Cocktails Without Alcohol: What Should We Call Them?
Cocktails without alcohol are commonly coined Mocktails. But, is that a positive reflection on the new drinks being crafted for non-drinkers?
It’s Fern here to take a deeper look at the ‘alcohol-free’ naming alternatives.
Ok, so mocktails… Why are they often called mocktails? Does that not sound like you’re making a mockery of those drinking them, right? To me and others that I’ve spoken to, it sounds like a fake version of a cocktail. Whereas, from my experience, that’s not at all the case.
At YADA, an alcohol-free cocktail is not simply a cocktail made without the alcoholic spirit. We replace what we remove with a like-for-like, often better quality in our opinion, alternative. Ultimately, we’re creating a quality drink with a sophisticated flavour. A drink that goes without nothing, except the headache the morning after.
Cocktails without alcohol are fast becoming, well crafted, quality drinks that can be enjoyed by all!
So, surely there is a better term we should be using?
The History of The Mocktail
So, let’s start at the beginning, the term mocktail was originally coined in 1979 in an advertisement in which they were described as “a relatively new group of beverages prepared without any alcohol whatsoever” the use of mock inclusion in this term was in the same form that it was used for mock turtle soup where the subject is lacking in a distinctive ingredient yet it is only the use of the mocktail that holds that negative connotation. This is likely due to the stigma around drinking and not drinking – the idea that to enjoy a social gathering you have to have a drink that can’t be enjoyed without alcohol. The idea that when you don’t drink there has to be something bad behind that decision instead of just a preference for alcohol-free drinks.
Peer pressure and the misconceptions of sobriety on a night out are huge in our society at the moment, but neither should limit you from having a great time if you’re going without the alcohol for whatever reason.
So, If Not Mocktails, What Should Cocktails Without Alcohol Be Called Instead?
There are a number of options for this. Terms that don’t have to create that sense of negativity or judgement.
There doesn’t even have to be a singular term used by everyone. You could use a classic like virgin mojito which is admittedly better suited for alcohol-free versions of a classic cocktail but makes its point.
You could be straight to the point with an alcohol-free (AF) cocktail. Some people and bars have been leaning towards the use of zero-proof drinks which uses traditional alcohol-related language to get its point across.
Or there is the chance to create your own unique term. We’ve heard of places creatively using the Spanish term for sober, Sobrio, to spice up their offerings. A sophisticated-sounding name like that indicates to those ordering that the drinks aren’t just afterthoughts. Instead, they are drinks that deserve to be celebrated in their own right.
The possibilities are endless so why should mocktails be the only alternative term to cocktails.
Alcohol-free cocktails can provide the same enjoyment and sense of social camaraderie to a gathering or event. There are almost endless possibilities for variation and flavours the same as a cocktail.
At YADA we believe the only difference is a lack of alcohol and a name that dissuades you before you even try them, so let’s continue to reject the use of mocktails and embrace AF cocktails.
What Words Do You Use To Describe The Alcohol-Free Cocktails You’re Drinking?
Also, why not pop down to our exclusively alcohol-free venue in Derby to try our drinks first hand. More details about our venue can be found here.
This blog was stirred by Fern Southam, Front of House Executive at YADA Collective.