The rise of low versus no-alcohol cocktails

Moderation is a huge consumer trend, and speaking to Australian Hotelier recently, Lyre’s co-founder Mark Livings says combining zero ABV drinks with full-strength spirits to make low-ABV cocktails is becoming increasingly popular.

Lyre’s have revolutionised the non-alcoholic category, making it easier for mixologists and bartenders to use the products because they understand the flavour profiles, but Mark told Australian Hotelier that Lyre’s still see that it is important to help train and educate the on-premise.

“For us it’s all about assisting venues with menu development, making sure there’s cocktails and mixed drinks available to consumers or patrons that they want to drink. The training is of course an ongoing investment that we need to make,” Mark explains.

“Non-alcoholic spirits behave slightly differently to traditional spirits, so making sure that as the hospitality service staff refresh… making sure that those resources and the like are available to our hospitality partners to make sure people are treating these things [seriously] and getting the best possible result in the class is important.”

During this process, Livings says he and his company have detected certain on-premise trends that he expects to continue into 2023.

“One of the things we’re seeing in the on-trade that will probably spill into the off-trade over time is the rise of low-ABV drinks-making,” the CEO outlines.

“[It’s] becoming very clear is that it’s not low-ABV spirits that are driving that, it’s the combination of a traditional spirit plus zero-abv options like Lyre’s, that are creating the low-ABV serves.”

At the Australian Liquor Industry Awards (ALIA), held in October 2021, Lyre’s served a ‘Low-groni’, a cocktail of the sort described by Mark, that paired Lyre’s products with an alcoholic spirit. The CEO states he is open to this sort of partnership again in the future.

“The people who are going to be setting the pace on this – it will be first and foremost the consumers and the patrons coming in.

“And then the mixology community, if they can enable that, that’s where products like Lyre’s will help create those low-ABV serves along the way as well.

“So whilst I’m unsure that we would do anything formally with a traditional alcohol spirit, I’m not putting a line through it,” Mark adds.

“It’s not something we object to, we’re certainly not sanctimonious and anti-alcohol, we’re simply about providing choices.”

Whether patrons are looking for low- or no-alcohol options, Lyre’s has almost every drinks category covered to support bar partners in creating an enjoyable drinking experience for any type of drinker.

Mark Livings was speaking to Australian Hotelier for it’s Leaders Forum issue, see what he and others had to say here, and sign up to the fortnightly Australian Hotelier newsletter here.

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