The idea of having no alcohol in what should be an alcoholic drink – take alcohol-free beers for example – isn’t new. But in the cocktail world, this concept is beginning to take off and has become a “hot” topic in recent months.
Cocktail fans are continuing to look for healthier options in food and drink. Of course, ‘healthy’ looks very different to different people, with some reaching for low-calorie options, some looking for lower alcohol (or no alcohol… no, not us either), while others focus on minimal processing.
Universally drinkers have been shaped by a heightened awareness of the dangers of excessive alcohol consumption and desire to live a ‘healthier lifestyle’.
The interest in health opens the door for lower-alcohol options. Over the past 12 months and especially the start to 2018 has seen a surge in the demand for low alcohol drinks with 38% of British 18-30yo drinking a low/no-alcohol drink compared with 25% of all UK adults over 18.
This shows there’s a huge opportunity for more moderate drinks. Evident in aisle after aisle of lighter beers and no-alcohol wine, as well as the trend for more mellow, aperitivo-style cocktails and drinks like vermouth, shochu and kombucha.
One reason why low ABV drinks are gaining popularity is that they can be enjoyed any time, they are less expensive, and they pack less of a wallop. Lower ABV drinks can be popular without regard to the alcohol content.
Look out in bars for ‘Shims’ which are drinks with a lower ABV than their mainstream counterparts. Vodka, Gin and Whisky are replaced by lower percentage alternatives, such as vermouth or herbal liqueurs.
As they increase in popularity you’ll see them pop up in a number of UK bars helping you continue your January health-kick all year.
As the ingredients become more important and the balance of the drink takes centre stage one thing still remains key, the drinks have to taste great and maintain their complexity to compete with their stronger counterparts.
‘A well-conceived and balanced beverage is not beholden to an ABV,” said Funkin Innovation Champ Ericka. “If someone is not imbibing alcohol, they should be able to enjoy a splendidly conceived beverage, considered with the same principles that apply to cocktail making.”
Why not try one of our low abv recipes by Alistair Kelsey developed for the Funkin Innovation Lab
The Dark Beets
- 50ml Sandows cold brew concentrate
- 15ml Funkin Pro Beetroot Shrub
- 20ml Funkin Pro Agave Syrup
- 35ml Tonic water