The face of celebrations as we know it is changing. More and more people are adopting health-conscious lifestyles and consuming no or less alcohol.
The alcohol-free market is increasing as the growing culture of conscious gatherings and mindful drinkers, where people are choosing to socialise while enjoying good food and drink over clubbing and binge drinking, is becoming more popular. Aiming to be ahead of the trend and cater for consumers choosing to drink less, less often, or not at all, Bacardi Limited recently introduced a refreshing, alcohol-free sparkling drink in South Africa called Martini 0.0% Dolce. Part of the Martini sparkling wine portfolio, it keeps the flavour of a spumante, but with zero alcohol, giving it sparkling drink status.
Martini 0.0% Dolce is made to taste like Italian sparkling wine, but with zero alcohol content. With the low/no trend reaching new heights, it caters to those who are looking to moderate their alcohol consumption without compromising on taste, says Mahesh Madhavan, the global chief executive of Bacardi.
Begun in 1863 in Turin, Italy, Martini’s portfolio of products is more than drinks; it is art forms which have captivated people around the world for more than 150 years. Martini represents not only a style and way of life, but Italy itself.
The Martini brand is part of the portfolio of Bacardi Limited, headquartered in Hamilton, Bermuda. Bacardi Limited refers to the Bacardi group of companies which includes Bacardi International Limited.
“We have a history of 157 years as a company and when I look at what we have done around the world over the years, we have a long-term perspective of looking at things to benefit consumers and customers,” said Madhavan.
“Right now, we are seeing consumers making choices about what they drink. We are seeing a sober curious mindset, especially among the younger generations, the millennials and Generation Z. They are thinking about what they do with their money, how they spend their time and what goes into their bodies.
“You see them spending a lot of time looking after themselves. Perhaps unlike our generation. I don’t think we exercise as they do today.
“As part of that, we are seeing them drinking less, and drinking more premium brands. This was the genesis for Martini 0.0% Dolce”.
I meet Madhavan at Italian restaurant and home of the Martini Terrazza - Villa 47 in Bree Street, Cape Town - where I got to taste the Martini 0.0% Dolce.
Drinking it chilled from a flute glass, it is light and fruity with delicate hints of grapes, apple and pear. I also had it as a Delizioso spritz cocktail . I preferred the latter and enjoyed the bitterness of the Angostura bitters.
“Ten years ago, going out was about going to night clubs, buying bottles for the table and partying all night, arriving back home at 3am or 4am in the morning. I am seeing this on the decline as I travel across Europe and the US,” says Madhavan.
“People are placing more emphasis on experiences. They want to experience different cuisines of the world and different cocktails. It’s about mindful drinking and sipping They are drinking less and really enjoying every sip they take.
“There is a small segment of people today, expected to grow in the future, which is saying, ‘I want to be in control of the night and I should have the experience of choosing beverages which provide me the drinking experience without alcohol’.”
How to make a Delizioso Spritz cocktail
150 ml Martini Dolce
75ml tonic water
2 dashes Angostura bitters
1 wedge lime hand squeezed
Method -Build over ice in Martini balloon glass