Halal-certified, alcohol-free whisky and gin
Would you drink that?
ON THE ROCKS: Refined whisky is not determined by its age or price.
Teetotalers across Europe will soon be able to trick fellow party guests -- and themselves -- into believing they're drinking a gin and tonic when a company selling Halal, alcohol-free liquor makes its cross-Atlantic expansion next year.
After first launching in the US three years ago with its line of fake, zero-alcohol liquors, ArKay Beverages is set to expand throughout Europe next year.
Developed for teetotalers such as Muslim drinkers, pregnant women and designated drivers, the range of Halal-certified, imitation liquors drew worldwide interest when it first launched in 2011.
In 2015, company president Sylvie Grattagliano said that ArKay is poised to launch in supermarkets and liquor stores across Europe, including Italy, Spain, Germany, the Netherlands and England, with a particular emphasis on France, home to the largest Muslim population in Western Europe.
Bottles of zero alcohol whisky, gin, vodka, brandy, amaretto and even blue curacao are set to hit major supermarket retailers across France, including Auchan, Casino and Franprix, Grattagliano said.
Likewise, in addition to lining the shelves of shisha or hookah bars, the company is also planning to open alcohol-free bars under its brand across the country, she added.
ArKay is currently available in the US, Australia and Mexico.
Booze-free alcohol is seeing growing interest across Europe.
A recently released report out of market research group Mintel, for instance, found that sales of non-alcoholic beer spiked last year, particularly among older consumers and female teetotalers in Spain and Germany.
Reasons given were for improved taste and health concerns.