6 Biggest Trends in Sober Summer Travel

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By Sarah Pretorius 

By now, you’ve probably heard the phrase “sober-curious” as more Millennials and Gen-Zers re-evaluate their relationship with alcohol by removing it entirely or being a “mindful drinker.” For the 52 weeks ending September 20th, 2022, retail non-alcohol sales were up to $395m from $178.7m three years ago, according to NielsenIQ. Studies affirm that non-drinkers and those embracing a more wellness-focused lifestyle have helped the non-alcoholic beverage industry skyrocket in recent years. With summer around the corner, sober travel and sober tourism are new buzzwords cropping up everywhere, including in National Geographic.

Introducing simple yet effective ideas helps create a more welcoming and inclusive experience for non-drinking travelers who will appreciate and remember when they book their next vacation.

Savory Flavors that Bring in the Season

Non-alcoholic cocktails or mocktails have (deservedly) received a bad reputation in the past for being ultra-sweet and loaded with sugar. Not anymore. With the proliferation of innovative craft non-alcoholic products like Seedlip’s Garden 108, a non-alcoholic gin alternative, or Monday’s Mezcal, it’s never been easier to bring savory notes to the non-alc offerings on a bar menu. Check out one of our favorite non-alcoholic savory cocktail recipes below.

Gin & Garden Tonic (Cucumber Non-Alcoholic Gin with Celery Salt)

For those who love gin but want to skip the alcohol, this recipe is a game-changer. Start by filling a cocktail shaker with ice, then add 2 oz of Seedlip Garden 108, a non-alcoholic gin alternative. Squeeze in the juice of half a lime and a splash of tonic water. Shake well and strain into a glass filled with ice. To garnish, sprinkle celery salt on a cucumber slice and add it to the glass. Voila! You have a refreshing and flavorful mocktail perfect for sipping on a warm day.

When temperatures sizzle, non-alcoholic spritzes shine

It’s all about the spritz this season; luckily, plenty of non-alcoholic options are available. Two great examples include Free Spirits “Spirit of Milano” and Prima Pave’s Blanc de Blancs. The Milano is a citrus-forward aperitif with notes of grapefruit and bitter orange. To make a Milano Spritz, combine 2 oz of Milano with 3 oz of sparkling water and a splash of grapefruit juice. Serve over ice and garnish with a grapefruit twist. The Blanc de Blanc is an Italian non-alcoholic sparkling wine with a crisp, refreshing taste. Mix it with a splash of elderflower syrup and a squeeze of lemon for a sophisticated and refreshing spritz.

Elevated Real Estate on the Drink Menu

Non-alcoholic options should never be an afterthought on a drink menu. Instead, they should be placed side by side with alcoholic options or incorporated creatively. One way to do this is to create a menu section specifically for mocktails, with descriptions and ingredient lists that are just as enticing as those for alcoholic drinks. Another way is to creatively use non-alcoholic spirits, such as in a virgin Bloody Mary or a non-alcoholic Negroni.

More Mini-Bar Options

Personal-sized non-alcoholic wine and beer are a great way to offer more options to guests who don’t drink alcohol. Seedlip, Free Spirits, Spiritless, and Lyre’s offer non-alcoholic spirits that can be enjoyed straight or mixed into a cocktail. St. Louis-based WellBeing Brewing Company offers a range of delicious and refreshing non-alcoholic beers. Denver-based Gruvi also has a line of non-alcoholic beers, single-serve non-alcoholic wines, and bubbly that fit perfectly into any mini fridge.

No Booze Cruises

For those who want to enjoy a vacation without booze, Carnival is the first major cruise line to incorporate a full line of non-alcoholic spirits from Lyre’s. The line offers non-alcoholic beer, wine, spirits, and mocktails made with fresh juices and herbs. This allows guests to enjoy the same luxury and variety as those who drink alcohol.

360 Wellness Getaways

Wellness travel has already impacted how hotels and resorts redevelop their fitness amenities. Offering inclusive alcohol-free beverages is the natural progression for guests who want to focus on wellness and mindfulness; plenty of getaways offer non-alcoholic options alongside yoga classes and spa treatments. After a yoga class, guests can enjoy a refreshing, healthy mocktail with fresh fruits and herbs.

Sober folks and non-drinkers travel too! Don’t miss out on providing inclusive options for non-drinkers of every stripe, from mocktails made with non-alcoholic spirits to personal-sized non-alcoholic wines and beers, there’s no reason to miss out on the fun by elevating non-alcoholic options on drink menus and incorporating them creatively into events and vacations.

MEET

Sarah Pretorius is the CEO and Co-Founder of SipSteady, the first Marketing & PR agency that exclusively partners with non-alcoholic beverage brands and sober-friendly businesses.  To learn more information, visit www.sipsteady.com.

For 20+ years, the MEET family of products have provided regional and national resources that have kept corporate, association, medical, education, independent, and religious meeting and event planners informed about relevant vendors, industry news, tech innovations, and resources that impact and influence how and where they plan their group business.

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