ounal Bailey of The London Essence Company, says: “It goes without saying that at London Essence we’ve always been huge fans of high-quality alcohol-free drinks so it’s great that the world is finally catching up!”
“While we’ve got the tonics, sodas and gingers covered, it’s really encouraging to see the wide range of low and no-alcohol spirits, beers and cocktails that have developed over the last few years, meaning that there’s more choice for discerning customers.”
“At home or on a night out, whether you’re consciously reducing your intake, or just don’t fancy alcohol that day, it’s great that people are starting to realise it’s worth paying a little bit extra for a deliciously crafted alcohol-free drink, rather than just a juice or a cola. With so many fantastic options right now, there’s no reason to miss out on the fun!”
For The London Essence Company’s easy and delicious non-alcoholic cocktail recipes, visit: https://www.londonessenceco.com