JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - It's the height of the holiday season. No work, no school. Everyone can drink to that!
But around the nation, a budding trend to set aside the cocktails, and opt instead for mocktails.
“It’s very comfortable for someone that maybe is pregnant or for someone who has chosen not to have alcohol, to blend in with the group and not feel like a sore thumb,” said Tanyalyn Burns, service manager at Bravo in Jackson.
Burns serves up spirits of all kinds, and lately those drinks might include a mixer called Seedlip. It’s a new distilled beverage that’s alcohol free. Shirley Temple, she says, has finally grown up.
“The trend really has moved to something that is dedicated, something that is made for a non alcoholic cocktail,” Burns tells us.
Some local restaurants are catering to those trends with mocktail menus. Fine and Dandy in Jackson has one. Bravo does too, with choices like a stout “Notini”, made with Seedlip and espresso. Or you can choose something sweet, like the “Cool Rush Blast”. It’s made with white cranberry juice, sweet n sour and ginger beer. All of it is non-alcoholic.
A recent article in The Atlantic says millennials are sick of drinking. It discusses the pain of hangovers, and the pleasure of cutting back on booze, or giving it up altogether. On social media, you can find hashtags like #nodrinking or #mocktails, that celebrate the newer and healthier way to party.
The bar staff at Bravo says it’s not a big trend in the Jackson area right now, but some customers believe it’s just a matter of time.
Avani Patel has just finished medical school at the University of Mississippi Medical Center.
“You want to appear professional, but you want to be social, so that can be difficult for some if you’re not interested in drinking," said Patel. “For me, a mocktail is a better alternative.”
Jill Gordon, CEO of a non-profit, agrees.
“I’m going to an event tonight for business and its a wine event, and I still want to have a glass in my hand and be able to socialize, but I don’t care for the alcohol part,” she said.
They both love to find mocktail menus at Jackson hot spots, but they also understand the desire to fit in during business happy hour or holiday parties.
“So many of my friends in their 20′s say, I’ll just have a glass of wine to fit in. And to that I say, you don’t have to. I’m not drinking either,” said Patel.
“I have a whole slew of girlfriends who want to go out and not drink, but they still want to be able to participate,” added Gordon. “I think more and more people will offer it when they know that it’s something that people want.”
Here are some delicious mocktail recipes: