Whether you already have a Michelin Star for your restaurant or you want know how to get one (see: how to earn a Michelin Star), the importance of beverages is not to be ignored. From food and beer pairing or tea pairing options to cocktails and mocktails, you need to cover all grounds. Only by creating a well-rounded beverage program, you can ensure customer satisfaction.
When reviewers come to your restaurant, they will grade the food and will focus only on what’s on the plate. Interiors and other such details generally are not taken into consideration. However, people experience a place with all of their senses. This should not be neglected if you are trying to be an industry leader. Also, you should work hard not to lose the Star you already got! (see: how do you lose a Michelin Star)
Invest time and energy into the drink menu design. It’s recommended to create mocktails and cocktail drinks with the help of a mixologist. Source quality specialty coffee and tea options. Curate the menu based on the concept of your restaurant and the dishes you serve. You can even look into creating seasonal drinks that can complement the seasonal food menus.
But let’s get back to these mocktails we mentioned. They are an interesting topic that is worth more discussion, even among the top 25 Michelin Star restaurants.
How Mocktails Came to Be and Why
There is no official history of non-alcoholic beverages, also known as mocktails. The Merriam-Webster dictionary shows the word was used back in 1916. This could mean that mocktails are around for well over 100 years!
Cocktails, on the other hand, are said to be invented around 1806, over 100 years before mocktails. Surely, over this huge period, someone wanted to enjoy a fancy and tasty drink without having alcohol. Also, not many people had access to alcohol during the prohibition era in the US.
Nowadays, non-alcoholic beverages make a lot of sense, as they include people. Even if someone doesn’t like alcohol or can’t have it for any reason, they can enjoy a drink with their friends. Just get the non-alcoholic version!
As a restaurant owner (striving to be a Michelin Star restaurant owner), this is something you should make sure it’s on the menu. It’s true that with different types of alcohol, you can create numerous tasty cocktails. But by adding non-alcoholic versions or options, your restaurant will appeal to a larger audience. Not to mention the food and drink pairings you can create!
Key Takeaway: Mocktails are a great way for everyone to enjoy a pretty and delicious drink. These non-alcoholic beverages can improve your customers’ experience as they will have a winder variety of drinks to choose from.
The Key to Great Non-Alcoholic Beverages
The key lies in knowing how to mix well different, quality ingredients, to achieve unique flavors. Just like Michelin Star chefs mix foods to create finger-licking-good dishes, a bartender or a cocktail expert should be able to create non-alcoholic beverages.
Knowing which flavors and textures go well together is a science and an art. Mixologists are experts who have studied how to combine ingredients in the best possible way. They are also familiar with cocktails history and can suggest classics to include on your menu and even create signature drinks.
Ordering fresh, if possible locally-sourced ingredients, is a great way to start. Your local area can provide great ingredients for both dishes and beverages. Take advantage of that, and you will create a unique customer experience for everyone visiting your restaurant.
Most Popular Mocktails
If you are new to the world of the non-alcoholic cocktail scene, the following list may be helpful to you. Just like the best cocktails with alcohol, people tend to gravitate towards certain mocktails too. Here are the ten most popular mocktails restaurant guests enjoy:
- Roy Rogers
- Shirley Temple
- Virgin Mojito
- Arnold Palmer
- Virgin Bloody Mary
- Virgin Piña Colada
- No Tequila Sunrise
- Abstinence On The Beach
- Non-Alcoholic Gin and Tonic
- Non-Alcoholic Moscow Mule
It’s recommended for a bartender to be able to mix up both classic cocktails and mocktails, even if they are not included on the menu.
How to Curate the Mocktails Menu
When you create different types of menus, you will encounter similar issues. You have to come up with a concept, curate options that fit into it, find and source quality ingredients, think about seasonality. All that requires a lot of planning and decision-making, involving expert chefs and cocktail experts. Listen to their advice, especially when it comes to selecting ingredients and creating enticing seasonal combinations of food and beverages. Try learning from the experience of Michelin Star chefs, too.
One great way to make things easier for yourself is taking advantage of beverage inventory organization methods and the latest technology. BinWise is an all-in-one platform that can make running your business a lot easier and smoother!
Frequently Asked Questions about Mocktails in Restaurants
Are you worried you may spend too much time planning a mocktail menu that no one is going to order from? Maybe you are unsure whether to go the classic route or to come up with your own unique options for your Michelin restaurant? There sure are many questions running through your head when you want to be included in your country's Michelin Star Guide.
Let’s look into some commonly asked questions that may be helpful to you as well!
Is a Mocktail the Same as a Virgin Cocktail?
Yes, mocktails and virgin cocktails are the same thing - a cocktail without the alcohol in it. If you are not a drinker but what to try something fun with you dinner or lunch, a mocktail is a great option. These non-alcoholic drinks are amazing alternative to alcohol, coffee, or tea.
Enjoy a sweet and pretty mocktail with you dish and don’t worry it may cause a hangover or any health related issues. You can be part of the group and try something different with your meal and then drive safely home.
Can I Make My Own Mocktail?
Anyone can make their own mocktail. The difference is in the knowledge and experience of a bartender or mixologist. These experts know what type of ingredients go well together and can even suggest something to your taste.
But whether you want to make a signature cocktail or mocktail for your restaurant, or a nice drink to enjoy at home, you sure can. You can try different options and see what you like best. The good think is that when there’s no alcohol involved, you can experiment more freely.
Is There a Formula for Creating Mocktails?
The typical formula for mocktails is four parts base with one part sour and one-half part sweet. The base is usually soda or iced tea. For sweet and sour you can choose from a lot more options.
Consulting with a mixologist is the best way to go if you are building the menu of your restaurant. They can create unique recipes just for your restaurant and drinks menu.