Fehmz Mocktails founder wants to give non-alcoholic sips 'their own glory'
Lately, people have had to go without booze and now some of them aren't going back. Fehmida Jordaan, founder of Fehmz Mocktails, is on a mission to ensure that, for those happy to have ditched the hangover, non-alcoholic drinks of great creativity and variety can fill the gap.
In 2015 Jordaan, out of necessity, established what would become her labour of love. As a Muslim, she had limited libations to enjoy. It's haram (forbidden) for her to consume alcohol, but she still wanted to have exciting concoctions to quench her thirst.
"I admit that at first, the model was to make non-alcoholic drinks that were as close as possible to their alcoholic counterparts. But I realised that this was an injustice — mocktails deserve their own glory," she says.
Jordaan makes her craft mocktails in Sandton.
"I moved from creating a non-alcoholic mojito to dreaming up a craft Lime Drop Nojito — an exhilarating drink punched with notes of lemon and lime. Fireball was inspired by my childhood, when we'd brave eating those hot, spicy sweets called jawbreakers. The mocktail version has cinnamon tones and spicy surprises," she says.
There's a growing trend towards artisanal or craft mocktails in bars, restaurants and lounges.
"We're not mass-producing. Our drinks are experimental and can't be easily replicated. We use our own handmade mixers as a base to produce elevated flavours," says Jordaan.
"Having fun is a huge part of the craft drinks fraternity. For instance, we took our five best-selling mocktail flavours: Litchi Fizz, Lemongrass Ginger, Strawberry Spritzer, Watermelon Fizz and Lime Drop, and remixed them into ice popsicles," she says.
Fehmz Mocktails also offers a wacky product line of Bon Bons — multi-flavoured mocktail sweets that promise refreshment in a wrapper.
Jordaan tapped into an unexpected source for her inspiration. "I wanted people to drink, lick and suck interesting flavours from our products. I decided to add another sensory experience — the intense smells that are part of vaping, which I incorporated into the juice. We make flavours like Passion Hurricane (passion fruit and lime), Carnival Dreams (cotton candy) and Pina Colada (pineapple and coconut)."
DRY JANUARY AND OCSOBER
There are factors that drive a revolution. Locally, the various bans on the sale and consumption of alcohol over lockdown yielded an increase in the consumption of non-alcoholic drinks. So Fehmz Mocktails has a burgeoning market.
Research indicates that globally more people are drinking less or are braving sobriety. Initiatives such as Dry January, first rolled out by the Finnish government in 1942 as part of its war effort against the Soviet Union, increase the need for alternatives to alcohol.
Those behind the OcSober initiative are trying to get South Africans to enjoy a healthier relationship with the strong stuff.
If you're not a fan of alcohol-free beer, ciders, vir-gins, kombuchas, botanical concoctions or non-alcoholic wines, there's always the world of craft mocktails to keep you satisfied and sober.
WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE ?
• Alcohol-free beverages can have up to 0.05% alcohol.
• Non-alcoholic drinks can have a maximum of 0.5 % alcohol.
• De-alcoholised drinks have had the alcohol removed after fermentation, and should not have more than 0.5% alcohol content.
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