Initially styled as ‘virgin’ drinks, mixed for women and children, the non-alcoholic cocktail, mocktail, has evolved into a sophisticated beverage for all seasons and occasions.
According to Molly Kimball, author of “Craft: The Eat Fit Guide to Zero Proof Cocktails,” an alcoholic beverage is not always appropriate, but that doesn’t mean someone should skimp on taste. Kimball believes everyone “deserves flavorful drinks that rise above the typical interpretations of sugary, syrupy, juice-filled beverages.”
What is a Mocktail?
Mocktails have become the go-to drink for designated drivers or those with health concerns, religious practices, or personal preferences. Simply put, mocktails simulate adult libations. Their mixture of juices, herbs, spices, and fruit purees is popular with those who abstain from alcohol – providing a practical and tasty alternative.
The Rise of the Mocktail
The rise of the mocktail mirrors a growing commitment to healthier lifestyles fueled by high-quality, non-alcoholic ingredients unavailable a few decades ago. Previously, non-alcoholic drinks were often concocted with fructose-based sodas and high-calorie juices. Fresh, natural ingredients, such as low-sugar organic juices, high in vitamins and antioxidants, freshly-grown herbs, and exotic spices, can combine with non-alcoholic spirits and bitters — creating complex and flavorful mocktails. These drinks are at the heart of the zero-proof cocktail movement.
Mindful drinking also plays a part in the rise of the mocktail. A growing movement, mindful drinking, rather than abstinence, encourages people to be more conscious of their alcohol consumption. Many bars and restaurants now offer a range of mocktails to cater to this growing trend.
In fact, mocktails are preferred for various reasons.
Personal choice: Many people worldwide opt out of drinking alcohol for health, religious, or personal reasons.
Health issues: Many chronic health issues preclude drinking alcohol. Mocktails provide a tasty and safe alternative.
Designated drivers: If you choose to be responsible with a mocktail, it allows others to enjoy the festivities.
Health-conscious individuals: For some, self-care includes reducing their overall alcohol intake. And zero-proof beverages provide a healthier alternative.
Minimal tolerance: For various reasons, some individuals have a low tolerance for alcohol and prefer to drink mocktails to avoid feeling intoxicated.
Social awareness: There are situations where there is no time to consume alcohol. Mocktails are perfect for after-work events, a quick meet-and-greet before heading home, or a celebration where it is best to maintain composure.
This Season’s Mocktails
There are many popular mocktails, and the list may vary depending on the location and personal preferences. Here are some of the most popular mocktails:
Virgin Mojito: A classic mocktail made with lime juice, mint leaves, and soda water.
Orange Moscow Mule: This is a refreshing and healthy option for brunch or the afternoon. It is made with orange juice and ginger ale. Serve in a copper mug with a mint sprig, maraschino cherries, and an orange slice.
Shirley Temple: A sweet, fruity mocktail with ginger ale and grenadine syrup garnished with a maraschino cherry.
Virgin Margarita: This beverage can be a refreshing beach or poolside option. This tangy mocktail combines fresh lime and orange juice with a splash of sweet and sour and is served in a salt-rimmed margarita-styled glass.
Non-Alcoholic Sangria: Zero-proof red wine or organic grape juice is filled with orange slices, cherries, and raspberries for a Sangria-styled delight.
Juicy Julep: A refreshing take on the famous Mint Julep. This mocktail blends fresh pineapple, orange, and lime juices and is topped with a sprig of fresh mint.
Pina Colada: A tropical mocktail made with pineapple juice, coconut cream, and ice – sans the rum.
Sunrise Mocktail: Imagine this eye-opener consisting of orange juice, grenadine syrup, and soda water, topped off with a slice of orange.
Virgin Cosmopolitan: A refreshing mocktail made with cranberry juice, ginger ale, and fresh cranberries.
Blueberry Lemonade: This zero-proof creation is a favorite of summer days. It is a sweet-tart mocktail made with blueberry puree, lemonade, and soda water.
The rise of the zero-proof mocktail, perfect for all ages and occasions, reflects a growing interest in healthier lifestyles, more conscious drinking habits, and a desire for innovative and delicious non-alcoholic alternatives.
What’s better than great wine and artisanal pizza?
The New York Times described Ridge Monte Bello as “America’s greatest Cabernet Sauvignon.”
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