Non-alcoholic drinks: Making money from mocktails with Tony Conigliaro

Loading the player...

In the third part of our special feature on non-alcoholic drinks, BigHospitality sat down with leading mixologist and bar owner Tony Conigliaro for an exclusive video on how to make money from mocktails and to discover some current trends and practical tips and recipes for alcohol-free cocktails. 

As we have already discovered in this series of articles, there is arguably no better time to push drinks without alcohol. Alcohol duty, changing drinking habits and the growth of brands and retail outlets focusing on premium hot beverages and soft drinks have all had an impact on the hospitality industry.

However one area which has arguably not seen the same growth is non-alcoholic cocktails - guests looking for a pre-dinner drink in a restaurant or for something to sip in a bar while their friends enjoy a boozy tipple are often left with the choice of fruit juice or soda water.

So is there money to be made from so-called mocktails or has the fad for the sickly sweet drink which that term implies been and gone?


"There is always a need for non-alcoholic cocktails," said Conigliaro when BigHospitality met him earlier this month at his famous 69 Colebrooke Row bar. "Some people don't drink, some people can't drink and some people shouldn't drink.

"It is important that you have that offering because for those three kinds of people it is very boring otherwise. There is obviously a mark-up, we run a business after all, but it is obviously not as big as the alcoholic mark-up - but it is still there," he explained.


While presenting two recipes for booze-free cocktails which he said operators could see success with in their businesses, Conigliaro revealed people often made non-alcoholic cocktails too sweet.

Instead, he suggested, restaurateurs and bar owners should treat them in the same way they treat alcoholic drinks - consider the balance and flavour profile and think about matching it with food.

"Usually a lot of the other offerings you get are too sweet or too much to have more than one of. We have been working on a very specific non-alcoholic cocktail for Bruno Loubet's new restaurant and that is very savoury and is paired with the food.

"If someone is eating then they don't want lots of sugary stuff in between. We do flavoured waters occasionally - things that go all the way through the meal, almost like a non-alcoholic wine," he said.

Check out Tony Conigliaro's recipes for a non-alcoholic mojito and an absinthe-flavoured, soda water-based cocktail by watching the video above. For all the articles in our non-alcoholic drinks feature, click here.

Related News

Jamie Jones, one half of The Liquorists bar consultant team in Manchester, was this month crowned the world's best gin bartender and the G'Vine Gin Connoisseur 2013

Manchester barman named world's best gin bartender

Refreshing options: Our '10 of the best' gallery should help to fill your shopping list

Non-alcoholic drinks: 10 of the best

Liquid assets: Consumers are becoming more and more discerning when it comes to buying non-alcoholic drinks

Non-alcoholic drinks: Top trends for 2014

Cocktails boosted spirit sales, and could be the key to increasing cider volumes over winter months

Cider, spirits and soft drinks show strongest on-trade growth

Britvic's new Pepsi glassware features BLIPPAR technology, which enables consumers to download exclusive content and competitions

Britvic launches new draught dispense proposition with BLIPPAR technology

Tony Conigliaro to open Warhol-inspired bar, Untitled

Tony Conigliaro to open Warhol-inspired bar, Untitled

Our tea and coffee specialists share their top tips on how to inject more interest into your hot beverage menus. Photo: Taylor's of Harrogate.

Non-alcoholic drinks: How to improve your restaurant's tea and coffee offering

The Lab event will take guests through 'interactive, exclusive and intimate' experiences

Stars of World’s 50 Best Restaurants descend on London for ‘The Lab’

Soft option: non-alcoholic drinks can be paired with food

Food and drink matching trends: Soft drinks

Effectively matching spirits with food is a sure-fire way to increase average spend per head

Food and drink matching trends: Spirits/Cocktails

It might not be a comprehensive dictionary for publicans, but our A-Z of Pubs and Bars is a handy guide on some of the key terms and trends in the fast-moving industry

The A-Z of Pubs and Bars

Submit a comment

Your comment has been saved

Post a comment

Please note that any information that you supply is protected by our Privacy and Cookie Policy. Access to all documents and request for further information are available to all users at no costs, In order to provide you with this free service, William Reed Business Media SAS does share your information with companies that have content on this site. When you access a document or request further information from this site, your information maybe shared with the owners of that document or information.