Out of the unprecedented uncertainty posed by the Coronavirus and subsequent lockdowns, rose nothing but opportunity for Lilly Mills Drinkery.
Initially the ‘plan B’ for proprietors of the snazzy Rice Beaufort horsebox mobile bar unit, redundancy was the final push for sisters Allie and Suze to decree the venture their ‘plan A’ – and they’ve not looked back since.
Pushing the cart of bespoke cocktails and providing many a fine beverage to imbibe, they have been well-placed to witness first-hand the ensuing boom in alcohol-free drink options. When asked directly about this, they tell us how they “definitely think there is a growing trend for alcohol-free options, and we want to embrace that.”
And embrace it is exactly what Lilly Mills Drinkery has done – as a mobile trader catering a wide variety of events from Netflix wrap parties (!) to weddings and PR events and everything in between, they have seen and helped serve the low/no revolution.
As trends develop, attitudes change and evolve, exactly as they have observed from events they’ve catered: “some people think of low/no alcohol options as being purely for health reasons, but it’s not always the case. Some people genuinely don’t want to drink; there’s a lot of people that don’t like drinking alcohol. So our cocktail board will have all the cocktails that we have crafted for a wedding for example. but we can then make all those cocktails as an alcohol-free option.”
This creative innovation that has done Lilly Mills Drinkery so well is a great way to show people exactly what the limits are – or rather, aren’t – in the world of non-alcoholic drinks, and a lot of customers have been surprised at just how good these options can be!
“You can get some really great alcohol free ‘spirits’ these days that can easily replace gin and rum. CleanCo is a brand that we love to use, it’s hard to tell the difference and some people even double check with us that the cocktails are definitely alcohol free!”
What once would have been an obvious distinction between alcoholic and non has become something of a blurred line thanks to the development of so many great non-alcoholic options. These options appeal to a wide variety of people and can suit various needs that alcohol for one reason or another, simply cannot. For example:
“If you’re the designated driver, or if you’re pregnant, you can feel left out. You don’t really want to be drinking water or fizzy drinks all night and that used to be the only option; mocktails were just a glass of fruit juice really. Whereas now for example, we can replicate a Mojito with CleanCo R, an alcohol-free Rum that we use and it’s brilliant. You wouldn’t even know that it wasn’t alcoholic. It’s a great offering for our customers and some of them don’t realise these options exist.”
It is not hard to foresee, in line with the current booming trajectory, that non-alcoholic drinks are quite soon considered household options and brands are well-established in the mind of the public. This growth is opening doors and expanding the realms of possibility within the drinks – and wider hospitality – industry, perhaps even instigating a shift in mindset as well as consumption.
The full article is featured in the NCASS magazine Catering Quarterly, sent out to all members.
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