There have always been many legitimate and admirable reasons for people not drinking alcohol in bars: pregnancy, drink driving rules, addiction, disliking the taste of alcohol, religious or legal restrictions and so on. And while bartenders around the world have accepted these reasons and people with all (mostly) good grace we generally found the drinks a bit boring and to be honest so did the drinkers themselves. A melange of fruit juices with maybe some ginger or mint smashed in. Tasty maybe but forgettable and too easy to gulp down and never good value for money. Even terminology fore these drinks was vaguely insulting with words like Mock or Virgin in their titles.
Yet the world is changing fast and the world of Non-Alcoholic/Spiritfree/Zeroproof/Spiritless (choose your term of choice) drinks is one of the fastest and most dynamic categories in both the drinks and the hospitality world. Add to that the increasing number of younger people who are either teetotal or drink far less due to a variety of factors (the embarrassment factor of drunkenness on social media or cost). Also add an increasing number of older drinkers who are looking to find something as cool and complex as their boozy cocktail choices to add to their repertoire of drinks to save their livers and extend their nights and you have a perfect pool of possible customers and a perfect storm of creativity. But thankfully its far easier to be far more creative than before.