Dry January may or may not be your thing, but it looks like mocktails are going to pick up a lot of steam in 2020. Pushed by lower drinking rates among Gen Z-ers and some millennials, plus a beverage industry that’s awash in craft mixers and low- to no-proof options, a new trend is afoot that’s seeing mocktails slide into prominence.
As much as we love to imbibe in Louisiana, having an arsenal of great tasting non-alcoholic options is a win for everyone. It’s a great way to trim calories, stay safe on the road, protect your health and create an even experience for underage diners and pregnant women. Modern bartenders who know what they’re doing shouldn’t balk at a request for a mocktail. Even if the bar or restaurant doesn’t offer a set mocktail menu, just describe the flavor profile you prefer and let them get creative. Good bartenders will see this as a challenge and will know just how to balance the absence of alcohol with juices, mixers, non-alcoholic beer, apple cider, cold brew and other ingredients.
Mocktails are fun to make at home, especially with such an abundance of fresh, local citrus still around. You can also turn to craft mixers, including those offered under The Cocktail Experiment, a local retail line developed by Olive or Twist co-founder Josh Duke that includes mixers, syrups and bitters. Look for them at local supermarkets and liquor stores.
Maggie Heyn Richardson is a regular 225 contributor. Reach her at hungryforlouisiana.com.