Flavored beverages, cocktails, and mocktails are drinks that people rarely say no to. They help uplift the mood when alone, bring merry to celebrations, and keep everyone’s hands busy at get-togethers. Adding a dash of flavor and spark to them is the job of mixers and syrups that elevate the drink experience for consumers. Before the advent of mixers and syrups, cocktails were made using liquor and fruits or herbs. Their popularity grew in the 1960s when Jerry Thomas came out with his book titled “How To Mix Drinks; or, The Bon Vivant’s Companion.”
Drink mixers are usually non-alcoholic liquids that are mixed in drinks and cocktails, helping to lower the alcohol content in them and create balance and depth of flavor. They may change the drink’s consistency and make it thicker or thinner. They are also used to decorate a drink by changing its color or simply increasing the quantity to make it last longer. Non-alcoholic beverages can also experience a taste boost when mixers are added to them. Syrups are also added to drinks like cocktails and are made from sugar, water, and flavored ingredients. Spices, fruits, tea, and herbs may also be added for extra flavor.
Leaving consumers spoilt for choice
Mixers and syrups are experiencing innovation and experimentation at high rates in recent times to retain consumers. This has led to the availability of an ocean of options for consumers. Some of the popular cocktail syrups and mixers that enhance the drink’s experience include Orgeat, which is a creamy syrup that adds nutty almond and orange-flower water flavor, Oleo Saccharum, which is citrus flavored, with notes of cardamom, ginger, and lemongrass, and Tonic syrup, which is like tonic water, but has a more intense quinine flavor. The popular Ginger ale is a carbonated soft drink flavored with ginger, had on its own or as a mixer, while Grenadine is made from pomegranate and lemon juice and gives a fruity boost to drinks. Oxymel is a classic syrup with vinegar and honey, while Club soda is a neutral fizzy drink added to cocktails. Simple syrup, which is a 1:1 mixture of sugar and water gives some sweetness to a cocktail, and Bitters are concentrated blends of fruits, spices, herbs, barks, and roots in an alcohol.
Making drinks healthier
Cocktail mixers can be an efficient way to add an extra punch to drinks while making them healthier. One way is to add sparkling water, which is devoid of sugar and excess calories. It gives the added benefit of increasing the volume of the drink. Hot sauce and jalapenos can add spice to drinks while increasing the metabolism and speeding up digestion. Adding a squeeze of lime juice imparts a citrusy flavor to drinks for very few calories with a boost of vitamin C, helping recover from a cold. Iced green tea as a mixer contributes anti-inflammatory properties due to the presence of polyphenols. The use of low-calorie soda sweetened with stevia can replace artificial sweeteners and keep the drink healthy.
The Indian favorites
Summers in India call for refreshing drinks that can be enjoyed by all age groups. This drives the demand for syrups that can be added to non-alcoholic drinks or to water to quench the thirst. Brands like Mala’s, Monin, and Manama offer a wide range of mixers for this purpose. Some of the popular varieties include syrups in flavors like paan, rose, watermelon, pineapple, kaccha aam, kala khatta, and Alphonso. A few herbal variants like jeera shikanji, sharbat-e-ruhaan, and khus syrup are also widely loved by consumers. Innovative mixers like rasmalai crush, raspberry crush, lime crush, pink guava crush, and green apple crush are also making their mark in the mixer market.
Some of the top brands selling mixers for cocktails include Jimmy’s Cocktails, which creates cocktail mixers using high-quality ingredients, &Stirred Cocktail Mixers made from real fruits, Swa Artisanal Syrups that claim to be 100% natural, Jade Forest Tonic Water which is low on calorie, and Sepoy & Co. Cocktail Mixers that claim to use no artificial sweeteners, preservatives, or flavors.
The right way to store syrups
When not in use, syrups should be stored in the refrigerator. If they contain sugar and water, they can last up to one month in the fridge. The presence of fruits in them reduces their shelf life to a few weeks while they can be stored for up to a year in the freezer. To extend the shelf life of cocktail syrups, adding about 1oz (29.57 mL) of vodka or grain alcohol slows down the spoiling process.
Standing tall in the face of challenges
For mixer producers, the challenge lies in catering to changes in serving styles and convenience, along with erratic consumer palates. Additionally, consumers are increasingly shifting towards low-sugar drinks, which challenges companies and pushes them to innovate. In line with these trends, mixer manufacturers are coming up with attractive designs and packaging formats, experimenting with bold flavors, sourcing the best ingredients, and focusing on new product development to stand out in the market. Putting out the brand to old as well as new consumers is key to good market visibility and growth. With drink lovers spread across the globe and youngsters ready to be surprised by brands, the mixers market is set to experience a new high soon.