New podcast explores the latest non-alcoholic drinking trend in Cardiff

As Christmas draws near, the demand for non-alcoholic drinks seems to be growing. But is it really the season to be jolly in moderation?

Cardiff’s Christmas market offers countless alcoholic drinks. Image credit: Robyn Quick

As the days get longer and the temperature gets colder, people in Wales tend to reach for alcoholic drinks more than ever during the festive period.

Areas such as the Christmas market in Cardiff’s city centre in particular are filled with alcoholic options, with ‘Boozie Brownies’ and alcoholic hot chocolates available to buy. 

However, an increasing amount of the population are looking to cut down on their alcohol consumption.

Dinners in a Dinas: the Zero Alcohol Episode takes a deep dive into the trend and explores whether the want for non-alcoholic drinks is here to stay or will be forgotten by the new year.

Listen to the podcast here:

An insider’s perspective

Sean McKevitt, a mixologist who works in the drinks sector in Cardiff, said he thinks the non-alcoholic trend is not likely to stick around.

He said the most popular Christmas drinks usually included alcohol, citing espresso martinis as his customers’ favourite.

McKevitt added: “The baby Guinness never goes out of style.”

“I get a couple of people wanting a bit lower alcohol,” he said.

“People will tend to buy beer if they want low alcohol. We have some non-alcoholic drinks, like soft drinks or mocktails, but they don’t tend to sell too much.

“They tend to want a bit of spirit in their cocktail, as do I.”

He commented that a customer ordering a non-alcoholic drink is not a rarity, but is certainly “not a common occurrence.”

Twenty-two-year-old McKevitt has four years experience in the food and drink industry, and currently works at one of Cardiff’s most popular cocktail bars.

“With the nature of my job, I don’t think [non-alcoholic drinks] are going to be an upward trend.

“I think there might be a demand for soft drinks and maybe mocktails, but most people will probably want proper cocktails with drinks like vodka, rum, tequila… and a whole lot of shots!”

The atmosphere was bustling in the queue for festive alcoholic drinks, where we asked for the public’s opinion. Image credit: Robyn Quick

Public opinion

Also on the podcast, we asked the public whether they are looking for more non-alcoholic options during Christmas.

One respondent said: “I find myself looking for non-alcohol or low-alcohol drinks during Christmas because as I get older I find I just can’t tolerate red wine but there is so much alcohol around at Christmas.

“It is really nice to have an alternative that is non-alcoholic but still feels a bit festive.”

Wales Online found that a quarter of young people say they are tee-total, citing the lower prices as an incentive during the cost-of-living crisis.

Image credit: Maggie Gannon