From cold-brew coffee and herbal mocktails to CBD-infused water and alcohol-free beer – dry drinks are all the rage. If your health & wellness plan has you trading in booze, one of these alcohol-free beverages might be for you.
Ditch alcohol? It’s happening. Health trends are hot, and that’s making alcohol-free beverages a big business. Pinterest recently reported that searches for sober living are up +746%. Dry drinks are predicted to be one of the hottest trends in 2019, and companies are catching-on. If you’re looking to abandon alcohol in the new year, or you just plan to participate in the #DryJanuary pledge, one of these latest new alcohol-free beverages might be for you.
Move over Shirley temple, better-for-you mocktails are taking over the alcohol-free cocktail space, and these booze-free beverages are anything but boring. Restaurants and bartenders are using a variety of herbs and spices to create flavorful concoctions that offer more than just a non-alcoholic option; they come complete with some health benefits, too. Fresh herbs like mint and basil or those made with citrus peels and zest help make mocktails look and taste like traditional cocktails. And, they cater nicely to non-drinkers that still love to socialize with a flavorful drink in their hand.
With so much focus on health and wellness, you can expect to see some truly interesting flavor infusions with the new year. From calming aromas like lavender to refreshing and clean flavors like lemon, cucumber and ginger, there’s sure to be a mocktail for every preference. Cocktails made with kombucha and medicinal mushrooms are also gaining leeway.
What do I have to say about this trend? At last – the health benefits of herbs and spices are getting the recognition they deserve in the USA, and what better way to enjoy them than in a mocktail.
Alcohol Free Beer
If you love the taste of beer but don’t want the alcohol, Heineken has you covered. The Dutch brewing company is prepared for the dry-drink trend with the launch of their latest nonalcoholic beer – Heineken 0.0. According to CNBC, the product was first introduced in Barcelona in May, 2017 and has since rolled out in more than 30 countries. Heineken debuted their new product in the USA right at the turn of the new year – January, 2019.
As for the taste, I think beer drinkers are going to be pleasantly surprised. I had an opportunity to try Heineken 0.0 last month. While I’m certainly not a beer connoisseur, I had no idea I was drinking a 65 calorie, alcohol-free beer until I was told. Cheers to all of the beer drinking fitness fanatics out there – a beer that you can drink post-workout is now available in the US.
Cold brew coffee isn’t new, but its popularity has been growing so steady that it’s predicted to be one of the most popular types of brews in the coming years. Starbucks first added cold brew to its menu back in 2015 and more recently added cold brew coffee shakes to their menu. This new addition combines two huge trends – plant-based protein and cold brew – in one delicious beverage. But, cold brew isn’t only popping up on the menu at coffee houses. You can now find it on the shelves of your local grocery store, too. The ready-to-drink version from Trader Joe’s mixed with milk and ice makes an unbelievable iced coffee.
Another option to get your cold brew on – make it yourself. Cold brew coffee-makers were a huge holiday hit this past year. Check out these best sellers from Amazon for yourself.
Flavor- Infused Water
Sparkling water, flavor-infused waters and plain bottled water – the heightened sales of all water categories isn’t surprising, when you consider Americas interest in cutting sugar. Sparkling water, specifically, caters to consumers craving carbonation, but trying to cut back on sugar-sweetened sodas. Companies like Ugly Drinks offer delivery right t o your door. Flavored waters offer an alternative to those trying to drink more water, but can’t seem to swallow it plain. You can plan to see more options in the flavored water category come 2019. Pepsi announced the launch of their new sparkling water product, Bubly, in February of 2018.The beverage comes in four flavors like lemon, lime, grapefruit and strawberry.
If spending money on flavored water isn’t for you, you’re in luck. This beverage is easy to make at home. All you need is water and the flavor of your choice. Squeeze the juice from a fresh lime, lemon or orange or a few cucumber slices for a crispy, clean taste. If you prefer some natural sweetness, add a splash of Pomegranate or 100% grape juice to your water. Top off with some fresh berries or herbs, and presto – a refreshing homemade water in minutes, at a fraction of the cost to buy it bottled.
CBD Infused Water
CBD seems to be everywhere, including beverages like water, cold-brew, coffee and lemonade. Endo brands began selling their CBD-infused flavored waters in 2018, and Lagunitasintroduced their cannabis-infused hoppy sparkling water in California. Many other companies have their eye on the CBD beverage trend, too.
Though CBD-infused beverages are on trend, their launch doesn’t come without controversy. Up until a few days ago, I had New Age Beverages on my list. The corporation debuted their initial CBD product portfolio of at the North American Convenience Store show at the Las Vegas Convention Center, October 7-10, 2018. They had plans to launch their product with major retailers in early 2019. But, according to this recent article by Seeking Alpha, the launch of their new product was delayed indefinitely.
While CBD infused drinks won’t get you high, companies jumping on this trend highlight the research supporting other potential health benefits – support for sleep, stress and more. But buyer beware – while I’m all about adding ingredients to beverages that will improve the wellness factor, it’s also important to be mindful of marketing. CBD is an exciting area of wellness, but the research supporting the risks and health claims of CBD is not substantiated yet. Even if it was, the amount of active ingredient infused into these beverages may not be enough to reap the benefits that science suggests. Still, if your state allows the use of CBD, be aware that the sales of these beverages are soaring.
Whatever you decide, if you want to jump on the dry drink trend, you have lots of options . Have you tried one of these alcohol-free beverages? What did you think?