Canberra startup Altina Drinks is on mission to shake up the Aussie drinking culture by creating Zero Proof Craft Cocktails that pack a punch without the alcohol. Co-founders, Christina Delay and Alan Tse have taken their idea through The Mill House Social Enterprise Accelerator and are now both about to jump in full time to start a movement, where no one should feel out of place for choosing to not drink alcohol.

“As a consultant in my day job, I have attended a lot of networking events where there was normally free flowing alcohol. However, I started attending networking events (such as First Wednesday Connect) that attracted people with different background/experience, such as innovators, entrepreneurs or people who ran small businesses. I really wanted to focus fully on meeting and talking to people but found that hard after a few beers or glasses of wine. I also felt sluggish and foggy after a week of work events featuring alcohol.” Chief Taster and CFO, Alan Tse.

The challenge Altina Drinks face is a big one, with over 70% of Australians believing Australia has a problem with drinking and alcohol abuse, yet 80% think enjoying drinks with mates is a great Aussie tradition. At the same time, there is a shift in drinking behaviour, where half of recent drinkers moderated their drinking with concern for health as the main driver. However, there is very limited choice when it comes to non-alcoholic beverages to enjoy in social situations.

Current options include sugary soft drinks and juice-heavy mocktails. As consumers become more health-conscious and their tastes become more refined, there is a growing demand for a sophisticated product to fill the gap in the market between these options.

“We’re distributing our cocktails with a vision to make sophisticated, beautiful and flavour forward drinks, accessible to everyone. We also create zero proof experiences including bespoke cocktails, alcohol free events and masterclasses.

As a social enterprise, we have social change in our DNA. We’re using our brand as a vehicle for change by starting the conversation about mindful drinking and continuing it by creating unique and memorable alcohol-free experiences.”

Altina Drinks are powered by plants and contain minimal sugar; the team have re-invented methods traditionally used to produce alcoholic drinks to get maximum flavour from botanicals, herbs and spices, without using or producing alcohol in the process.

Our big ambitious goal is to normalise alcohol free drinking. There is currently a bias towards alcohol free drinking. When I don’t hold onto a beer in my hand at work functions, I’d always get asked if I am okay or if I am unwell. These are positive and collaborative colleagues, but the ingrained culture that we live in seems to suggest that we don’t drink, there must be something wrong.

Another big goal for us is to convince organisers of events and venues to think and design inclusive events for people who choose not to drink alcoholic beverages, rather just an after-thought. We want people to have delicious flavour-driven drinks if they choose not to drink, but still want to socialise and be part of the vibe.”

So where can you find these delicious drinks, without the hangover? Visit Altina Drinks to find out about the latest events and tastings.

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