The fictional monkey Curious George created by Margret and H.A. Rey in 1939 has spanned across children’s books, movies and even a popular animated series. George’s curiosity has taken him all over the world and even into outer space. Much like the curious little monkey, consumers are seeing their curiosity lead them into a new world of non-alcohol innovations.

For Laura Taylor, an eagerness to liven up non-alcohol options at social gatherings for herself played a major role in her creation of Mingle Mocktails ( in 2017.

“I attended a lot of parties when I drank alcohol and loved the feeling of holding an elegant cocktail in my hand,” she says. “I attempted to give up alcohol for several months and the one thing keeping me from doing it was being stuck with boring soda or water, and saying ‘no’ to a cocktail was met with questioning looks that could feel really alienating. 

“I still wanted to feel part of the party, but on my own terms, which is what led me to start crafting my own mocktails to bring to social gatherings,” she continues. “I knew that if I felt this way, other non-drinkers did too, which is how Mingle Mocktails was born.”

Taylor also recognized that the desire for flavorful, alcohol-free beverage solutions was not unique only to her.

“Today, we’re working with a much more conscious consumer that’s hyper-aware of what they’re putting into their bodies, especially when it comes to alcohol,” Taylor explains. “This increased focus on wellness has largely contributed to the sober curious movement and alcohol-free wellness challenges like Sober October, Dry January or 75 Hard. 

“Regardless of a person’s reason for not drinking, mocktails like ours allow them to still feel part of the celebration,” she continues. “I think that’s what has contributed to the category’s success and growth.”

Featuring six fruit-forward, zero-proof mocktails ― Cranberry Cosmo, Cucumber Melon Mojito, Key Lime Margarita, Blood Orange Elderflower Mimosa, Blackberry Hibiscus Bellini and Moscow Mule ― Mingle Mocktails are packaged in sleek, 12-ounce cans as well as 750-ml glass bottles.

Female connection

In the competitive beverage market, many will attest that having an innovative concept that tastes good does not guarantee success. Given this, Taylor has found herself an ally in another female entrepreneur who shook up the beverage market: Bethenny Frankel.

“I am thrilled to partner with an incredible businesswoman like Bethenny, who has already achieved tremendous success in the beverage industry as a category creator and disrupter,” Taylor says. “Our shared goal is to build and own the adult non-alc market much like Skinnygirl built and owned the [ready-to-drink] (RTD) cocktail market. 

“Bethenny’s business expertise as an innovator, disruptor and authentic influencer will be instrumental in growing Mingle’s national retail presence and owning the adult non-alc market,” she continues. “She’ll also help accelerate Mingle’s growth by leveraging her platform through social amplification, events, and other special initiatives.”

Indeed it was Frankel’s authentic approach that sparked the connection with Mingle Mocktails.

Bethenny Frankel with Mingle MocktailsBethenny Frankel
Image Courtesy of Mingle Mocktails

“I bought it online and reviewed it honestly, which was that I loved it and it tasted like a real cocktail,” Frankel says. “The founder reached out, I invested my money ― a very serious rarity ― and here we are. It’s going to explode. 

“Beyond the elevated packaging and flavor variety, I love that each of Mingle’s flavors can be enjoyed on their own or used as a mixer in a cocktail,” she continues. “Mingle’s ability to appeal to drinkers and non-drinkers alike makes it so much more versatile than a traditional mocktail and will be a huge growth driver.”

Frankel created the Skinnygirl Margarita, expanding the Skinnygirl Cocktails brand with premium spirits, ready-to-serve cocktails and wines. Having sold the company to Beam Inc. in 2011, Frankel is primed to offer her expertise to the Mingle Mocktails brand and shake up the beverage market again.

“After breaking into the beverage industry with Skinnygirl, I was able to turn one brand into a full lifestyle revolution that now encompasses a variety of different products,” Frankel says. “While we’re answering a different consumer need here with Mingle Mocktails, I’m going to utilize the same strategic thinking and business expertise to accelerate the brand’s growth and bring mocktails to the mainstream.

“I literally invented the ‘skinny Margarita’ and have made the celebrity cocktail space, low-calorie cocktail space, and ready-to-drink cocktail space what it is today,” she continues. “I know what I know, and I haven’t seen a RTD low-calorie mocktail that is similar, and we are going to blow the doors off this industry. I started this entire space, so I am entitled to be here and own it.”

Like Taylor, Frankel also has noticed the growing interest in alcohol-free solutions as well as its staying power.

“Sober curiosity has been a consistent trend in the last few years, and I believe that’s an effect of the rise of wellness culture,” Frankel says. “Consumers are generally being more cognizant of what they’re putting in their bodies and the concept of ‘mocktails’ allows them to still feel social and part of the party, even if they’re not drinking. People are prioritizing balance and how they feel. Also, Mingle is easily mixed with liquor for a delicious, spirited beverage.”

The company notes that Frankel’s business acumen will be instrumental in expanding Mingle Mocktails’ national retail presence, which already includes retailers such as Whole Foods, Walmart, CVS, Albertsons, Safeway, Total Wine, Costco, Wegmans and more. To accelerate Mingle’s growth among its target female demographic, Frankel also will leverage her platform through social amplification, events, and other initiatives, it says.

Stronger together

The partnership between Taylor and Frankel serves as an example of female entrepreneurs joining forces and establishing their place in an industry where a dearth of women in leadership positions still remains.

“By harnessing the collective strength and determination of two like-minded businesswomen like Bethenny and me, we’re aiming to catapult the Mingle brand and mocktail category to new heights,” Taylor says. “The beverage industry has been historically male-dominated, which is why it’s more important than ever to continue empowering women in the space who are blazing new trails, building brands, and telling new stories.  

“Both Bethenny and I have worked in male-dominated industries and we both love a good challenge, but it’s personally gratifying to know we’re showing young women ― including our daughters ― that you can achieve any goals you set with hard work, focus and determination,” she continues. “Bring it on.”

Frankel also touts the need for female voices and what they can accomplish.

“The beverage industry is a ‘boy’s club’ ― breaking into it requires a strong voice and innovative ideas,” Frankel says. “By empowering other female entrepreneurs in the space, we’re able to reinvigorate the category with fresh new ideas and perspectives that will continue moving the industry forward.

“The right women are business gangsters,” she continues. “They are hungry, dedicated, passionate, emotional, hungry, thirsty ― and want it bad. You want to get something done, ask a busy woman to do it.”