A mocktail could soon cost as much as a fancy cocktail.
Mixologists are shaking up non-alcoholic drinks with ingredients like cold-pressed water melon juice, elderflower tonic and yerba matte soda for sips that can cost upwards of $13 with an increased demand for zero-proof drinks.
Americans are drinking less booze. U.S. alcohol volumes dropped 0.8% last year, a slight increase from the 0.7% decline in 2017, according to data by industry tracker IWSR for The Wall Street Journal. That means there’s a market for higher quality ingredients in the non-alcoholic beverage space.
Beverage industry experts say health, and the demand for less sugar, is what’s driving mocktail sales.
“Health-forward thinking continues to be a focus in so many parts of a person’s daily life there is a continued want for a fresh, creative well balanced non-alcoholic cocktail experiences,” Art Sutley, publisher of Bar Business Magazine, told FOX Business, adding that the demand for better-for-you mocktails will continue to grow. “Mocktails are here to stay, and have surpassed trend status.”
Twisted Alchemy, a line of cold pressed, fresh juices with no added sugar that come in flavors like lemon, grapefruit, pineapple orange, watermelon and blood orange, is being marketed to a health-minded crowd of consumers looking to cut back on sugar. Bartenders have been mixing up the juices, which retail for $15.50 per bottle, in non-alcoholic beverages. Sales of Twisted Alchemy juices were up 538% in 2018, according to the brand.
And restaurants are also investing in high-quality spiritless beverage programs. Michelin-star restaurants L’atelier de Joel Robuchon in New York City started offering a non-alcoholic pairing menu last month serving non-alcoholic spirits from Seedlip, a brand that markets itself as “the world’s first distilled non-alcoholic spirit." It features flavors like orange peel and ginger; rosemary and thyme and cardamom. (a 23.7-ounce bottles cost $36).
Sober bars have also popped up in recent years with increased demand. Mocktail bar Getaway in Greenpoint, Brooklyn serves up $13 drinks like the Ginger Spice – spicy ginger, cucumber, grapefruit juice, extra bitter tonic, club soda and blackberries – sans alcohol. It’s meant to be a dry watering hole for likeminded non-drinkers looking to socialize.
While cocktails can cost anywhere between $10 and upwards of $18 depending on where you plan to imbibe, mocktails are racking up big price tags because of higher quality ingredients. Here’s a breakdown of the cost of a mocktail:
“When In Rome” mocktail created by mixologist Niccole Trzaska.
1-ounce Twisted Alchemy Cold Press Watermelon Juice: $1.63
1.5-ounces Seedlip 94 (non-alcoholic distilled spirit): $2.37
1-ounce Twisted Alchemy Cold-Pressed Persian Lime Juice $1.63
Thomas Henry Ginger Beer: $.40-cents
Ice (some bars are using specialized carved and preserved ice to maintain less watered down cocktails, Trzaska said) $.50 cents
Total Cost Build: $6.53
Cost at a bar: $14