Mocktails Served Right: Flavor systems can give your mocktails the authenticity they need…and make them taste like the real thing

Mocktails – alcohol-free cocktails – are one of the latest crazes to hit the beverage world. In tune with a growing tendency towards moderation and sobriety amongst consumers, mocktails offer an intriguing and flavorful beverage experience that does not hinge upon the effects of alcohol.

The widespread appeal of these drinks has led to a global recognition. Mocktail bars have been popping up in most of the world’s major cities. Restaurants and regular bars have taken advantage of this trend and have begun offering their own alcohol-free alternatives to popular cocktails. And, of course, many of the major players in the beverage industry have launched or are preparing to launch mocktail lines. If you haven’t heard of mocktails, you haven’t been paying close enough attention.

In their intended form, mocktails encompass all the complexity of a well-made cocktail. They simulate the taste and feel of your favorite alcohol, but will not make you pay the next day for a little bit of over-indulgence. Mocktails can be a truly beautiful thing.

Unfortunately, chances are you haven’t been served a real one.

Contrary to what you might read, your grandmother’s ‘Shirley Temple’ is not the original mocktail. A proper mocktail must give the impression of the alcohol it looks to mimic. Pina colada mix, without white rum, is just a sweet blend of pineapple and coconut flavor. Mocktails, as they appear in your internet search, as they appear on shelves at your local grocery store, and even as they most often appear at bars, are typically sugar-loaded fruit mixes, sometimes with an herbaceous twist. Don’t be fooled, what is available is more akin to ‘adult juice’!

And the reason for this is simple: simulating alcohol, without actually using it, is very difficult. There just aren’t many options available out there.

Novotaste has developed a series of authentic alcohol replacements, including whiskey, gin, rum and Campari replacers. These replacers, based on our flavors, were designed to pour like real alcohol: if a drink recipe calls for one part gin, that shot of alcohol can be replaced with equal amounts of our alcohol-free gin flavor.

At a recent supplier’s exposition, Novotaste demonstrated these ‘replacers’ by setting up a bar and serving our own mocktails, ranging from the simple “rum and coke” and “gin and tonic” to the more complex “Campari”, “Gimlet” and “Whiskey Negroni”. Our mocktails were so authentic that guests could not believe that they were alcohol free. One man returned three times for our gin and tonic. If he was pulled over on the way home, it had nothing to do with Novotaste!

Our alcohol-free alcohol flavors are effective in a range of applications, from beverages to baked goods and even chocolates & confectionery. And remember, Novotaste offers product development services. We have the tools, the experience and the know-how to develop a winning and AUTHENTIC mocktail that meets your needs.

Do you want to make more realistic mocktails at home?

  1. Use all the right ingredients & do not skip steps or go cheap with the purchase of ingredients.
  2. Flash & boil off the alcohol. This can be done by gently heating small quantities of spirits or wine in a sauce pan & periodically lighting the surface of the liquid with a BBQ lighter. Taste to confirm there is no alcohol, after the surface of the liquid does not produce a flame with the lighter. Make sure to not heat for too long or at elevated temperatures, because you will lose the important aroma volatiles responsible for the flavor of the spirits or wine.
  3. Try to compensate for the bite of the alcohol with a hint of hot sauce.
  4. Increasing sweetness & acidity adds more complexity & fullness to the flavor profile .

While this technique may work at home, utilizing customized flavor systems is the only way to make this happen, when serving to the masses or at the industrial level. 

Recent beverage trends

Recent flavour trends