When considering alcohol, most people never thought about low-ABV cocktails. They thought about how many Fireball shots could be slammed down in an evening. Or how a bartender’s heavy pours into their Manhattans equaled more respect (and bigger tips). Quality and flavor be damned, the goal was to draw the shortest line from Point A to Point B on the road to being face down… on the road.
Despite this, low-ABV spirits cocktails are not a new concept, as restaurants with beer and wine alcohol licenses have always found creative ways to offer cocktails. In recent years, however, there has been a marked shift towards a foodie culture, thanks in part to social media. Today’s savvy, discerning customer is not only seeking out exciting, new trends, but tastier and even healthier options. This has crossed into the world of mixology, giving rise to higher quality spirits and cocktails. And with more craft cocktails to sample, it’s vital to allow the customer to enjoy more than a drink or two to prolong the experience. Hence, there’s an incredibly relevant case for low-ABV (Alcohol by Volume) spirits and cocktails.
Low-ABV Cocktail Omakase
Low-ABV cocktails have found a new home as mixologists craft new ways to showcase their talent with a myriad of delicious cocktails. Respected establishments in California, like Mon-Li in Malibu, The Recess Room in Fountain Valley and the Gibson in San Francisco, have created omakase cocktail menus. These prix fixe offerings are designed to pair perfectly with their food courses, taking the customer on an upscale dining journey which wouldn’t be possible with higher ABV cocktails.
If you’re looking for the perfect low-ABV spirit, consider Nankai Shochu, which is 24% ABV. The aforementioned omakase menus all utilize Nankai Shochu because it mixes extremely well into both sweet and savory cocktails, resulting in a cleaner, and more refreshing finish than those using traditional spirits. Many of our fans have also discovered that its delicate flavor profile, character, and full body can also be easily enjoyed on the rocks. On top of that, because shochu is also sugar-free, carb-free, and 60 to 70% less calories than traditional distilled spirits, it’s great for those looking for skinnier options.
Discover Nankai’s Low-ABV Cocktails
Many of our favorite mixologists have embraced the delicious qualities of our sugarcane shochu to develop some truly exquisite recipes. Some great examples:
- Matthew Biancanello’s Smoked Hay Nankai
- Adam Chapman’s South Sea cocktail
- Dany Maldonado’s Nankai Milk Tea
- Jason Yu’s 50/50 Martini
- Phil Collin’s Flu Shot.
Each of these cocktails beautifully leverage its fresh ingredients and Nankai Shochu’s unique ability to elevate and enhance flavors.
The next time you’re at your favorite bar or at one our recommendations, please give their low-ABV cocktails a try. Their flavor, depth, and freshness will impress you, and you’ll quite possibly order more than one. But please drink responsibly, because low-ABV does not mean it’s a license to chug.
Imbibe Magazine: Low-ABV Cocktails
Seven Fifty Daily: The Rise of Session Cocktails
Bon Appetite: Low-Alcohol Cocktails, So You Can Day Drink All Day Long