NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Many people are choosing to skip the alcohol this month as part of a growing health campaign called “Dry January.”
The move comes as more and more restaurants and bars are serving up the latest trend in the drink world: Craft cocktails that don’t have any alcohol at all, reports CBS2’s Kenneth Craig.
Before the bar opens at Existing Conditions, bartenders are spinning, stirring, and straining ingredients for some of their most elaborate drinks
This tomato and passionfruit blend will become the “Serendipity,” a cocktail that doesn’t have a drop of alcohol.
“We put more time and effort into going from a raw ingredient to a final product, because that’s what it takes to put that much flavor into something without alcohol,” said co-owner Don Lee.
When cocktail innovators Lee and Dave Arnold opened “existing conditions” they wanted to respect customers who don’t order booze.
“To take them as seriously whether or not they’re drinking alcohol,” he said.
That service means thoughtful, well-crafted alternatives to soda and juice for more and more people choosing to skip the spirits.
“We’ve seen there’s been a 5 percent decrease in alcohol consumption over the last five years,” said Caleb Bryant, a senior analyst at market research company Mintel.
He says the rise of alcohol-free cocktails is partially driven by Americans focusing on health and wellness.
“For some that means reducing alcohol consumption, or abstaining from alcohol entirely,” said Bryant.
“Tonight I’m not really drinking because I’m sick,” said Jeannie Im, a non-alcoholic cocktail drinker.
when Im is avoiding the hard stuff, she doesn’t want to sacrifice quality. Her favorite drink is the “Serendipity.”
“This is one of the most interesting and complex things I’ve tasted in a while and it has no booze in it,” she said.
It’s a $16 dollar concoction that’s pleasing patrons and filling the till – just don’t call it a “mocktail.”
“It contains the word mock,” said Arnold. “Why would I want to mock the guest who’s coming in?”
This movement extends beyond the bar. Heineken just released its first non-alcoholic beer, and “Seedlip” became the world’s first distilled non-alcoholic spirit.