Less alcohol, less expensive? Not so fast…

So, you recently decided to cut down on alcohol.

You approach the bar, order a delicious mocktail that pairs perfectly with the summer breeze at your lakeside drinking spot. The barman hands you the bill. Same price as a “real” cocktail!

But why? Shouldn’t mocktails be cheaper as they aren’t subjected to the same tax and take less time to prepare the alcoholic ingredients?

One common misconception about alcohol-free alternatives is what sellers try to make them AND what they don’t try to make them. Alistair Frost, founder of premium cocktail seller Pentire explains that mocktails don’t simply try to copy the taste of “real” cocktails.

They won’t make you tipsy nor try to give you the taste of alcohol. Instead, they provide an experience and benefits, notably through high-quality ingredients and taste.

Indeed, you can get alcohol-free spirits in many supermarkets for less than a fiver. However, would you expect the same flavoursome alcohol-free experience from a cheap bottle of spirit as from a more expensive but carefully crafted bottle whose ingredients have gone through an additional step - an extensive distillation process? Hardly so.

This doesn’t mean that everyone will be or should be ready to drop 20 CHF or more on a mocktail. Many may prefer to opt for water, a juice or a soft drink at the bar instead if they value the feeling of holding a chilled glass in their hand rather than the drink itself.

Still, the question remains: why are we questioning the price of a hand-crafted cocktail, gently dealcoholised wine or nonalcoholic beer, but accepting the price for the same drink with alcohol inside?

Do we really value “real” cocktails for their taste? Or for its mind-numbing abilities?

Criticism for the pricing of mocktails may be fair when produced using low quality ingredients, but one may suggest alcoholic cocktails should be held to the same standard as its high quality alcohol-free counter part.