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Mocktail Hour

By Samantha Boden
Posted On Oct 03, 2016
Mocktail Hour

Fresh, healthy mocktails are a big bar craze. We asked four top barkeeps to share their faves.

Ever felt out of place at a bar, sipping on a cranberry and club soda, not in the market for liquor? Mocktails—booze-free drinks made with the care of a cocktail—are a booming beverage craze. “Mocktails are actually one of the biggest trends—not only for children, but for those who prefer a refreshing drink with a combination of flavors and textures, without the alcohol,” says Devon Antonio, bartender at Antigua’s Carlisle Bay. Trevor Mordaunt, restaurant and bar manager at Kauri Cliffs in New Zealand, concurs. “Many guests with medical conditions or people looking for something different, local, and exciting, are requesting mocktails,” he says.

At Carlisle Bay, Antonio uses fresh tamarind, a healthy fruit with a tart taste. “Smart substitutions can give a new twist,” he says. “If you don’t have mint, replace it with basil. Both herbs are aromatic and contrast with citrus flavors. The idea is to always create a balance of flavors that have harmony on the palate,” says Antonio.

Tyson Buhler of the Ristorante Morini, Altamarea Group in New York, suggests focusing on regional components. One of his favorite recipes actually contains peas. “They play well with herbs such as mint and basil, and add some real freshness,” he says. “It’s a bit of a show stopper when guests
see peas being muddled into their drink.”

Creating mocktails at home is quite simple. “Brainstorm your favorite mixed drinks, fruits, and vegetables,” says Nick Accardo, bar manager at the W Scottsdale. “It’s just like cooking.” Have on hand some fresh-squeezed juices, seasonal fruits, garden herbs, and raw honey. Don’t forget a Boston shaker, muddler, and strainer. “There is an art to good mocktail making,” says Mordaunt. “Be as exact as you would be when making a cake.”

Although these four bartenders are spread throughout the world, they all agree that fresh ingredients are key to a successful mocktail. If using herbs, fruits, veggies, and other low-calorie mixers, these drinks can be quite nutritious and calorie-friendly.

*For more recipes from our mocktail experts, visit Newyou.com.

THE FEIJOA & KIWI SPRITZER

Kauri Cliffs serves the Feijoa and Kiwi Spritzer, created from a combination of seasonal fruits and herbs grown at the Lodge. “The combination of pear and lime [the actual fruit, not just the juice] can be used as a substitute for Feijoa,” says Mordaunt. “If lemon verbena is not available in your region, try using lemon zest as a substitute.”

10 LEMON VERBENA LEAVES

4 MINT LEAVES

1 RIPE FEIJOA

2 TSP FRESH LIME JUICE

½ RIPE KIWI FRUIT

? CUP MINERAL WATER (Kauri Cliffs taps its own mineral water from an aquifer, providing a clean, pure taste, which is carbonated using a Vivreau Water Machine)

1? TBSP KAWAKAWA TEA SYRUP*

METHOD:

1. Scoop fruit and place in glass with mint, verbena, lime juice, and syrup

2. Lightly muddle together; do not puree

3. Fill with ice

4. Fill 2/3 with mineral water

5. Mix lightly with bar spoon

6. Top with ice, then soda

7. Garnish with sprig of lemon verbena

*To make kawakawa tea syrup:
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
2 tbsp Kerikeri organic powdered tea.

In a small saucepot, over medium-high heat, combine the sugar and water. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Sift two tablespoons of Kerikeri powdered tea into a small bowl with a fine mesh sieve set over the top. Add up to ¼ cup water to the powdered tea and stir until the consistency of a paste. Add paste to simple syrup, stirring over low heat until dissolved. Allow to cool.