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Mushroom Mocktails? Non-Alcoholic Adaptogenic Cocktail Trend & Recipes with Boreal Botanical Tonics

Boreal Botanical Brewing creates “adaptogenic botanical tonics brewed with real chaga and reishi mushrooms”. This might sound like a confusing mouthful, but these healthy, benefit-adding ingredients and drinks should be on your radar.

As we continue to battle the effects of COVID-19, having an understanding of what consumers are looking for in restaurants, and what the current concerns and tastes are, is essential.

Taking a look at Restaurants Canada’s recent Foodservice Facts Report, the 2020 Chef Survey Trends show us a movement towards ‘healthier’ ingredients and dishes – think fermented foods and plant-based proteins, and an increased interest in “unusual ingredients”.

Offering products that contain healthy, and unusual ingredients – Boreal Botanical fits the bill on these trends.

Additionally, the past few years have seen a movement away from alcohol. With the legalization of cannabis, and the sober curious movement growing in size, having mocktails on your menu is a way to capitalize on this trend.

We spoke with Andreas Duess, founder of Boreal Botanical on this topic, and how Boreal Botanical can be leveraged to meet the needs of consumers in 2020.

Can you speak to the perceived value of Boreal Botanical products for consumers?

More and more Canadians of all ages and backgrounds are including adaptogenic mushrooms like chaga, reishi and lion’s mane into their personal wellness routine. But until that mostly meant dealing with fiddly extracts or powders that didn’t deliver a great consumption experience. Boreal Botanical has created the world’s first ready to drink tonic brewed from adaptogenic that tastes amazing, with flavours inspired by Canada’s pristine boreal forests. Full of the benefits derived from their mushroom ingredients, the drinks are free from sugar, sweeteners, sodium and alcohol.

Can you speak to the mocktail or low-alcohol trend? Do you feel like this is growing in popularity and why?

Part of looking after yourself in 2020, and beyond, is having a responsible relationship with alcohol. But there aren’t many options available on the market that aren’t full of sugar, sweeteners and ingredients that are hard to pronounce. There is a real need in the market for consumers who don’t want to consume alcohol for whatever reason that goes beyond “soda with a slice of lime” offering that dominates so many bar menus. People may not want to consume alcohol when socializing, but they most definitely want to feel like part of their social circle, whatever the size of that circle may be. Adaptogenic mushrooms can supply both a gently boost (chaga) or help people relax (reishi) without any of the negative side effects of alcohol. 

Why does it make sense for a restaurant to leverage Botantical Brewing in a drinks menu?

Give people options, make everybody feel included. In addition to tasting great when served neat over ice, the drinks also make sensational mixers. The chaga with cold brew extract and a little bit of ginger syrup is a fantastic morning or brunch cocktail that is sure to wake up your senses.
With adaptogenic mushrooms reaching the consumer mainstream, it makes sense for a bar to offer these health-forward options on their menus. 

To understand how restaurants can put this into action, here are two mocktail recipes using Boreal Botancial:

Non-Alcoholic Mocktail Recipe #1: The Midnight Sunshine

Coffee spritzers are all the rage right now and the addition of chaga to this alcohol-free cocktail, instead of tonic water, doesn’t just add a delicious layer of flavour, it makes this drink even more health-forward.

We love this coffee and chaga based mocktail not just in the morning, but also as a late afternoon pick-me-up. Somehow, adding coffee to a drink gives it a little kick that reminds us of the mouthfeel of alcohol, but of course without the booze.

We’ve also made this mocktail with decaffeinated coffee with equally great results, which makes this a great drink for the evening as well. We’ve offered this to nondrinking friends when we’re meeting for an evening game of cards, to rave reviews.

Opt to add a maraschino cherry or a drizzle of pomegranate syrup.

Midnight Sunshine Mocktail

This is the perfect brunch mocktail for days when you want a little extra lift. Coffee and chaga have similar flavour profiles and work well together. The carbonation in the chaga tonic lifts the flavours, and the lemon adds a touch of brightness that’s ideal for a morning drink.

Prep Time: 2 mins

Equipment
Microplane
Vegetable peeler

Ingredients
1 serving of espresso
1/2 can Lively Chaga Black Botanical Tonic
1 lemon
Ice

Instructions
Get yourself a tumbler and add ice cubes. Make your espresso. If you haven’t got an espresso maker, strong filter coffee also works well. Pour over the ice cubes into the glass. Fill up with Lively Chaga Black Botanical Tonic. Serve with a slice of lemon and a sprinkling of microplaned lemon zest. If you don’t have a microplane grater, take a potato peeler and slice off a slice of lemon peel. Twist it between your fingers to spray the lemon oil that’s in the peel all over the drink. Serve and enjoy.

Like it a little sweeter? Add one teaspoon of honey or maple syrup to the hot espresso and stir well before pouring over the ice.

The Night Train Mocktail

The Night Train mocktail was born during a Candian winter night. We had just made a batch of delicious ginger syrup, a snowstorm was blowing outside and somebody had lit a fresh fire in the wood burner.

It was time for a drink, a non-alcoholic cocktail to be precise. We felt like something new and started mixing and experimenting with what we had on hand in the kitchen.

Mixing ginger with chaga turned out to be a genius idea. The ginger adds warmth and a gentle bite, a dash of bitters brightens everything up and aids the digestion and chaga – well chaga makes everything better in our books.

Try this mocktail the next time you’re looking for something delicious, warming and comforting.

The Night Train Mocktail

The Night Train is a delicious, warming mocktail crafted from ginger, chaga botanical tonic and bitters.

Prep Time: 2 mins

Ingredients
1 tbsp ginger syrup
1 sprig of fresh mint
1 dash Angostura Bitters

Instructions
In a glass tumbler, add ice. Pour over the ginger syrup. Fill up with Lively Chaga Black Botanical Tonic. Add a mint leaf and serve. Bruise the mint leaf slightly before adding it to the drink, to release the aromatic oils.

Be sure to check out Boreal Botanical Tonics in the Fall 2020 Bar & Bev Showcase!

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