Cocktails are the perfect way to liven up any social gathering. From a hot summer day spent poolside with friends to a cozy winter holiday get-together surrounded by your family, there is a cocktail that is the perfect pairing for your party.
But many classic cocktails have a high alcohol content and a complicated list of ingredients. What happens when your gathering starts early in the day and will go on well into the night? And what if you want to join in the fun but not overdo it? Do you partake of your favorite adult beverage throughout the event, leaving you on the floor under the table and regretting it the next day? That could put a real damper on your festivities!
The answer to this dilemma is simple: low alcohol-by-volume (low-ABV) cocktails!
Let’s not get wasted!
Today, many people are increasingly health-conscious and re-thinking their relationship to alcohol. A greater emphasis on and appreciation of quality over quantity has been trending over the past several years and low-ABV cocktails fit right into this trend.
By swapping out certain alcohols, adding fun mixers, or trying a new cocktail, you can enjoy a low-ABV cocktail that will allow you to party throughout the day and night without going overboard with the heavy amount of booze usually found in a cocktail. Low-ABV cocktails can often be made just like your favorite cocktail, can be just as fun and creative as a high alcohol-by-volume drink, and taste delicious without leaving you tipsy after finishing just one.
Shaking Things Up with Low-ABV Drinks
Rather than mixing up a cocktail that has a high-ABV, try one that contains a bit less punch by doing things like:
- When applicable, substituting a high-ABV ingredient for one that is low-ABV. Most traditional cocktails call for the liquors such as rum, whiskey, or tequila that are around 40 or more percent alcohol. Low-ABV drinks typically include spirits that are around 20 percent or less alcohol like sherry, wine, beer, aperitifs, bitters, or vermouth.
While the flavor profile might not be exactly the same as what you are used to, you can still get a tasty cocktail made in the same vein as your original fav.
- Decrease the suggested amount of high-ABV liquor recommended for your cocktail and replace the remaining amount with a low-ABV liquor or an alcohol-free mixer that has a similar flavor profile. The odds are that you probably won’t even notice the difference in taste, but you will notice a difference in the time it takes you to get tipsy.
- Opting for a completely new, exciting cocktail that is designed to be low-ABV. In a world where creative cocktail mixology is all the rage, there is no doubt that any respectable drink menu will contain plenty of amazing new and exciting libations that, while low on the alcohol by volume content, do not sacrifice in the realm of taste. You’ll also find yourself able to imbibe longer without the need for your friends to pull the plug on your intake.
Integrating Food with the Fun
Oftentimes, when you reach for a traditional cocktail, the thought of it accompanying a meal is almost unthinkable. Because high-ABV drinks tend to be very heavy, they are not right for sipping with dinner or dessert.
Many low-ABV cocktails are engineered to be the perfect pairing for virtually any sort of food imaginable. From savory to sweet and everything in between, adding the right low-ABV drink to your meal is sure to send your tastebuds to new heights without weighing you down and filling you up unnecessarily.
Feeling inspired? Check out some low-ABV cocktails below!
Cucumber Gin Cocktail
In a cocktail shaker, mix 1 oz cucumber flavored gin, 1 oz lime juice, and 1 oz simple syrup with ice. In a glass, pour 4 oz sparkling water or tonic over ice in a highball glass and strain cocktail from shaker.
To a highball glass filled with ice add ½ oz of grenadine, 1 oz vodka, 8 oz ginger ale and mix well. Garnish with as many maraschino cherries as your heart desires.
In a cocktail shaker, muddle 4-6 mint leaves. Add 1 oz white rum, 1 oz lime juice, ½ oz simple syrup, and ice. Shake until well combined. Strain into a glass filled with ice and top with 4 oz soda water. Garnish with mint leaves.
Low Alcohol by Volume Cocktails: A Better Way to Imbibe
Today there are so many new and exciting options available to you in the arena of low-ABV cocktails. They are fun, fresh, creative, and, most importantly, a more responsible option if you plan to drink while being social with your family or friends.
With a few adjustments to your existing favorite or by delving into a new world and trying a completely new cocktail, you will undoubtedly see that you can still drink responsibly without sacrificing a good time.
Proving to be more of a movement than a trend, low-ABV cocktails truly are a better way to imbibe.