Alcohol-free tequila, you say? We'll drink to that!
Mockingbird Spirit is the UK’s first non-alcoholic tequila alternative created for a sober lifestyle. The product was founded by Fern McCoy, who has a passion for Mexico's culture. Her mission was to create something original that would taste just like real tequila but for people who want alcohol-free options when it comes to Palomas or Margaritas after dinner.
We reached out to Fern and asked her about all things tequila, sober lifestyle, and how Mockingbird came into being!
Fern, tell us please a little bit about when and how it came to your mind to create an alcohol-free tequila alternative?
I have always been really into alcohol-free options and was closely watching the category grow, getting more and more excited by all the innovation and creativity I was seeing along the way. My personal favourite alcoholic drink is tequila though so I was really hoping there would be a non-alcoholic option that was going to be released. However, after seeing the dream not come to fruition, I wondered whether it was even possible to… so I started the process of experimenting on my own and it kind of (hugely) snowballed from there.
What was the hardest part in the early stages of the company’s growth?
When everything was just starting out it was only me, myself and I which made it quite tricky trying to learn all the elements of the business literally ‘on the job’. I wore many different hats and it was an ongoing career development experience for me. Luckily, I really enjoy cultivating new skills so although it was a lot, I tried to make the most out of every opportunity.
How do you mimic the taste of tequila in your alcohol-free spirit? What ingredients, besides 100% Blue Agave do you use to produce Mockingbird Spirit?
The Organic Mexican Agave is definitely our numero uno ingredient, but there’s actually probably way more ingredients than you might first imagine. We have added vanilla for sweetness, cinnamon for smokiness, pepper for spice, lemon for the citrus notes and habanero chilli for the heat! All packaged together in exacting quantities it makes for a well rounded palate.
How do you recommend drinking Mockingbird and what is your favourite way to enjoy it?
Day to day I can admittedly be a little lazy on the mixology front. I often will just have a Mockingbird, fresh lime and soda water - it’s quick and refreshing, so it always hits the spot. When I’m feeling fancy though I’ll reach for the cocktail shaker and will most likely mix a margarita or a paloma, both are equal favourites.
What’s the most common misconception about the Mockingbird spirit you hear from those who haven't tried it yet?
People think it’s going to BURN like an alcoholic spirit but that burn is actually the alcohol aka ethanol so you won’t get any nasty surprises with non-alcoholic spirits like Mockingbird - it’ll definitely be a more enjoyable experience with none of those horrid hangovers either.
What are recent trends you’ve noticed in non-drinking culture?
Functionality. It’s also something we value in our process too. Making a drink flavoursome but also having a health/ well being/ mental / physical benefit to the beverage as well is certainly a hot topic. In our case we have used the adaptogen Ashwagandha which can balance the mind and body by responding to any stress or anxiety you might be harbouring. The future is function!
If you had to pick one drink (and it can’t be made by you!) to have for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Shamefully I love Diet Coke but I wouldn’t want to exclusively drink that as it probably wouldn’t make for the healthiest of lifestyles so I would pick any sort of coconut water and if it had some CBD in it too then that would be the winning combo for me. ‘Booze-free with benefits’ is definitely my style.
Mockingbird Spirit tequila alternative and Esmeralda Cerveza, alcohol-free beer, are available from Lassou. Shop now.