Local companies collaborate on non-alcoholic options
By Kris Leonhardt
STEVENS POINT – Stevens Point companies, Siren Shrubs and Tapped Maple Syrup, have teamed up with Top Note Tonic to provide “zero-proof” cocktail options to a growing movement of customers.
The companies introduced four unique cocktail kits, last week, which provide alternatives for those who desire sober options.
“We are listening to the sober community and they want to experience the same imaginative, delicious drinks as alcohol drinkers,” Siren Shrubs co-owner, Layne Cozzolino said. “There are vast reasons why people don’t drink, yet for too long the notion has carried a negative stigma. People have made assumptions or questioned that decision. We want to see that change; ensuring inclusive and creative beverage experiences for people regardless of whether there is a spirit in their drink or not.”
Some have seen a move to zero-proof cocktail offerings in bars and restaurants develop over the past couple of years, while consumers are also eager to create the environment at home.
According to Google Trends, searches for “mocktail” are up 42 percent and searches for “non-alcoholic” are up 81 percent over the past year.
“…bars started offering non-alcoholic cocktails with Top Note in them in 2018,” Top Note co-founder Mary Pellettieri recalled.
“When COVID struck, we started a local campaign called ‘Cocktails in Place’ with two spirit companies, Great Northern Distilling and Northern Oasis; a cocktail consulting business, Copper & Pines; Tapped Maple Syrup; and the liquor store, The Bottle Stop,” Layne recalled. “Each week we released a theme with accompanying video lessons and cocktail kits. Since we know that Siren Shrubs have a following with people who drink alcohol and those who don’t, we always did two ‘Cocktails in Place’ videos – one mocktail, the other cocktail. The kits reflected products from all of the partners but did not provide a non-alcoholic option so we felt the need to bring one to life. “
Cozzolino and business partner, Mindy McCord, began developing combinations of mixers.
Already connected to Jeremy Solin, of Tapped Maple Syrup, who was providing syrup for their “Maple Ginger shrub,” they instituted Tapped’s infused syrups.
“Since Tapped has been a long partner and was a collaborator on Cocktails in Place, it was easy to bring them onboard for the Zero-proof Cocktail Kit idea,” Layne explained. “As for Top Note, a simple email got us connected. Next we exchanged products to trial recipes and devise the flavor profiles of the kits. After a few Zoom meetings we were able to work through the logistics and finalize the kits.”
McCord says that while it’s a surprising trend, the zero-proof surge has taken root.
“It may seem unfathomable in the land of beer and Old Fashioneds, but the sober curious movement has taken root here in Wisconsin, and we are happy to offer ways for people to embrace it,” said McCord.
For more information, visit https://sirenshrubs.com.