Tapping into mocktail mania

CHICAGO — Adulting is not easy. Often after a day full of work, life and general stresses, it’s relaxing to settle down with an adult beverage. Alcohol, however, may not be appropriate for a variety of reasons. For the nearly one-third of U.S. adults who are non-drinkers, the growing category of spirit-flavored beverages makes sense.

“There are times when you have to be a designated driver, or you cannot drink,” said Vesselina Tintikova, senior beverage applications technologist, Sensient Flavors, Hoffman Estates, Ill. “Whatever the reason is, you would like to feel a part of the event. Developing a non-alcoholic beverage that is still very similar in taste and smell as the actual product is a great solution. For example, using ingredients like bourbon and rum flavors can enhance the character of a non-alcoholic beverage whose alcoholic counterpart typically contains the real deal.

“Creativity is the driving force. It’s like being an artist using spirit flavors instead of colors. Creating a wine without wine or an oak-aged beverage without being aged in a barrel. This innovation gives the opportunity for nondrinkers to raise a toast.”

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