Beer, Wine, and Liquor

Published on March 7th, 2013 | by Jennifer Kaplan


Cocktails That Are Good For You?


“Since the first cocktail was invented by apothecaries in the early 1800’s, cocktails have long been tied to healing and health.”

This is the pitch behind Alter Herbal Martinis. Touted as “the first herbal & botanical mood mixer,” ALTAR Herbal Martinis have hit the market and are hoping to tap into the “natural” cocktail trend like VeeV Açaí Coctails and faux-natural Skinny Girl Cocktails.  According to their website, ALTER martinis blend “varietal fruits, heirloom vegetables, single estate teas, fragrant flowers, and exotic spices creating 
a truly remarkable and delicious beverage.”  Or, as the website states:

It is an all-natural premium Alcohol Free beverage masterfully blending the world’s finest and most exotic fruits, vegetables, teas, spices, along with a totally unique herbal formulation taking you on a journey beyond mind and palate.

I have to say that based on the marketing I was surprised to find that ALTER “martinis”  do not contain alcohol. They are apparently intended to be drunk alone as an ‘Herbal Martini’ or paired with alcohol to make a true cocktail. Pretty clever. Clever and pretty. Five flavors, that come in beautifully designed bottles, are branded with alluring, new age names sure to entice: APHRODISIAC, BLISS, CHI,RESTORE and CHILL. Bottom line: ALTER martinis are cleverly marketed non-alcoholic mixers.

I haven’t tried Alter Herbal Martini’s, but regardless of how they taste or their herbal attributes, I’m dubious about their marketing plan. I don’t get the sense that ALTER martinis are very sustainable nor is the company interested in natural or sustainable products and markets.

Unlike the folks at VeeV, ALTER’s site has no mention of triple bottom line values, no mention of philanthropy, no mention of Fair Trade.  To me it looks like they are just another beverage company trying to exploit the “natural” beverage category.  Cocktails that are good for you?  I’m not so sure.

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About the Author

is a former marketing consultant who decided, at the age of fifty, to turn her hand to creative non-fiction. Jennifer continues to write about sustainable food and wine, the intersection of food and marketing and food politics for and is the author of Greening Your Small Business (November 2009, Penguin Group (USA)). She was named one of The 16 Women You Must Follow on Twitter for Green Business. She has four kids, a dog, a hamster and an MBA - follow her on and .

4 Responses to Cocktails That Are Good For You?

  1. They sound tasty, but not so much with the healthy!

  2. Godoy Snodgrass says:


    I think you may be mistaken about this company. They are mostly organic as their website and labels read. They also don’t have “natural flavors, perservatives, or anything but food in their bottle. Their founder is an organic guy in the whole foods world with yogi tea, golden temple, peace cereals and a bunch of others in his background and when I searched his name he runs a non profit foundation. It appears his motivation was in creating a cocktail for people who don’t drink as he says he does not drink. I think it might actually be a great idea.

  3. I have enjoyed many cocktails over the years but never a herbal martini and with no alcohol. Interesting, anymore I’m concerned about my health so it looks like I need to try them out. Never heard of Altar Cocktails but I’m on a mission to try them.

  4. Pingback: Citrus Vodka, Hazelnut Liquor and Lemons together taste like… what?… Chocolate Cake?!? | bluepearlgirl's world

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