The Liquid (R)evolution.

How alcohol-free drinks are changing the world of beverages. 

You won't be finding any alcohol on the drinks menus at the Getaway in Brooklyn, The Virgin Mary Bar in Dublin or the Zeroliq in Berlin. More and more of these 'sober bars' are opening their doors all over the world and serving non-alcoholic creations rather than conventional craft beers or fine wines. In short – the so-called Liquid Evolution is in full swing. The 
following article explains the motivation behind this, how new the trend really is, and why it's worth breaking with conventions. 

The Liquid (R)evolution. Non-alcoholic cocktail drink

Hanni Rützler summarises the current Liquid Evolution trend as follows: drink better, drink finer, drink  healthier. The food expert has been analysing the change in our eating culture for more than 25 years. And in collaboration with the Zukunftsinstitut future-oriented think tank and Lebensmittel Zeitung,  the leading trade journal of the consumer goods sector in Germany, she regularly publishes an annual 'Food Report' – an ABC of trends in the foodstuffs industry. 

This year, the report focuses particularly on beverages. An entire chapter is dedicated to the topic, as our drinking culture and drinks industry are in  the process of re-inventing themselves.

# About curiosity and sobriety.



What  prompted  this  is  the  growing  interest  in  non-alcoholic  beverage alternatives. Trend watchers often refer to this development as the  'Liquid Evolution'. Surprisingly, perhaps, this trend is driven mainly by the younger generation. A survey revealed that the younger the consumer, the less frequently they choose alcoholic drinks. Generation Z in particular, which includes anyone born between 1997 and 2010, seems to prefer juices, mocktails and  infused water to champagne, cocktails and beer. 




Tasty non-alcohol drink with a lime next to it
Composing of Avoury tea box, a lime and a pineapple

# About shifts and motives.


But how new is this latest desire for sobriety really? In actual fact, alcohol and alcohol abstinence have been at the forefront of social deliberations for quite a while.  A major contributor in this regard was British author Ruby Warrington, who published her book Sober Curious in 2018, encouraging people to change their relationship with alcohol. In Warrington's view, there is
absolutely no point in doing daily yoga sessions and drinking green smoothies if you then order one drink after th  other at a bar in the evenings. Her concept met with widespread approval. A movement was even formed, inspired by Warrington’s lifestyle book. Followers of the 'Sober  Curious' movement in the USA questioned their own habits as well as social conventions and either quit drinking or cut down on their alcohol consumption. The movement then spilt over to Europe, where the new desire for sobriety is these days toasted with exotic, non-alcoholic drinks, especially in urban environments  –  and here flavour takes precedence over alcohol content.

Be it Liquid Evolution or Sober Curiosity,  both trends are essentially about openness to and interest in new fluid creations that are far from traditional classic drinks. Drinks manufacturers are also responding to this – especially young, committed start-ups. The combination of creativity, a love of experimentation and the necessary product knowledge is resulting in non-alcoholic craft  beers, cuvées made from mountain apple juice and hop lemonades. Long gone are the days of non-alcoholic drinks based only on water or  tea, fruit  juices or sugary lemonade. 


# Enjoyment meets health.



Besides curiosity and a love of experimentation, health is also a powerful motivator behind the Liquid Evolution. After all, alcohol and its (after)effects, like waking up with a hangover, are quite difficult to reconcile with a health-conscious lifestyle. 


Plus, alcoholic drinks often contain plenty of calories, but absolutely no nutrients. Followers of the Sober Curious movement often don’t only avoid alcohol for the benefit of their physical, mental and spiritual health. In many cases, added sugar, preservatives, artificial colourants and flavourings are also not on when it comes to their drinks. Instead, they want organic ingredients from the best sources. 

Tasty alcohol-free drink garnsihed with a piece of pineapple
Glasses filled with tea

# It’s all about balance.



Even if abstaining from alcohol can be beneficial to health, the Liquid Evolution is ultimately less about a strict healthy lifestyle than about change. In line with the principle of 'moderation rather than strict temperance', sensible consumption is what it really involves. 


Rather than labelling abstinence as good and drinking as evil, a much healthier and more helpful approach is to be honest with yourself. This means evaluating the role of alcohol in your life, questioning conventions, and in the end doing what enhances your own well-being. When all is said and  done, life should be fun and the new alcohol-free creations  are enabling us to extend our taste horizons. 

# Next step in the Liquid Evolution.


One thing is certain: the  Liquid  Evolution  is not a passing trend. After all, similar movements and alcohol-free month-based campaigns such as 'Sober October' and 'Dry January' have been around for decades. In the next few years, the demand for non-alcoholic alternatives is therefore highly likely to remain steady or even grow. Projections indicate that sales of non-alcoholic or low-alcohol beverages in the USA alone have increased by an average of  39% up to and including this  year. In the long term, this will change not only the product range offered by retailers, but also the restaurant world. The keyword here being: food  pairing. Expert Hanni  Rützler predicts that a good restaurant will in future not only stand out because of  its exquisite wine selection but also through perfect pairing of multi-course menus and  tea. A  cup  of  tea can also create harmonious combinations  and  relationships  and bring out the depth of flavour by reflecting or complementing  the  flavours and aromas of individual components of dishes or by acting as a neutraliser between courses. 

Tea Cocktail with Avoury Bitter Orange tea
Avoury One tea machine silver white

# If you never try, you’ll never know!



Have we piqued your interest? 

You can also very  asily conjure up creative, aromatic alcohol-free drinks at home. A  home-made iced  tea, for instance, is sure to be super refreshing. Simply brew a cup of aromatic tea such as HONEY  ROOIBOS  or STRONG  ASSAM and add orange or apple  slices. Allow to cool and sweeten to taste with a little apple juice. Then pep it up with ice  cubes – done. If you’d rather wind down your day with a cocktail alternative, you definitely won’t come short  either. Because you don’t necessarily need alcohol to bring out the different flavours to the maximum in mixed drinks – tea is also a great basis for harmonious creations. The incredibly range of  tea types opens up a whole world of drinks rich in variety.  How about a Tropical  Ginger , which boasts exciting flavours? The fresh spiciness of  our GINGER  LEMON together with the acidity of the limes and the sweet, tropical mango awakens summer  feelings even in cooler temperatures. Or for those who  love a mint and chocolate combination: a glass of  Cool  Darling beautifully brings together chocolaty tea,  mint and vanilla. No  matter  what you  choose, one  thing is  certain:

it’s worth breaking with conventions, moving out of your comfort zone and being open to trying out new drinks.