A Little Something For Everyone
The cocktail has been a long-standing beacon for the shift toward slowing down your day. And while this has traditionally meant an alcohol-based slow sipper, the last decade has seen a noticeable shift from booze. Not to say that the new generation is anti-booze but it seems that whole “everything in moderation” thing might be starting to resonate. But what has this shift towards moderation resulted in? The identification of alternatives that spark joy—we’re not talking pineapple juice with a dash of lime. But rather thoughtful ingredients brought together to provide a classic cocktail experience with a unique feeling (depending on what sort of alternative route you take). Our friends over at JENG have their glasses clinked with two different cocktail experiences that will give you that slight buzz you’re looking for if you’re interested in a THC experience or just a subtle chill if you might be interested in a CBD experience. Plenty-O flavors if you might be curious. But they’re just the tip. Shannon Michelle, Beverage Consultant at Brass Ring Cocktails and @moverandshakerco, happens to be an industry expert and knows a thing or two about cocktails. A look into industry trends and alternatives worth checking out.
As far as the trend goes, it really just started after the pandemic. And like most things that happen in the beverage world or even just on the consumer side, it starts with the bartenders who are behind your local bars, pouring your drinks every day. Because those are the people that are suggesting and selling to the average everyday consumer, right?
Post-pandemic, especially right after lockdown, we were living in a world where a lot of people were not leaving their homes a lot. They weren’t able to go to work and have that human interaction. A lot of people, especially in the hospitality industry, were left to their own devices and started drinking either really, really heavily or stopped altogether. But I think in both of those instances, it led to this new nonalcoholic, or at least more mindful drinking attitude coming out of the pandemic and into the real world again.
Specifically, you saw it a lot on TikTok. People were doing more of what they called a “damp” lifestyle, which was maybe drinking occasionally and then taking several days off in a row. Or there’s California sober where they just don’t drink and they still smoke weed because weed is legal in so many places now, and a lot of people are turning to that as an alternative instead. Just because they like that it’s a shorter time frame of lasting in your system, which is also kind of a turning point in the industry itself.
But yeah, I think that it started there and then we got to see it build. I quit drinking before all of that even happened, so there weren’t a lot of options at the time when I stopped. And now I find there are so many more options, which is kind of crazy. The world is super topsy-turvy on that, but I do see it being something that sticks around for a really long time. And I think that has a lot to do with the industry itself turning inwards and trying to correct some of the bad habits that we formed in our own community. So in return, I think that we’re seeing this bigger picture start to open up with the rest of the world as far as nonalcoholic or more mindful drinking goes.
I have tried a lot of different CBD seltzers, and oftentimes I do reach for those out of curiosity, especially when I’m out and I see a lot of people reaching for those too. You see them with the long slim cans and the big bright marketing on the front of them, and they typically either have CBD or delta-9 in them.
We forget sometimes, especially as millennials, that there is another generation right behind us who is of age to drink as well. All of Gen Z I believe is now of legal drinking age, and they’ve really been spearheading this change in the way we think about cocktails because they’re not drinking much actual alcohol. They are leaning more into CBD- and THC-inspired crafts, which has been really cool to see. And we lose sight of that sometimes because our generation grew up with binge-drinking in movies. Right? Just like all the time and high school parties and all that stuff.
So to think about where the spirits world is coming and going, people in those big brand roles have to be thinking about the next generation behind us. At this point in time, we’re honestly almost a little bit behind. We need to be planning for Gen Alpha and what they’re going to be drinking and what their habits will be like, and we’ll have to adapt to another round of where this will take us to. And will they even be more experienced drinkers?
What is Delta-9 THC?
Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is a cannabinoid found in hemp and cannabis plants. A few different forms of THC are in cannabis plants, but the most abundant form of THC is delta-9. When people refer to the effects of THC, they’re usually talking about delta-9.
How will a delta-9 beverage affect me?
Delta-9 is considered generally safe with most people tolerating it well. But with anything, there are potential side effects. Delta-9 can get you high which might mean you could experience altered perception, giddiness, relaxation and/or increased focus. It’s recommended to space out each dose by 30 minutes to see how it makes you feel.
Other forms of THC, such as delta-8 and delta-10, have similar chemical structures to delta-9, but their effects are usually different.
Where can you enjoy Delta-9?
It depends! States interpret the 2018 Farm Bill a little differently with each one choosing to regulate some or all cannabinoids, so it is best to check by state—just to be safe.