Cocktail finals bartender hopes sugar-free recipes can encourage inclusivity

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Daniel Warren says his mother-in-law’s diabetes pushed him out of his comfort zone to create a more inclusive cocktail.

Daniel Warren

A bartender who has honed his craft for sugar-free cocktails says he is on a mission to make bars more inclusive.

Daniel Warren, originally from Cornwall and who now works in Nottingham’s Last Chance Cocktail bar, has travelled to Berlin to compete against 56 finalists in one of the world’s most prestigious cocktail championships this weekend.

Starting off as a teenage bar man and now on the world stage to the World Class Global Finals, Mr Warren says it was his mother-in-law’s diabetes that pushed him out of his comfort zone to create a more inclusive cocktail.

He said: “A slight pet peeve of mine is overloading a drink with sugar.

“My girlfriend’s mum is type 1 diabetic and that has forced me to look at other options and other ingredients, asking what can we use instead. I actually make all my drinks sugar-free now, by using raw ingredients you don’t need to add processed sugars.

“There’s always a way to make it more inclusive if you’re creative and challenge yourself. I’m currently working on a cocktail using distilled milk, which is lactose free, which is another important issue for people now.

“People are really educated now about what they can and can’t have, and it’s important for bars to be too.


“Why limit yourself to a small target audience when you can branch out, forcing you to craft more mindful drinks?”

The industry forecasts that 2019 will see an increase in brands and bartenders including low or no ABV spirits and cocktails on their menus as the global trend towards health and well-being continues to flourish.

Daniel Warren
Daniel Warren said people are ‘drinking better – not more’ (Jeff Moore/Diageo/PA)

Such is the popularity of the craze, the World Class Global Finals includes a heat for competitors to create a low or no alcohol cocktail.


Mr Warren added: “The biggest change I’ve seen is the change in drinking culture itself, people are definitely drinking less, which coincides with the push for mindful drinks, low or zero alcoholic.

“More luxury drinks, drinking less but of a higher quality and getting more pleasure from it. People are drinking better – not more.

“Simplifying old classics, for instance turning gin and tonic into a cocktail of its own, or the scotch and soda, these old highballs have come back in fashion because of people’s creative flair turning them into something new.”

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