Jessica Rodrigues making cocktails at the Beatrice Society Cafe

A Healthier Approach to Cocktails

When it comes to making cocktails healthier, options are often limited. While vodka sodas and sugar-free seltzers may fit the bill in terms of calorie count, the benefit comes at the expense of flavour profile and complexity that a well made cocktail delivers. And then there’s the alcohol itself; what place, if any, does alcohol have in wellness?

Our answer to that is, unsurprisingly, moderation. Just as food does more than simply fuel us, the value in social drinking goes beyond the effects of alcohol. There’s value in the camaraderie born from gathering with friends over drinks, and the fun in exploring unexpected flavour profiles.

We approached introducing cocktails to our menu in the same way we approach everything: through the lens of curiosity and a desire to explore new possibilities. What does a healthier cocktail look like, and what would make that better? How can we maintain flavour without adding sugar? Are there ingredients that can deliver on both complexity and nutritional properties?

After months of work, we’re excited to share that we think we’ve done it.

Cocktails you can feel good about

Our 6 cocktails are all alcohol-optional: they are all equally flavourful and delicious with or without alcohol. This means you can enjoy them whether you’re sober completely, for the night, or just keeping things in moderation.

Jessica Rodrigues making cocktails at the Beatrice Society Cafe

We intentionally selected ingredients that maximize flavour, minimize sugar, and add nutritional benefits where possible.

Pear juice, found in our Prickly Punch and Smoke Break, has been used for centuries in Asia as a way to prevent hangovers, and recent studies seem to support this use, finding that pears stimulate the production of alcohol-metabolizing enzymes. She Love Me is a refreshing mix containing rose water and aloe, both good sources of antioxidants. And our Matcha Martini features, well, matcha, which is well-known for its variety of health benefits.

To be clear, we are by no means claiming that cocktails are a health product. But if you’re going to have one, ours are, at the very least, a more mindful option.

Meet Jess, the brains behind our bar

Jessica Rodrigues, an experienced mixologist with more than 12 years in the industry, took on the challenge of developing our cocktail menu and created something we are all very excited about. We sat down to discuss inspiration, what goes into a healthier cocktail, and inclusivity in the hospitality industry.

Jessica Rodrigues making cocktails at the Beatrice Society Cafe

What were you most excited about when it came to creating Beatrice’s cocktail menu?

I really thrive behind the bar when I have the freedom to create, so when Beatrice challenged me to make something fresh, not overly complicated but still creative and tasty – I was thrilled to take on the task.

The idea of cocktails in a wellness space may seem counterintuitive at first. How was your approach to this menu different from others you’ve put together?

I actually really loved the prioritization of health and wellness, as it’s something that lacks in the industry. Even before Beatrice, I’ve always made health a priority when creating cocktails. The question I ask myself when curating a healthier cocktail menu is how to make something sweet and flavourful without using sugar. This project really pushed me to think outside the box and experiment with flavours. 

Jessica Rodrigues making cocktails at the Beatrice Society Cafe

The most unique thing about this menu is the “alcohol-optional” concept. How did that come together?

It was really important that every cocktail could hold its own with or without alcohol, so I started by making everything non-alcoholic by default, with the option of adding liquor if desired. Not only does this provide a healthier cocktail option, but it also makes for a more welcoming space. I believe in creating a space that’s inclusive of everyone, and doesn’t alienate those who are sober or simply choose not to drink.

I think the benefits of social drinking should be accessible to everyone, and whether you choose to drink alcohol or not, I welcome you to enjoy a delicious drink, in good company, at our cafe.

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