The Flavorful Swap You Can Use To Turn Wine Cocktails Into Mocktails

The mighty mocktail doesn't seem to be going anywhere anytime soon — the no-alcohol market is projected to boom by 34% in the next couple of years, per The Drinks Business. Perhaps less of a trend and more of a long-overdue necessity, alcohol-free beverages and mocktail menu sections are found everywhere these days.

For those entertaining or playing bartender at home, mocktails can go far beyond a run-of-the-mill club soda and lime stand-in. It's time to start experimenting with flavors and substitutes in the booze-free movement. You may miss a little buzz, but the morning version of you will thank you.

A cocktail containing wine can easily be turned into a wine-less mocktail without sacrificing flavor, and potentially even adding some welcome opportunities. What is this suitable swap-in? There's no need to visit a trendy liquor store or purchase the latest celebrity's alcohol-free wine brand.

It turns out you don't need to look much further than your pantry — that bottle of vino you pour from in the evening has several important elements in common with the bag of tea leaves you brew in the morning.

Several similarities between tea and wine

Most people are familiar with the term terroir due to its application to wine. Many a sommelier expounds on the topic when introducing the flavor notes of a recent pour. Terroir simply refers to the environment a crop grows in. Everything from the soil, to the climate, to how the grapes are farmed all can alter the flavor. When it comes to tea leaves, the terroir is just as important as it is to wine, per Robb Report. The slight nuances in taste you pick up on in a glass of wine as a result of its terroir are just as detectable in a cup of tea.

Tannin is another term often only ever used in reference to wine. However, other edible plant products contain them, including chocolate and tea. Tannins are responsible for the slightly bitter flavor and dry mouthfeel you experience while sipping a glass of red wine. Tannin levels vary amongst types of tea, but the longer you brew a bag, the more you end up with (via Healthline).

And as with wine, scent and color are also important elements of the glass. The tea aisle of any grocery store provides endless options that are fun to play around with for your next mocktail. Whether you want to add the fruity, floral punch and pop of pink from hibiscus tea to your glass, or the grassy flavor and earthy, camouflage tone of a green tea, there's a box for that.