Cocktails are everywhere, we’re seeing an explosion of them: social media emblazoned with stunning glasses full of colour and style, people queuing at the bar for the latest creations, cocktails, it seems are big on social media.
Can it really be the fashion of the moment when over 20 percent of Brits don’t drink? 20.4% of survey respondents reported that they did not drink alcohol at all. Source ons.gov.uk
Young people aged 16 to 24 years in Great Britain are less likely to drink than any other age group —They are the trend drivers and while some companies might see this as a problem, some see it as an opportunity.
“So many people are choosing ‘Low or No’ alcohol, it maybe the fear of looking bad on social media or maybe the general need to feel ‘in control’” Says Chris Bax, director of Bax Botanics, “It’s a turbulent world out there and Millennials are showing us a great work ethic and a desire to do good things.”
This generation don’t want to look drunk and foolish, they are intelligent and ‘on it’ wanting alcohol-free drinks that deliver flavour and sophistication.
Peter Fawcett who owns Field and Fawcett Drinks Co. is interested in this new sector of the market and met the Bax’s – Chris and Rose have taught about plants and flavours in their Yorkshire woodland for 15 years, they have plant knowledge extending from wild to cultivated and medicinal to culinary.
Peter thought that the drinks would be simple and one dimensional, with no oooh or aaah…at the end of the day, but through botanical alchemy the pair have mimicked the satisfaction given by an alcoholic spirit. This passion for nature and two creative brains was the starting point for their alcohol-free spirits.
He said, “the question was one of taste, would these alcohol-free spirits have lingering flavours comparable to their alcoholic counterparts?” He was sceptical but then the aromas – bright, herbal, rounded… he thought there was hope… “there’s no alcohol,” he mused “but the flavours are really complex, rather like a good wine lingering and fulfilling, with multiple layers of taste.” Impressed he is now distributing Bax Botanics.
These drinks are designed to be drunk with mixers, primarily tonic, but are proving of interest to cocktail bars.
Kelly Harrison, ‘Creative Bar Wizard’ at The Botanist, says “I love the branding, I love the taste, It’s definitely set a great standard” she has created a unique zero-proof cocktail showcasing Bax’s Verbena for the launch of the Botanist’s speakeasy ‘Beneath’
“Quite often, no one knows the difference. At the end of the day,” she says, “If we can celebrate flavour and enjoyment without always relying on alcohol, then we should do it.”
“When I drink zero-proof cocktails in between regular ones, hanging out with friends for four or five hours is easy”.
Customers who don’t want alcohol should be able to have something special. There are many reasons why people choose not to drink, it may be to keep sharp and on top form, or it could be health, allergies or religion. Most of the alternatives out there are less sweet, low-calorie and are pretty cool.
Researchers have found that young people today are drinking less than their counterparts 10 or 15 years ago. The decline is most significant in teens, but also present among adults in their 20s. The same trend has been recorded in several European countries, the USA and Australia. Source – The inquirer philly.com
“it used to be that If you weren’t drinking in a bar, you were odd,” Kelly Harrison says. “But now it’s every other person. People come for the food, for the socialising.”
Young people are very conscious of how they look. The same goes for their drinks. A beautifully crafted alcohol-free cocktail looks great on Instagram — it might seem pricey but that’s because the ingredients like exotic fruits and juices, garnishes and products like Bax Botanics don’t come cheap. There’s a lot of work involved too, the bartenders crafting of the drink is a skill that should not be overlooked, the balancing of flavours and beautiful presentation.
Looking forward, the excitement created by Bax Botanics and others in the sector predicts an exciting future for Alcohol-free drinks, one which will surely grow with the younger generations and their influence in forthcoming years.