Mindful Mixology

Eating at a Meeting Podcast Episode #177

Adult Non-Alcoholic Beverages Should NOT be in the Kiddie Section of the Menu

Black and white image of a man jumping in the air, his knees tucked Derek Brown is excited about mindful mixology

I stopped drinking alcohol in 2019. It was a CHOICE I made because I no longer wanted to experience the after-effects of drinking too much, spending the money, or consuming the calories associated with it.

Since then my drink of choice has been a club soda with lime or water with lemon. I’ve tried “mocktails” before with hit-or-miss success. And, I have been “mocked” by servers and bartenders asking me, “You know that it has no alcohol in it?” Uh, Yes, that is why I ordered it.

From now on though, and because of chatting with and then reading Derek Brown’s book, “Mindful Mixology: A Comprehensive Guide to No- and Low-Alcohol Cocktails“, I WANT and really EXPECT to be able to buy a sophisticated adult drink that is non-alcoholic.

Tracy is excited to introduce YOU to Derek, founder of Positive Damage, Inc., who wants “to normalize drinking sophisticated adult drinks without alcohol … to me, they’re cocktails.”

Listen as they chat about what a sophisticated adult beverage actually is, how #MeetingAndEvents and #Hospitality venues can make room for guests who are reducing or eliminating drinking alcohol, the current state of the no- and low-alcohol movement, and the ingredients needed to make a cocktail.

Derek Brown

Author, Mindful Mixology: A Comprehensive Guide to No- and Low-Alcohol Cocktails, Founder Positive Damage, Inc., and former owner of Columbia Room in Washington, D.C. (or some combo thereof)

What do safe, sustainable, and inclusive food and beverage experiences look like to you?

One where everyone has a seat at the bar, drinkers, non-drinkers, and those who are reducing or eliminating drinking alcohol for whatever reason.

Do you have an example of a situation that negatively affected you and other individuals or groups’ food and beverage experience?

There’s been plenty of instances where I’ve had to settle for soda water and lime at otherwise top-end bars or restaurants.

…for some of us who aren’t drinking and still want that experience, you know, we want something complex and interesting, because it really still is exciting to drink something that is, you know, has all of those complex flavors and bitterness and sweetness and sourness, it kind of lights up our brain and it’s exciting…it really can foster this kind of excitement and positive emotions in us.
What is a best practice you use/or have seen to create safe, sustainable, and inclusive F&B experiences?

Incorporate no- and low-alcohol drinks into events and hospitality spaces that are delicious, sophisticated, and not resigned to the kiddie section of the menu.

What do you wish people knew about what you do?

That my own struggles have made me an advocate for better choices.

Just for fun…What are your favorite food and drink?

Right now I’m very much enjoying Guinness 0.


Connect with Derek:  Website  |  LinkedIn Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Instagram

Check out other featured guests on the Eating at a Meeting podcast

Eating at a Meeting is part of the Nitty Grits Podcast Network.


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