The soft parade: 8 non-alcoholic drinks for summer

By Restaurant magazine

- Last updated on GMT

The soft parade: 8 non-alcoholic drinks for summer

Related tags: Soft drinks

With more and more customers choosing to lay off the hard stuff, the market for grown-up non-alcoholic drinks continues to expand. Here are some of the latest launches.

A sparkling performance


Fruit juice specialist Martin Frobisher’s has created a new premium fruit pressé range called Spectacular Sparklers. Available in Apple, Pear & Elderflower; Ginger & Juniper; Orange & Lemon; and Raspberry & Grape, the range is said to use more refined ingredients and has less than 85 calories per bottle yet is still ‘full-on flavour’. “Our refreshed fervent juices fill a gap in the market for sophisticated soft drinks, allowing consumers to feel they can still get the party started without alcohol,” says head of brand Jessica Waller. “Spectacular Sparklers offers an ideal drink served on its own, with the added versatility of being a mixer. It satisfies a strong demand for soft drinks which go above and beyond a standard range.”

A genuine wine alternative?


Billed as the ‘soft drink for wine lovers’, Botonique is a British-made blend of de-alcoholised botanical extracts enriched with Prelixir vitamins, minerals and amino acids, with a small amount of pear juice. Its creator Hilary Marsh conceived it as an alternative to quality wine and as a soft drink for ‘people who don’t like soft drinks’. The food-friendly drink is one of the few to have been well reviewed by wine critics and comes in Original and Blush varieties. The tasting notes for the latter are strawberry, rose and bramble on the nose, with high notes from citrus, and base notes from ginseng and milk thistle seed. Both varities are designed to be served in champagne flutes.

Boiron’s call on cocktails

Purée maker Les vergers Boiron is calling on restaurants to rethink their approach to nonalcoholic cocktails. “For a long time, non-alcoholiccocktails were described as ‘virgin’ or as ‘mocktails’, implying a lack of maturity,” says the company’s Julia Guiho. “But now alcohol is no longer deemed inseparable from celebration drinks, bars, restaurants and caterers need to change the conversation about this part of their offering, and ensure they offer non-alcoholic cocktails that are just as delicious and complex as their alcoholic counterparts,” says a spokesperson. The French-owned brand has created a wide range of zero-proof cocktails, including the Boironi (Boiron Lime Fruit Purée, Boiron Red Pepper Purée, diced ginger, sugar syrup and ginger beer) and the Blood Orange Swizzle (Boiron Lime Fruit Purée, red grape juice, blood orange syrup and soda).

Going without

St Peter’s Brewery has added a fourth alcohol-free beer to its Without range of 0.0% alcohol beers. Without Elderberry & Raspberry is the Suffolk brewer’s first fruit-based alcohol-free beer and is described as ‘full-bodied and well-balanced’ with a ‘smooth, subtly sharp bitterness’. “Very few brewers have been able to create delicious and rich beers that are truly alcohol-free or that aren’t de-alcoholised,” says St Peter’s managing director John Hadingham.

“And yet we now produce four bona fide 0.0% alcohol beers that are meeting the demands of consumers who either can’t, or don’t want to, consume any alcohol, but still want to enjoy a real pint.” The other three products in the Without range are Original, Gold and Organic. St Peter’s says the beers are brewed inexactly the same way as a normal beer, just without alcohol.

Mr Fitz’s feisty citrus number

Branded dispense system Mr Fitz Aqua Spritz has expanded its range with the launch of a Lemon, Yuzu & Turmeric flavour. “Exotic in taste, and vibrant in colour and style, this latest addition features Sicilian lemons blended with Japanese yuzu citrus fruit, and invigorating extracts of turmeric ,” says a spokesperson for the brand. Served using filtered mains water though a distinctive font, the launch brings the total number of flavours to more than 25 .

Water kefir taps into probiotic drinks trend


Agua De Madre has rolled out its water kefir to the UK on-trade, combining the growing trend for low-alcohol and probiotic drinks. It is made in small batches using the tibicos mother culture, originally discovered on the pads of the Mexican Oputina cactus, which is used as a catalyst to ferment sugar, fruit and ginger. The result is a 1.2% abv naturally sparkling drink with a delicate citrus profile and hint of sweetness that can be served on its own or as a mixer.

New low ABV brew from Brooklyn

Brooklyn Brewery has launched an alcohol-free beer that uses a new fermentation method that limits the amount of alcohol created. Brooklyn Special Effects (abv 0.4%) is described as a hoppy beer with a piney aroma and bitter finish with a golden, bready sweetness that comes from dryhopping with Citra and Amarillo hops. “Inclusivity is one of the core values of Brooklyn Brewery, everyone should be able to enjoy a great-tasting beer, regardless of alcohol content,” says Jonathan Dee, director of marketing for Craft & Ale at Carlsberg UK.

More than the sum of its parts


Born from a desire to create a robust, grown-up alternative to other non-alcoholic drinks on the market, Square Root Soda spent a year developing its non-alcoholic gin and tonic. The duo behind it say the result is different to anything else on the market, with more depth of flavour and less sugar. To create the ‘gin’ element, the Square Root Soda team distil the botanicals of juniper, pepper, cardamom, liquorice, angelica, coriander and Persian dried lime at their Hackney factory the Soda Works using the same method used for producing perfume. The pure ‘gin’ distillate is extracted and blended with the Square Root Soda house tonic water, which contains natural British beet sugar, fresh Sicilian lemon juice, juiced on site, lemon rind and natural quinine. Founders Ed Taylor and Robyn Simm say that producing the ’gin’ this way brings out the flavours naturally, thus reducing the need for additional sugar.

This is a web version of an article that first appeared in the June issue of Restaurant magazine, the leading title for the UK's restaurant industry. For more features, comment, interviews and in-depth analysis of the restaurant sector subscribe to Restaurant magazine here.

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