Mocktail Movement Inspiring Beverage Innovation

Craft cocktails on the lighter side – that’s what the no- and low-alcohol better-for-you beverage movement is about. These are spirited beverages that may be consumed without fear of a hangover the following day. Often lower in calories, mocktails and “lighter” adult-only beverages are being shaken up by bartenders to serve patrons who are losing interest in drinking to get drunk but want to explore sophisticated, often exotic-flavored beverages in a social setting. The beverages also are appearing in ready-to-drink, single-serve formats that provide convenience and portion control.

Low-alcohol and malt beverages tend to need a boost in different spirit notes to better mimic tradtional cocktails. The Processing of the R-.T-.D. beverages creates challenges too.

“Beverage processing. such as heat treatment, tends to reduce the overall flavor profile in the final beverage.” said Joshua Jackson, application technologist, Sensient Flavors, Hoffman Estates, ILL. “Depending on the type of flavor used and the base of the application, the amount of flavor lost can be a significant change to a minor shift. Flavorists can work to mitigate this problem by adjusting the solvent system to increase the flavor’s flashpoint and minimize the flavor’s sensitivity to processing.

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