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Your 101 Guide to Temperance Bars: Paving the Way to Creative Mocktails

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Updated on January 24, 2024

In all of our social experiences in different places around the world, booze drinks have always played a pivotal role. These drinks have earned the reputation of being essential in most social situations. People have always held them in their hands while fostering exciting conversations, laughing loudly, or dancing without a care in the world. 

More than a few cocktail options exist everywhere, driving people to believe that delightful moments can never be without those glasses. That was until the temperance bars came into being, introducing the same lively ambience but without the alcohol factor. They are also known as alcohol-free bars, dry bars, or sober bars, suggesting a vibrant party without the ugly consequences of a hangover. 

Imagine stepping into a world that goes against the norm, and instead of encouraging alcohol, it promotes a healthier lifestyle. We have curated all the information needed to learn about temperance bars and indulge in the joy of wine and spirits while skipping the terrible headache the following day.

The Rise of Temperance Bars: A Brief Introduction to the History of the Sober Movement

Commonly known as the temperance movement, it started in the early 19th century by religious communities. Their main objective was to limit the consumption of alcohol or even prohibit it altogether. Some records in history go as far as the early 1800s, claiming that the earliest movement occurred after there were concerns regarding the overindulgence of drinkers.

In 1879, Frances Willard was part of the influential organisation known as the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU), with around 120,000 followers. The movement first took place in the United States and was led by women. Their main motto was “Do Everything to Protect Women and Children,” believing that heavy drinking could have detrimental effects not only on one’s health but also on those around.

The Downfall of the Movement

For a short while, the movement was successful and consuming alcohol became against the law. Yet, their triumph was short-lived, given that many continued to violate the law by either drinking or promoting alcohol.  When alcoholic beverages abstained in the market, large groups of people went insane, doing whatever they could to grab a hold of any drink. 

Some even went far by making the drinks inside their homes in their bathtubs, trying to produce large quantities. This was even known as the “bathtub gin.” That method was quite dangerous, given that the ingredients people used were harmful and caused detrimental effects on one’s health. Some dropped ill as a result of the stuff they were using, unaware of its hazardous content.  

Addicts even took it far by faking medical prescriptions so they can get alcohol through pharmacies. Bootleggers also came into the picture, smuggling alcoholic drinks as much as they can, which later became an organised crime occurring across the country. Law enforcement worked hard to counter the anti-movement members but fell behind against the significant rise of alcohol crimes.

Temperance Drinks Staging A Comeback

Although the movement’s victory was taken down back then, its impact is somehow evident in our modern world. Non-alcoholic beverages are highly demanded again. With the younger generations becoming more conscious of their well-being and leading healthier lives, new opportunities were presented in favour of temperance bars. 

The mindsets of today’s people are significantly evolving, embracing the benefits one can reap from limiting the consumption of alcohol and staying sober. While temperance bars today are not here to abolish the traditional bars, they’re merely offering different choices for those interested in improving the quality of their lives.

Live Example: The Virgin Mary Bar in Dublin

Speaking of the strong comeback of temperance bars, we were honoured to meet Vaughan Yates, the founder of Dublin’s Virgin Mary Bar. He helped us gain firsthand insight into how non-alcoholic beverages are highly-demanded in today’s world. 

In this video, Vaughan explains how he shifted his business industry from alcohol to cocktail spirits, as they’re called, or specialising in non-alcohol drinks. He opened his first no-alcohol bar in 2019 in Dublin, explaining that opening the premises didn’t need a licence, which made the process easier and faster. 

Yates explained that he believed Dublin was in need of a temperance bar to serve the minor percentage of non-drinkers in Ireland. Although there are multiple bars in Ireland, there weren’t many that were alcohol-free. So, he set up the Virgin Mary Bar on Cable Street to cater to the 25% of Irish non-drinkers, which is still a large number of people, according to Yates.

The bar reopened its doors again last July, welcoming its customers back after being closed since the pandemic. Watch the video and walk through Vaughan Yates’ inspiring experience of having a leap of faith and changing the direction of his industry while claiming triumph.

The Positive Impact of the Temperance Movement

Temperance bars are gaining massive popularity in today’s world. People have been flocking to these sober havens to relax, socialise, and indulge in healthy and flavourful beverages. If you still believe that temperance drinks are nothing but boring, you may want to take a look at the health benefits that result from giving up alcohol.

The Emergence of Mocktails

Mocktails

Mocktails are the combination of the terms ‘mock’ and ‘cocktails’, which is quite simple to grasp its idea. Temperance bars have been associated with the creation of these marvellous non-alcoholic beverages. Not only are they much healthier and lighter, but they come in lots of flavours and colours. So, there is no way you wouldn’t find the right mocktail for you to enjoy. 

They imitate the texture of spirit drinks, offering you the same soda combined with fruits and other flavours without a single pint of booze. Nonetheless, you still get the same happy effect that cocktails provide but without the undesired hangover.

Significant Reduction in Alcohol Consumption

Social gatherings usually call for having a glass or two of alcoholic beverages. The emergence of temperance bars has contributed to reducing the consumption of alcohol significantly by offering healthier alternatives. This benefit has been super for individuals with a history of suffering from addiction.

Although mocktails have significant benefits, this one, in particular, is deemed the greatest of them all. It also helps those who are trying to quit drinking or limit their consumption by eliminating the temptation of reaching out for alcoholic beverages. They are a great way to still relish in the same mixology and passion of cocktails, though, but with no disastrous effects.

Use of High-quality Ingredients

Temperance drinks, rather known as mocktails, have proven to be a delightful alternative to booze drinks. The best part is that these beverages, unlike the alcoholic ones, opt for ingredients of higher quality and better nutritional value. Crafting a temperance drink requires four parts, starting with the base, followed by the sour part, the semi-sweet part, and then topping with a garnish.

The base could be anything ranging from herbal tea, coconut water, or sparkling water (flavoured or unflavoured). Fruits are the sugary elements used to sweeten up the drink while offering some nutritional value to your beverage. Most notably, mocktails or temperance beverages offer deep hydration, which is effective in eliminating the chances of sore headaches or sluggishness. By embracing these temperance drinks, individuals can relish delightful flavours while prioritising their mental and physical health.

Expanding the Market of the Non-alcoholic Products

Before the rise of temperance bars, non-alcoholic products were found at minimal. This has made it challenging for specific groups of people who had to abstain from consuming alcohol, especially nursing mothers, pregnant women, or those with specific religious beliefs.  In all cases, refraining from alcohol is a personal decision and it shouldn’t be challenging due to the lack of alternatives.

Yet, it’s now easier than ever with the rise of temperance beverages. Today, the non-alcoholic market has significantly peaked. While it shrank significantly during the pandemic crises, it’s expected to rise again by 2025. These products have become abundant and available, especially for the minority opted to enjoy guilt-free products.

Giving Voice to Women 

You may find this point a bit irrelevant but if you dive into the details of the sober movement, you will realise how true this statement is. The movement was led by a group of women, inspiring more women to speak up and share their concerns regarding the heavy drinking of alcohol. They marched into the streets under the motto “Do Everything to Protect Women and Children.” 

This explains how excessive drinking in America at that time had gotten out of control that several families were affected. Even more, the drinks were packed with harmful ingredients that made several drinkers bedridden and some even went blind. With the persistence of the movement, victory had found its way, even if briefly, and women’s voices were finally heard. 

The younger generations are showing a remarkable level of health awareness, far surpassing that of their older counterparts. This is evident in the surge in marketing campaigns promoting healthy lifestyles, vegetarianism, low-carb diets, and more. The re-appearance of temperance bars after being shunned for many years is another evidence of today’s youth gravitating more towards healthier choices for a better quality of life.

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