A few years ago, ordering a drink sans alcohol at a hip watering hole might have caused some discomfort on both sides of the bar. Serving an O’Doul’s or a cranberry-soda is as unexciting as the prospect of drinking one. And it doesn’t help that uttering the word “mocktail” leaves one feeling kind of silly.
Now, however, virginity is in. Bartenders around the country are reviving the classic tradition of mixing non-alcoholic drinks with the same seasonal fruits, house-made syrups and festive garnishes used in spirited cocktails. The menu at Cucina Urbana in San Diego even includes a “Zero Proof” section. Guests at The Drawing Room in Chicago can choose from a list of alcohol-free “Temperance” drinks. “There’s a multitude of reasons why people don’t drink,” says Charles Joly, chief mixologist at The Drawing Room. “And nobody wants a soda water with lime when everybody else has a fancy drink.”
To help you shake up some creative concoctions that don’t require alcohol, we asked Joly and Sean Barlow from Cucina Urbana for their favorite recipes. Drink up but just don’t call them mocktails.
Contributed by: Charles Joly
- 1 oz Grenadine (Fee Brothers)
- .5 oz Orange juice
- .5 oz Lemon juice
- 2 oz Club soda
- Garnish: Orange peel
- Glass: Cocktail
Combine grenadine, orange and lemon juice in a shaker. Add ice and shake. Add soda water and gently roll the shaker back and forth between your hands to combine the ingredients. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with an orange peel.
Contributed by: Sean Barlow
- 3 to 4 Fresh strawberries cut in half
- 3 Fresh mint sprigs
- Juice of half a lime
- 1 oz Simple syrup
- Ginger beer
- Glass: Collins
Add the strawberries, mint, lime juice and simple syrup to a cocktail shaker. Muddle the ingredients until they’re a juicy pulp. Transfer the mixture to a tall Collins glass. Fill the glass with crushed ice and top off with ginger beer.
Check out another zero-proof drink recipe on Liquor.com.
Maria C. Hunt is hostess of the champagne appreciation and entertaining web site The Bubbly Girl and author of The Bubbly Bar: Champagne & Sparkling Wine Cocktails for Every Occasion.