Why mockatails are all the rage

Over the last few years, mocktails have taken off. Could people's health really be affected as much as they say just by cutting back on alcohol?
Bartender pouring a mocktail
Bartender pouring a mocktail / Cindy Ord/GettyImages

Mocktails have become all of the rage recently when going out to have some drinks with friends. Whether you love it or hate it, the health and wellness movement has made a big impact on the amount people are drinking. People of all ages are cutting back on their alcohol consumption, with 41% of American adults planning to drink less in 2024. People are what is called "sober-curious." They aren't alcoholics, but they are interested to see how drinking alcohol affects their lives, causing them to drink more mocktails.

Horne states that there are a lot of benefits to cutting back on drinking, proving the social media movement isn't all a hoax. Some of those benefits are weight loss, better blood sugar regulation, better quality sleep, healthier relationships, and more. When people learn that just cutting alcohol out of their diet can help with all of those things who wouldn't want to? Mocktails are taking over because of this. They give people the opportunity to still get the fun night out they were having with alcohol but without all the side effects of alcohol.

Having a mocktail at a bar used to mean you were having a cup of overpriced juice, but that isn't the case anymore. Instead of just omitting the alcohol from cocktails there are drinks made specifically to be a mocktail. Not only are more "better for your health" ingredients being used in mocktails, there are also 0 ABV beers, wines, and even spirits! This allows people to even get the kick of drinking an alcoholic beverage without all of the side effects.

So, it's obvious that mocktails are becoming a relevant thing. From so many people wanting to reduce their alcohol consumption to companies producing alcohol-free spirits, mocktails have gained traction, and fast. What does this mean for bars? Well, for the most part, they're just adapting. Bars are adding low or no ABV liquors to their shelves, and making what the customer wants. This isn't the first drink trend that bars have had to adapt to, and I'm sure it will not be the last. However, consuming less alcohol is looking like it's around to stay.

Not only are bars adding alcohol-free drinks to their shelves, but they're also adding them to their menus. Many bars are including a "booze-free" section on their cocktail menu. These are catching much more attention than most would think. Many bars' "booze-free" sections have grown to be just as lengthy as their cocktail menu.

As a bartender myself, I love the trend. I have watchedpeople be able to feel more comfortable saying no to drinking. In the past people wouldn't want to look like the odd one out, so they would feel pressure to drink even when they didn't want to. With mocktails becoming so trendy a layer of that pressure is removed. People seem to be making better decisions for their health, overall. It starts with having a mocktail at the bar, but it ends with no one driving home drunk from a bartender's perspective.

The mocktail trend has gained a lot of traction, but over the last few years it has become clear it is not just a fad that will go away with time. It is happening because people are caring more about their health and the way they are feeling. Cutting back on alcohol is really making people feel better, and they are happy to be doing it. So, the mocktails are here to stay.