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Kali Mireva

How Low and No-Alcohol Drinks Are Changing the Industry

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Different types of alcohol have been taking over the world in the past decades. Now, no-alcoholic drinks are taking the scene, as more consumers are looking for healthier alternatives. 

Wellness drinks, non-alcoholic beverages, and other interesting drinks like matcha teas, specialty coffee (with plant-based milk), and even CBD-infused drinks are getting more attention, and for good reasons. 

Low and no-alcohol drinks are not giving people bad headaches the morning after. They are enjoyable, pretty, and great to have while socializing without the bad side effects. Sounds great, doesn’t it? 

When building your bar or restaurant beverage program, do your research and add some options to your menu. This will make a difference in the customer satisfaction levels and your bar profit.

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What’s Considered a Low-Alcohol Drink?

Low-alcohol drinks are beverages with a lower ABV, typically between 0.5% and 1.2%. Beer, for example, is usually around 5% to 6%. This means that if a person is used to drinking beer, they will feel a big difference when having a low-alcohol drink. Tap beer, gluten-free beer, and regular beer have similar percentages. Even if the beer brands are different. 

Low-alcohol drinks are not the same as no-alcohol drinks, although to people who are used to consuming alcoholic beverages may seem like there’s no difference at all. Low-alcohol drinks may have an effect on people who are typically not consuming any alcohol. However, that depends on the number of drinks the person had.

Key Takeaway: No-alcohol drinks are on the rise for a good reason. They are delicious, healthy, and most importantly - people are looking for them! Hop on the trend now by adding them to your bar and restaurant menu.

What’s a No-Alcohol Drink? 

The term no-alcohol drinks refers to drinks where alcohol is completely absent. These could be specially made beers and wines without alcohol, simple juices, smoothies, and coffee drinks, or the increasingly popular mocktails

At bars and restaurants, people who are looking for no-alcohol drinks would probably want to see options created with alcohol-free spirits. These spirits are usually a version of the typical base spirits - whiskey, gin, tequila, rum, and vodka. Aperitifs and bitters have their own alcohol-free versions, too. 

How Are Non-Alcoholic Spirits Made?

The no-alcohol drinks that imitate their alcoholic counterparts are typically made with the same distillation process. The alcohol contents are then removed from the liquor. Specialists in the field say that this is possible because of new technology that was not available a decade ago. 

There’s another group of beverages, as well, that’s called botanical beverages. They are not similar to the spirits people know and love, but are used to create delicious mocktails. 

What Are Botanical Beverages and Why Are They Becoming Popular?

Botanical beverages are created with plant-derived ingredients like vegetable and fruit extracts, spices, and teas. The brands creating these botanical drinks use various methods to create unique flavors. Some are using distillation, while others are using compounding, which involves mixing the ingredients with water.  

These unique drinks are new to the market but gaining popularity fast. There is a big chance they are the drinks that will completely transform the industry and the way people approach fine dining and bar drinks

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What’s the Taste of No-Alcohol Spirits?

No-alcohol drinks that are made to mimic alcoholic ones do not have the same exact taste. Just like vegan drinks are similar but not the same as coffees with cow’s milk, for example. 

This, however, doesn’t mean you can’t create great cocktails that will keep customers coming to your bar or restaurant. It takes a bit of testing to refine a recipe and the help of a mixologist or cocktail expert

How to Store Non-Alcoholic Spirits?

Beverage storage is not different for alcoholic and non-alcoholic spirits. They all can be stored on a bar shelf without any issues. Just make sure there’s no direct sunlight hitting the bottles because this may cause them to go bad. 

You can read more about alcohol expiration and temperature-controlled storage here.

What Does This Mean for the Restaurant Industry? 

This is yet another situation the hospitality industry needs to adapt to. Things don’t boil down to classic liquor types and a few famous cocktails. Nowadays, many customers are looking for experience. They want to try something unique. One of a kind. Something healthier. Something that fits their diet.

This means that bar and restaurant owners need to look into gluten-free beverages. They also need to research vegan non-alcoholic drinks. Creating mocktails with no-alcohol drinks, serving CBD drinks, and more. It’s all part of the ever-changing and growing industry. 

The best piece of advice you can take with you from this is to be adaptable. To not be afraid to try out new things and see how your customers react. The customer experience should be a priority for you and if what you serve now doesn’t cut it - make a change. Or even if things are going great, be innovative. Stay ahead of the curve by building a one-of-a-kind beverage menu! 

How to Stay on Top of the Beverage Inventory?

In times of frequent change, it’s even more important to stay on top of your beverage inventory. A beverage inventory software program will help you do that with ease. 

Tracking bottles, following trends and customer behavior has never been easier. Counting by hand goes out the window and the possibilities of man-made mistakes drop to a minimum when you are using a specially-designed software like BinWise Pro

Book a demo now to find out about all the amazing features you can use!

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Frequently Asked Questions about No-Alcohol Drinks in Bars and Restaurants

Need more information about no-alcohol drinks? People tend to have many questions about them. That’s why we gathered more information in this Q&A section.

Can Everyone Have a No-Alcohol Drink?

Most non-alcoholic drinks can still have 0.5% ABV, which makes them unsuitable for people recovering from addiction. It’s also not recommended to let kids drink such beverages.

However, any other adult that doesn’t have allergies or intolerance to any of the ingredients can enjoy no-alcohol drinks any time they like.

Are Mocktails Popular Right Now?

The interest in mocktails is growing in the last few years due to the increasing number of people looking for healthy alternatives. Some people experience lactose and gluten intolerance while others are noticing bad effects from drinking alcohol.

These and some other factors combined contributed to people seeking alternatives. Socializing is commonly done over a nice drink so instead of removing the drink entirely, it’s just replaced by something healthier but delicious. 

Are Botanical Drinks Good for You?

Drinking botanical drinks can be very beneficial for people’s health and that’s why their popularity is growing. If you are choosing between a botanical drink and an alcoholic drink, it’s best to go for the first option. 

Botanical drinks can improve your skin health, help reduce inflammation, improve digestive health, and even more!

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