Alcohol, just like everything else, has its own trends and fads that come and go. Right now, cocktails are truly making a comeback, as people are appreciating resurrected creativity that makes cocktails so popular. Even cocktails themselves aren’t immune to trends! However, recently, you’ve probably noticed a trend away from the heavy, boozy cocktails and drinks that leave you with a crushing hangover the next morning. Instead, many people are now turning towards lower alcohol spirits and drinks as a way to still have the fun that alcohol encourages, without feeling like crap the following morning.
There are many different ways to have and prepare lower alcohol spirits, but one of the best is to be extremely mindful of the alcohol you’re choosing. Sticking with heavy, dark, alcoholic beers and liquors is a surefire way to make you cancel your skiing, hiking, or brunch plans the next morning.
Instead, you could try to go with a smooth, clean, fresh lighter alcohol such as Switch (Vodka Light).
LOWER ALCOHOL SPIRITS: A EUROPEAN TREND
Low-alcohol cocktails and drinks have long been the go-to drink in most European cities.
If you’ve had an Aperol Spritz or seen your friends posting theirs on Instagram, then you’ve already skimmed the surface of what low-alcohol cocktails can bring to the table.
Low-alcohol drinking is all the buzz because it appeals to a new generation of educated drinkers who are curious about new ways to drink. We get to moderate our own consumption, try new flavor combinations and mixtures, and, most importantly, feel ready for whatever’s next – either later that night or tomorrow.
Less alcoholic ingredients open up creative, new drink formats for people and bartenders alike to play around with, and new ways to think about flavors for their guests.
It can be quite tricky being able to pair boozy cocktails with food, as the flavors and strength of mixed drinks can easily overpower dishes. In our rapidly-evolving cocktail and food culture, innovation is key.
INNOVATION IN MIXING: THE RISE OF LOWER ALCOHOL DRINKS
Low and non-alcoholic drinks really became popular in 2014, with the company Seedlip. Seedlip capitalized on a demand people didn’t know they had: a quality alcohol-free alternative. This demand was joined by people who simply don’t want to drink alcohol as a religious or lifestyle choice, or people who wanted to cut their intake for health reasons.
Non-alcoholic drinks have been a rapidly growing market, and this growth is projected to continue well into the future. The global value of the alcohol-free spirit category grew by 499.5% between 2014 and 2019, according to The IWSR. And there’s more growth yet to come: volume sales are predicted to increase by 40.5% globally from 2019 to 2024.
In addition, low- and no-alcohol is one of the most innovative categories out there, driven by creators outside the drinks industry as much as by traditional distillers. The founder of Seedlip was running a design agency when he came up with the idea of Seedlip.
Capturing flavor – and keeping it – is the key challenge for no-alcohol spirits producers, as alcohol both heightens flavors in a drink and acts as a preservative (which accounts for the long shelf life of spirits).
To create low-alcohol spirits you simply stop distilling when you reach your required abv. Botanical extracts can be added after distillation to round out and ramp up the flavor.
GREAT LOWER ALCOHOL SPIRITS TO TRY
One great drink to include in your list of lower alcohol spirits is vodka.
Vodka is naturally a lower-alcohol spirit than others such as whiskey, tequila, and gin. Additionally, by using Switch Vodka, you’re ensuring that you are getting a high-quality spirit with no added sugars or artificial ingredients. Here are a few of our favorite vodka-based lower alcohol drinks that guarantee a fun night, but leave you hangover-free the next morning!
Wake County Cooler
Ingredients (Makes 12 servings):
- 1 750 ml bottle of Switch Vodka Light
- ⅔ of a cup of black tea
- ¼ cup sugar, or a natural alternative like agave
- ½ oz of fresh lemon juice
- Club Soda
- Lemon wedges and mint sprigs (for garnish)
- Combine vodka and tea in a large pitcher, and let sit at room temperature, stirring occasionally, for 2 hours.
- Combine sugar (or agave) with ¼ cup of water and stir until combined, mix into vodka/tea mixture.
- For each drink, fill a glass with ice, add lemon juice and 2 oz of your vodka mixture. Fill to the top with club soda and garnish with a lemon wedge and mint sprigs.
Apple Cranberry Moscow Mule
- 4 oz Switch Vodka Light
- ½ cup cranberry juice
- ½ cup sparkling apple juice or apple cider
- 1 can ginger beer
- Fresh cranberries and sliced apples, for garnish
- Fill 2 glasses with ice and add equal amounts of Switch Vodka, apple juice, and cranberry juice to each glass, then stir to combine.
- Fill the remainder of the glass with the ginger beer and gently stir to incorporate. Garnish with cranberries and apples as desired, and enjoy!
The Apple Cranberry Moscow Mule adds traditional fall flavors of cranberry and apple to remain crisp and refreshing. It’s not overly sweet or bitter, but adds the tartness of apples and cranberries to make an absolutely delicious fall cocktail!
Low Alcohol Drinks for a Healthy Diet
The common thought is that in order to lose weight and stay healthy, you need to avoid alcohol at all costs. The traditional way of thinking is that alcohol isn’t conducive to being healthy and active, especially since it’s just empty calories. At Switch Vodka, we’re trying to prove that you don’t need to give up alcohol to be healthy.
We at Switch Vodka believe that including alcohol in a healthy diet is entirely possible. We want to make it as easy to do that, so we created a low-carb, gluten-free, low-calorie, with only clean, natural flavors and no added sugars or artificial ingredients. We then use our state-of-the-art iStill distillation process to ensure a high-quality spirit that is crisp and smooth and will let you get out of bed the next day, hangover-free, with energy for that Sunday morning hike!