What is most important to Julia Momose is probably not what you would think.

A bartender who wants to leave out the alcohol in cocktails? Julia, a Chicago Chilled 100 member, has been actively championing for nonalcoholic cocktails to become a part of more beverage programs. In this pursuit, she is hoping that we can all move away from the somewhat negative term “mocktail,” to a name that signifies a concoction as complex as any alcoholic drink.

Chilled 100 Chicago Member Julia Momose

Chilled 100 Chicago Member Julia Momose

Photo by Sammy Faze Photography

Julia hopes that people can see that bartenders work with flavor, just like chefs, and that just as sometimes there are guests with allergies that come in to dine and the chef accommodates with something thoughtful and delicious, so do bartenders create incredible zero proof cocktails for their guests who cannot, or choose not to drink alcohol.

Chilled 100 Chicago Member Julia Momose

Chilled 100 Chicago Member Julia Momose

Photo by Sammy Faze Photography

“Now is the time for influencers to change the way we talk about nonalcoholic cocktails. There is power in a name, along with hidden history, association, and purpose. Linguistic traits have a way of influencing our thoughts and actions whether we realize it or not. Let us take control of the power of a name, and create a word which captures the essence of this category of drinks that people are at last starting to talk about.”
– Julia Momose

Chilled 100 Chicago Member Julia Momose

Chilled 100 Chicago Member Julia Momose

Photo by Anna Knott

Attached is Julia’s manifesto, if you will, of intent to move away from the term “mocktail,” to a new word. She would like for us to call them “Spiritfrees.”

Spiritfree, a Manifesto

In honor of the considered nonalcoholic cocktail, a stimulating beverage of diverse and distinct ingredients, I would like to petition that we cease referring to the nonalcoholic mixed drinks we serve as “mocktails” and assign a name more befitting the care and the skill that goes into creating the beverage.

The very term “mocktail,” evokes negative feelings. The word is merely the combination of “mock” and “cocktail.” So then, is it a mockery of a cocktail, a disappointment since it isn’t a “real” cocktail? Looking at the definition of “mock” in the Merriam Webster Dictionary, one may tend to agree that the connotations are negative. I do not want to serve, nor do I want to be served a mockup of a beverage or an attempt at a cocktail. I want a proper drink! Something made with care and thoughtfulness, that takes into account the ingredients, balance, technique, and most of all, the person for whom the beverage is made.

The thought to change the way we talk about nonalcoholic mixed drinks is not a new idea. There is an increasing number of individuals speaking out against the term “mocktail.” In response to that, here are some names that have been used for these delightful drinks instead of “mocktail:”

  • Virgin Cocktail
  • Soft Cocktail
  • Nonalcoholic Cocktail
  • Zero Proof Cocktail
  • Alcohol Free Cocktail
  • Virgin “iteration of a cocktail”
  • Soft Drink
  • Nonalcoholic Drink
  • Zero Proof Drink
  • Alcohol Free Drink

All of these names include an adjective that implies the drink is somehow weak or lacking. I propose that we call these stimulating beverages of diverse and distinct nonalcoholic ingredients something entirely new: Spiritfree. Yes, there are no spirituous – alcoholic ingredients, which this name embraces. There is something lighthearted, and intentional about the name spiritfree. It’s not holding back, nor is it being held back. Spiritfree means flavors deliciously mixed together. A Spiritfree is a balanced, well thought-out nonalcoholic cocktail.

Let us show awareness and empathy for people who cannot and who choose not to drink alcoholic beverages. Let us take action and create a term with positive connotations, which empowers the customer and the bartender. Let us serve Spiritfrees.

Spiritfree Cocktail prep

Spiritfree Cocktail

Spiritfree [spi-rit・free]

noun, plural spiritfrees
 – Any variety of stimulating nonalcoholic mixed drink made of diverse and distinct ingredients.