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10 reasons this is the future cocktail dining experience, and why you should be a first mover.

Updated: May 19, 2020



By: Sonny Singh Nagra


1. The anticipated turn in alcohol consumption brought on by a new wave of health-conscious consumers has arrived. Non-alcoholic beverages and low alcohol by volume (ABV) beverages account for 20% of consumption; up from 15% from last year. This is a new and rapidly growing market. This new category in our industry is forecasted to grow 39% per year through 2022. The trend as of late reflects 52% of US consumers stating they are trying to reduce their alcohol intake, #SoberCurious.

2. Needing more evidence that the tide is turning? Global spirits giant Diageo acquired Seedlip, a non-alcoholic spirit, catering to consumers looking for "zero-proof" spirits. Similar beverages, with the backing of established leaders in our industry, have broken through to the mainstream by expanding to retailers like Whole Foods, Publix, and the leader of them all – Amazon. If you were looking for a property investment, would you buy a house next to Whole Foods or an outdated shopping mall?

3. There is still a massive gap of clientele that is stuck between wanting to fully commit to a healthier lifestyle and needing to let loose at the end of a tough day from web developing to social media influencing (kidding, not kidding?) and everything in between.

Enter CBD infusions…

4. CBD Cannabidiol oil is a product that’s obtained from cannabis. It is a type of cannabinoid, which are the chemicals organically found in marijuana plants. CBD doesn’t create a “high” effect or any form of intoxication, that portion comes from the THC part of the plant. CBD oil is beneficial for a wide variety of ailments, including anxiety and pain relief.

Open up your palate!

5. Consuming alcohol prior to a meal (aperitif or Aperitivo) whets your appetite and increases food consumption. “This greater food consumption may result from increased activity in brain regions that mediate reward and regulate feeding behaviors” (Eiler et al., 2020).

6. Part of the complete dining equation now is providing innovative menu experiences. Being a pioneering leader in the market can solidify your position in an industry that delivers fads and trends at the speed of light.This trend, however, could easily be coupled with a new wave of clientele; one that has solidified its place at the table. The health conscious, ingredient focused savvy eater. The customer who is constantly on the lookout for fresh ingredients (farm to table), craft blend sources, and supports local buying.

7. Today’s savvy restaurateur must deliver a unique and edgy experience. This experience will be amplified with trendy, safe, and health-conscious options which are a win for both the consumer and the business. Making CBD an optional upcharge or addition, rather than committing it fully into the main ingredients of your pre-dinner cocktail is a perfect combination to capture both objectives. You don’t want to lose a cocktail or dessert sale because a favorite flavor has a CBD addition. Rather, you want to upsell a cocktail or dessert by adding a few drops of a flavored CBD oil. However, having a tincture of oil floating around at the top of a drink would be a big red flag. That is why you must source a CBD oil that is water-soluble and not oil based.

8. The science behind the cocktail and your meal:

If your stomach is empty, say prior to sitting down for a meal (hint hint), you produce more of the hunger hormone ghrelin, which tells the brain to generate the sensation of hunger.

In order to receive the full medicinal benefits of a CBD supplement, it should be full spectrum. This means it should contain minor cannabinoids such as CBG, CBV, CBN and THC in addition to the major cannabinoid CBD. For a CBD supplement to be legally served it must contain no more than 0.03% THC. Although this is not a significant amount of THC; the combination of it and the other minor cannabinoids are enough to produce the more of the previously mentioned hunger hormone ghrelin, causing cravings for sweet and fatty foods through numerous mechanisms, or what is commonly known as the “Entourage Effect”.

9. CBD helps relieve nausea and can calm your nervous system and digestive tract. If you feel less nauseated, you may eat more. In addition, as mentioned prior, CBD also alleviates pain and feeling less pain may also boost appetite.

10. Today’s customer base has surpassed being aware of what they are consuming and graduated to being fully aware of every ingredient they are consuming, and welcome the organic ingredients, with health benefits. The possibilities for food pairings (sweet and savory immediately come to mind) are endless. Imagine sitting down to a meal, having an amazing craft mocktail, followed up by what seems to be the tastiest food you’ve ever had…and you can’t get enough.

10 Cocktails and Aperitifs that would fit perfectly:

1. Cranberry Blood-Orange Negroni- crushed ice, fresh blood-orange juice (about 2 blood oranges), Bitters Tea, chilled, slice blood orange, cut in half, for garnish

2. Almost Aperol Spritz - Large ice, bitter grapefruit syrup with San Pellegrino Aranciata and some tonic water, add a fresh rosemary garnish for herbal aspects.

3. Mockmosa. A surprising alternative to the Mimosa, due to using sparkling white grape juice instead of sparkling apple cider. You can make these dry or sweet, depending on your preference.

4. Tomato Lassi. A yogurt and tomato based savory drink. Imagine a creamy tomato soup with a little bit of tang from the yogurt, and you get the idea.

5. Coconut Lavender Lemonade. This periwinkle-blue drink features coconut water, lemon juice, dried lavender and more. If you haven’t tried lavender in food or drinks, you’re in for a nice surprise.

6. Blackberry Vanilla Mocktail. Blackberry, vanilla, lemon, honey and bubbles. Tasty, lightly sweet, with a lovely contrast between the tart blackberry and the mild vanilla

7. The Grapefruit Honey Collins, freshly squeezed grapefruit juice, freshly squeezed lemon juice, honey syrup, seltzer water

8. Ginger Cinnamon Apple Cider Fake ‘Tini.

9. Blackberry Vanilla Mocktail. Blackberry, vanilla, lemon, honey and bubbles. Tasty, lightly sweet, with a lovely contrast between the tart blackberry and the mild vanilla.

10. Raspberry-Lime Rickey. Just drop the raspberry vodka and maybe add a touch more raspberry syrup.

References:

Guide, G. and To, H., 2020. 27 Mocktails And Non-Alcoholic Cocktails | Mix That Drink. [online] Mix That Drink. Available at: <https://mixthatdrink.com/28-mocktails-and-non-alcoholic-drinks-to-love/>

Shatterproof. 2020. Craft Cocktails, Minus The Alcohol: 4 Custom Mocktail Recipes. [online] Available at: <https://www.shatterproof.org/blog/craft-cocktails-minus-alcohol-4-custom-mocktail-recipes>

Dish 'n' the Kitchen. 2020. Almost Aperol Spritz - Dish 'N' The Kitchen. [online] Available at: <https://dishnthekitchen.com/almost-aperol-spritz

Eiler, W., Džemidžić, M., Case, K., Soeurt, C., Armstrong, C., Mattes, R., O'Connor, S., Harezlak, J., Acton, A., Considine, R. and Kareken, D., 2020. The Apéritif Effect: Alcohol's Effects On The Brain's Response To Food Aromas In Women.



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