October 6, 2023
If you’ve ever found yourself at an event, inquiring with the bartender or server, “Is there anything available without alcohol?” you’re likely familiar with the default options: water or soda.
However, besides offering a rather bland taste, this approach falls short in terms of inclusivity.
People opt out of alcohol for various reasons, and it’s crucial to foster an environment where they feel fully integrated, not sidelined for their beverage choice. They should relish the event experience just as much as those indulging in alcoholic beverages.
I have often turned to alcoholic drinks when I haven’t necessarily even wanted alcohol, just because I wanted something more exciting than water or soda.
Now, let’s delve into a pivotal aspect of event planning: ensuring everyone has a fantastic time. Frequently, we overlook the preferences of non-drinkers. While water and soda serve as staples, let’s elevate the experience with a standout craft non-alcoholic option or program.
Build your non-alcoholic offerings into your food and beverage planning from the start. Just as you know what liquors, beers, and wine you will stock at the bar, plan out your non-alcoholic menu in advance. Don’t let this be an afterthought.
If you have a signature mocktail, promote it in advance. Let the attendees know that there will be mocktails in addition to the rest of the menu.
Work with the venue to create one signature mocktail just like you would a signature cocktail. This will give attendees a creative choice and will make it easy for the bartender to make the drink. They can even pre-make it and pour it from a pitcher. If you go this route, make sure that the presentation is not sacrificed.
You can also do non-alcoholic cider, sparkling soda with a variety of flavor options, and fresh berries and mint as garnish.
You want people to have a good time and a good drink. Make sure to provide at least one thoughtful craft mocktail.
The best way to do this is to incorporate fresh ingredients like fresh juices, and fresh herbs.
One of the big things that I see is that those drinking cocktails get a well-put-together glass that looks enticing. Those drinking a non-alcoholic drink… usually not so much.
Treat the mocktail with the same level of formality as alcoholic drinks. Serve them in appropriate glasses with the same attention to garnishes that cocktails get.
Fresh herbs will elevate the drink as your nose takes in the fresh flavors of the herbs.
Let’s take an often-overlooked step toward more inclusive gatherings by offering enticing non-alcoholic options. It’s a small change that can make a big difference. By offering something delightful for everyone, we create a more welcoming atmosphere for all. Cheers to yummy drinks!