18 Feb Your body is just as much of a Temple as Shirley’s
by Tim Lefevre
It’s no secret that non-alcoholic or low-alcohol drinks are among the most rising categories in the craft cocktail industry. Since 2013 the amount of people participating in ‘Dry January’ has risen from a mere four thousand to an estimated four million people last year, according to Alcohol Change UK. And that was in 2020—literally one of the roughest years in decades.
Wellness is no longer just a buzzword or an upcoming hype. It has become a massive culture with its own constant growing business structures. Plenty of trends the past decade have been all about health improvement and everything that comes with that.
As many people become more aware of their mind-body balance and the importance of that ethos, they are also becoming very conscious of what goes into their bodies, directly affecting the drinks industry.
However, consuming less alcohol should not mean consuming less tasty drinks. On the contrary! As the moderate movement started taking off, many brands have seen the possible business opportunities and jumped aboard the moderation train. As a result, we have seen a massive rise of ‘non-alcoholic’ spirits and other solutions to a problem in the drinks industry these past years. People want and need to be accepted for not drinking, and offering no- or low-alcohol craft drinks that taste just as complex as spirited drinks is an ideal way to show how easy it can be.
Here enters the power of bitters. In case you didn’t know, bitters are literally tiny flavour bombs of which you only need a couple of drops to add a complex flavour without adding a significant amount of alcohol. They can quickly provide that depth that often goes missing when a spirit isn’t part of the equation. Bitters make it bigger.
Taking aside the current fact that the future for hospitality, in general, remains quite uncertain, I do believe we can expect more complex non-alcoholic or low-abv drinks on future menus. I also see that more bars and restaurants to be open and obvious about the ingredients they are using and the total amount of alcohol in the drinks they have on offer. Given the growing interest in a healthier lifestyle and a better mind-body balance, people will remain critical and have an increasing interest in what they consume. Moderation will be a defining factor in that. Even if we wake up tomorrow and all the clouds have disappeared, this is one trend that I think will stick.
Templo de Paloma
45ml Salted beetroot shrub*
2 dashes Bittered Sling Moondog Latin bitters
Fever-Tree Sparkling Pink Grapefruit Soda
Add all ingredients in a highball glass filled with ice and top with the soda. Give a light stir and serve.
*Salted beetroot shrub
100g apple cider vinegar
10g sea salt
50g juiced, cooked and peeled ruby beets*
*we like to roast the beets in their skins and peel hot. You can keep the skins on for a more earthy flavour but you will not have as bright a ruby colour.
Combine all ingredients in a blender and blitz supersmooth. Stain through a fine mesh strainer into a sealable container and store in a cool place.
‘Geosmin’ is part of the solution that creates the taste of earth and what makes beetroot taste so earthy. However, it breaks down in acid conditions, so by adding a bit of vinegar, the earthiness is lowered and more controlled, so it doesn’t overpower the drink.