Just because you’re being social doesn’t always mean that you have to have a cocktail in hand, Mingle Mocktails founder Laura Taylor set out to prove that a mocktail can be just as fun! After she quit drinking several years ago, Laura decided that she needed to find an alternative to the cocktail and decided to create her own line of delicious mocktails. The brand currently features five flavors (Blood Orange Elderflower Mimosa, Cucumber Melon Mojito, Blackberry Hibiscus Bellini, Moscow Mule and Cranberry Cosmo) with a new flavor coming after Laura debuts the brand’s new line extension.
In this interview Laura shares about what sets Mingle Mocktails apart from other alcohol-free products currently on the market, which of the mocktails she’d serve at a brunch (and a delicious entree that complements the unique flavor profile), and her current go-to mocktail.
You founded Mingle Mocktails in 2017. Tell me about what inspired you to found your own brand?
When I quit drinking alcohol over 5 years ago, I noticed right away that my only option at social and work occasions (where I used to drink booze) was boring seltzer, and it left me feeling left out as others enjoyed their elegant wine and cocktails. One specific experience sparked Mingle; I was invited to a girls’ getaway weekend where I knew there’d be some social drinking. I decided to concoct and bring my own mocktail, what is now the Cranberry Cosmo, on the trip. We were at a cabin in the Poconos when corks started popping and wine was flowing, so I poured myself my sparkling Cranberry Cosmo, sat down by the fireplace with my girlfriends, and had a magically joyful feeling! It was the first time that I truly felt part of the party! I knew at that very moment I had to bring this mocktail to the market so anyone who chooses not to booze can still feel socially connected and part of the occasion. I came up with the concept in February 2017, spent every spare moment building this new brand, and held a launch party with product for sale in November of 2017. We just completed our third year in business and are poised for an amazing year 4.
What sets Mingle Mocktails apart from other alcohol-free products on the market?
There is a large segment of people, 30%, that do not drink alcohol and almost double who take breaks, so I wanted to ensure Mingle Mocktails looked just as fun and enticing as a bottle of wine, just without the booze, while also providing a new and clean option for those who are sober and/or in recovery to enjoy. For those who are sober and practicing an active recovery program, it’s recommended to NOT drink a beverage that tastes like alcohol and it’s recommended to not take substances like CBD or psychotropics that are mind altering. I crafted Mingle to meet those requirements with some key differentiators, including the following:
- Low-calorie: at just 20 calories per serving
- Free of mind-altering additives: such as CBD or nootropics
- Naturally sweetened: with organic cane sugar and fruit juices, and free of artificial sweeteners like Stevia
- Ready-to-Drink: to enable people to enjoy a mocktail easily with a cocktail glass and festive garnishes
- Flexibly mixable: with spirits to reinforce social connection and fun for everyone
- Reasonable price point: ($9.99) to ensure broad accessibility
- Soon available in single-serve RTD cans to enable people to party-on-the go!
- Five varieties: to accommodate every palate
- Inspired by someone who demonstrates you can overcome addiction and enjoy an alcohol-free life without sacrificing fun
All of your beverages are made with clean and natural botanical ingredients, how involved were you with the creating the ‘recipe’ for each mocktail?
I was personally involved in selecting every ingredient to ensure a pleasing and delightful beverage experience for every palate. The first official recipe was created in anticipation for that girls’ weekend in the Poconos, but I spent a great deal of time selecting the perfect combinations of fruits and botanicals while also aligning with the cocktail trends to increase the popularity of our offerings.
Your Mocktails are currently available in five flavors (Blood Orange Elderflower Mimosa, Cucumber Melon Mojito, Blackberry Hibiscus Bellini, Moscow Mule and Cranberry Cosmo) Which flavor has been your go-to lately?
I’ve recently ‘rediscovered’ the Moscow Mule by enjoying it served chilled and neat in a champagne flute with a few slices of jalapeno, I’m loving it! It’s exciting to incorporate fun garnishes like jalapeno or mint that truly amplify the flavors of Mingle Mocktails. I enjoy seeing social media posts where people showcase their own Mingle Mocktail creations.
What is your favorite way to enjoy your mocktails?
I prefer to enjoy Mingle Mocktails with a group of close friends by setting up a fun Mingle Mocktail/Cocktail bar. It’s surprisingly simple but so beautiful and functional because I empower my friends to create their own mocktail and cocktail creations while freeing me up to spend more time “Mingling” with my guests. All you need to do is put Mingle in an ice bucket, set out glassware, set out small bowls with garnishes like citrus wheels and fresh berries, and include spirits (if you choose) so people can choose to sip on a mocktail, cocktail or both!
If you had to plan a brunch or dinner party what are some of the dishes you would pair with one of your mocktails?
With Spring events like Easter and Mothers Day, Brunches are super popular. I love pairing the Blood Orange Elderflower with a spinach quiche and fresh fruit salad so guests can have something uplifting, light and festive while enjoying their brunch. I’d recommend the Blood Orange Elderlfower be served in a champagne flute with fresh raspberries, and add a splash of prosecco for those wanting a light cocktail.
Do you have plans to release any new flavors this year?
We have plans to release a flavor after launching a new line extension. We’re excited to provide a new product offering to our customers who have been asking for it for months. More to come in May!