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Kali Mireva

Low-Alcohol Cocktails: Light and Flavorful Drinks for Summer

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Adult beverage trends come and go, but there is one that is probably here to stay. At least for a while. You probably have guessed it already - people nowadays are choosing low-alcohol cocktails and other drinks with lower ABVs more often than ever before. Wellness drinks are more popular than ever.

This shift came around the same time the global pandemic hit back in 2020. Many people around the globe started taking better care of their health by lowering the amounts of alcohol and sugar they are consuming. Naturally, businesses in the hospitality industry made a shift, too. 

Nowadays, it’s common to find plant-based milks in almost all coffee shops, as well as vegan drinks, and low-alcohol wines at bars and restaurants. Some customers are even looking for low-carb wine or low-carb cocktails if they are on a special diet, like keto. That’s why if you are currently curating your permanent or maybe seasonal menu, you should definitely include lots of low-alcohol cocktails and other such drinks. 

If you are looking for inspiration on what kind of cocktails to serve that have a lower ABV than than some of the most popular cocktail drinks, this article is for you. Below, you will find a bunch of cocktails that will make your customers happy!

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Low-Alcohol Cocktails to Include in Your Summer Menu

Updating your summer menu with low-alcohol cocktails will be easy if you follow our suggestions. We have a list full of great cocktails that many of your customers will enjoy and can be combined with a large variety of foods. This is always great to have in mind, especially if you are running a restaurant. Offering food and drinks that pair well together is a smart way to increase your profit and customer satisfaction!

Key Takeaway: Low-alcohol cocktails are becoming increasingly popular and every bar and restaurant needs more variety on their menu. These cocktails are especially good for the warm summer months, as they provide refreshment without unpleasant side effects. They also pair well with a large variety of foods preferred during the summer. 

1. Pimm’s Cup

To make Pimm’s Cup you need Pimm’s No. 1, lemonade or lemon-lime soda, fresh mint, cucumber slices, orange slices, and strawberries. From the ingredients, you can see that this is a fresh and fruity cocktail that will make a great summer drink

This cocktail is typically created straight in the glass, which you should fill with ice, too. Although Pimm’s No. 1 has 25% ABV, when the drink is made, the approximate ABV will only be 5-6%. 

2. Aperol Spritz

You may be pleasantly surprised to know that Aperol Spritz can make it to your low-alcohol cocktails list. To make this trendy drink, you are going to need Aperol, prosecco wine, soda water, and orange slices. Fill a wine glass with ice and add 2 parts of prosecco, 1 part Aperol, and 1 part soda water. 

All you have to do after is stir gently and add an orange slice. This drink has an ABV of only 7-8%. 

3. Lillet Blanc and Soda

Another refreshing drink that you need on your menu this summer is Lillet Blanc and Soda. Lillet Blanc and soda water are the two main ingredients, but you also need soda water, cucumber slices, and mint leaves. 

To make this cocktail, you need to fill a glass with ice and add 2 oz of Lillet Blanc, which has 17% ABV. Top that off with 4 oz of soda water and stir gently. Garnish this delicious refreshing drink by adding a cucumber slice and mint leaves. The ABV of the final product is 5-6%. 

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4. Sherry Cobbler

The cocktail ingredients you need for this drink are dry sherry, simple syrup, orange slices, seasonal berries, and some mint leaves. You should muddle the orange slices and the berries in a shaker. Then, add some ice and 3oz of the dry sherry which comes at 15% of ABV. You need ½ oz of simple syrup, too. Shake everything well and strain it into a glass filled with crushed ice. 

Garnish this delicious and very refreshing drink with mint leaves and a few berries. The end result won’t be just beautiful but also delicious with an ABV of 8-9%. 

5. Moscato Spritz

This is among the low-alcohol cocktails with the lowest ABV on this list. It’s made with Moscato wine, soda water, fresh berries, and mint leaves. You can make it straight into a wine glass by adding 2 parts of Moscato wine (which has only 5-7% ABV) and top with 2 parts soda water. Stir the drink gently and garnish with fresh berries and mint leaves. The end result is a delicious summer cocktail with an ABV of only 3-4%!

6. Wine Spritzer

Wine cocktails are another must-have for any beverage menu out there! This delicious spritzer is made with white wine, soda water, and a lemon twist. All you have to do is fill a glass with ice and add 3 parts of white wine and 1 part of soda. Stir the drink gently and garnish with the lemon twist. The ABV of this drink is 9%. 

7. Campari and Soda

As you can see, most low-alcohol cocktails require soda water, so make sure you have enough in your beverage inventory. To make this drink, you should fill a highball glass with ice, then add 1 part Campari and 3 parts soda water to it. Stir gently and garnish the cocktail with a lemon or orange twist. The ABV of this cocktail drink is 6-7%. 

8. Vermouth and Tonic 

Last but not least, you need to add Vermouth and Tonic to your low-alcohol cocktails list. It’s another simple-to-make drink that will keep your customers refreshed and happy without the unpleasant side effects of too much alcohol.

Fill a highball glass with ice and add 2oz of dry vermouth to it. Then, top it off with 4 oz of tonic water and stir gently. Garnish the drink with a lemon twist. The end result is a delicious cocktail with 5-6% ABV. 

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Frequently Asked Questions about Low-Alcohol Cocktails for Summer

Low-alcohol cocktails are a perfect choice for summer! If you want to know more about them, read the answers we have given to the most frequently asked questions. 

Why Choose Low-Alcohol Cocktails?

Low-alcohol cocktails are great for those who want to enjoy a drink without the stronger effects of higher-alcohol beverages. They are perfect for social gatherings, daytime events, and occasions where a lighter drink is preferred. They also help to keep you hydrated and can be more refreshing in hot weather.

How Should Low-Alcohol Cocktails Be Served?

Low-alcohol cocktails should be served chilled, often over ice, to enhance their refreshing qualities. Using appropriate glassware, such as wine glasses, highball glasses, or tumblers, can also improve the drinking experience. Fresh garnishes like citrus slices, berries, and herbs can add visual appeal and enhance flavors.

What Foods Pair Well with Low-Alcohol Cocktails?

Low-alcohol cocktails pair well with a variety of light and fresh foods, such as:

  • Aperol Spritz: Antipasti, light salads, and seafood.
  • Pimm’s Cup: Sandwiches, grilled chicken, and summer salads.
  • Moscato Spritz: Fresh fruits, light desserts, and cheese platters.
  • Vermouth and Tonic: Tapas, olives, and nuts.
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