Mocktails have become a must on menus and at parties, offering fun and flavour in a glass, without a drop of alcohol.
Refined, refreshing and oh-so gorgeous, cocktails are a favourite at restaurants and bars around the world. But many people choose to abstain – for one evening or as part of their lifestyle – for a variety of reasons. Perhaps they’re the designated driver, are participating in the Dry January challenge, or simply don’t like the flavour or effects of spirits. That’s why mocktails, the perfect combination of taste and festivity without any of the booze, have become a party essential.
The rules of mocktails
When it comes to mocktails, there are no rules except one: alcohol is not allowed. Other than that, anything goes!
At the same time, the unspoken rule of alcohol-free mixology is that the drink should never be boring. That was one reason the mocktail originally had a less-than-stellar reputation. People equated it with the Shirley Temple, an orange-pink concoction topped with a maraschino cherry, which was often much too sweet.
With surprising authenticity and elegant garnishes, today’s mocktails are virtually indistinguishable from their boozy cousins.
What replaces alcohol in a mocktail?
One way to make a mocktail is to take a cocktail recipe and simply skip the alcohol. That’s not a bad option, and is in fact how bartenders make virgin versions of many classic drinks. The base is usually club soda, tonic water or ginger ale, to which are added syrups, fruit juices, aromatics and garnishes.
However, many mixologists in upscale bars and restaurants like to go one step further with their non-alcoholic drinks, using craft ginger beers, tonic syrups and fruit nectars. There are also zero-proof alternatives to whiskey, gin, tequila, vodka and rum, giving mocktails the note and complexity of the original versions – but without the after-effects.
How to make and serve mocktails
For your next house party, add mocktails to the drinks menu. Invest in artisanal ginger beer, zero-proof spirits and non-alcoholic sparkling wines. Don‘t forget to assemble a collection of high-end mixers. Besides fruit juices and purées, try more unusual choices like grade A maple syrup, coconut water, unpasteurised apple cider, lychee syrup and cold-brew coffee. Note that most bitters contain 35%-45% alcohol, so opt for a glycerine-based version if you want a 100% boozeless drink.
It wouldn’t be a mocktail without the garnish! Have on hand fresh mint, orange peels, fresh fruit, cucumber ribbons and good olives with their brine.
When to drink mocktails?
One of the great things about mocktails is that you can enjoy them day or night. A virgin mimosa or Bloody Mary is the ideal accompaniment at brunch. Hosting a luncheon? Be sure to offer your guests a raspberry mojito or cucumber-basil lemonade. For a convivial yet responsible night out, opt for the nightclub’s non-alcoholic mixed drinks.
Conscious consumption is in, so raise a glass (or two) to the mocktail!
Le SpeakArt Bar
Paris 75018, France
Rating: 4.1 stars out of 5, based on 116 reviews
Do you dream of visiting Paris' best-kept secret for a drink or snack? You'll be blown away by our bar and its plant-filled terrace! Speak'art offers a slice of paradise in the heart of Montmartre, away from the crowds and noise, where you can relax, chat with friends, brunch in the sun, and more!
Paris is even more beautiful from above! Our 12th-floor cocktail bar has a panoramic view of skyscrapers and the Eiffel Tower. Just 10 minutes by métro from the Arc de Triomphe, XII's rooftop is a popular meeting place for workers at La Défense as well as visitors passing through.
In the 17th arrondissement, just a few steps from Martin Luther King Park, there's a veritable secret garden tucked away. What a lovely spot for savouring a cocktail with green notes or a flavourful coffee whilst socialising with friends! Share a platter of AOP cheeses or give in to the temptation of the Tribe Paris Batignolles finger food menu.
(*) Average meal price calculated on the basis of starter and main course or main course and dessert, excluding drinks, menu and promotional offers. The average price is an estimate only, calculated according to the prices provided by the restaurant. Depending on the country, the average price may or may not include all taxes.
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