The sign of a sophisticated bar is no longer an extensive liquor collection — it’s being able to create something interesting for everyone who walks in, which could entail non-alcoholic cocktails. Alcohol doesn’t do our diets or our overall health any favors. Cocktails in particular are some of the most caloric drinks that our metabolism struggles to work off. In fact, many popular diets don’t leave much room for alcohol in the first place. People who are committed to keto or paleo diets may not want to consume any refined sugar and limit their carb intake. Those who are eating a gluten-free diet will have to say goodbye to most beers. All this is exactly why Mocktails were born: to be the most tasty and glamorous solution to this age-old conundrum. These bartenders are not just mixing fruit juice and sparkling water and calling it a day. Think fresh berries and herbs for infusions and garnishes, premium flavored waters and high-quality, organic spices and other ingredients that will appeal to health-conscious consumers. Many of the concoctions have catchy names as well: “Cuddles On The Beach”; “Mockmosa”; “Nojito”; and the most classic of all mocktails: the “Virgin Mary”. Basically, there are mocktails for every taste and time of day and you can drink as many as you want without dreading a hangover the next day and hoping that someone else remembers exactly what you did last night. Or you can alternate between mocktails and regular bar libations to get a buzz sans the headache and hangover.
The key to a truly successful mocktail lies equally in the presentation, which should be as beautiful as if it were a real cocktail. Use the proper glass, high-quality ice and don’t forget the fresh and vibrant garnishes. Also pay attention to color. If you’re mimicking a popular drink, you want to recreate the color of the original. If you’re creating your own, you want to make sure that it’s as equally appealing to the eye as it is to the palate. Add further elegance by matching the temperature of the glass to the temperature of the drink. For a drink served cold, put the glass in the freezer or pour cold water and ice in it to pre-chill it quickly. For warm drinks, pour hot water in the glass while the drink is being prepared.